I can’t tell you how many people stop me when I’m out and about, to ask me if I love my netbook. After using a few different brands for over a year now, I have to say that it’s definitely one of the smarter investments I’ve made–not just for my own work but for our family as well.

So let me tell you what I tell everyone who stops to ask.

1. Travel

When my husband made a bit of an impulse purchase with our first netbook, I initially didn’t understand the appeal. But with his frequent travel, it’s genius. While the iPad or another tablet is handy to have for moms and dads on the go, he much prefers the netbook for when he’s trying to get work done that requires a keyboard, document downloads, and usb-connected devices. It’s lighter and easier to pack than a laptop, but has almost all the same features we rely on, like a built-in web cam for our family chats on Skype.

2. Kids

While the netbook is lacking a disc drive, it’s got everything else a laptop has, just in a smaller size, making it the perfect computer for kids like mine who enjoy playing Internet games. Instead of my kids begging to use my own computer all the time, we have a super cheap Asus EEE set up just for their use that that cost us less than $150. This way, they’re still getting the experience of using a “real” computer, but we don’t have to worry about little fingers accidentally deleting our important files.

HP Mini 210 in Pink

3. Mobile Office

I like to use my desktop computer or MacBook Pro for work, but when it comes to simple stuff that I can do from my kitchen, my netbook has been invaluable. I just pop in up on my kitchen counter or downstairs on our basement bar, and I can do a quick check of email or our Facebook page without having to leave the kids and traipse upstairs. The full-size keyboard of the HP also makes it very easy to use, and I never feel like I’m working on a kid’s toy.

If you have a netbook, we’d love to know why you love it and how it functions in your work and/or family life. And many thanks to HP for providing me with a pretty pink HP Mini 210 which has become a huge part of my life. – Kristen

[Main photo via]