Only tiny bit over a year since the first “netbook,” Asus Eee PC 701, was released to the market. I don’t think anyone expected netbook to be this large market, but it is growing constantly and rapidly. However, it’s probably coming real close to saturated point so far. It just could not be anything more than this since there is almost no possibly significant improvement available. Low price? yes eventually Eee 701 and 900A reach $199 in brick and mortar store. If it’s lower than this, I bet Asus would better bundle with their hi-end motherboards which almost twice as that. Performance? I think Atom can only take you this far since intel won’t take any risk to destroy Pentium D indeed. Cheap stuff gives less margin; no business wants to destroy its own profit indeed. Size? 7” 9” 10” 12” what else do you want? smaller than this will be MID or PDA or even phone, larger than this is Notebook. There is just no more room to fit in. CDROM? we still need that? once a year usage won’t justify extra price and weight for this market.
What we have so far should be about the same as we will have in next 6 months or a year I guess and I’m really happy seeing all netbooks available in B&M store. In my opinion, if I have planned to buy another netbook besides Eee 702 I’m using, I will buy …
- HP 2133 Mini-Note – It fades out of the market for a while; although keyboard is big, it looks so cheap anyway. Passed! We'll see if HP Mini 2140 will be better or not.
- MSI Wind 10” – this could be named as king of netbook because it’s just about right in everything. Sadly it’s too big for my taste.
- Acer Aspire 1 – this is another good netbook with a nice keyboard. No weird right-shift anymore, but it failed me in term of appearance.
- Eee Eee Eee – I don’t know what model they have anymore 900 900A 900HA 901A 902Z 1000HA 1000A whatever I don’t care them anymore, just because too many models and I don’t believe in quality of SSD from Asus from my own experience. For $300+ I expected to know what I will get, not luck.
- Dell mini 9 – it might be a good one, but by the fact that it is the only one I have yet to see in person and there is no dedicated F1-F12 keys. I would not get it anyway. Such a shame that most B&M stores carry Dell laptop, but it's hard to find Dell mini 9.
- Lenovo S10 – look good; quite good features; small keyboard for 10”; somehow I just don’t feel S10 better than anyone else on the market, how weird is that?
- Samsung NC10 – the first contender for Wind 10” throne. Fantastic >6-hr battery life on 6-cell; nice design; matte finish chassis. Ohh I like it very much. It seems to be real solid machine in my opinion.
- HP Mini 1000 – damn! I couldn’t believe that HP can improve 2133 this much. Same design but look much much more solid than the predecessor. Its lid looks like normal HP, but once open it. What a nice job from HP! Everything is about the same with others IMO but it looks much better with matte finish. Just about 3-hr battery life—no larger battery available due to design—not so bad, but it wins me completely.
Although I’m not a person who buy things by its look, when comparing HP Mini 1000 to the rest, it just shines. If you don’t see it in person yet and are looking for netbook, I highly recommend to see and play HP Mini 1000 by yourself. Alternatively, Samsung NC10 could be on the top of the chart in term of functionality. Again if I were you, I definitely pick HP Mini 1000. Hey! sometimes look can just win functionality without any logical reason.
** I can’t believe I like HP product this much since I hate glossy design so badly. HP Mini 1000 is just an exception.