asus-1005ha.jpgHere is some current info I put together for a few friends looking to buy a Netbook.  There are MANY choices out there but this should simplify things for those not wanting to spend hours pouring over the minute differences between models. And the differences are small as most Netbooks have the same 10″ screen, 1.6Ghz CPU, 1GB RAM, 160GB Hard Drive, available ports & Windows XP.

Subsidized Netbooks:

The problem with the netbooks being offered by the cel companies for $200 is that they want you to sign up for a cel-modem contract ($40-60/month) for two years just to save $150-200. Not the best deal.

Best Netbooks:

ASUS Eee PC 1005HA 10″ – Best battery life netbook out there. $350-$390 depending on if you get the 8 or 10 hr battery (this may be at Bestbuy now)

Acer Aspire One 10″ – available at Walmart for $300 w/ 2.5 hr battery or online for $330 with the 6.5 hr battery

Close 2nds:

ASUS Eee PC 1008HA 10″ – slightly slimmer lighter version of the 1005HA but only 6 hr battery life for $415

Acer Aspire One 11.6″ – slightly larger screen and keyboard than the 10″ models but only slightly bigger overall size due to a smaller bezzel around the screen (you can compare them at Walmart). the down side is that it uses a noticeably slower 1.33Ghz CPU (instead of 1.6Ghz) to offset the power drain of the larger screen $380-400.

Dell Mini 10″ – comes in a variety of options that include higher rez screen, GPS, TV tuner, and the faster or slower CPU. $300 and up.

Notes:

  • Remember that Netbooks don’t include optical drives so if you want to install something from a CD you will need to get a separate USB DVD/CD drive for around $50. (With everything going online these days and flash drives to move files around many people find they don’t need the drive)
  • More powerful netbooks (Ion powered) in both the 10″ & 11″ sizes are due out in the fall and will probably run closer to $500.
  • Netbooks can be deceptively sized in pictures online.  Some of the smaller 7″ & 9″ screen versions look like a real computer in pictures but when you see it person it looks like it should “Ages 4 and Up” sticker on it.  I have also seen 10″ & 11″ versions set next to large 17″ laptops to make them seem extra portable.