Slim Pickings

Lightweight netbooks are all the rage in the laptop market. There are enough differences in each of these micro-beauties to make choosing just one very difficult.



1. Dell Mini 10
Weighing in at 2.5 pounds, this Dell notebook includes such options as GPS navigation, larger hard drive and 3G mobile broadband. An HDMI port for connecting to an HD television and optional digital TV tuner makes the Mini a portable entertainment machine. On the downside, all those extras could double the price. Available in a rainbow of colors. From $299; dell.com

2. ASUS Eee PC1005HA 
Taiwanese company ASUS all but invented the netbook, and it still makes highly regarded models with innovative features. The slim “Seashell” offers a 10.5-hour battery life, stereo sound, Bluetooth and speedier 802.11n wireless access. The 92 percent-sized keyboard will be a negative for the large of fingers. From $349; eeepc.asus.com

3. Sony VAIO P Series
Give Sony points for style. A little stretch and squeeze make this super-light 8–inch wide-screen notebook stand out, with a format aimed at jacket pocket or purse. Sony products are expensive, and the elongated screen is a bit squinty, but pluses for the P include Windows Vista, built-in GPS and available Verizon Wireless Mobile Broadband for nonstop Internet access. From $829; sonystyle.com

4. Toshiba mini NB205
Toshiba has received critical raves for the construction quality and the better-than-average full-sized  keyboard design of its “companion PCs.” Laptop computers have always been a Toshiba strong point, and the mini NB205 continues the tradition. One outstanding feature is the “free-fall” sensor, protecting the hard drive from drop damage. A single, rather tinny speaker sound a sour note. From $399; laptops.toshiba.com

5. Nokia Booklet 3G 
The cell phone leader muscles its way into Computerland with a Windows 7-based mini-laptop. The Booklet 3G is designed for worldwide 3G connectivity, and includes a sleek, durable aluminum case, with built-in GPS, a 12-hour battery life and an HDMI port for high-definition video output. The “premium” price may be the only drawback. From $820; nokiausa.com

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