Have gear, will travel: Testing the industry's slickest netbooks

Aug 05, 2009 Game Informer Magazine

Sacrificing a small amount of performance in favor of convenience and travel ease, netbooks are all the rage. It's easy to see why. While they won't let you play next year's hottest PC titles, they can handle a round or two of "Plants vs. Zombies," are great for watching videos on the plane, and are so light you won't notice them in your travel bag. These books all feature a 10-inch screens, 160GB hard drives, 1 GB of DDR2 RAM, and come packed with Windows XP Home Edition. It's the little details that set these flyweights apart.

Acer Aspire One D150

Rating: 8/10

Pro: The cheapest book we tested also delivered the most well-rounded performance. We especially liked the five-hour and its glossy, 1024 x 600 resolution, LED-backlit display.

Con: The Aspire's smaller keyboard makes typing a pain, but that's pretty standard for a netbook. The small and fussy trackpad, however, is subpar by any standard. The Aspire also lacks Bluetooth support.

$329.99, www.acer.com/aspireone

___

Asus Eee PC Seashell 1008HA

Rating: 7/10

Pro: One inch thick and little over 2.2 pounds, the is adorably tiny, but feels roomy despite the size of its keyboard. The Eee PC also boasts over five hours of battery life on average. The 10GB of free online storage isn't bad either.

Con: The Eee PC costs more than other netbooks with no noticeable performance boost. The single mouse button feels clumsy, and the integrated battery means you can't upgrade to a bigger charge or carry around an extra for long trips. The glossy finish also attracts fingerprints.

$429.99, eeepc.asus.com

___

Samsung NC10

Rating: 8/10

Pro: Sporting a nearly full-sized keyboard, the NC10 is the most comfortable netbook we found for typing. We also loved its crisp, clean 1024 x 600 screen, solid five-hour battery, and quick boot-up speed.

Con: While not necessarily slow, the NC10 lagged the most on the net, and the system could use a bigger and second mouse button.

$419.99, www.samsung.com/us

___

Toshiba Mini nb205

Rating: 9/10 Editor's Choice

Pro: The Toshiba boasted the best performance, battery life (up to 8 hours), and the trackpad of the bunch. If that isn't enough, it also comes with cool extras like impact sensors, which safeguard your data if dropped, and USB ports that charge devices even when the system is off.

Con: The Toshiba's wide load battery sticks out further than any of the others. If Toshiba fixed that and the screen's glassy glare, we might have the perfect .

$399.99, www.laptops.toshiba.com

___

(c) 2009, Game Informer Magazine, published monthly
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Gift Guide: Strong photo, video gear options

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

How much netbook can you get for $400?

Apr 09, 2009

The hottest segment of the computer market right now is not fancy new Apple laptops or PC gaming machines. It's tiny laptops with older operating systems, cramped keyboards and designs that look like they ...

Asus 1000HE Netbook Claims 9.5 Hour Battery Life

Feb 04, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Asus has just introduced an Eee PC netbook that uses the Intel Atom N280, which has slightly better performance than the previous N270 chip. The N280 runs at 1.67GHz, up from the N270's 1.6GHz, ...

Samsung NC310 Netbook Claims 11 Hour Battery Life

Mar 25, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Most standard netbooks offer between two and five hours of battery life, the newly released Samsung NC310 goes beyond these limits and can achieve 11 hours of computing time on a single charge. ...

Samsung Announces New Mini Notebooks

Apr 29, 2009

Samsung Electronics today announced the N110 and N120 as the newest additions to their mini notebook lineup. The N110 and N120 are both currently available through Samsung.com and online retailers with an ...

Recommended for you

Ear-check via phone can ease path to diagnosis

Dec 18, 2014

Ear infections are common in babies and young children. That it is a frequent reason for young children's visit to doctors comes as no consolation for the parents of babies tugging at their ears and crying ...

Gift Guide: Home products come with connectivity

Dec 18, 2014

Do you really need an app to tell you to brush and floss? It seems every household appliance is getting some smarts these days, meaning some connection to a phone app and the broader Internet. But then what?

BlackBerry launches Classic in last-ditch effort

Dec 17, 2014

(AP)—BlackBerry is returning to its roots with a new phone that features a traditional keyboard at a time when rival Apple and Android phones—and most smartphone customers—have embraced touch screens.

Tag Heuer changes tune, now looking at smartwatches

Dec 16, 2014

Barely a few months after dismissing Apple's smartwatch, the new chief executive of luxury Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer conceded Tuesday that such a hi-tech gadget might after all have a place in his firm's ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.