Summer 2009 Netbook roundup
It feels like we just rounded up all the latest Netbooks a couple of months ago, but there are already enough new models to do it all over again.
It feels like we just rounded up all the latest Netbooks a, but there are already enough new models out to do it all over again. This time around, we're seeing some new players in the market (Toshiba, Fujitsu), as well as some new takes on the genre from old hands (Asus, HP).
Trends we're seeing include thinner systems, bigger keyboards, and a push in toward lower prices. The
Later in 2009, we expect to see a new generation of Netbooks that will attempt to add some lift to falling prices by adding features such as high-resolution screens and dedicated graphics processors.
Click through to see a half-dozen of the newest Netbooks for Summer 2009.
The good: Sleek, attractive design; lower price; amazing battery.
The bad: Thicker and heavier than the previous model; still near the upper end of the Netbook price range.
The bottom line: Asus hits nearly all the marks in the 1005HA, the latest version of its iconic Eee PC, highlighted by a 6-plus hour battery.
The good: Distinctive design; large touch pad, great battery life.
The bad: Bulky battery sticks out awkwardly; big screen bezel dwarfs display; wimpy audio.
The bottom line: Toshiba finally enters the Netbook market with the Mini NB205. It's got an upscale, distinctive look and a good keyboard/touch pad combo, but also weak audio and a big, bulky battery.
The good: Budget-friendly version of one of our favorite Netbooks.
The bad: Thicker and heavier than previous versions; included file-syncing software didn't impress us.
The bottom line: While the new, less expensive, HP Mini 110 doesn't stray far from the Mini 1000 mold, there are some subtle changes--not always for the best.
The good: Rock-bottom price; slimmer size; improved touch-pad buttons.
The bad: Weak speakers; battery life mediocre; small keyboard.
The bottom line: For the price, it's hard to find fault with Acer's even cheaper version of the 10.1-inch Aspire One, as long as you're not expecting top-of-the-line features.
The good: HP's already excellent Netbook adds 3G; subsidized Verizon price.
The bad: Expensive total cost of ownership with two-year data contract; fewer ports and connections than other Netbooks.
The bottom line: The HP Mini 1151NR's marriage of 3G with a Netbook feels like an obvious mashup of two useful technologies, but the overall package ends up being somewhat expensive.
The good: Bright, crisp screen; loud volume for a Netbook.
The bad: Bulky; smaller keyboard; expensive compared with similar Netbooks.
The bottom line: With a thick chassis and features that don't rise above the pack, the Fujitsu M2010 will have a hard time breaking through the clutter of less-expensive systems.
Note: We've also stuck all six of these Netbooks side by side, with specs, if you want to browse them that way.