A portable, laptop computer is pretty much a requirement for the tech-enabled real estate professional. But should it be a notebook computer or one of those newer inexpensive “netbooks”?
Netbooks are small computers designed to be used on the go. Best Buy describes them as perfect for travel or as a supplement to your main computer, ideal for surfing the Web and using e-mail. With prices in the $300-$500 range, they’re gaining in popularity and now account for about 10% of all PC sales.
Typically, netbooks weigh less than 3 lbs., have a 10” or smaller screen, and are equipped with a smaller keyboard as well. They also have reduced computing power and are unlikely to have a CD or DVD player. Their small size makes them ultra-portable; some are barely bigger than a paperback book and can fit in a large jacket pocket. Some tech experts argue, however, that their shortcomings may make them inappropriate for business use.
Of greatest concern is whether a netbook will have the microcomputing power to do your everyday tasks. Most can do simple word processing, but agents often need a computer than can handle digital images or run a slide presentation. A netbook may have trouble with these. Also, small screens and small keyboards may make them too uncomfortable to use for long periods of time.
If you’re thinking of having a netbook as your only computer, test it thoroughly to see if the fit is right for you. Be certain that it works with your camera, your printer, your music player, and anything else you plan to connect to it. Also be sure it can run any software you’ll want to add.