Samsung Series 5 3G Chromebook
A leftfield entry this, but one with some USPs that make it worthy of consideration. Unlike the other machines here it has a 12.1in display, of 1280 x 800 resolution. That, you could argue, takes it out of the netbook category, but with its emphasis on mobility and networking - it has dual-band 802.11n, Gigabit Ethernet and 3G HSPA connectivity built in - it's certainly a viable alternative to an 11.6in netbook. It runs Google's cloud-centric Chrome OS, so connectivity is essential, storage less so, which is why it only has a 16GB SSD, though it has an SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot for more. But it does have plenty of Ram - 4GB - and a 1.3GHz dual-core processor. Battery life isn't bad, either - you should be able to get a full day out of it. The price is higher: £400, or £350 for a Wi-Fi only model, but retailer discounts nudge these down to under £300.
Reg Rating 70%
Price £300 (3G) £290 (Wi-Fi)
More Info Samsung
Not a bad machine as such, the NB510, but its spec is identical to so many other Atom-based netbooks. It's also slightly chunkier than most, though it only delivers around four hours' runtime from a full charge. This casts it into the shade of those netbooks that deliver eight or more hours of battery life, like the Asus 1015BX, the HP Mini and the Samsung N102SP. Why pay the same for less?
Reg Rating 65%
More Info Toshiba
Asus Eee PC 1015BX: "at up to 26mm thick, it's one of the chunkiest netbooks here"
Asus Eee PC X101CH: "just under an inch at its thickest point making it one of the thinnest machines here'
Seriously? 0.6mm between thinnest and chunkiest?
There's a reason for El Reg units, you know.
and while we're at it, where's the EEE girl?
How much of that price is the Windows tax?
Netbooks really shine when you put something like Linux on them. Just a pity you can't buy any without paying Windows tax.
Still too expensive...
When netbooks first came out three or four years ago, they were £229 or thereabouts. And they are STILL that sort of price. They've got slightly better specs - but that's all.
They seem to be the only form of computer life which doesn't go down in price. I cannot see any good reason why they shouldn't be sub-£150 these days.
It would be interesting to see what would happen if Asus or Acer were to produce a fairly minimal spec box for £149. I reckon it would fly off the shelves.
"I'm assuming the thumbs are mostly industry shills."
Everyone who disagrees with you must be an industry shill - couldn't possibly be because your writings are somewhat of the n00b could it.
Win7 Starter is limited to 2GB, Wikipedia would have told you that if you'd bothered to research before upgrade, it would also have revealed Starter is 32bit so if you did an in-place upgrade then the resultant Home/Pro will also be 32bit and thus not fully utilise your 4GB as "any fule no".
Try installing from a USB stick (very very easy to do, Google it) a 64bit version, you can pop the 64bit ethernet or wifi driver on the same USB stick and install it afterwards and then you can just visit Windows update or download whatever drivers you need direct. Simples?
Lin Line Lin Line Ux
I got my AAO for under £150 a few years ago.
Great wee machine, still gets a lot of use.
It's Linux distro allowed it to come in at such a low price, and with a fairly low spec still run very well. Boot up into Linpus is seconds, and you have your browser, office suite and documents in front of you.
(Of course I later upgraded the RAM and Wireless card and triple boot with XP and a certain OS that rhymes with Oh Ess Ex)
Windows 7 killed the Netbook through Windows tax, the need for notebook/desktop specs to run, and when they finally relented and released the Starter edition - it is so cut down that you can't even easily change the wallpaper! (there are tricks to get around this)
Sceptical about ChromeOS, I want my data on my machine, not in someone else's fog-- I mean, cloud.