Netbooks: Best Buys Best buy

Our netbook reviews are thorough and comprehensive: currently there are no netbooks that reach the standards necessary to achieve a Which? Best Buy award. This is because netbooks are small, portable and cheap, but offer fairly low specifications and there are only a small number left on the market.

Samsung netbook

Need a new netbook?

Excellent battery life is one of the key features of a good netbook, while the worst could end up letting you down mid-sentence. It's easy to be led by manufacturers' claims and shop staff selling tactics. 

Netbooks are declining in availability as thin, light 'ultrabook' laptops become more popular. 

Laptops for under £400 - Find the best cheap laptop as a netbook alternative in our laptop reviews.

Tablets are also a great alternative if you need something lightweight to carry around for web browsing or watching movies on. 

Tablets for under £250 - Find the best tablet for the price of a netbook in our tablet reviews.

However, there are still some netbooks available in shops, or refurbished and second-hand models. If your heart is set on a netbook, our reviews can help you cut through the noise, and find the best models. 

Our research is completely independent meaning we're not afraid to tell you that currently there are no netbooks that reach the standards necessary to qualify as a Which? Best Buy. Although the best are perfectly adequate for general tasks and browsing online, they offer fairly low specifications and can't compete with laptops in terms of performance. 

  • Our lab tests look at how easy each netbook is to use in real life scenarios - including how warm it gets when you use it on your lap and how light it is to carry. 
  • We run each netbook until it shuts down to find out the real story on its battery life claims.
  • Because netbooks are so small, it's even more important you have a clear and crisp display for viewing text. Our tests reveal the models that are the best of the bunch for screen quality.

The top performing models are still worth considering if you want a cheap but basic, portable computing solution. Find out which models our experts rate as the best, by taking out a £1 trial to Which?.

What makes a Which? Best Buy laptop or netbook?


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Reviews you can trust

We test models from the biggest netbook brands on the market in our labs - including Acer, Samsung and Toshiba - so you can decide when it's worth spending your money on a pricier model and when it's not.

Which? is independent - we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We don't take advertising and we buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.

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Try a £1 trial membership, and you'll receive access to all our online content and get a Which? magazine delivered monthly to your door. You can also phone our Which? Legal Service and personal finance experts for one-to-one help, plus you'll get access to Which? Local, where members share recommendations for the best services in your area. 

  • Reviews of 13 netbooks for computing on the go.
  • Netbooks for portable computing on a budget.
  • Choose the best netbook from 5 companies.