My last laptop was a Gateway M285-E Tablet PC that was given to me when I was a Microsoft Student Partner at UCLA a couple of years ago. It served me quite well during my last year at university, but after I moved to NYC, I found myself using the desktop far more often, while the laptop sat on the desk, collecting dust. So I decided to sell it sometime last year...

Recently, I've been thinking about getting a laptop again. I still don't foresee myself using it every day, but I'd like to have one to carry on trips, and something that I can occasionally use outdoors, or in the living room, etc. Plus, it's always handy to have a second machine to experiment with.

With that in mind, my requirements this time are a little different...

1) Small and light.
2) Great battery life. Higher the better.
3) Cheap.

Since it's a secondary machine, I'm willing to settle for a small display and take a hit on performance. After all, the desktop's always around when I need two big screens and enough horsepower to run three operating systems simultaneously. :)

Looking back at that list, I realized something. I realized that this relatively new class of sub-notebooks that people are calling "netbooks" fits the bill almost perfectly. And with nearly every major computer company jumping on the bandwagon, there's certainly no shortage of choices!

So which one is it going to be?