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best netbook applicationsNetbooks, and other small ultra-portable computers including Windows tablets, are well loved because of their small footprint and light weight. However, netbooks are far less powerful than the typical notebook PC, which means they can have trouble running applications that other PCs have no problem with.

This means that anyone who wants a snappy netbook needs to pick the best netbook applications. Finding and judging the best netbook applications can take some time, which is why I’ve handled it for you.

Best Antivirus: Panda Cloud Antivirus

best netbook applications

Picking an antivirus program The 10 Best Free Anti-Virus Programs The 10 Best Free Anti-Virus Programs Read More for a netbook is tricky because of the limited system resources available. All antivirus software has the potential to become a real resource hog, because the process of shifting through files in search of virus signatures isn’t easy.

There are a number of relatively lightweight antivirus programs, however, and Panda Cloud Antivirus is at the top. It’s intuitive, quick, and provides solid protection. I will admit that this spot was hotly contested, however. If you’re not happy with Panda, try Avast! free edition or Microsoft Security Essentials.

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Best Browser: Google Chrome

netbook software applicationsHonestly, there wasn’t much of a contest here. Google Chrome is incredibly light on system resources and does almost everything that you could want a browser to do.

I have occasionally run into websites that failed to support Chrome properly, but you can always keep a backup of Internet Explorer installed for those very rare situations.

Best Desktop Enchancement: 360Desktop

netbook software applications

Netbooks have small displays. This is a disadvantage that is common in small devices, and one that can feel very limiting. Fortuantely, 360Desktop can help you get around this problem. No, it doesn’t magically make your display larger, but it does virtually enlarge it and provides the ability to scroll across it. This provides you with more usable space on the same small display.

Best Office Suite: Google Docs

netbook applications

The decision to include Google Docs as the pick for best netbook office suite, rather than OpenOffice/LibreOffice or any other contender, is related to the small footprint of Google Chrome. If you’re already using Chrome on your netbook, as recommended, it only makes sense to use Google Docs. This has a very low impact on system resources but provides common office suite functionality.

Best Image Editor: Fotograpfix

netbook applications

There are a lot of image editing programs to choose from these days, but out of all of them I think Fotograpfix Fotographix- Portable, Multiple-Layered Image Editor [Windows] Fotographix- Portable, Multiple-Layered Image Editor [Windows] Read More is the best for netbooks. Although the program isn’t very pretty, and doesn’t match the functionality of GIMP, Fotograpfix does include all the basic image editing features. It’s absurdly light, as well – if Windows Task Manager can be trusted, it typically uses less system resources than Mozilla Firefox with a single tab open. That’s not bad at all!

Best Resource Monitor: TinyResMeter

netbook applicationsSystem resources on a netbook are important. They’re the entire reason I’m writing this blog post. With only so much to go around, you need to keep tabs on what is available and what isn’t.

TinyResMeter is a great way to do that. This light, customizable application provides information about your netbook without consuming much resources itself. It can monitor a huge range of  variables including not only common items, such as available RAM, but also more obscure information such as current hard drive disk speed.
best netbook applications

Best Game Platform: Impulse

Steam generally takes the cake when it comes to gaming on a PC, but it can be a bit unwieldy on a netbook. Steam itself always runs in the background, and I’ve found that during sales the pop-up Windows loaded by Steam can take some time to appear on a netbook.

Impulse is a solid alternative that provides many of the same functions. Although the game selection and social networking features aren’t as good as Steam’s, Impulse has an advantage – it can be shut off completely, and you can still play the games you purchased. Impulse also has a good selection of obscure indie titles that tend to be less demanding on system resources.

Conclusion

Obviously, there is always going to be some debate about the programs that are best for netbooks. There are also a lot of categories of software – I covered those I think most relevant, but if you have a favorite program that wasn’t included here, please post it in the comments.

Image Credit: Ward’s Kitchen

  1. kiwi
    August 26, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    this is the dummest link ive ever gpone too

  2. J.
    December 21, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Concerning browsers. My MS Explorer became sluggishly useless. i've used Opera and Firefox. Currently I'm using Pale Moon which is a derivative of Firefox. I used their portable version but now use Pale Moon for Atom. It's optimised for netbooks. I don't care for Google products. I find them to invasive. Pale Moon is lean, quicker and can actually load some of those Mega Avertisement Pages.

  3. Kaiser Sibi
    April 23, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I have to agree with Anomaly.

  4. Smartin80
    April 15, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    y'all get a life

  5. Thayer
    February 17, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    http://xkcd.com/386/
    You have a lot of work ahead of you.

  6. Izzi
    February 16, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Or you could, you know, install some lightweight Linux...Puppy...or Jolicloud even.

