Long-gone are the days where netbooks were available at the 1KG mark. The Asus 901, Acer A150. Classic 1KG, 8.9â€ netbooks that worked well as mobile-focused PCs for getting things done almost anywhere. The EeePC 901GO was arguably one of the best mobile bargains around at the time, at least in Europe. No hard drive, sub 1KG, 3G and a great price. Oh how things have changed. All we seem to see now are 10-12â€ devices at 1.2KG or more with moving hard drives. The 800gm-1KG mark is now a specialist segment.
If you take a long hard look though and are prepared to relax your requirements a little there are a few gems hidden in there that would work well for ultra-mobile fans so I’ve taken a long look at the netbook segment, spoken to a few people (thanks Avram and Sascha) and come up with a shortlist for you. Iâ€™ve also taken a look above and below the netbook segment to give you a few alternative options.
Ultra Mobile devices need to be feature-rich, rugged and connected. They are the Swiss army knives of PCs that need to be ready for anything. Getting the best productivity out of any situation is important. 12â€ devices give great comfortable real-estate. 10â€ devices can be good value. 7â€ devices get right under the 1KG mark. Here are some other important features.
- No Hard Drive. Ideally you donâ€™t want any moving parts at all in a mobile PC. Hard drives and fans can fail or get damaged and even rotating screen hinges need to be thought about very carefully. If an SSD doesn’t come as standard, I’ve looked at the upgrade possibilities.
- Bright screen. Matt finish. 10 â€“ 12â€ for comfortable productivity. 7-10â€ for lighter weight.
- 3G, Wi-Fi-N and BT 2.x (but not self-upgrade unless the antenna is pre-installed)
- Long battery life (6+hrs)
- Lightweight PSU, Car Kit
- Other useful options â€“ GPS, memory upgrades. Case
- Latest CPU technology.
- Weight â€“ 1KG or less. (Iâ€™ve looked at devices up to about 1.2KG here.)
The Netbook Shortlist
Based around the 10â€ form factor, these are the gems that I’ve managed to dig out. Of the 400+ devices that I’ve searched through, these match the requirements the best. Quite amazing that there are really only this many that I would class as truly mobile devices. Note, these devices may not appear in your local market (and there may be others in your local market that I havenâ€™t seen â€“ please lets us know if you find one.)