It wasn't too long ago that finding a 10-inch Netbook for less than $300 was cause for whoopin' and hollerin'. Now Amazon has the 12-inch (well, 11.6-inch, technically) Acer Aspire One AO751h-1378 for $279.99 shipped.
That's a full $100 less than when CNET reviewed this model just two months ago.
By "12-inch," of course, I'm referring to the size of the screen. As noted, this One actually has an 11.6-inch screen; I rounded up.
What's particularly impressive about this LED-backlit display is its 1,366x768 resolution--way higher than what you find on 10-inch Netbooks, and about on par with 13- and even 15-inch laptops. Translation: you'll have a much easier time working in your Web browser, word processor, etc.
Despite the "big" screen, the Aspire manages to keep to a trim 11.2 inches by 7.8 inches by 1 inches and 2.8 pounds. Dimensions like those are a big part of Netbooks' appeal.
The AO751h should run a bit faster--and longer--than previous models, thanks to its 1.3GHz Intel Atom Z520 processor. Alas, according to CNET, it was a bit on the pokey side, though battery life was indeed excellent.
(Note: CNET tested the six-cell battery; the $279 model highlighted here comes with a three-cell. However, you can get the six-cell Aspire for just $295. That's an extra $16 I guarantee you won't regret spending.)
Everything else is pretty standard: 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, a Webcam, three USB ports, and Windows XP. You also get Acer's cool multitouch touchpad.
How big can a Netbook get before it's no longer a Netbook? That's a debate for another day. But there's no debating that this is a stellar deal on a portable PC.
Bonus deals: In case you haven't heard, you can now buy a Nintendo Wii for $199.99 and an Xbox 360 Elite for $249.99 (after rebate). Great time to be a gamer!