There's lots of netbook news coming out of CES 2009. We'll take a look at some of the newcomers and see if they're worth your time. Some brands, like Dell and MSI, are adding to their already impressive collection of ultra-portable notebooks, while others, like ViewSonic and Sony are making their first ventures into this growing segment of the notebook market.
Check out four intriguing new netbook designs that are sure to be hot products through this year.
All of these new netbooks take advantage of the Intel Atom processor, a small CPU that provides speed and greater power efficiency, meaning Atom-based computers will benefit from extended battery life without sacrificing performance.
Dell Inspiron Mini 10
Specs: 10" LCD, 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 3G Connectivity, 720p, multi-touch trackpad
The Dell Inspiron Mini 10 is ostensibly a netbook, but once you get into the double digits in screen size, it's a little harder to distinguish from a traditional laptop. In any case, the Dell Mini 10 is still quite small and handy for users on the go. It has a 10-inch display that's capable of displaying high-definition 720p content, and is outfitted with a TV tuner.
Consumers will no doubt be interested by the multi-touch trackpad, similar to those on the Apple MacBooks, which allows for more versatile tactile interaction with the notebook, and also the 3G wireless capabilities, for on-the-go Internet connectivity.
Sony VAIO P
Specs: 8" LCD, 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, EVDO Connectivity, 2GB RAM, 128GB solid-state flash drive
Sony made a big splash with a little netbook at CES. The Sony VAIO P is a diminutive notebook with some powerful specifications. Its 8-inch LCD display places it firmly in netbook territory, but its other features, like 2GB of included RAM and an astonishing 128GB solid-state flash drive make this a unique entry in this market. While netbooks are often barebones, the Sony VAIO P is fully loaded with high-end features, and thus, its price tag is very much unlike its affordable brethren. It's expected to cost around $900 when it becomes available in the U.S. later this year.
MSI Wind U120
Specs: 10" LCD, 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 160GB hard-disk drive, WiMax connectivity, 1GB RAM
MSI seems to be positioning their Wind U120 model to appeal to consumers who have some concerns about the slim feature-set of most netbooks. The U120 does not have a solid-state drive option, leaving only a 160GB hard disk that provides plenty of storage (and cost-savings) compared to a solid-state drive, but lacks the safety benefits. The Wind U120 also ships with a small external mouse for users dissatisfied with the tiny, hard-to-use trackpads often found on netbooks of this size.
HP Mini 2140
Specs: 10.1" LED display, 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB RAM, 80 SSD or 160GB HDD, Bluetooth
Intended for business travelers on the go, the HP Mini 2140 is a lightweight netbook with a vivid, brilliant, LED-illuminated display. The energy-efficiency of LED will allow for longer battery life and an overall better viewing experience. The Mini 2140 comes in two flavors, an 80GB solid-state drive version that's lighter and more stable and resistant to shock or motion damage, and a more affordable 160GB hard-disk drive model for increased storage capacity.