Since the first netbook hit the market, in late 2007, their popularity has increased significantly. Numerous online retailers stock these devices, but which device provides the most bang for your buck?
A variety of factors influence the price, such as HDD size, amount of RAM, battery type, screen dimensions, and even colour. For the purpose of this roundup an entry-level model was selected. 3G modem modules can be installed, and typically add around R1,500 to the price.
|Store||Asus 701-W||Asus 1005HA||Samsung NC10||Lenovo Ideapad S10||Acer AOA150|
|Take2||N/A||N/A||R3 725.00||R4 100.00||R7 528.00*|
|Landmark||R3 199.98||R3 413.16||R3 692.37||R3 952.38||R5 046.78|
|Prophecy||N/A||R3 602.49||R3 507.62||R4 171.72||N/A|
|PC International||N/A||N/A||R3 796.00||N/A||R6 097.00*|
|Sybaritic||R2 507.00||R3 293.00||R3 385.00||N/A||N/A|
|Nivo||R2 509.00||R3 379.01||R3 379.01||R3 919.00||R7 399.00*|
Asus EEE PC 701-W
An Intel Celeron M 900Mhz, 512MB RAM, 4GB SSD, 7″ screen, 0.92kg.
Considered by most to be the grandfather of netbooks, the 701-W is worth a mention for its lightweight portability and low cost. The 4 hour battery life and measly 4GB SSD are downsides, but the compact nature of the device is the best on this list. Linux Linpus Lite or XP Home are the OS options.
Acer Aspire One AOA150
Intel Atom N270 1.60GHz, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, 8.9” screen, 1.26kg.
This is more expensive than most, and the standard hardware specifications don’t seem to justify the cost. Cheaper versions are available but come with small Solid State Drives (SSD). It weighs in at 1.26kg and gets up to 7 hours from the 6-cell battery option.
Lenovo Ideapad S10
Intel Atom N270 1.66GHz, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, 10.1” screen, 1.22kg.
Although this product is older than some on the list, it still competes in terms of hardware specification. The 6-cell battery option should get up to 7 hours of life. It comes with XP Home.
Asus EEE PC 1005HA
Intel Atom N280 1.66GHz, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, 10.1” screen, 1.31kg.
With the N280, this netbook has a slight advantage over its N270 wielding counterparts (a 667MHz FSB). With the 6-cell 63Wh battery, it has 10.5 hours of life. It too comes with XP Home.
Intel Atom N270 1.66GHz, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, 10.2” screen, 1.33kg.
The N270 has a 533MHz FSB, and it is slightly slower than the N280. The larger keyboard might sway buyers from the 1005HA. The NC10 squeezes up to 10.5 hours out of its optional 6-cell 63Wh battery. XP Home is the OS installed on this machine.
The five netbooks listed are all popular choices. But there are some prominent netbooks, not on the list due to availability issues with the online stores selected, that are worth a mention: the recent Sony VAIO P Series, the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, the MSI Wind U100, the Samsung N120, and the Asus Eee PC 1000HE.