Netbooks Best Buys
The pick of the pack
Mano e mano
While Lenovo’s S10-3 includes useful extras such as 3G module, it suffers from a woeful touchpad and is on the pricey side. Lenovo sells a cheaper, non-3G version of the S10-3, but because of that touchpad I wouldn’t go anywhere near it.
Acer's D260: Editor's Choice
HP’s Mini 210 has a great keyboard, but its touchpad also lets it down as does the lack of 802.11n wireless. It’s worth noting that although it has a similar design, HP’s touchpad is no way near as bad as Lenovo’s.
Asus’ Eee PC range has some great models - let’s not forget Asus started the netbook revolution - but the T101MT isn’t one of them. It’s a nice idea to slap a touchscreen on a netbook, but it’s of limited use, whacks the price right up and impacts on battery life.
Despite the Toshiba NB250 being the only netbook to be powered by an Atom N455, there were no performance gains to be seen and, overall, it’s a mediocre effort.
Ultimately, it’s Acer’s D260 that offers the best mix of features and value. For £249 you get a stylish-looking, lightweight netbook with surprisingly good battery life. The keyboard and touchpad might not be the most comfortable to use, but the low price more than makes up for this. Coming so close to the Small, Cheap Computer ideal, it has to be our Editor's Choice.
Recommended: Samsung's N230
If your budget can stretch to it, Samsung’s N230 was by far the most usable netbook. The keyboard is excellent, as is the touchpad, while it managed to top the tables in terms of battery life. Its matte display will also win it more than a few fans. But it’s the £349 price tag that stops it scooping top spot, so it has to make do with a Recommended award instead. ®
Netbooks Group Test