With so many new notebooks entering the market this year, its time for a list with the best notebooks in the 10″ class, based on reviews from buyers all around the world.
However, having so many good choices on the market, it was pretty difficult to make a top, that’s why the article been in 3 parts: cheap notebooks, fair mainstream and expensive devices.
Best notebooks for budget oriented customers
If budget is your main concern but you’re still looking for a good device, than these laptops in here are the ones for you. They come with the new hardware and improved autonomy, but in most cases will come with 3 or 4 Cell batteries, poorer keyboards and no Bluetooth.
- Asus 1001P
While usually Asus notebooks are not known for their
competitive prices, with the new 1001P series built on Intel PineTrail, they tried to show us that good notebooks can also be very affordable.
Thus, this 10 inch device is one of the best mini laptops if budget is your first concern. It has almost no noticeable flaws, the small storage space (only 160 GB) might be an issue. Besides that, it just offers all the features you’ll need from a small portable computer, with even a battery life of up to 11 hours (on paper, more like 8 in practice). The nice Seashell design we already now, good build quality and software package.
- Acer AO532h
Acer offers a cheap version of their AO532h line. its the same
PineTrail hardware and 160 GB hard-drive as, but a smaller up to 8 hours autonomy. Besides these, the 1001P and the cheap AO532 are almost identical in terms of features, with a small bonus to the Acer machine that offers fast Wi-Fi N wireless connectivity (while the Asus only offers Wi-Fi b/g).
Overall, this affordable 10 inch notebook is fairly appreciated.
Picking one of the two will only depend on taste; as both devices are nearly identical in terms of features, there’s only the aspect to differentiate them (matte – Asus vs glossy – Acer). And perhaps build quality, which i consider a little better for the Asus.
Mainstream netbooks – best in terms of performances/price
Want a netbook overall good that won’t leave a hole in your wallet? Than one of the mainstream netbooks in here is what you need. They provide the standard hardware based on PineTrail Atom platform, decent performances and excellent autonomy, while looking good and having price tags around $400, but enhanced with some extra goodies: chiclet keyboards, ergonomic touchpads with multi-touch, Bluetooth, etc.
- Toshiba NB305
This is in fact at the moment my favorite 10 inch netbook. It’s not the best in every aspect, but overall is the perfect choice and the most comfortable on a daily base use. These without being too expensive.
And speaking of the price, you’ll reckon that this one just makes it in the under $400 category, with a tag of $399 (in the meantime it got cheaper). But, it has its strong points over the competition: the best keyboard+touchpad in the class, matte body with excellent construction quality and noise-free opearting are only some of them.
This Toshiba is also offered in many versions and different color options, with prices varying right now between $340 and $345. You can see more info about them via this link, where you’ll also find more technical details, pics and reviews+marks from previous buyers. You’ll also notice there’s a cheaper NB305 that only sells for around $330, but if i were you, I’d ignore it (see the review for the reasons).
- Asus 1005PE-P
The 1005PEs are Asus’s top netbooks series in the 10 inch class. They provide everything Asus has to offer best and do come with very good price tags. In fact, their only flaws are the glossy exterior and display and the single-click button touchpad, and even these are pretty minor. Especially if you consider that they are compensated by the best battery life in the class, ergonomic chiclet keyboard, excellent construction and connectivity options, plus a fairly rich and useful software package.
The 1005PE is offered in two distinctive versions, the top one being the 1005PE-P, that sells for $379 in the US and comes with 14 hours autonomy and lots of features. You should see my complete review on it for more info.
If it caught your interest, you should know this is one of the most popular netbooks on Amazon right now, with very good reviews and marks from those who already own one. And you can get it for a discounted price (around $365), with Free Shipping included inside the States.
- Asus 1005PE-M
Similar in aspect as the above, the cheaper version of the 1005PE comes with a smaller battery (only up to 11 hours, but that’s still more than enough) and no Bluetooth. But since all the others are the same, and considering the price difference you get, the 1005PE-M is in fact even more attractive than its more expensive brother.
It usually sells for $339, but you can get it from here for only $319.99, with Free Shipping and available in White, Black, Blue or Pink. By clicking that link, you can also check out the reviews and marks from other buyers there, and you’ll be really impressed to see how much appreciated this mini laptop really is.
- MSI Wind U160
One of the latest entries in the 10 inch class, and quite an entrance it was, is the MSI Wind U160, the fanciest of their new line of netbooks built on PineTrail.
