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Netbook Buyers Guide

1. Make sure you have fun!

Lets face it, if you didn’t want to spend some serious time deciding which new netbook to choose, you’d have gone down to PC World and picked up the first one you saw off the shelf.

2. Set your budget

Up to £200, up to £300, up to £400, £400+

How much money can you blow on a new gadget? You decide.

3. Choose screen size

7″, 9″, 10″

Remember: keyboard size matters too. It’s no good having a tiny 7″ screen if only your pet Hamster can use the keyboard. 10″ Netbooks have

4. Choose an Operating System

Windows XP or Linux. How to decide? Check with your friends to see if they think you are a geek. Geeks choose Linux. The other 90% of us choose Windows XP.

And coming soon: Android, Windows 7 (Although, do you really think that these will work better than XP?)

5. Research the market

Check manufacturer websites, see our guide for links (coming soon).

Check retailer websites…such as PC World, Laptops Direct and Ebuyer.com

Make sure to read the customer comments & reviews. The Acer probably gets 1 star for a reason.

6. Find out what’s coming soon

Research Netbook blogs, use Google and surf away for 4-6 hours. Stop for coffee at midnight, or you’ll lose interest.

We’ll put a list of Netbook blogs here soon.

7. Read product reviews

Google, Blogs, Youtube, you know the drill.

Netbooks are Cheap – so check for any known issues with your shortlist of Netbooks

Read comments from other customers on retailer websites.

8. Get hands-on

Visit PC World, have a fiddle and press some buttons. You’ll probably set off the security alarm, so go and hide in the networking section and pretend to be interested in a 802.11n modem router.

9. Find the best deal

Use Google, Google Shopping & Yahoo! Shopping

This is the recession, so make sure you find the best deal – 5hrs of research can save you up to £7.50 on a new Netbook.

10. Order your Netbook

Check your chosen Netbook is “In Stock” – order by phone if necessary. Don’t trust the sales guy, demand they send someone down to the warehouse to check physical stock. Then hang up and order from someone else.

11. Testing your Netbook

Your earlier research should have told you if your Netbook has any known issues. Now is the time to test them. If you’ve ordered online, you’ve got your statutory 7-day period to return your Netbook.

Be careful, don’t thow away the packaging. Some retailers will charge you a restocking fee if you ruin the packaging. Also, it’s worth keeping for when you sell it on ebay in 3 weeks time.

12. Get accessories for your Netbook

You need a nice 10″ Netbook case, a mini wireless mouse and a 10 port USB hub.

Hmmm, where could you buy these from? www.gearzap.com