"On the left is the Asus 1000 with a 10-inch screen; on the
right, an Acer Aspire One with an 8.9-inch screen. Clearly, the
difference between small and really small is significant.
"Oh, and a possible third key comparison: the battery. The joy
of these units is their toss-'em-in-your-bag portability, and a
6-cell battery marches a whole lot further than a 3-cell.
"Although $399 is a popular benchmark, cost varies based on the
usual options like hard drive and RAM. As netbooks have evolved
from hobbyist's novelty to must-own unit for professional/student,
they’re just a ghost of their former selves. The lowly 7-inch
Asus kicked off the trend in '07, but now Dell and HP let you
lather on the luxuries. Have credit card, will travel. So you can
spend up to $700 on a mini, enough to buy a nice full-size
"Or, you can stay true to the netbook ethic and buy cheap. One
way to do this is to choose Linux rather than Windows XP. Finding
the Linux option might take a tad more shopping, but it's out
there, and you'll shave a nice piece of coin off the total price.
(Here's a discussion of Windows XP vs. Linux on the netbook.)"