  7. Izzi
    February 16, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Maybe not light weight, haven't checked...but it sure feels more light weight than FF and IE. What is your suggestion? Not use any browser at all? That would be light weight I guess.
    And if you need even faster, use Chromium. I do, works well.

  8. MelangeX3
    February 11, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Last but not least, for about 10 bucks plus s&h you can probably find more memory for your computer by checking your notebook memory type and speed at Crucial.com and see if a used parts supplier like http://www.pacificgeek.com/pro... still has some in stock. Good Luck!

  9. MelangeX3
    February 11, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    As far as a browser goes you can try QtWeb http://qtweb.net/download.php or CE SafeBrowser http://www.communityeditions.c... (a Firefox variant) and use a LIGHT theme like http://www.communityeditions.c... to maximize Resource and screen usage.

  10. Creative420
    February 11, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Oh! I have windows XP installed on it. So you're suggesting I change my OS to Linux. I still have internet explorer 6 installed on it, which lags up a lot. So any browser for windows that you can suggest?

    P.S.: I'm just a noob, so forgive me for any ignorance.

  11. Mike
    February 11, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Wow 64 mb ram! What kind of OS are you running on that machine?

    I'd try Puppy Linux. Download and burn on cd, then boot from it. It asks you some questions during boot and then gives you a complete desktop with the browser of your choice plus software in all categories. It will offer to save your session in a file on the harddisk and next time you boot from it your settings and installed programs will be remembered. When you need your DOS accounting software just remove the cd and boot as usual.

    Get Puppy here: http://puppylinux.org/main/Dow...

    You probably already know that your computer would benefit tremendously from some more ram.

  12. Mike
    February 10, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    Isn't Immunet Protect supposed to be an additional layer of protection for your regular antivirus?

    I used to run Immunet + Panda + Online Armor (firewall) on XP but finally decided to run only one security app: Comodo Internet Security. It seems to work fine and isn't too heavy for the rediculously slow Atom 270 processor.

    Overclocking the processor and getting just 10% more power would probably make a world of difference but I haven't been able to find good advice on how to do that.

  13. Mike
    February 10, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Oops, sorry. I meant that testing FF and Palemoon not FF and Chrome.

    Chrome is way faster than FF/Palemoon but it's also greedier when it comes to system resources. If there was a way to make Chrome run in one proces in stead of one per tab it would be perfect for low powered computers.

  14. MelangeX3
    February 10, 2011 at 1:27 am

    If you register at xDA forums and send me a PM or email, we can share ideas and help some people out. http://forum.xda-developers.co...
    If you want to jazz up a mobile phone, this is the place to start.

  15. Sir4taye
    February 9, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Anomaly is a troll. Ignore him. There is nothing to be gained by listening to him.

  16. MelangeX3
    February 8, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    I think the average user experience is pretty close for the popular browsers as long as you don't load them up with extensions. I personally don't like the chrome interface as well as Firefox; but that may just be familiarity talking. I recycle, upgrade and donate older laptops after I set them up like a netbook with lighter apps. A lot of these software discussions really help me narrow down choices to make someone's life a little brighter.

    Wow, what a thread - State your opinion, Keep it short & sweet + preferably positive. If you restate your initial point more than five times..... It's time to start looking for a nice comfortable bridge to live under. Seriously though, there is too much other stuff in life to get worked up about already.

    On a separate note, I like PdfXchange as an all around pdf viewer for my home system and netbook. Much lighter than Adobe X.

    • Rockysbluesbar
      February 8, 2011 at 10:12 pm

      Without going into extensive details, I do something similar, with regards to fixing up old laptops to run well enough to be used by some less fortunate folks who lack the budget to buy a good computer, so I like what you said about helping out and I would love to assist you with info on how to tweak the max out of these old dinosaurs and select programs light enough to run on those weak CPU XP laptops with very little ram and worn out hard drives. How can we get in touch?

  17. MelangeX3
    February 8, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    I think the average user experience is pretty close for the popular browsers as long as you don't load them up with extensions. I personally don't like the chrome interface as well as Firefox; but that may just be familiarity talking. I recycle, upgrade and donate older laptops after I set them up like a netbook with lighter apps. A lot of these software discussions really help me narrow down choices to make someone's life a little brighter.

    Wow, what a thread - State your opinion, Keep it short & sweet + preferably positive. If you restate your initial point more than five times..... It's time to start looking for a nice comfortable bridge to live under. Seriously though, there is too much other stuff in life to get worked up about already.

    On a separate note, I like PdfXchange as an all around pdf viewer for my home system and netbook. Much lighter than Adobe X.

  18. James Bruce
    February 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    The sheer choice of extensions is another reason I have Firefox installed too, by the way, but I don't like those running for everything I do on the internet.

