I’ve been hunting for a new netbook for about two months, and have come to the conclusion that my perfect model does not exist. My requirements don’t seem out of line to me, but apparently netbook makers don’t agree. I need a model with: a 10″ screen, 2GB RAM, a Pine Trail processor (or equivalent or better non-Atom chip), a six-cell battery, and Windows Home Premium. Initially I was hoping for a higher-resolution display than my current 1024×600 Asus Eee 1000HA, but I’m willing to give on that. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that most 10″ netbooks don’t come with 2GB RAM or Windows Home Premium. I’m willing to upgrade those elements on my own, but I’m finding the cost starts to add up pretty quickly.
Two netbook models top my list of contenders at the moment: the Acer Aspire One 532G (recommended by good friend Brad Linder) and the ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1005PR. Unfortunately, neither one is shipping yet. (!) Both use The Aspire uses the new NVIDIA ION graphics chip, and the ASUS uses a Broadcom Crystal HD video accelerator, which are nice benefits, but both also look to be pretty expensive for the netbook market. It’s not clear what OS gets bundled with the Acer, but list price in Europe is 379 Euros, or $505 at current exchange rates. Pretty great if the bundle includes Windows 7 Home Premium and 2GB RAM. Not so great if it doesn’t. Meanwhile, the ASUS is available for pre-order at Amazon. With a 2GB upgrade it lists for $543, but it doesn’t ship with Home Premium. Again, upgrading further gets pricey. Also, my current Eee PC model has not held up well over time. I still love a lot of things about it, but the hard drive died at eleven months (replaced under warranty), my left mouse button has stopped working (tap to click only), and the battery no longer charges very well. I’ve only had the device for 16 months.
I was also considering the Lenovo x100e, even though that netbook/notebook comes in a 11.6″. However, the battery sticks out, and more importantly the battery life is reportedly terrible. No thanks.
The quest continues.