This one comes with improved looks and similar features as the above (including the chiclet keyboard, connectivity and nice hardware), but promises an even better battery life than the Asus 1005PE-P, up to 15 hours on paper. However, expect it to be around 10 hours tops in practice.
It is available in two different colors, Black or Gold and offers standard specs and features: N450 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 250 GB storage, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi N, Windows 7 Starter. In fact, it is pretty much comparable to the similarly priced mini laptops above. However, i have to admit i really like the design, which seems to be inspired from the Vaios.
Both versions are available for $375 right now from Amazon, with Free Shipping included. Also, by clicking this link you’ll be able to see more pics and technical details, plus reviews from previous buyers.
- Dell Mini 10
Although not a particular fan of the Dell Mini 10 series, i could not let this netbook out of this list, as it’s fairly popular and appreciated in the US. It’s main advantage is the possibility to configure it just the way you want it. So, while prices start from $279, a decent device will run for at least $349, with the new N450 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 250 GB hard-drive, 6 Cell battery and Windows 7 Starter as an OS (similar features as the other premium netbooks in this class offer). However, even with these equipment levels, the Mini 10 is not a rival for the Toshiba or Asus device, that can outperform it in nearly every aspect: looks, autonomy, ergonomics, etc.
However, the Mini 10 can be upgraded with some extra parts the opponents won’t offer, with the mobile broadband module being only one of them. Still, these upgrades will make for some very high price tags, and they are just not worth it.
Update: There are however a couple of pre-configured Dell Mini 10s I consider worth the money, you can check them out below (in the mean time they might have become unavailable, but I’ll add other if i spot anything interesting):
- Dell Inspiron iM1012 – $369 + Free Shipping – available in a multitude of colors (black, pink, white, green, red, blue, etc – Update: actually, only the Black/Blue models are in stock for now), this Dell offers a new look and superior build quality over the previous generation, while still providing good performance for an even better price. As you can see, it can be tours for only $369 from Amazon (the black version is even cheaper), and that with Free delivery included. In fact, it’s the best price I could spot online on every US based store.
And there are some other interesting devices you should check out in this class and in this price range. You will find them listed below, with links towards more detailed posts, as i come in contact with them. The Lenovo S10-3t tablet ($439) and matte Samsung N150 in Blue ($322) and rugged and tough Samsung NB30 built for the road are just some of the netbooks i’m currently considering adding to the list.
Fancy and exclusive netbooks – best money can buy
If all the above are just not enough for you and you’re prepared to pay $400-$700 bucks for a 10 inch mini laptop, than the devices in this category are the ones for you. They are just the best money can buy and offer some fancy features and aesthetics, like touch-sensitive HD displays, metallic cases and stellar battery life.
However, i will not insist too much on this category, mainly because in the 10 inch class, you can hardly find anything above $400 really worth that kind of money. You do get the HP 5102 with a metallic casing and lots of customization options (touch display, carrying handle, fast 7200 rpm HDD, extra memory, big battery), which can easily jump even to 1000 bucks, but you will still end with the same level of performance offered by other cheaper netbooks. So are you really sure you want to pay that much extra for “details”?
Of course, if you’re looking for exclusivity and fancy looks, you can try some of the options for designer netbooks, like the Asus 1008P-KR signed by Karim Rashid (costs around $500 and is available in Coffee Brown or Hot Pink . Comes with 2 batteries and a very sleek matching leather case). Or even better, the extra-feminine HP Mini 210 Vivienne Tam, which is something every girl would love to have (I’ve seen it too and I must say it’s impressive, with high quality finishing and solid construction. Still, the color and the design make it a clearly a mini laptop for a girl.) This one has a list price of around 700 bucks, but you can find it on Amazon for $550 (also check here pics and reviews from owners).
That’s about it for now. If the post was useful, please tell your friends about it or leave a comment. And like i already said, as time passes and new devices will enter the market, you’ll see changes. So make sure you check this one periodically. Also prices and availability might change in time, so be sure to check the links for each product for up-to-date details.
If you liked the products in this list but don’t quite have the budget for them, keep an eye on our section of deals were we periodically add the interesting offers we might spot online (they are only available for limited periods of time in most cases, so the best way to keep in touch is to subscribe to this site via RSS or email).
In the end, i can only hope i could give you a hand in deciding which of the current 10 inch netbooks is the best for your needs and budget. Once again, I have to say that is a list of recommended mini laptops you will be able to find on the US market. They might not be available in some other countries or have different names, that’s why I’ll also put together a similar post useful for you guys in Canada, Europe (will be available soon) and hopefully for the Asian market too.