  19. James Bruce
    February 7, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I've been using various browsers for years, and I currently have 3 different browsers (chrome, firefox, safari) sitting in my taskbar for various purposes when designer and testing. I use Chrome daily because IT IS the fastest, in my experience, in my setup.

    I think calling it "light" is probably inaccurate, though it is distinctly faster for my particular kind of browsing, whereby I leave perhaps 20 tabs open at all times. The fact that it isolates each tab as a separate process keeps it much more stable than other browsers. With 20 tabs, firefox just dies and crunches up in a horrible mess, so now I only use firefox when debugging sites ( I prefer firebug to chrome's built in version).

    What would you suggest instead though? Opera? Internet Explorer 8? I think when you look at the choices, Chrome (OR Firefox) are the best choices, and Chrome just happens to tip the post when it comes to slower hardware....

  20. Anomaly
    February 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I don't dislike Chrome. I dislike the inaccurate info being spread around about it.

  21. Rockysbluesbar
    February 7, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Panda doesn't hold a candle to Avira, for protection nor for being lightweight.

    TinyResMeter is a joke.
    Has anyone tried it? It is wrong about the CPU speed, the CPU usage, and the ram. Not even close. It might as well be my grandma taking a guess.

    360 Desktop is so heavy that it near paralyzes my Lenovo S103t. How could you possibly suggest it is an ideal program for netbooks?

    I have no interest in the other 4, specially after discovering how wrong your article is about the programs you suggest.
    The majority of the world's population needs help with their computers and making irresponsible erroneous statements as you have in your article, makes you part of the problem. If you don't want to be part of the solution, so be it, but to go out of your way to induce people into error is immoral and near criminal.

  22. Rockysbluesbar
    February 7, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Panda doesn't hold a candle to Avira, for protection nor for being lightweight.

    TinyResMeter is a joke.
    Has anyone tried it? It is wrong about the CPU speed, the CPU usage, and the ram. Not even close. It might as well be my grandma taking a guess.

    360 Desktop is so heavy that it near paralyzes my Lenovo S103t. How could you possibly suggest it is an ideal program for netbooks?

    I have no interest in the other 4, specially after discovering how wrong your article is about the programs you suggest.
    The majority of the world's population needs help with their computers and making irresponsible erroneous statements as you have in your article, makes you part of the problem. If you don't want to be part of the solution, so be it, but to go out of your way to induce people into error is immoral and near criminal.

  23. Sdf
    February 7, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    So you don't like Chrome - your making that obvious to all, so go chil land have a beer.
    For Joe Average, it runs quicker on a low powered device - job done!

  24. Creative420
    February 5, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    So what would be my best bet if I still have one of those old PCs with 64RAM? Which is the best browser for it. I'm using Chrome right now and boy does it hog the memory?

    P.S.: It's bassically used for some DOS accounting softwares. SO don't suggest me to junk it. :P

    • Mike
      February 10, 2011 at 11:25 pm

      Wow 64 mb ram! What kind of OS are you running on that machine?

      I'd try Puppy Linux. Download and burn on cd, then boot from it. It asks you some questions during boot and then gives you a complete desktop with the browser of your choice plus software in all categories. It will offer to save your session in a file on the harddisk and next time you boot from it your settings and installed programs will be remembered. When you need your DOS accounting software just remove the cd and boot as usual.

      Get Puppy here: http://puppylinux.org/main/Download%20Latest%20Release.htm

      You probably already know that your computer would benefit tremendously from some more ram.

      • Creative420
        February 11, 2011 at 9:58 am

        Oh! I have windows XP installed on it. So you're suggesting I change my OS to Linux. I still have internet explorer 6 installed on it, which lags up a lot. So any browser for windows that you can suggest?

        P.S.: I'm just a noob, so forgive me for any ignorance.

        • MelangeX3
          February 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm

          No worries Creative420, Puupy Linux is very straightforward and user friendly. I routinely help people do just as Mike suggested and setup a cd personalized for their computer. If you can figure out how to post here, you have what it takes to get through the Puppy installation - (assuming you have a cd burner.) You can run the Puppy Linux from the cd, leave your Windows XP as it is and allow a small free storage area on your hard drive for the Puppy Linux to access and save files. When you don't want to use the Linux and just want XP - Eject the cd and reboot, and you are right where you are Now!

        • MelangeX3
          February 11, 2011 at 2:15 pm

          As far as a browser goes you can try QtWeb http://qtweb.net/download.php or CE SafeBrowser http://www.communityeditions.com/ce-safe-browser/ (a Firefox variant) and use a LIGHT theme like http://www.communityeditions.com/small-light-firefox-theme/ to maximize Resource and screen usage.

