As we mentioned in the best kids netbook post, buying a netbook for your children just makes plain sense. They are fast, streamlined and relatively cheap when compared to traditional laptops. But what was good for a 10 year old isn’t necessarily going to cut it for their 14 year old sibling. So if you are looking to get a solid netbook that will work for high school or even college (but rarely both), below is our best kids netbook recommendation for children 12 years and up.
Best Netbook for Teenagers
A netbook for a teenager is going to look a lot like a laptop in terms of performance specifications with the freedom and mobility of a smaller, lighter unit. And seeing as there are a ton of netbooks in the field, the decision was tough. We ultimately decided on the Samsung NF310 Netbook. This netbook hit the sweet spot between price, performance and features that makes it a stand out in the crowd.
Undoubtedly the biggest thing that caught our attention was the 9 hour battery life. Keep in mind that this is an advertised battery life and would be the best you can expect (most likely with the Bluetooth and wifi turned off). But even with all the features running you can still get a good 7+ hours out of it. This makes it incredible for family trips (whether by car or through numerous airports) as well as classes and study sessions. The other feature that is phenomenal is the advanced sleep states. These improvements help save the battery and can get you up and running from sleep mode in under 3 seconds; very cool for those who, like myself, are very impatient and want to get going. Also, the USB ports stay active during sleep so you can charge your cellphone, iPod, iTouch, whatever while in sleep.
Other than these killer features, the Samsung NF310 is designed just about right for routine teenager use. The screen is a 10.1″ HD LED-backlit LCD screen that has just about perfect resolution (1366 x 768 which lets you see more but still be readable) plus it can play 720p HD movies. It also has 3D SRS sound which gives it a great full sound (especially the bass) which is usually the weakest link with netbooks. Together the screen, the sound, the dual core processor and the N stage wifi make it perfect for streaming movies and videos from Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, etc.
Another thing that made this notebook easier to recommend is the fact that Samsung did not add any bloatware, the unnecessary “promo” and trial software packages that you have to uninstall, to the netbook. This is one of my pet peeves and it’s really refreshing not having to deal with that.
The Samsung netbook put a lot of thought into the design. The balance of video resolution, audio performance and processing power nearly puts it on par with a notebook that’s twice the price. The one thing that I would recommend though, if you want this system to be perfect, is to pick up the 2GB DDR3 memory chip. It costs less than 20 bucks, is incredibly easy to install (just open the back, pop out the 1 GB module and pop in the 2 GB chip) and will make everything run so much faster and smoother that you won’t be disappointed. Really, the only thing wrong with the Samsung netbook is that they didn’t do this already.