IT Help Desk

 Netbook Standards

EPCC IT Minimum Specifications Based on Research and Continuous Testing*

Some small low-cost notebooks are classified as "netbooks" or sub-notebooks. Information Technology (IT) sees netbooks as an emerging market segment of potential interest to many users at the College.

Netbooks tend to weigh between two and four pounds and have 7 to 12 inch screens. In performance, they tend to lag substantially behind the El Paso Community College (EPCC) IT desktop and laptop minimum specifications and contain fewer features. In the EPCC environment, netbooks are currently suitable only as a complementary device to a more capable desktop or notebook - they should not be deployed as a user's only computer. Because of these limitations, IT will not be able to support certain applications that were not designed to run on these devices.

Processor (CPU)

Intel Atom (1.6 GHz)1

Random Access Memory (RAM)


Display and Graphics

10.1 to 12.1 inch Widescreen Integrated Video

Mass Storage

16 GB solid state drive or 160 GB 5400 RPM hard drive

Optical Drive

Optional External DVD-RW/CD Combo Drive



Network Card

10/100 NIC Card

Wireless Card

802.11 g

Miscellaneous Ports

Two (2) USB 2.0. Ports


Lithium ion 6-cell


2 year on-site support, parts & labor

Operating System

Windows XP Professional SP3 or Windows 72

* Purchases can exceed above specifications, but must adhere to minimum specifications


  1. Processor speed remains important in netbooks, mostly because they are all quite low-powered. IT strongly suggests the 1.6 GHz or faster versions of Intel's Atom processor.
  2. Windows 7 (Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions) is supported and recommended for new netbooks. IT does not recommend, but will support Windows 7 Home Premium. Home Premium is missing important networking, security, and compatibility features, such as domain-based authentication, that are essential to EPCC. Note that, unlike in Windows Vista's Business edition, Windows 7 Professional includes all the multimedia features present in Windows 7 Home Premium. IT will not support any version of Windows 7 Starter or Windows 7 Home Basic. Starter and Home Basic are missing many important networking, maintenance, and security features that are critical to the College.