        • MelangeX3
          February 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm

          Last but not least, for about 10 bucks plus s&h you can probably find more memory for your computer by checking your notebook memory type and speed at Crucial.com and see if a used parts supplier like http://www.pacificgeek.com/product.asp?ID=21482&C=208&S=1024 still has some in stock. Good Luck!

  25. Creative420
    February 6, 2011 at 12:03 am

    So what would be my best bet if I still have one of those old PCs with 64RAM? Which is the best browser for it. I'm using Chrome right now and boy does it hog the memory?

    P.S.: It's bassically used for some DOS accounting softwares. SO don't suggest me to junk it. :P

  26. Anomaly
    February 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I never said Chrome wasn't fast (although I do find Firefox and Opera to be at least as fast as Chrome). Fast does not = light.

    As for your issues with Firefox, I have never had them.

  27. Aibek
    February 5, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    thanks for offering us the 0.98 pre-release version, we really
    appreciate that.

  28. Tinyresmeter
    February 5, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Hi, I am the developper of TinyResMeter and saw a lot of new subscribers coming from this blog's post, thank you.

    If you add "MakeOfUse" into subscription comment then I'll send you back the last 0.98 pre-release.

    msg to Matt, please update the link, to http://pesoft.com/trm/us_trm.html that is the official one for english spoken.

    • Aibek
      February 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm

      thanks for offering us the 0.98 pre-release version, we really
      appreciate that.

  29. Tinyresmeter
    February 5, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Hi, I am the developper of TinyResMeter and saw a lot of new subscribers coming from this blog's post, thank you.

    If you add "MakeOfUse" into subscription comment then I'll send you back the last 0.98 pre-release.

    msg to Matt, please update the link, to http://pesoft.com/trm/us_trm.h... that is the official one for english spoken.

  30. CyberGusa
    February 5, 2011 at 3:18 am

    Nothing to do then but see if leaving them a message gets them to fix it or not...

    http://www.360desktop.com/cont...

  31. Mike
    February 4, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Have you tried Paint.net as analternative? (http://www.getpaint.net/)
    Don't know how it performs on a netbook but I think it's a nice program for the average user.

    As for the browser war I agree to go with Chrome.
    It's true that it does use more RAM but that's the downside of multi threading. On the other hand it allows inactive tabs and extensions to be paged without influencing the entire browser.
    http://dev.chromium.org/memory...

    Personally, Chrome is the best browser I used (except for Opera before it went "nuts" with features). My personal experience is that Chrome performs better with 15 extensions and 30 tabs than other browsers do with 3 Addons and 10 Tabs...

  32. shakiestnerd
    February 4, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    My solution: wipe windows - install ubuntu. That's a good start.

    • Mike
      February 10, 2011 at 11:05 pm

      I'd rather dualboot and have have access to both. Keep your media files and docs on an ntfs partition and you'll be able to work with them in both Win and Linux.

  33. Mike
    February 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Have you tried Paint.net as analternative? (http://www.getpaint.net/)
    Don't know how it performs on a netbook but I think it's a nice program for the average user.

    As for the browser war I agree to go with Chrome.
    It's true that it does use more RAM but that's the downside of multi threading. On the other hand it allows inactive tabs and extensions to be paged without influencing the entire browser.
    http://dev.chromium.org/memory-usage-backgrounder

    Personally, Chrome is the best browser I used (except for Opera before it went "nuts" with features). My personal experience is that Chrome performs better with 15 extensions and 30 tabs than other browsers do with 3 Addons and 10 Tabs...

  34. Tina
    February 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Matt, great article! I have to try 360 on my netbook. I didn't dare to use it before because I thought it would just eat up already scarce system resources. Worth a try for sure!

  35. CyberGusa
    February 4, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Looks like they messed up the coding for the site as the Links adds ".htm" to the file name, making the browser try to open it like a web page.

    If you block auto download in your browser and choose the manual link, just right click the link and save as to force download it and then rename the file to remove the ".htm" from the end and confirm the change. You should then be able to run it.....

  36. Tina
    February 4, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I have to agree with Matt here.

    I use Google Chrome on my netbook because it is much faster than Firefox with the same number of tabs open. I concluded that it must be using less RAM than Firefox, but to be honest I don't know and hence cannot argue this point.

    What I do know, however, is that Firefox, although I have no addons installed, lags horribly with even just two or three tabs open. So even if Chrome uses more RAM, it most be doing something else really well as it doesn't lag and I regularly have 10 to 20 tabs open.

    Believe me, I've been stuck on a netbook for over a month (laptop in repair) and, seeing all the online work I do, without Chrome I would have gone crazy!

  37. Marc
    February 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Opera is the best browser. If you have a slow or bad connection Opera Turbo will compress pages 90% and load the page much faster. Opera FTW!

