What is better for freelancers: netbook or laptop?

What is better for freelancers: netbook or laptop?

Freelance – is a kind of job where a computer should be always near. For real, usually we are located near the work place at the office, and how to be a freelancer whose work place – the Internet? Yes, basically he works at home with the ordinary desktop PC. But still, most freelancers prefer mobility and choose a netbook or laptop.

Why are would it be more convenient?

Yes, they’re not tied to just one place. You can pick up and go to parents for a few days for example, and don`t have to drag along with you the system unit and monitor. A freelancer need to go on the web very often – see mail, write a response, write a blog, respond to comments, search for information related to the customer – but you never know what else he or she would need. Of course, something can be done from the phone or tablet, but it’s still very limited and not as convenient for advanced operations.

Sometimes you need to show the results to the customer with “live” version, and to do that much more convenient to take a netbook or laptop, and at the meeting will be possible not only show, but also make corrections. Basically, each freelancer who respects himself should have a netbook or laptop. We can make an exception for homebodies or housewives who are “tied” to their desktops.

We can even say – the desktop is not like “Must Have” for freelancer. Only when you do graphics, especially in 3D, graphic editors, coding large programs or video processing needs it. The remaining tasks are quite capable with a modern netbook or notebook.

I already said about the benefits of mobile devices, now let’s proceed directly to compare netbook and laptop. For some tasks it better to have a netbook, but for others – for sure laptops.

What is good about netbook?


  • It is small and lightweight. It fits easily into a small bag, so you can take with you wherever you go.
  • Battery lasts for many hours. Usually netbook can work without recharging for 4 hours or even more. For example, I bought a netbook Acer Aspire One, which turned out to be 4-core processor, surprised that it worked for more than 8 hours with the installed OSes MeeGo. I took down the system, of course, as the unfit for anything, and installed Windows 7. And this is quite a powerful system, with all time open browser with a dozen tabs, mail, Skype, Word and even some of my programs, this netbook anyway able to operate without recharging for about 6 hours.
  • Netbooks are cheap. However, the cheapest laptops are almost as expensive as netbooks, yet the average netbook is much cheaper. And if it has lack of opportunities, why to pay more?

Netbook disadvantages

  • It is not that powerful in terms of tasks, where need great performance from a workstation. On a netbook is convenient to work with office software, Internet access, etc. Even some of early games will run, like first Call of Duty, but if you work with graphics or programming – either way with serious stuff, netbook will not carry this. Not even mentioning 3D editors. You might draw a small scene in 3DS Max on a small netbook screen, but how much it will take to render…
  • Small keyboard. Some netbooks in fact have small and uncomfortable keys. But not all of them. For example, at the same Acer Aspire One buttons have normal size, just the same as on a laptop. So it’s not a serious drawback.
  • No CD / DVD – drive. All data is transferred using a USB flash drive or other removable media. In fact, this is also not a serious drawback – you can buy an external drive that connects via USB.

There are no more obvious shortcomings found. Memory in netbooks is usually good capacity, at least 250 GB. That would be enough for all needs.

What is good about notebook?


  • Large screen – the first thing that catches the eye. Yes, it is very convenient, especially if you want to run multiple programs simultaneously. And indeed there is no problem with the unfolding of the browser window to fill the screen and the page is completely visible in width. Basically the big screen – it is always easier than a small one
  • Notebook – pretty powerful machine. Some laptops can be compared to the average, or even an advanced desktop computer. It can even have a good graphics card that allows you to work with any software, graphics including 3D, and everything else which acquires heavy calculations.
  • There is also a DVD-ROM drive, and a large hard drive – more than on netbooks, about 500 GB or more. And how much disk space, though – sooner or later it ends. Therefore, when it’s a lot – it’s good.

Notebook disadvantages

  • Heavy and large. Some time ago the laptop was considered as a miracle of miniaturization, but now those days are gone. Often carry it with is uncomfortable, bulky and heavy. Who has not tried – he did not understand.
  • Battery life is low. Hour or two, maximum three, if you use the minimum, utilizing one or two office programs. The large screen and powerful processor “eat” the battery pretty quickly. If the processor is still able to manage their energy consumption, the screen anyway consumes at the expense of energy.
  • The price is quite high. The cheapest laptop by performance can be compared to a netbook, but with a larger screen. Serious laptops cost a lot more – maybe as two or even more netbooks.

Well, what do you choose – netbook or laptop?

It depends on your type of business. Copywriter, for example, is quite suitable with netbook – easy, convenient, cheap. He can write lyrics very well , sitting on a bench, and have no worries about the battery. It is perfectly fine to connect to the Internet, a webcam with sensitive microphone will let you use Skype without problems. In general, it is enough for a copywriter, that is why so many of them have already purchased netbooks – low cost and easy to use.

As already mentioned, for professionals that are making graphics – netbook would be very weak. Photoshop will work, but the small screen – it is a problem. Any work with graphics requires large screen, except basic cropping patterns. 3D – Graphics requires not only the big screen, but also a powerful processor and a good graphics card. Freelancers who are engaged in drawing – designer, coder, animators would be doing OK with average laptop, and in a same time having a good desktop as a main work station.

Programmers also better to get a laptop. Compilation of a large program can take a long time on a slower computer. The large screen allows you to see a large piece of the code, and it is more convenient.

For website administrators, for example, bloggers, a netbook would be enough. Write articles and do simple edits in Photoshop will be just fine for netbooks. Some people manage their websites through smartphones.

What would be your decision – netbook or laptop? Just think what you need – a powerful processor and a big screen, or enough handy little machine? Lets put aside the heavy games that freelancers are not playing, because he doesn’t need a computer for games …


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