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Netbook Buyers Guide

Mar 2 2009, 9:00am CST | by

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Netbook Buyers Guide

When it comes to buying netbooks there is often little to differentiate the systems offered from different companies. Today we are going to look at some of the most popular netbooks that are currently available on Amazon.com and compare them.

Currently the top seller on Amazon in the computers & PC hardware category is the Asus Eee 1000HE . The 1000HE was recently launched and is widely regarded as one of the best netbooks available. The 1000HE may well be the best netbook that Asus has ever offered and is one of the first machines from Asus to use the new chicklet-style keyboard that puts the right shift key in its proper position.

An oddly arranged shift key was one of the main determents to most all previously offered Eee netbooks. Asus' 1000HE is also one of the first netbooks to use the new Intel Atom N280 CPU and the related chipset. This allows for power savings equating to longer battery life and the chipset combo supports HD video, something long lacking on netbooks. Battery life on the new machine has been reported to be over 7 hours in testing. The downside to the 1000HE is that it carries a price higher than many other netbooks at $399 and the B280 CPU provides no noticeable performance gain compared to the N270.

Interestingly at Amazon.com , the Asus Eee 1000HE holds the first and second spots on the Bestsellers list with the black version taking the top spot and the blue version taking second. Both machines have 1GB of RAM, 160GB HDD, and run Windows XP. This netbook is perfect for the mobile user who needs long battery life and good performance.

Buy the Asus Eee 1000HE netbook here.

Taking the number three spot on the bestseller list is the Acer Aspire One AOD150-1165 10.1-inch netbook. This is the new 10-inch screen Aspire One, the follow-up to the best selling netbook on the planet. The new 10-inch screen offers move viewable image space that makes extended use of the netbook more comfortable.

The machine ships with a 6-cell battery that is good for over four hours of use according to several reviews. The machine makes use of the older Atom N270 processor, but unless you want to be able to decode HD video, you will lose no performance with the N270 compared to the N280. Other features of the machine include a 160GB HDD, 1GB of Ram, Windows XP, and integrated Wi-Fi. The 10-inch Aspire One retails for $349.99, $50 less than the Eee 1000HE. If price is, a big concern and battery life isn’t as important the Aspire 10 may be ideal for you. The machine is a good netbook at a mid-range price.

Buy the 10-inch Acer Aspire One here.

For the netbook user looking for low cost and a more portable machine the Acer Aspire One with an 8.9-inch screen is still available and takes the number four spot on the best sellers list. The machine has an 8.9-inch screen, Intel Atom N270 CPU, Windows XP Home, 1GB of RAM, and a 160GB HDD. The machine sells for $319.99 making it one of the lower cost netbooks that you can get right now. If you can work on a smaller screen, you get all of the performance of the new 10-inch Aspire One at $30 less and more portability.

Buy the 8.9-inch Acer Aspire One here.

Asus is on the bestseller list again with its Eee 1000HA 10-inch netbook. The machine uses the Intel Atom N270 and offers 1GB of RAM, 160GB HDD, XP Home, and a 6-cell battery. The 1000HA was among the first of Asus' netbooks to get much larger 160GB HDDs compared to the tiny SSDs many of its early netbooks offered. The machine is only $50 cheaper than the new 1000HE and the HA uses the old and goofy keyboard layout that is almost universally hated by users. If you want an Eee netbook, my suggestion is to forgo this machine in favor of the new 1000HE, unless you can find the 1000HA at a significant discount.

Buy the Asus Eee 1000HA netbook here.

At the number 10 spot on the bestseller list is the Samsung NC10. I am surprised to see it so far down the bestseller list; the NC10 is considered the top netbook by Laptop Magazine thanks to its fantastic keyboard and good performance. The main reason for it to be so far down the list is likely its price, at $444.95 the machine is almost $100 more expensive than some of the netbooks above it on the list. The machine has a 10.2-inch screen and uses the N270 Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, 160GB of storage and a 6-cell battery with Windows XP Home. If you aren’t afraid of the price, the NC10 is among the best netbooks you can get.

Buy the Samsung NC10 netbook here.

Down at the number 19 spot on the list is my favorite netbook, the MSI Wind U100. This machine has great battery life, a fantastic keyboard, and plenty of oomph to edit photos and perform any general computing use. I used a machine just like this at CES and never regretted my decision to leave by big laptop at home. The U100 offers a 10-inch screen, 1.6GHz Atom processor, Windows XP Home, 160GB of storage and a 6-cell battery. The only thing hurting the wind at this point is that newer machines are available in its $399.99 price range like the new Asus Eee 1000HE, which has better battery life. If you find the U100 on sale, buy it. This is a great netbook.

Buy the MSI U100 netbook here.

 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Leading our review center, Shane McGlaun (Google) knows technology inside out. His extensive experience in testing computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at shane@i4u.com.

 

 

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