    • Aibek
      February 5, 2011 at 7:22 am

      thanks for the input

    • Mike
      February 10, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      I really like Opera but the damn thing keeps crashing on my netbook even after I reinstalled XP. Too bad.

  38. Anonymous
    February 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    What's with all this arguing over which browser is lightest, without providing any proof, facts or evidence? At least the author used a resource monitor (TinyResMeter) to make his determination. If you aren't willing to go at least as far as him, you have no cred and should probably keep your uninformed opinion to yourself. Otherwise, you're just spreading your confusion.

  39. Ahn
    February 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    RE: Cache -- not all netbooks have spinny HDDs. Some come with lovely solid state (but smaller capacity) HDDs. Which means that not being able to disable cache is a HUGE problem.

    Second, Steam has a lovely option to NOT start with Windows, and you can exit it at any time.

    • Tinyresmeter
      February 5, 2011 at 12:23 pm

      What cache are you talking about ? the one allocated by Windows system ?

  40. Mryanaz
    February 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Avast has saved me more times than I can count. Definately the virus utility I recommend.

  41. M.S. Smith
    February 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Did you test both in Peacekeeper before posting?

    Because Chrome gave me a score of 8776 and Pale Moon gave me a score 2527 :)

    But I will admit that Palemon used 10-20% less resources with the same pages upon.

  42. Ahn
    February 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    RE: Cache -- not all netbooks have spinny HDDs. Some come with lovely solid state (but smaller capacity) HDDs. Which means that not being able to disable cache is a HUGE problem.

    Second, Steam has a lovely option to NOT start with Windows, and you can exit it at any time.

  43. Anonymous
    February 4, 2011 at 10:44 am

    This article was written in a desperate attempt to get Sergey and Larry to unzip their pants for you. (and based on your picture, NO ONE will ever unzip their pants for you. Of either sex.) Google Docs? No one who wants to have a REAL career uses Google Docs. It has what...like a 0.5% market share

    • Aibek
      February 4, 2011 at 11:01 am

      0.5% market share is not little!

  44. Greg
    February 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Immunet Protect, Chromium, Minefield, Minimem. I like Panda Cloud, but it isn't as fast as Immunet. I don't even bother with regular versions of FF or Google Chrome on my netbook.

    • Mike
      February 10, 2011 at 10:49 pm

      Isn't Immunet Protect supposed to be an additional layer of protection for your regular antivirus?

      I used to run Immunet + Panda + Online Armor (firewall) on XP but finally decided to run only one security app: Comodo Internet Security. It seems to work fine and isn't too heavy for the rediculously slow Atom 270 processor.

      Overclocking the processor and getting just 10% more power would probably make a world of difference but I haven't been able to find good advice on how to do that.

  45. Anomaly
    February 4, 2011 at 1:06 am

    M.S. Smith, you didn't just say it was light, you stressed how "incredibly light on system resources" it is. It's not just wrong. It couldn't be more wrong. Chrome is a resource hog and I get tired of people saying it's light when that is total lie. Say it's fast, say it's stable, say it's what ever else, but it is not light in any way, shape, or form.

    As for installation size, cache size, and RAM size, yes they are problems to me. I don't like bad software and Chrome has some serious flaws. It's so called strengths are hyped out as far as I'm concerned. I find Firefox, Opera and Safari (on a Mac) to be as fast and the extensions for Firefox are far more advanced compared to Chrome's.

  46. Mike
    February 3, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Fail.

    Google Chrome has a fast engine but is *not* "incredibly light on system resources" - far from it. Firefox used to be a resource hog but today it is far lighter than Chrome when you have more than a few tabs open. If you install the Firefox addon BarTab ( http://goo.gl/eqNDp ) it will be even lighter. It will open but not load new tabs, thereby saving a huge amount of memory.

    If you want an optimized build of Firefox for Windows try Pale Moon: http://goo.gl/03gd All your addons and skins will work as usual but it's faster than vanilla Firefox. In fact it's weird people are still using vanilla Firefox.

    You can test both with PeaceKeeper and see how much faster it is on your system: http://goo.gl/tfEw

  47. Mike
    February 3, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Fail.

    Google Chrome has a fast engine but is *not* "incredibly light on system resources" - far from it. Firefox used to be a resource hog but today it is far lighter than Chrome when you have more than a few tabs open. If you install the Firefox addon BarTab ( http://goo.gl/eqNDp ) it will be even lighter. It will open but not load new tabs, thereby saving a huge amount of memory.

    If you want an optimized build of Firefox for Windows try Pale Moon: http://goo.gl/03gd All your addons and skins will work as usual but it's faster than vanilla Firefox. In fact it's weird people are still using vanilla Firefox.

