The inclusion of the Acer Aspire One and the ASUS Eee PC and MSI Wind's updates shook up the 10-inch netbook category quite a bit.
Both the Eee PC 1000HE and the Aspire One made strong showings in most categories (with the exception of boot time and touchpad for the Aspire One and transfer time for the 1000HE). ASUS' updated offering scored highest in overall design and value and a very close second in overall performance.
The Samsung NC10, the former top dog of 10-inch netbooks, is still impressive on many fronts, including trackpad, keyboard, and battery life. But the still-high price tag, low score on the LAPTOP Transfer Test, and slightly shorter battery life (compared with the 1000HE) edged it down in the rankings.
The Lenovo IdeaPad S10 held up quite well, even against the many newer models, proving that Lenovo's first foray into netbook-making was well planned and executed. We're looking forward to seeing what the next-generation S10 brings. The battery life isn't great, but this netbook's other virtues make up for that.
The MSI Wind once held a solid second place next to the S10, but shorter battery life, lack of upgrade options, and an unimpressive touchpad brought its overall appeal down.
The HP Mini 1000 is hindered by its slow (and small) hard drive, awkward touchpad, skimpy port spread, and short battery life. This netbook could do with an upgrade, too, though HP best not fiddle with the keyboard.
Each generation of netbooks ups the ante: longer battery life, better design, and greater value. If all netbook makers follow the examples set by ASUS, Acer, and Samsung, the pool of high-quality, excellent netbooks will get even deeper.