The GDGT Podcast #3 with Ryan Block and Peter Rojas finally got around to talking about "netbooks" after teasing us in Podcast #1 and Podcast #2. It was a great discussion, and they asked for recommendations from listeners on what they would recommend.
My recommendation based on some recent research would be the MSI Wind. A lot of what I have been able to gather comes from a variety of blogs and gadget sites, but is heavily based on comments/research/analysis made by Kevin Toffel at jkOnTheRun's Mobile Tech Roundup podcast. The MSI Wind seems like the right mix of features vs. cost -- the biggest bang for your buck.
That being said, for the last couple of years I've been using a Hewlett-Packard (HP) TC1100 as my "netbook" or "Internet tablet" around the house and on family vacations. It continues to fit many of my needs, and still has a great run down of features:
- pen interface
- Windows XP SP2 the Tablet Extensions
- support for tablet and standard laptop form factors
- pretty good keyboard if needed (I don't use it that often)
- 802.11a/b/g WiFi
- two USB ports
- 1024 x 768 ( XGA )10" LCD screen
- 3.5mm headset-microphone jack (great for SKYPE)
- full PC Card slot (like for EVDO)
- ~2 hours of battery life [with 2 backups available]
- SD card slot
- modem (actually useful if you need to send a fax)
- 10/100 Ethernet port
What I use it for:
- browsing (IE, Firefox, Chrome, WebKit, Flock, Safri)
- cloud applications (Google Docs, Gmail, Evernote, Newsgator)
- iTunes 'news' podcasts (Fox, CNN, NYTimes, WSJ, CNET, Stratfor, CBS Radio, InfoWorld, CNET, NPR)
- social networking (Twitter, FriendFeed, Meebo)
- communications (SKYPE, Gizmo, Thunderbird)
If you go the route of trying to find an TC1100, I would definitely recommend the version with an Intel Pentium M chip, and get as much RAM as possible. Mine has 1.5-GBs.
Any other options for an old school netbook?