    You can test both with PeaceKeeper and see how much faster it is on your system: http://goo.gl/tfEw

    • M.S. Smith
      February 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      Did you test both in Peacekeeper before posting?

      Because Chrome gave me a score of 8776 and Pale Moon gave me a score 2527 :)

      But I will admit that Palemon used 10-20% less resources with the same pages upon.

      • Mike
        February 10, 2011 at 10:31 pm

        Oops, sorry. I meant that testing FF and Palemoon not FF and Chrome.

        Chrome is way faster than FF/Palemoon but it's also greedier when it comes to system resources. If there was a way to make Chrome run in one proces in stead of one per tab it would be perfect for low powered computers.

  48. M.S. Smith
    February 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Are the installation and cache sizes of Chrome a problem? No, it's not. Is the RAM usage of Chrome a problem? No, it isn't. Is fragmentation a problem on a modern computer? No, it isn't.

    So, the question is this; does the web browser perform very well? Yes, Chrome does, even on a netbook.

    You can argue that I should have used a different phrase in praise of Chrome, sure. But Chrome is quicker than Firefox and IE by most benchmarks, it's better to use on a netbook than Firefox and Internet Explorer or Opera, and so it's the obvious recommendation for a netbook web browser.

  49. ANDREI T
    February 3, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Opera with a manual cap on RAM. Of course, if Chrome has a RAM cap, the effects could be about the same.

    As far as I know most modern browsers use RAM aggressively, so it would make no sense to use them on a notebook without that.

  50. enthdegree
    February 3, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Last time I tried 360Desktop it brought the system down to its knees in terms of performance and that was on my midsize notebook. It leaked more memory than water leaking through colander cap, ballooning into hundreds of MB within 30 minutes of usage.

    Then again, that was two years ago. ( IIRC it had a mid-top level Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM ) I shudder at thinking of running the same software on my netbook.
    It may have gotten better, but it may not have.

    It's a really great idea, but maybe not the best implementation for a netbook target.
    Maybe performance would be better if it didn't do 'what!' things like embedding Youtube videos on the background.

    An alternative would be choosing from one of the myriad of desktop-switching software that is available for windows. While it isn't as romantic as having a cylindrical desktop, it gets the job done with significantly less resources.

  51. rajkalyan
    February 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Is 360Desktop's site down? I clicked both links, x32 and x64, and can't download either. Anyone else have luck with this?

    • Anonymous
      February 4, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      Looks like they messed up the coding for the site as the Links adds ".htm" to the file name, making the browser try to open it like a web page.

      If you block auto download in your browser and choose the manual link, just right click the link and save as to force download it and then rename the file to remove the ".htm" from the end and confirm the change. You should then be able to run it.....

      • TukangRoti
        February 5, 2011 at 12:52 am

        I tried that. What it downloaded was only a 1KB file. And yes, both links are broken :(

  52. Anomaly
    February 3, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Then what is so light weight about Chrome? In what way does it use less resources? At best it uses about the same but add some extensions and the resource usage is huge.

    Firefox, Opera, and Kmellon use much less resources. Now I know there will be replies about Firefox being a hog when you load up the extensions but Chrome is worse in that way.

    Another annoyance with Chrome is not being able to disable the cache or limit its size without using command line switches. The thing just keeps growing until you empty it manually. I've seen it get to GB's in size.This fragments the HDD needlessly besides being a resource hog.

  53. enthdegree
    February 3, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    If you're one for Firefox you could use KMeleon or one of it's derivatives.
    If you'd rather have WebKit you could use Midori.

    There's also SwiftFox which is just Firefox but compiled with special compiler flags so that it runs more efficiently on your particular CPU.

    If you are really intense and like WebKit you could compile surf for Windows
    http://surf.suckless.org/

    Of thse, surf is probably the lightest but it's a major hassle especially since it looks like you need to use CygWin for it to run on windows and stuff. KMeleon or Midori are probably your best bet.

  54. Anomaly
    February 3, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I use seven different browsers on five different machines on three different platforms and Chrome uses more resources on all the machines than any other browser by far.

    It takes up more room on the hard drive, uses more RAM, and more CPU than the other browsers. I see this daily yet continue to read posts all over the web from people claiming Chrome is light weight. These same people provide no examples tp back up their claims. Where are your facts "dude".

    .

  55. enthdegree
    February 3, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Last time I tried 360Desktop it brought the system down to its knees in terms of performance and that was on my midsize notebook. It leaked more memory than water leaking through colander cap, ballooning into hundreds of MB within 30 minutes of usage.

    Then again, that was two years ago. ( IIRC it had a mid-top level Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM ) I shudder at thinking of running the same software on my netbook.
    It may have gotten better, but it may not have.

