Battle of the netbooks

Before you permanently ditch your desktop, consider the comparisons of these five models we road tested.

3 of 5
Acer One Aspire
Acer One Aspire
Price*: $349.99

Looks: Slick and sturdy look marred by protruding battery in the back. The build is solid, however, and this netbook has nice some design accents that give it flair.

Keyboard: The keyboard feels well built but it's cramped. The touch pad and mouse buttons are curiously recessed and very difficult to depress.

Screen: The screen is bright with vibrant colors, and video playback is smooth. Audio is crisp and ample.

Battery life: 4 hours, 25 minutes (6-cell battery)

Bottom line: A bit sluggish on tasks other than Web browsing, this netbook delivers ample battery power at a price that makes it one of the best-selling netbooks on the market.

NEXT: HP Mini 2140
Last updated May 05 2009: 11:04 AM ET
*Configuration as tested

How we did it: We picked five popular netbooks with similar hardware configurations and used them for Web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, file downloads, word processing, and photo editing. To test battery life, we turned off all power-saving features, pushed the screen brightness to 100 percent, and looped a movie in full screen with audio turned up halfway and Wi-Fi networking on.
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