Where did the idea come from that netbooks can't run anti-virus software?

AV has a deserved reputation for CPU hogging, but that's when it is running full scans or updating and applying new signatures. The rest of the time most AV programs just sit there rather quietly. Too quietly some would say.

I tended to believe the view that netbooks aren't up to the job mainly because I had never used one myself. I suspect that some of the ‘netbooks' can't run AV formed the opinion having looked at the dwarf keyboards and screens and just laughed out loud at the thought of such a device doing anything other than serve as a conference paperweight.

Then I reviewed the Samsung NC20 and discovered that it runs Sunbelt's VIPRE anti-virus program perfectly respectable. In fact it runs it in the same way as any other laptop, which might have something to do with the fact that it is a slightly better-specced model than the crappy 7 inch designs that started off the whole netbook craze.

Alternatively, the idea that Atom and Via chips running at 1.6GHz can't run AV is just utter bollocks.

There are many things we can blame anti-virus for doing to out computers (such as not always protecting them) but let's not accuse them of ruining netbooks without hard evidence.