    It's a really great idea, but maybe not the best implementation for a netbook target.
    Maybe performance would be better if it didn't do 'what!' things like embedding Youtube videos on the background.

    An alternative would be choosing from one of the myriad of desktop-switching software that is available for windows. While it isn't as romantic as having a cylindrical desktop, it gets the job done with significantly less resources.

  56. Oth TaecYeon
    February 3, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I agree with Anomaly a bit, it is light weight afterall as in it doesn't feels lag at any times during browsing though it use more resources if you have more tab opened and more extensions installed. Not just in netbook, a normal laptop, and even desktop will have the same affect. Though i really recommend firefox for netbooks as it's easier to see how many ram and cpu usage it's using rather then chrome whereas multiple process runs with different resource usage, where once i saw the process of chrome overwhelms the task manager view. Anyhow that's the price of speediness for chrome.

  57. Anomaly
    February 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    How can you possibly say Google Chrome is light weight? It is by far the biggest resource hog of all the browsers. It installs at several hundred MB. You can't turn off the cache which can get up to GB's in size. Every tab, extension, and plugin runs in its own process resulting in huge RAM usage.

    I would love for you to explain how Chrome is light weight?

    • Anonymous
      February 3, 2011 at 6:13 pm

      okay, it uses less resources and runs faster than any other browser you can find. that's a fact dude...

      • Anomaly
        February 3, 2011 at 8:17 pm

        I use seven different browsers on five different machines on three different platforms and Chrome uses more resources on all the machines than any other browser by far.

        It takes up more room on the hard drive, uses more RAM, and more CPU than the other browsers. I see this daily yet continue to read posts all over the web from people claiming Chrome is light weight. These same people provide no examples tp back up their claims. Where are your facts "dude".

        .

      • SestiQ
        February 3, 2011 at 9:05 pm

        Have you tried Opera?

    • M.S. Smith
      February 3, 2011 at 6:46 pm

      Installation size is not a concern. Netbooks have hard drives with between 160 and 250GB of space.

      The cache is also not a concern for the same reason.

      As far as the RAM usage goes, other browsers use the same tactics. I do not see them using less memory.

      What browser would be a better alternative?

      • enthdegree
        February 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm

        If you're one for Firefox you could use KMeleon or one of it's derivatives.
        If you'd rather have WebKit you could use Midori.

        There's also SwiftFox which is just Firefox but compiled with special compiler flags so that it runs more efficiently on your particular CPU.

        If you are really intense and like WebKit you could compile surf for Windows
        http://surf.suckless.org/

        Of thse, surf is probably the lightest but it's a major hassle especially since it looks like you need to use CygWin for it to run on windows and stuff. KMeleon or Midori are probably your best bet.

      • Anomaly
        February 3, 2011 at 8:30 pm

        Then what is so light weight about Chrome? In what way does it use less resources? At best it uses about the same but add some extensions and the resource usage is huge.

        Firefox, Opera, and Kmellon use much less resources. Now I know there will be replies about Firefox being a hog when you load up the extensions but Chrome is worse in that way.

        Another annoyance with Chrome is not being able to disable the cache or limit its size without using command line switches. The thing just keeps growing until you empty it manually. I've seen it get to GB's in size.This fragments the HDD needlessly besides being a resource hog.

        • M.S. Smith
          February 3, 2011 at 10:43 pm

          Are the installation and cache sizes of Chrome a problem? No, it's not. Is the RAM usage of Chrome a problem? No, it isn't. Is fragmentation a problem on a modern computer? No, it isn't.

          So, the question is this; does the web browser perform very well? Yes, Chrome does, even on a netbook.

          You can argue that I should have used a different phrase in praise of Chrome, sure. But Chrome is quicker than Firefox and IE by most benchmarks, it's better to use on a netbook than Firefox and Internet Explorer or Opera, and so it's the obvious recommendation for a netbook web browser.

        • Anomaly
          February 4, 2011 at 12:06 am

          M.S. Smith, you didn't just say it was light, you stressed how "incredibly light on system resources" it is. It's not just wrong. It couldn't be more wrong. Chrome is a resource hog and I get tired of people saying it's light when that is total lie. Say it's fast, say it's stable, say it's what ever else, but it is not light in any way, shape, or form.

          As for installation size, cache size, and RAM size, yes they are problems to me. I don't like bad software and Chrome has some serious flaws. It's so called strengths are hyped out as far as I'm concerned. I find Firefox, Opera and Safari (on a Mac) to be as fast and the extensions for Firefox are far more advanced compared to Chrome's.

        • Tina
          February 4, 2011 at 6:58 pm

          I have to agree with Matt here.

