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HARDWARE

The Portability Revolution


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Ideal for anytime, anywhere Web access, netbooks -- inexpensive miniature laptops -- are all the rage with on-the-go workers. Granted, the engines that power these micro machines don't multitask as well as the processors inside traditional laptops. But netbooks cost well under $1,000 and can deliver four or more hours of battery life. Here's the lowdown on some of the latest models.

Sony VAIO P Series ($899)

The tiny VAIO P Series comes with GPS and an instant-on mode that lets you get online without booting up. It has more RAM than competitors but no XP option -- it needs the extra RAM to run Vista.
Specs: 1.4 pounds; 8-inch screen; 2GB RAM; 60GB hard drive; Windows Vista

HP Mini 2140 ($499)

HP has updated its business-friendly netbook, giving it a 10.1-inch display (up from 8.9 inches), a webcam, and a class-leading 92 percent-size keyboard. You will get up to seven hours of use on a charge.
Specs: 2.6 pounds; 10.1-inch screen; 1GB RAM; 160GB hard drive; Windows XP, Vista, or Linux

Asus Eee PC T91

It's easy to manipulate webpages, photos, and maps with just a finger on Asus's new touch-enabled netbook, out this spring. It will come with a TV tuner and GPS. Price not announced by presstime.
Specs: 2.1 pounds; 8.9-inch screen; 1GB RAM; hard-drive size not yet announced; Windows XP

Dell Inspiron Mini 12 ($499)

Wonderfully thin and sporting a 12.1-inch screen, Dell's new netbook is for people who don't want to sacrifice screen size. The six-cell battery gives you more than five hours of power.
Specs: 2.7 pounds; 12.1-inch screen; 1GB RAM; 40GB hard drive; Windows XP, Vista, or Linux

Last updated: Mar 1, 2009




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