Netbooks offer convenience, for those who need portablity at the expense of speed.
Technophile: Nothing but Net on ultralight laptops
Asus Eee PC 1018
The tininess Netbooks are small by definition and the Eee PC 1018 is no exception at only 26 centimetres wide and less than 2.25cm thick, although it does weigh in at a solid (for its class) 1.08 kilograms. It also features a stylised, brushed-metal frame.
The effectiveness The Eee PC features a 10-inch display and a relatively large multifunction touchpad. What it lacks in speed (all netbooks lack in speed) it more than makes up for in battery life - well, more than seven hours. Battery life is a key issue for netbooks because they are on-the-go internet appliances - no one takes these things home and plugs them into the wall as their main computer.
The usefulness Price and battery life make the Eee PC 1018 a good choice for students and travellers who want to browse the Web or maybe update a blog, and who need many, many hours to do so without recharging.
Acer Aspire One D260-23797
The tininess Like the Eee PC, The Aspire One is also 26cm wide and 2.25cm thick, but weighs a bit more (1.18kg) and comes in a grey (or perhaps "off-black") frame.
The effectiveness The Aspire One boasts a 10.1-inch screen and offers a relatively big keyboard for a netbook, although big hands probably won't notice much of a difference.
The usefulness The Aspire One's basic design is a good choice for those who like their netbooks to have a professional aesthetic. However, its 6.5 hours of estimated battery life is average at best.
HP Mini 210-1199DX
The tininess It's not the smallest or lightest netbook out there, but at least the HP Mini is pink or electric blue. It weighs in at a Rubenesque 1.36kg and is 27cm wide.
The effectiveness The HP Mini has a slightly faster-than-average hard drive and a 10.1-inch screen, and its keyboard and touchpad are among the roomiest and easiest to use in its class. However, its battery life barely breaks the five-hour mark.
The usefulness If you go to a lot of get-togethers where people throw all their laptops on a bed like coats, your HP Mini will be the easiest to cull from the heap once the party is over. Otherwise, most netbooks might be a better option - unless you love pink or blue, in which case you have no choice but to get one.