10 Hot Netbooks: From Pricey to Dirt Cheap

Consumers and business users are scooping up netbooks. While fourth-quarter sales in the PC industry in 2008 were dismal, netbooks showed growth, and these lightweight machines are also expected to drive laptop sales in the next couple years, according to IDC. The reasons? They satisfy basic computing needs for e-mail, Web surfing and word processing. They're ultra-portable. And best of all, they're a lot cheaper than general-purpose laptops, an important selling point in our cash-strapped times.

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HP 2140 Mini-Note Netbook

This is Hewlett-Packard's tough business-class netbook, designed for road warriors who need durability and long battery life (6-cell battery, 7-plus hours).

Cost: $456.99 at Amazon

Screen size: 10.1 inches

CPU: 1.6-GHz Intel Atom N270 processor

RAM: 1GB, expandable to 2GB

Storage: 160GB hard drive

Battery: 6 cell

Operating System: Windows XP Home

Weight: 3 pounds

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Samsung NC10 Netbook

The NC10 cool blue netbook is Samsung's general purpose offering with strong battery life (6 cell) and a slightly larger keyboard than most netbooks.

Cost: $434.95 at Amazon

Screen size: 10.2 inches

CPU: 1.6-GHz Intel Atom N270 processor

RAM: 1GB

Storage: 160GB hard drive

Battery: 6 cell

Operating System: Windows XP Home

Weight: 2.9 pounds

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Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Netbook

The super-light Dell Inspiron Mini 9 offers the choice between Windows XP Home and Ubuntu Linux. Windows XP will cost you more.

Cost: Ranges from $250 to $400, depending on how machine is customized. (Source: Dell website)

Screen size: 8.9 inches

CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor

RAM: 512MB (Linux) or 1GB (Windows XP)

Storage: 16GB solid state drive

Battery: 4 cell

Operating System: Windows XP Home or Ubuntu Linux

Weight: 2.3 pounds

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The MSI Wind U100-279US Netbook

MSI Wind netbooks usually crack the top 10 best-sellers list. Key features are its light weight and ergonomically designed keyboard, which is just 20 percent smaller than a full-sized laptop keyboard.

Cost: $379.99 at Amazon

Screen size: 10 inches

CPU: 1.6-GHz Intel Atom processor

RAM: 1GB, 2GB maximum

Storage: 160GB hard drive

Battery: 6 cell

Operating System: Windows XP Home

Weight: 2.6 pounds

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Asus Eee PC 1000HA Netbook

Asus' sturdy line of Eee PCs were the first netbooks out of the gate and remain the most popular. This 1000HA model is best known for its high-resolution screen and seven hours of battery life.

Cost: $349.99 at Amazon

Screen size: 10 inches

CPU: 1.6-GHz Intel Atom processor

RAM: 1GB

Storage: 160GB hard drive

Battery: 6 cell

Operating System: Windows XP Home

Weight: 3.19 pounds

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Lenovo Ideapad S10 Netbook

The Ideapad S10 is Lenovo's recent entry into netbooks. The standout feature of this glossy white netbook is a touchpad that supports multi-touch gestures through fingertip movements on the touchpad.

Cost: $349.99 at Amazon

Screen size: 10.2 inches

CPU: 1.6-GHz Intel Atom N270 processor

RAM: 1GB

Storage: 160GB hard drive

Battery: 3 cell

Operating System: Windows XP Home

Weight: 2.6 pounds

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HP Mini 1000 XP Edition Netbook

The Mini 1000 is renowned for its slimness and spacious keyboard, which HP claims is 92 percent the size of a full-size laptop keyboard. Prices of the HP Mini 1000 line range from $279.99 to $699.99.

Cost: $329 at HP.com

Screen size: 8.9 or 10.2 inches

CPU: 1.6-GHz Intel Atom N270 processor

RAM: 512MB or 1GB

Storage: Up to 80GB hard drive or up to 32GB solid state drive

Battery: 3 cell or 6 cell

Operating System: Windows XP Home

Weight: 2.5 pounds

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Acer Aspire One AOA150-1126 Netbook

The Aspire Ones battle the Asus Eee PCs for the top-selling netbook. This light-as-a-feather netbook boasts nearly six hours of battery life, a stylish look and sharp screen resolution at an affordable price.

Cost: $319 at Amazon

Screen size: 8.9 inches

CPU: 1.6-GHz Intel Atom N270 processor

RAM: 1GB

Storage: 160GB Hard Drive

Battery: 6 cell

Operating System: Windows XP Home

Weight: 2.2 pounds

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Asus Eee PC 900HA White Netbook

The 900HA is one of the lower-priced Eee PCs from Asus, mainly because of the smaller screen and shorter battery life. Yet it offers roomy hard drive space and an anti-glare LED-backlit display.

Cost: $293.99 at Amazon

Screen size: 8.9 inches

CPU: 1.6-GHz Intel Atom processor

RAM: 1GB

Storage: 160GB Hard Drive

Battery: 4 cell

Operating System: Windows XP Home

Weight: 2.2 pounds

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Sylvania GNET28001SO Meso Netbook

Sylvania's low-cost Meso netbooks are available in yellow, pink, black and white, and come preloaded with the Linux-based Ubuntu Netbook Remix operating system, with the option to switch to Windows XP Home.

Cost: $269 at Amazon

Screen size: 8.9 inches

CPU: 1.6-GHz Intel Atom processor

RAM: 1GB

Storage: 80GB Hard Drive

Battery: 4 cell

OS: Ubuntu Linux or Windows XP Home

Weight: 2.2 pounds

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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