In terms of software, netbooks do not generally come bundled with any kind of commercial software. This is necessarily so to keep the cost of netbooks as low as possible. However, without the right software you may not get the best value from your investment. We all know that a computer is only as good as the programs it has.
You do not have to always pay for the software that you download for your netbook as there is plenty of free netbook software online. However, there are certain programs that in my experience, you simply can’t do without. Until you have installed and used them, their value and importance may not be as obvious as it could be.
Many software developers have taken note of the special needs of netbook users and have accommodated their pricing and features specifically for them. Here are five essential software for your netbook you really need and why you need to get them.
1. Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010
Anyone who has a computer probably has used some form of Microsoft’s Office programs. The creation of documents, spreadsheets and simple databases are part and parcel of a day’s work. For those with very basic needs there is OpenOffice. It is completely free, and supports Office formats (although not perfectly) so most of the time there are few issues with compatibility and not as user friendly however.
You could try using the online suites – Google Docs will let you edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations online. It has the virtue of transferring a lot of the work from your slow netbook to the Google servers. Microsoft too provides an online Office Web Apps companions to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote to access, view, and edit documents directly from a browser.
But any online suite option assumes you have an Internet connection – when traveling that’s not always the case or the price of connection is too high. We prefer to be able to use the computer anytime and not be reliant on an internet connection. That leads us to consider the Microsoft Office 2010 options.
The good news is that Microsoft Office 2010 runs on a netbook without problems and you can continue to use the Office software and documents you are familiar with when you work on a netbook. With the latest generation of netbooks coming with a free 60-day trial of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 Edition pre-installed means you can have access to this software with your netbook purchase.
Many netbook users typically spend just a few hundred dollars on a netbook and are reluctant to spend big money on productivity software. Microsoft has accommodated netbooks users in the latest release of Office 2010 by launching a Product Key Card version of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 Edition.
A Product Key Card provides another way to purchase Microsoft Office 2010. It includes a 25-character Product Key designed to activate Office software pre-installed on your machine. This Product Key Card is intended to be purchased with a new PC only and includes the following features;
- Includes 25-character Product Key only, no disc.
- Designed to activate Office on 1 computer preloaded with Office 2010 suites. For a limited time, customers buying a computer without Office 2010 preloaded, can download the software at www.office.com/productkeycard.
- Licensed for 1 install on single computer only.
- License cannot be transferred to another computer.
- Download backup available at www.office.com/productkeycard.
Alternatively, you can buy a boxed copy version of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 from a local or online retailer. This version includes the software on disc, with a product key. It is licensed for installation on three PCs in the same household.
We prefer Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010 due to being familiar, the fact that most people know and use its format. Word, Excel and Powerpoint are the most well known Microsoft software programs among students on all levels. This is because all throughout school this is what is used to write papers, do projects and learn how to do spreadsheets.
Click Here to Check out the Latest Deals on Microsoft Office 2010
2. Google Chrome Browser
Google Chrome is a small app that starts up incredibly fast, does not take up a lot of power, takes up less screen estate and the Google search in the URL text box is very handy. It also beautifully syncs your bookmarks to make sure that you stay connected wherever you are, not to mention the huge collection of extensions it offers.
It works better than any of the modern browsers we have around on a netbook. Need you more reasons?
Click Here to Download Google Chrome
3. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2011
The netbook was developed primarily to provide the user with an affordable, no-frills computer primarily for surfing the web. However, like any other browsing activity, regardless of the type of computer that you use, danger lurks online. Without protection software installed, your netbook is highly vulnerable to attacks from the moment that you begin browsing.
Many people who buy netbooks simply assume that they come fully loaded with all the software that they need. This is not always the case as original software cost a fair bit of money and to keep the cost of netbooks low manufacturers typically install limited trial versions of anti-virus software.
The safety measures applied to a netbook largely depend upon the cautionary practices of the netbook user. Safety concerns don’t have to escalate if the user is educated and chooses to install appropriate netbook security Solutions.
Norton and McAfee are good but you have to pay for it. Our preferred and light weight anti-virus protection comes in the form of AVG and it is free. This software is quite good in blocking and removing malicious software, Cookies and Trojan. It takes the guesswork out of netbook security and helps to eliminate the technobable that makes computer security difficult to understand and control.
Click Here to Download AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2011
4. Foxit PDF Reader 4.3
You will need a good reader for accessing PDF files. When it comes to PDF readers all we think of is Adobe Reader, but the bloatware it is, consumes a lot of memory making your netbook become sluggish, Foxit on the other hand consumes very little memory and does almost everything Adobe reader does.
The latest version Foxit Reader 4.3 supports the viewing of PDF documents that are embedded inside HTML, giving users many advantages and flexibility when viewing PDF files. Also, reading a PDF in an HTML page operates the same as any other PDF document viewed in Foxit Reader. The same tool bar options are available in all PDF documents.
It’s fast and does a very nice, straight-ahead job of PDF viewing.
Click Here to Download Foxit PDF Reader
5. Skype 5.0
Calling other people on Skype is free so you can talk whenever you want to – not just on special occasions. Call to check in with mum when you’re traveling, give your partner a goodnight kiss via video call when they’re away on business, or use it for your regular calls and catch ups. And, if you know people who don’t use Skype you can call them too at really low rates.
Skype gets better everyday. The Skype 5.0 has a lot of additions. We’ve been using it for a while and it runs great on netbooks. Make sure that your webcam and microphone are properly configured.
Click Here to Download Skype 5.0
Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Student Edition for Netbooks