Four new mini-laptops -- which is smallest, lightest, best?

We pit mini-notebooks from Acer, Asus, HP and Sylvania against each other. Who's the final winner?

The  Netbook uses gOS, an offshoot of Ubuntu 8.04 Linux. Sylvania doesn't sell the system with Windows XP, but the company says it can be loaded on the system.

The Netbook uses gOS, an offshoot of Ubuntu 8.04 Linux. Sylvania doesn't sell the system with Windows XP, but the company says it can be loaded on the system.

The Eee PC 1000's specs match that of the Aspire One almost perfectly with a 1.6-GHz Intel Atom processor and 1GB of system memory. But its solid-state flash memory can hold 40GB of data, files and programs, five times that of the Aspire One. Plus, the company includes 20GB of free online storage for archives, backups, and the flotsam and jetsam of a digital life.

Bigger can be better, and the 10-in. display provides nearly double the viewable space that the G Netbook's 7-in. screen does. Its 1024-by-600 resolution matches that of the 2133 and Aspire One, although the Eee PC 1000's display looks dull and dim by comparison. It's got a high-resolution webcam above the display.

As with the others, there's no modem, but the Eee PC 1000 can get online with a wired Ethernet plug or an 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi client. It had a range of 90 feet, a bit short of the group's average. The array of connections also matches that of the Aspire One with three USB, external monitor, microphone and headphone jacks, although it lacks the 2133's Express card slot. The Eee PC has a slot that accommodates Secure Digital, Memory Stick and xD flash cards.

The system's 17.6mm keys with 1.9mm of depth make for reasonably accurate and comfortable typing, although the touchpad's buttons were quite stiff. There's a handy home key that brings up the operating system's tabbed main page.

Based on the Xandros Linux, the page has tabbed selections for Internet, Work, Learn, Play, Settings and Favorites. It comes with the OpenOffice suite, a Web browser, e-mail and other programs. There's a good assortment of software, but its best programs are the educational ones, including a star map program and an interactive periodic table.

The Eee PC 1000 passed each of our compatibility tests and finished in the middle of the pack on the performance tests. The 6,600 milli-amp hour battery, the largest of the group, lasted for three hours 50 minutes, an hour and a half less than the five hours and 15 minutes of life the Aspire One got out of its smaller battery.

Overall, it's too much of a good thing. For a mini-notebook, the Eee PC feels bloated, oversized and at $600, expensive compared to the others. It pushes the limits of this new category but offers little more than a bigger window on the world.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags ultraportable laptops

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Brian Nadel

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?