My laptop is beyond repair so I'm looking for a new one but netbooks are cheaper so I might get one. However, my mind can't handle technology so I've got no clue on how they're different, lol.
A netbook is a sub-notebook with usually these features:
*8.9 to 12.1" screen with 1024x768(4:3) to 1366x768(6:9 Widescreen)
*Intel Atom or AMD Neo single-core or dual-core 1.2GHz to 1.86GHz CPU
*Intel GMA or Nvidia ION graphics card embedded
*1GB to 2GB DDR2 or DDR3 RAM Memory
*3 USB ports
*1 Mic and 1 Headphone port
*VGA or HDMI out for larger TV or monitor hookup
*160GB HDD or 32GB SSD storage
*3-cell to 9-cell battery lasting from 6 to 12 hours on single charge
As you can see from those features, the screen is somewhat smaller than a standard 15.4" or 17.6" laptop screen and the CPU is noticeably slower compared to a laptop's dual-core or even quad-core processor. Most new laptops can hold up to 4GB or more of new DDR3 or DDR2 RAM which makes the PC quicker at opening files. The graphics card is embedded with the processor usually and this makes gaming difficult at high resolution compared to the mobile dedicated memory graphics cards used in laptops.
If you're looking for something to surf the web or chat on, a netbook is right for you. Its graphics aren't too powerful, but movies are playable and it's very lightweight to carry. The battery life lasts longer than a laptop on a single charge so if you travel a lot, you can have it with you for up to a day. Netbooks are also cheap usually in the $280 - $450 price range whereas the laptops fall in the $400 - $1,000 range.
netbooks are lighter weight both in physical size and computer power. They are deigned to doing simple things like browsing the web, checking email and a bit of word processing AND THATS IT. They are cheaper because they have lower end hardware in them. Also usually don't come with a CD/DVD drive or a very big harddrive.
Laptops are going to have better hardware, have a CD/DVD drive and overall be more well rounded and capable. You can get laptops that are one par with desktop computers.
Techspot has a nice guide for comparing different types of laptops and their uses. http://funadvice.com/r/14l32unbu1o
You can ignore some of the technical jargon on there, but it gives a brief rundown of each machine.
Netbooks are smaller and don't come with a disk drive. Any other differences are based on OS, or system software for the particular model.