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April 21, 2011 6:18 PM   Subscribe

What is the lightest-weight netbook released in the past twelve months?

No price limit. Should handle Ubuntu well and have at least a 5-hr battery life. Am aware of and considering the MacBook Air, but looking at all options.
posted by mnemonic to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The Sony vaio P got an update this year. Not sure how it measures up to your other requirements but it's pretty darn light.
posted by juv3nal at 6:45 PM on April 21, 2011

My eee 901 handles Ubuntu well, though it's not super fast. But I was able to use it as my main computer for about a year. Lat had it running standard (desktop) Kubuntu 9.04. Had the keyboard not been crap, I'd still be using it. I understand the ten-inch version has a better keyboard. Battery life, until I killed the battery from day-in-day-out use was excellent, over 4 hours continuous use a charge. 2.5 pounds.

My Acer 1830T, at 3.09 pounds has been a disappointment: the speakers are much less loud than the 901's and the trackpad is pure frustrating crap. The build quality is also poor; the rubber feet come off, the hinge creaks, etc. That said, it's a i5 and considerably faster than the 901's Atom. The screen, at 1366x768, is not as confining as the eee's 1024×600. (But under Kububtu, there are a number of ways to maximize usable screen space, one reason I prefer KDE to Gnome. In particular the "Chromi" window with a truncated titlebar.)

Because of my frustration with the Acer, I'm going to be purchasing a Lenovo X220, either the regular or the tablet. 3.8 pounds with the 9 cell battery, which is said to get up to 15 hours (I expect six plus for real use).

I also considered a MacBook Air. It's beautiful, but the 13 inch is larger than I want (in fact, the X220 is larger than I want), but the 11 inch has only two USB ports and no SD card port, which is just not enough. And it doesn't really run Kubuntu as far as I know.
posted by orthogonality at 7:51 PM on April 21, 2011

If price is really no object, Dynamism sells a variety of exotic tiny machines, some of which are intended for sale in Japan only. It looks like the Sony X Series has an 11-inch screen and weighs 1.6 lbs. The Viiv N5 has only a 5-inch screen, but it weighs less than a pound.

I'm very happy with my $300 Acer 1410t -- I use it 4-5 hours a day, carry it in a dirty messenger bag on my bike in the rain without a case, and once even completely soaked it in a puddle and it's still ticking. It's old, but it's still a bit faster than the current generation Atom netbooks too.

I know the Lenovo X220 is frequently on sale in the $450 range. It'll probably be my next netbook after the Acer bites the dust.
posted by miyabo at 8:54 PM on April 21, 2011

miyabo, you're thinking of the X200? The X220 was only officially released yesterday.
posted by orthogonality at 9:21 PM on April 21, 2011

Yup, meant the x200
posted by miyabo at 9:24 PM on April 21, 2011

I think the general consensus is that the HP Pavilion dm1z is the best netbook-class competitor to the Macbook Air that is currently available. I'm terribly tempted to get one to replace my aging eee 1000HE.
posted by namewithoutwords at 7:51 AM on April 22, 2011

Mod note: folks, a tablet is not a notebook, if you want to email the OP other suggestions, please feel free to.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:25 AM on April 22, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks all. I've settled on the Samsung NF310-A01. It's 2.9 lb with a 250 GB hard disk, 1366x768 display and 6 hrs (typ.) battery life. The most helpful article I found for reviews of lightest-weight netbooks was Top 10 Best Laptops by PCMag (30 March, 2011).
posted by mnemonic at 1:24 PM on April 22, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Errr, this article instead.
posted by mnemonic at 1:36 PM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

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