I would like to purchase the netbook to carry whenever/whereever with me. Main purpose would be to use for school like the Excel and Word program, also just to use for FaceBook, check Hotmail, surf the web and possibly listen to music and watch from YouTube. So is purchasing a netbook ideal?
Personally I have found netbooks annoyingly slow, but there is no denying their portability. If you are using Word and Excel, make sure you can type easily on the small keyboard. My mammoth hands pretty much make netbooks unusable for that reason alone.
abyssalx made a good point about the screen size too. If you have big spreadsheets in Excel the tiny screen will get old fast.
The main question is, "Will the netbook be your primary computer?"
For your purposes a netbook would work nicely. But if it is your only computer, you would need to buy an external DVD drive.
And at that point, you are up to almost what a bottom end laptop would cost.
I have a Samsung netbook. Love it. Use it primarily for travel. It supplements my other 6 computers nicely. But many people hate the netbooks because they tried to make their netbooks do things they weren't intended to do.
For your purposes a netbook would be ideal, and certainly more portable / better battery life than a laptop. Definitely make sure you're okay with the screen size and resolution of whatever you get.
Purely for the sake of a netbook I'd recommend you at least consider "Chromebooks." You can get one for $350, or $420~ish with 3G, they get 8+ hours battery life, have full HD screens which makes life a LOT better than standard netbooks, and because everything you do on them is in the cloud (Google Docs and such for class), it makes the syncing issue with a second computer really seamless. Not great for a primary computer, but seamless as an "on-the-go" school solution.
Most 'Netbooks will run MS Word or MS Excel (slowly). But you'd be pulling your hair out if you need to run Word and Excel at the same time. And working with Excel on a 'Netbook's typical 1024x600 resolution LCD will probably make you crazy.
Personally It Dosent Matter What I Was Doing Id Take A Laptop Over A Netbook, Even A Three Year Old Ultraportable Would Be Faster, Just As Capable And Just As Easy To Carry For The Same Price If Not Less.
I am currently typing on a netbook as we type and it is a 10.1 inch computer. I have very small hands and it is quite annoying to type on it although when i use my friends 11.6" netbook i can type comftorably& is no lag. I would also reccomend you get a netbook with a dual core and atleast 2 gb of ram so it is not slow on doing such tasks as you do. I will list some netbook but keep in mind having a internal DVD drive is very useful: