The term netbook was introduced by Intel in February 2008 to describe a category of small-sized, low-cost, light weight, lean function subnotebooks optimized for Internet access and core computing functions (e.g., word processing.) Below is the size of a Intel Atom processor.
In a nutshell, the netbooks and nettops are basically designed for Internet content consumption, that's it. A typical Intel Atom netbook includes the N270 Atom processor at 1.6GHz together with the Mobile Intel 945GSE Express chipset, a 7"-10" screen, 802.11b/g WLAN, a mini keyboard, 400MHz or 566MHz memory, 256-512Mb of RAM, 2-4GB of flash based storage and a lightweight Operating System such as Linux or MS XP Home. Estimated starting price for netbooks are around USD250 or RM900 and above.
With more than 10 PC manufacturers and OEM launching Atom based netbooks at the time of launched, you can now actually get an Intel Atom powered device yourself. Most recent launched are the Acer Aspire One (which is currently being used to type this news out), MSI WindPC and the Asus EeePC 901. All are priced within the affordable range of RM1300-RM1600 depending on the configuration.
If purchase a netbook, I guess the limit of variety usage is there. I'm a frequent user of photoshop, music editing, and listen to music using itunes. Therefore, I will not go for netbook. I will prefer for a laptop size 12" screen with better processing (eg. C2D or Turion processor) rather than netbook and of course the price definetely more expensive compare to netbook.
Maybe if you had a desktop at home and feel having a laptop for net surfing at outside, (eg. Starbucks, library, college and etc.) you may think of purchase one. All is depends on your need.