Six New and Notable Netbooks

Netbooks are evolving quickly. The six latest models to reach PC World show some of the experimentation that's going on: One of the laptops is a tablet, another has two hard drives, and one has no hard drive at all.

Asus Eee PC T91 Touch

You knew it was coming: a touch-screen tablet netbook. Think of this as a second take on the 8.9-inch, 901-series models that appeared in 2008. Like a full-size convertible laptop, this hybrid netbook has a 180-degree rotating lid. The $500 T91 Touch will also offer built-in GPS functionality, a TV tuner, and an FM transmitter for affordable, portable entertainment. Read more about the Asus Eee PC T91 Touch.

For additional information about netbooks, check out these articles:

"Top 5 Netbooks" [chart]

"Top 5 Netbooks in Photos" [slide show]

"Netbooks: All About the New Ultraportables"

"Evolution of the Netbook"


Sony’s VAIO P defies simple definition. In fact, Sony prefers to refer to this mini-laptop as a "lifestyle notebook." It measures 9.6 inches by 4.7 inches by 0.9 inch--about the size of an overstuffed business envelope--and weighs about 1.5 pounds. Under the hood it carries Intel’s Atom CPU, 2GB of RAM, and a 60GB hard-disk drive. Even the unit’s 8-inch screen (with a native resolution of 1600 by 768 pixels) is surprisingly crisp for Web browsing. But starting at $900, it falls somewhere between a pricey netbook and an inexpensive, underpowered ultraportable. Check out our full review of the Sony VAIO P.

MSI Wind U115

Can’t decide between a netbook with a solid-state drive and one with a beefy hard-disk drive? Then how about getting one that has both? MSI’s latest Wind contains a small but speedy solid-state drive that hosts the OS and programs--and a hard-disk drive to provide space for file storage. The Wind U115 boots quickly; and when you don’t need the hard drive, you can disable it to increase your unit’s battery life. We didn’t have exact pricing at press time, but this netbook should cost less than $600.

Acer Aspire One AOD150

Equipped with a 10.1-inch, 1025-by-600-pixel display, a 160GB hard drive, and a six-cell battery, the newly announced Acer Aspire One A0D150 weighs in at 2.95 pounds. Its relatively high screen resolution and substantial hard drive significantly improve on the features of previous Acer One models, while its $350 price tag keeps it eminently affordable. For more, consult our full review of the Acer Aspire One AOD150.

EMTEC Gdium Liberty

This Linux-based box has a roomy 10-inch screen with 1024-by-600-pixel resolution. Under the hood, you’ll find a modest 900-MHz STMicroelectronics Loongson CPU and 512MB of DDR2 memory--but where’s the hard disk? You plug it in. The $400 Gdium Liberty will ship (in April) with a bootable USB storage key--the G-Key--containing Mandriva G-Linux and more than 50 preinstalled open-source applications, including OpenOffice and Firefox.

HP Mini 2140

HP’s Mini 2140 netbook is a cool-looking, corporate take on a netbook. It has a brushed aluminum lid, spill-resistant keys, and some neat features for serious computing. The most tricked-out version, selling for $629, carries 2GB of RAM and a speedy 7200-rpm, 160GB hard drive. We posted a full review of the HP Mini 2140 last month.

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