For less than 300 USD you have the chooce between Dell Mini 10v (Inspiron 1011), Asus EEE PC 1005HA and Acer Aspire One AOD150. If you want to spend 50 bucks more than the Samsung NC10 is probably the best choice, especially for the nice keyboard.
Until few months ago you had to spend 400+ dollars for a decent netbook, now we finally got below 300 dollars. This is what I consider a netbook price level.
Mini 10v vs EEE PC 1005HA vs Aspire One AOD150
- Processor: almost no difference, the EEE PC 1005HA is equipped with the new Atom N280 while Mini 10v and One AOD150 use the Atom N270.
- Noise: the Mini 10v is absolutely silent, I guess fanless; the EEE PC and Aspire One tend to be a bit louder under full load, nothing really annoying.
- Display: the 10-inch display of the EEE PC isn't as brigth as Mini 10v and Aspire One AOD150, in any case eeectl can help... at your own risk of course!
- Keyboard: Mini 10v and EEE PC 1005HA got a very good keyboard, 92% of full size keys, the Aspire One got slighty smaller keys.
- Touchpad: the EEE PC got a multitouch touchpad, nothing to say for Aspire One; I really hate the touchpad of the Mini 10v.
- Wifi: The EEE PC got the faster 802.11n (draft), while Mini 10v and Aspire One have only 802.11b/g.
- Battery: for the 300 dollars class the EEE PC 1005HA got a 8,5h battery life vs about 6,5 battery life for the other two netbooks with 6-cells battery. Be careful since Mini 10v and Aspire One AOD150 are also sold with 3-cells, giving you about 3h of battery life.
- Size, weight and remaining features are very similar: 1GB DDR memory, 160GB hard disk, Windows XP, 1.3megapixel webcam, SD-card slot, 3xUSB
If you really need an absolutely silent netbook the Dell Mini 10v (Inspiron 1011) is the netbook for you!
The absolute topseller in the past 2 months is the ASUS Eee PC 1005HA-PU1X-BK 10.1-Inch Black Netbook - 10.5 Hour Battery Life for about 350 USD.