          I use Google Chrome on my netbook because it is much faster than Firefox with the same number of tabs open. I concluded that it must be using less RAM than Firefox, but to be honest I don't know and hence cannot argue this point.

          What I do know, however, is that Firefox, although I have no addons installed, lags horribly with even just two or three tabs open. So even if Chrome uses more RAM, it most be doing something else really well as it doesn't lag and I regularly have 10 to 20 tabs open.

          Believe me, I've been stuck on a netbook for over a month (laptop in repair) and, seeing all the online work I do, without Chrome I would have gone crazy!

        • Anomaly
          February 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm

          I never said Chrome wasn't fast (although I do find Firefox and Opera to be at least as fast as Chrome). Fast does not = light.

          As for your issues with Firefox, I have never had them.

        • White Helios
          February 5, 2011 at 6:04 am

          Chrome Lightweight!! It uses more than 700 MB RAM with just few tabs and extensions. I tried the dev and stable versions of Chrome.

        • Anomaly
          February 5, 2011 at 2:33 pm

          I find it to be a huge pig as well. Blows my mind when I read posts or articles claiming Chrome is light. Makes me wonder what planet these people are from. Have these people not heard of the Task Manager or Process Explorer. Do thy just read what others say and than just repeat it like parrots. a simple look at the numbers will show them how light Chrome IS NOT.

        • Sdf
          February 7, 2011 at 11:34 am

          So you don't like Chrome - your making that obvious to all, so go chil land have a beer.
          For Joe Average, it runs quicker on a low powered device - job done!

        • Anomaly
          February 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm

          I don't dislike Chrome. I dislike the inaccurate info being spread around about it.

        • James Bruce
          February 7, 2011 at 6:08 pm

          I've been using various browsers for years, and I currently have 3 different browsers (chrome, firefox, safari) sitting in my taskbar for various purposes when designer and testing. I use Chrome daily because IT IS the fastest, in my experience, in my setup.

          I think calling it "light" is probably inaccurate, though it is distinctly faster for my particular kind of browsing, whereby I leave perhaps 20 tabs open at all times. The fact that it isolates each tab as a separate process keeps it much more stable than other browsers. With 20 tabs, firefox just dies and crunches up in a horrible mess, so now I only use firefox when debugging sites ( I prefer firebug to chrome's built in version).

          What would you suggest instead though? Opera? Internet Explorer 8? I think when you look at the choices, Chrome (OR Firefox) are the best choices, and Chrome just happens to tip the post when it comes to slower hardware....

        • Bob
          February 7, 2011 at 10:56 pm

          Oh Anomaly...you're so funny!

        • Thayer
          February 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm

          http://xkcd.com/386/
          You have a lot of work ahead of you.

        • TopDad2
          February 20, 2011 at 3:49 am

          Readers might feel less brow-beaten and defensive about their own web-browser of choice if your railing against Chrome was less strident. "In my experience, Chrome uses excessive system resources......" will make your point more effectively than wondering "what planet these people are from." IMHO, every thing I've seen published comparing browsers gives Chrome top marks for benchmark speeds, ease of use, system footprint, etc. Perhaps I'm looking in the wrong publications? But CNET, PCWorld, Consumer Reports, and at least six more sources I've just re-checked ALL disagree with your evaluation of Chrome. With both my current-generation HP desktop and Acer laptop computers, side-by-side analysis of IE, FF, and Chrome places Chrome at the top for speed, ease of use, and system utilization. Different machines, OS, and users no doubt can have different results. We're fortunate, with all the free programs available to computer users today, that we can all experiment for ourselves and decide for ourselves what works best for our own individual requirements/preferences.

      • ANDREI T
        February 3, 2011 at 9:45 pm

        Opera with a manual cap on RAM. Of course, if Chrome has a RAM cap, the effects could be about the same.

        As far as I know most modern browsers use RAM aggressively, so it would make no sense to use them on a notebook without that.

    • Izzi
      February 16, 2011 at 9:33 am

      Maybe not light weight, haven't checked...but it sure feels more light weight than FF and IE. What is your suggestion? Not use any browser at all? That would be light weight I guess.
      And if you need even faster, use Chromium. I do, works well.

  58. M.S. Smith
    February 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Installation size is not a concern. Netbooks have hard drives with between 160 and 250GB of space.

    The cache is also not a concern for the same reason.

    As far as the RAM usage goes, other browsers use the same tactics. I do not see them using less memory.

    What browser would be a better alternative?

  59. Anomaly
    February 3, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    How can you possibly say Google Chrome is light weight? It is by far the biggest resource hog of all the browsers. It installs at several hundred MB. You can't turn off the cache which can get up to GB's in size. Every tab, extension, and plugin runs in its own process resulting in huge RAM usage.

    I would love for you to explain how Chrome is light weight?

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