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Best Netbooks for Traveling

So you want a tiny little laptop to take with you on your round-the-world adventures or maybe (like me) you don’t want to worry about your super expensive fancy laptop while you’re out and about, but still want to stay connected on the road.

So what exactly is a netbook and why would I choose one over say an iPad or conventional laptop?

Netbooks are lightweight, low-cost, energy-efficient, highly portable, and compact little laptops. While these mini computers have fewer features and less processing power than more conventional laptops, they are perfect for browsing the web, doing word processing, and performing other basic applications.

Netbooks exploded onto the market a few years back when Asus released their Eee PC in 2007. This 2-pound computer with a 7-inch screen and Intel Celeron processor seriously revolutionized the way we think about mobile computing. Since then, many other companies have developed their own netbooks, incorporating hard disk drives, bigger screens and keyboards, built-in 3G, and other features all while aiming to keep these little computer compact, lightweight, and low in cost.

As I said earlier, Netbooks have fewer features and less processing powers than conventional laptops. If you are looking for a lightweight, compact computer for travel and only really need a place to load your photos, do some word processing, and cruise the Internet – you will be totally psyched with a netbook. If screen quality and resolution are more important to you then portability you might be better off with a regular sized laptop or iPad. If you are looking for a travel computer solely so you can update your facebook status and check your email, you can do all that with just an iPhone.

These compact, lightweight, low-cost (most netbooks range between $300-$600), and ultra portable computers really do make excellent travel companions. Netbooks have come along way in just the few years since they have been released and companies are continually releasing netbooks that are faster, more powerful, and equipped with friendlier features.

Here are rundowns of some of the best netbooks out there on the market right now:

ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1201PN Netbook

The ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1201 PN Netbook is about as powerful as these little computers get.  ASUS’s latest netbooks boasts a whopping full-length keyboard, 12.1-inch HD widescreen display, and 750 GB of storage.

Weight: 3.2 pounds
Display: 12-inch WXGA (1366×768) LED screen
Cost: ~$485
Battery Life: 6 Hours
Why it Rocks:

  • Superior performing multi-tasking abilities
  • More powerful processor than most other netbooks
  • Built-in SD card reader
  • 250 GB hard drive with 500 GB of free web storage

Dell Mini 1012 Netbook

The Dell Mini 1012 Netbook is light, compact, and pretty straightforward – a great entry-level netbook for traveling.  A built-in webcam lets you keep in touch while you’re on the road and long battery life is nice when outlets are scarce.

Weight: 3.1 pounds
Display: 10.1″ Widescreen Display with 1024 x 600 resolution
Cost: ~$350
Battery Life: 9.5 Hours
Why it Rocks:

  • A good entry-level netbook
  • Built-in webcam
  • Keyboard 92% of standard size
  • Incredible battery life
  • Available in plenty of cute colors

Toshiba Mini NB305 Netbook

The Toshiba Mini NB305 Netbook is a pretty sleek looking netbook that boasts over 8 hours of battery life.  This great all-around netbook is perfect for cruising the web, emailing, and uploading photos with its build-in SD card reader.

Weight: 2.8 pounds
Display: 10.1-inch LED backlit widescreen display with 1024 x 600 resolution
Cost: ~$370
Battery Life: 8 Hours
Why it Rocks:

  • Great all-around travel netbook
  • One of the lightest netbooks on the market
  • Built-in SD card reader
  • Unique Sleep-and-Charge port lets you charge mobile devices while your netbook is turned off

Nokia Booklet 3G Netbook

The Nokia Booklet 3G Netbook is unique in that it comes with – you guessed it- built-in 3G.  This Nokia netbook is like a smartphone meets laptop device in a sleek, durable aluminum body.

Weight: 4.5 pounds
Display: 10.1-inch HD ready screen
Cost: ~$450
Battery Life: 12 Hours
Why it Rocks:

  • Built-in 3G
  • Durable aluminum design
  • Classy look and feel
  • Longest battery life on the market

HP Mini 210 HD Edition

Netbooks are often criticized on their screen resolution or lack thereof.  HP rectified this situation by their recent release of a version of their popular netbook, the HP Mini 201 HD Edition, with a smooth diagonal HD display that gives you a “crystal-clear view” of the web.

Weight: 2.7 pounds
Display: 10.1-inch high definition LED dispay
Cost: Starting at $329
Battery Life: 10 Hours (with 6-cell battery upgrade)
Why it Rocks:

  • HD screen with smooth, edge-to-edge surface
  • Keyboard is 93% of normal size
  • Built-in webcam
  • Available in 4 colors

[Photo courtesy of Mobile Edge Laptop Cases]