Evaluating Netbooks for Enterprise Use

Evaluating Netbooks for Enterprise Use

Intel IT performed a technology evaluation and verified that netbooks cannot replace our users’ laptop and desktop PCs due to several factors, including ergonomics and performance when running a full set of IT applications. Figure 1 shows performance test results.

Netbooks are lightweight computers designed for accessing the Internet. The appeal... of netbooks is due largely to their compact size, which makes them easy to carry and to use in tight spaces; however, the form factor also creates usability challenges.

Our study suggests that netbooks potentially could become companion devices that employees use while traveling, in meetings, and at home. They could also perform specialized roles in Intel’s factories and in conference rooms. We plan to continue investigating these usage models to determine the potential for enterprise deployment.


Netbooks are a new category of ultra portable computers designed for accessing the Internet. They are smaller and lighter than laptop computers, but also significantly less powerful.Intel’s users are interested in netbooks because they are lightweight and compact. Most of Intel’s workforce is highly mobile; about 83 percent of our users already have laptop computers.

Intel IT decided to evaluate how netbooks might fit into our enterprise environment. Our goal was to understand whether netbooks are suitable for enterprise use, and if so, whether they can replace laptops and desktops, or should be used in other ways.

Accordingly, we performed a technology evaluation to assess capabilities essential for enterprise use, such as compatibility with our standard IT applications, manageability, connectivity, security, performance, and ergonomics. Based on our findings, we identified potential enterprise usage models.

Read the full Evaluating Netbooks for Enterprise Use Brief.

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