Netbooks on my mind

MSI Wind
Acer Aspire One
HP Mininote

All amazing machines, weighing in at less than 2kg, powered by relatively weaker processors, meager ram and storage, but still managed to spark a new mobile computing revolution.

the past two weeks of my life has been about Netbooks… particularly about which one to get!  These buggers cost anywhere from 12K for the eyesight damaging 7″ asus 4g eeepc, up to almost 30K for the uber cool looking HP Mininote.  They come in several sizes, processor flavors, os, hard drive/ssd configurations, and it’s more than enough to drive anyone absolutely bananas.  

having done my net homework and actual hands on, here are my findings (in case anyone is interested)

For the best keyboard – HP Mininote. They keys are big enough to be really comfortable for long-use, and HP did not have to invent a sucky keyboard configuration to fit everything

Weight/Mass – hands down, the small 7″ screen asus EEEPC (but it’s horrible) so for something more humane, the EEEPC 900 for 9″ and the MSI wind for 10″

Pure computing power – MSI wind wins by a whisker.  You get the Intel Atom N270 running at 1.6GHz with Hyperthreading, you get a generous 2 GB Ram.  this is even better than my 5 year old Compaq Presario laptop running a Centrino 1.6Ghz +512ram (and i still use often for nostagia’s sake.)  Sure, the wind shares the same specs as the EEEPC 1000, but online reviews point out that the wind still wins in computing benchmark tests.

Storage – I’d give this to the asus eeepc.  you can install a “regular” 2.5″ hard disk if you want to.  though the wind offers a mouth watering upgrade for this month.. your 80gb hard disk can be upgraded to 160gb this september.  But still, I prefer the user-upgradable configuration of the asus.

Value – Oh boy.  It only gets tougher and tougher.  Here are the specs that i’m looking at:
MSI Wind 100XP – 10″ Screen, intel Atom 1.6ghz, 2GB Ram, 160gb HDD, Bluetooth, 3-cell battery, wifi (abg), Windows XP Home

ASUS EEEPC 1000H – 10″ Screen, intel Atom 1.6ghz, 1GB Ram, 80gb HDD, Bluetooth, 6-cell battery, wifi (abg-n) , Windows XP Home

finally, the coolness factor.  now this is a toughie.  Asus has always been a Taiwanese brand for me as I still remember the days when these guys didn’t sell assembled computers and they only offered parts.  MSI is a relative newbie player and still has to establish itself as a *reliable* hardware provider.  HP is a step above both brand-wise, but HP is still HP, and is devoid of any personality (hehehe)

You might want to ask why I find these netbooks interesting…  simple.  There were a bunch of people happily typing along with their netbooks during the recenly concluded SEMCON.  These guys only had to bring small bags with them to be productive, and I had to lug around this monster 15.4″ dell laptop and it’s equally massive bag (earning me a sore back after 2 days.)

Gadget envy. nothing more, nothing less.  

But i still want to choose well.  What do you guys think?