Looking For The Ultimate Netbook (8.9″ Screen Edition)

Looking For The Ultimate Netbook (8.9After weeks of deliberation, we worked out that netbooks with 10″+ screens were just too big for our needs, so our attention drifted to smaller screened models.

The first gen Asus Eee’s with their paltry 7″ screen were immediately discounted as we didn’t fancy indulging in a scrolling frenzy every time we looked at a website, which left the 8.9″ models for consideration.

This sector of the market is a hugely competitive one, with new models slipping off the new product slipways almost daily. Sticking to our preference for an XP powered netbook, we chomped through specs sheets like Fatty Arbuckle going through a pie factory, and totted up the pros and cons of each one.

Several coffees later, we’d nailed it down to a short list of three machines, listed here with approximate prices (remember that these netbooks come in all sorts of XP/Linux and memory configurations with prices varying wildly).

Asus Eee 901 XP 12GB SSD(around £280)
Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.9 x 1.5 (inches)
The good: Great battery life (“up to 8 hours“), great trackpad with multi-touch, by far the smallest, Bluetooth, wireless 802.11b/g/n
The bad: cramped keyboard, only 12GB SSD storage with a fast 4GB system partition and the remaining 8GB offering slower access times.

Looking For The Ultimate Netbook (8.9Acer Aspire One 120GB HD XP (£290)
Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.7 x 1.1
Good: Tons of storage, lovely looks, big keyboard, two SDHC slots, shiner than the beadiest eye in the land
Bad: Poor battery life with 3 cell battery (the 6 cell option adds unattractive bulk and is not cheap), fiddly mouse buttons, small trackpad, no Bluetooth, slimmer but wider than the Eee, low res 0.3MP webcam

Dell Inspiron Mini 9 16GB SSD (£299)
Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.9 x 1.2
Good: Compact size, solid build, attractive looks, reasonable battery life, fanless design
Bad: Average battery life (~3hrs), Bluetooth only an add-on option

We’re still faffing about weighing up the options: our heart is drawn to the sleek lines and great keyboard of the Acer Aspire One, but we know that the less than stellar battery life is going to drive us up the wall at some point. The Dell looks mighty purdy too, and there’s enough SSD storage onboard to keep us happy, but the massive battery life and small form factor of the Asus Eee 901 keeps tempting us the most.

We’re going to brew up another coffee and have a think about it again, but feel free to drop us a line and tell us about your preferred netbook.

More reviews:

Eee PC 901
Notebook Review
PC Pro

Acer Aspire One
Notebook Review

Dell Inspiron Mini 9
Notebook Review
PC Mag
PC World
Review round up

More resources:
Liliputing.com – compare all netbooks

8 thoughts on “Looking For The Ultimate Netbook (8.9″ Screen Edition)”

  1. I went with the Asus Eee 901 12GB and I’m very happy with it. The keyboard really isn’t too bad when you get used to it, apart from the shift and up arrow keys being too close together the only problem I have is having to remember I’m on a pc not a mac (which I use at work) which really isn’t Asus’s fault!

  2. I went with the Eee901 in the end which finally arrived after Citylink couriers had taken it on one of their customary tours around London

    Expect a review shortly!

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