Since 1.5 year, I own a Packard Bell DOT.BE/010, which is even smaller and cheaper (you can get it for €250) than the Acer:
8.9" screen (1024x600)
Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz
6-cell battery (5200mAh)
link might sometimes be down due to heavy traffic
I'm very pleased with it, eventhough it is often seen as a "secondary" brand. It is not extremely powerfull, but still more powerfull than many other netbooks in its prize range and screen size class.
Few notes on netbooks:
Although processing power in PCs is usually very important, it is not so much with netbooks.
Since netbooks have very small screens you wont be able to do any heavy photoshopping/movie editing/whatever anyways as it isn't very practical.
So, although an Intel Core2 may sound tempting, it has some disadvantages too. They use a lot of power, produce more heat and thus need more cooling, thus relative bulkier, etc.
And because they need that power, your battery wont last that long either (unless you attach an oversized big brick).
IMHO, it is better to choose for a bit less processing power over longer battery life because the main purpose of a netbook is mobility.
So my choice would still be an Intel Atom CPU. Of course, if you have the money and you don't want a too small netbook... the choice is personal of course...
On average a fully charged battery of a netbook gives you like 4 hours power. This because a lot of netbooks don't have big batteries and/or have a normal laptop processors which use relative a lot of power.
Something to watch for too: Some netbooks are advertised as eg: 10", although they only have a usuable screensize of 8" for example.
Another thing is the keyboard. Although most netbooks claim to have full sized keyboards, many realy don't.
Many keys have double functions and this is sometimes very clumsy. For example, a lot of netbooks have the PgDn/PgUp keys as secondary keys on the arrow keys. The smaller the netbook, the more double functions on the keys you'll find. This can be very troublesome in some cases. But again, personal choice...
So the things looked at when I bought one:
- Processor: Intel Atom
- Keyboard: does it have all the keys I need as seperate keys and are they easy to use? (I hate it when I don't have PgDn/PgUp, insert, etc as seperate keys). And what kind of keys are they; For example, the Acer 1810T has flat keys, it is like typing on a piece of paper, very cool and maybe you like that.
- Battery: How many cells does it have and what is its power output (mAh) (for both goes: the more the better).
PS: a 6-cell battery is not so common and is relative big compared to most netbooks btw. A 3-cell is much more common actually (at least here).
3-cell battery gives you like 2-3hours normal usage
6-cell battery gives you like 4-6hours normal usage
(depending on the type of CPU and what you exactly do of course)
- Screen: _always_ check your screen for dead pixels or subpixels. If possible even in the store itself. Some brands (like Packard Bell) have more chance in having dead pixels than others and you need a lot of dead pixels in order to claim another. (I was lucky, not one subpixel dead)
- Touchpad: some have strange mouse buttons (eg: like the Packerd Bell DOT) which you need to get used to. (The only thing I hate about the Packard Bell DOT)
- Memory: wasn't so much of a problem for me. But 1Gb at least of course, I'd say...
Things to watch out for (especially in ads):
- Weight: is almost always _without_ the battery. The battery can add a lot of extra weight.
- Screen size: is it the usable screen size or the panel size?
- HDD capacity: Not always mentionned, though it is a big factor (also in price). On average you have 100-120GB HDDs.
- Battery-life: be very carefull with this!! The battery-life is very often seriously exaggerated! I still need to see the first netbook with a battery life of 8 hours using the normal standard battery.
(sorry Sunshine, but I don't realy believe that you will have 8 hours with that Acer with normal usage).
- Battery-size: Very often the battery goes a bit outside of the casing. The more powerful the battery, the more chance there is it will stick out a bit. (I love it that the Acer 1810T has the 6-cell battery fully inside. cool)
PS: about Windows 7: that will run on almost all netbooks. And almost all offer a free (or almost free) upgrade to Win 7. So that's not realy something extraordinary.