I often get asked, "are netbooks appropriate for students?"
This is somewhat controversial. On one hand, netbooks are small, cheap, and light. Sounds perfect for students! However, they have a tiny screen and this can significantly hinder performance and work productivity. If you're planning on using your netbook to send e-mails, do instant messaging, and other non-work-related tasks, then a netbook might be the perfect little gadget to add to your collection of mobile phone for texting. However, if a student is serious about getting some real productivity out of a laptop, then I would suggest getting something that has a screen size of 12" or more (ideally around 14" so that it's not monstrous to lug around Starbucks or Barnes and Noble).