The second in our ‘Best of 2009’ series is all about what seems to be everyone’s favorite product, Netbooks. We’ve got the top ten best of 2009 Netbooks as based on a combination of user and expert reviews from around the world. In this list of the top ten best of 2009 we’ve got the usual suspects like Acer and Asus occupying spots, sometimes more than one, but there’s a couple that might surprise you.
Netbooks have truly revolutionized how we look at portable computers. There was a time when the full sized laptops were the norm, and smaller sized ones were sold at a premium price. In the last couple years though netbooks have truly taken off in popularity, and for good reason, people are finally realizing that they don’t need a powerful, expensive and heavy laptop just to browse the web and check their email. Netbooks have filled a niche that was sorely needed in the portable computer market giving us a laptop-like device that is truly portable, and able to do what we need it to do, when and wherever we need it to do it. Netbooks have truly allowed us to be a mobile society, gone are the days of lugging a large and heavy laptop around, now we have true portability in the netbook. The netbook is what it is and it’s here to stay, it’s an ever evolving technological device that truly sets us free.
The scores utilize our own scoring system from the main site, TestFreaks.com.
The FreakScore or the TestFreaks Score is our overall product score based on a combination of all expert and user reviews we have collected for a product.
You can read more about our ratings system HERE.
First seen: 20 March 2009
Freak Score: 10 out of 10
In the number one spot with a perfect 10 out of 10 is the Samsung N110. This one is a surprise considering that Acer and Asus have dominated the netbook market for so long, apparently Samsung also knows how to make a very good netbook.
The Samsung N110 gives you the power to accomplish more wherever you are. The 6-cell lithium battery lasts for up to 8.5 hours! You’ll have more time to shop online, surf the web and chat with friends. Plus, a larger touch pad makes it so easy to use. The new design is also sleeker, curvier and comes with a glossy screen. Weighing only 2.8 lbs., the N110-12PBK netbook is an affordable mobile solution ideal for all your online needs.
Pros: comfortable keyboard, long battery life, battery life, good battery life, quality display
Cons: sensitive touch pad, short screen but wide, mouse pad, no dvd rom
"The Samsung N110 will take you a long way with its stellar battery life and impressive performance. " -ComputerShopper
"Samsung’s fast follow-up to the NC10 fixes a couple small issues to create a better netbook–and it manages to eke even more battery life out of the same tiny frame." -PC World
First seen: 9 February 2009
Freak Score: 9.9 out of 10
In the number two spot we’ve got one from Asus, the Eee PC 1000HE, no netbook list would be complete without one from the company that pretty much pioneered the netbook landscape.
The Asus Eee PC 1000HE is a 10-inch notebook. It includes an Intel Atom (1.66 GHz) Processor with a RAM of 1 GB DDR2 SDRAM and uses Microsoft Windows XP as its operating system. The included software is Windows Live Suite and MS Works. It has a built-in webcam with a camera resolution of 1.3 Megapixels, a 92% sized keyboard, integrated 802.11n WiFi connectivity, with built-in stereo speakers and multi-touch keypad. The Asus Eee PC 1000HE has the following dimensions W 266 x H 38 x D 191mm and weighs 1.4 kg. It comes with one Li-ion 8700 mAh battery and it boasts 9.5 hours of battery life. The Asus Eee PC 1000HE is available in fine ebony black colour.
Pros: comfortable keyboard, long battery life, quality display, excellent battery life, battery life
Cons: small keyboard and touchpad, fingerprints all over, not for everyone, not many, no gigabit ethernet
"Priced at what used to be de facto netbook starting price of $400, it would be hard not to recommend the 1000HE against many comparably priced netbooks, considering the raw practicality of having a machine that will run this long. However, like a lot of practical things, it’s not the sexiest in the lot, either. We much preferred the aluminum-clad 1002HA for showing off around the office. But dump us on a trade show floor again and we would pick this model, every time. If you need a netbook that can keep up with you all day long, the Asus Eee 1000HE makes a lot of sense." – DigitalTrends
"With all that said, the price tag will probably draw you in. At $400, this ahead-of-its-time netbook is a bargain deal. But don’t go out and drop four Benjamins just yet. Our advice: Wait until other netbooks with the new Atom N280 chipset are released and see what kind of numbers they put up." -Wired
First seen: 21 April 2009
Freak Score: 9.8 out of 10
In the the number three spot we’ve got another Samsung netbook, in fact they occupy four spots on this list.
Get the ultimate multimedia experience with the N120 netbook. It comes with an integrated 1.3 MP digital motion camera making it easy to chat with friends and family through video-conferencing or live messaging. And two speakers with SRS audio technology ensure incredible audio for your movies, music and video games. You can also accomplish everything and more with a long-lasting battery. If you crave a better multimedia experience, look no further than the N120 netbook.
Pros: comfortable keyboard, long battery life, quality display, good battery life, battery life
Cons: a little expensive, glossy display, a bit slow, consequence is, computer is refurbished
"The N120 is a great netbook. He could not take care of the relatively large body, but has a comfortable (if somewhat dubious) keyboard and superb battery life. It is almost – but not quite – as good as the Eee PC 1000HE." -PriceMO
"All in all, the Samsung N120 offers a complete netbook package, the best you can get in this budget range. Definitely recommended." –BrightHub
First seen: 27 February 2009
Freak Score: 9.7 out of 10
In the number four spot we’ve got on from Acer, and they’re occupying two spots on this list, the 4th and the 5th spots.
The easy-to-use Aspire One netbook with 10.1” display provides continuous access to the Internet and weighs just under three pounds.
This stylish netbook is designed to be an affordable and simple solution for Web browsing, e-mail management, instant messaging, VOIP calls, streaming video, photo viewing and music enjoyment. In short, it strikes just the right balance between mobility and productivity.
The 10.1” Aspire One has something for everyone—business users constantly on-the-go, young students who need their first PC, or tech aficionados seeking a lightweight, secondary device with extended battery power.
Pros: excellent battery runtime, adequate sound playing quality
Cons: comparatively small figure keys, cramped touchpad keys
"We were also very curious about how the successor of the up-till-now worldwide most sold netbook would look like and especially where it’s going to position itself in comparison to its, in the meantime numerous, competitors. Now the time has come and our overall impression turns out somewhat divided." -Notebookcheck
"Acer’s Aspire One provides a capable Windows PC in a highly portable package, and the 10.1in screen is a reasonable compromise between the tiny screens of some netbooks and those of full-size laptops." -Computer Active
First seen: 9 March 2009
9.7 out of 10
The Aspire One 531 is your on-the-go PC. Weighing a mere 2.8 lb., this netbook allows you to stay unplugged for up to six hours, while the multi-gesture touchpad makes it easy to navigate, scroll and zoom.
Pros: excellent battery life, bright screen, great for travelling, attractive but subtle design, fantastic little machine
Cons: not enough ram, keyboard compromises, a bit slow, small numeric keys
"Unlike the original Aspire One, there’s less to get excited about by this me-too Windows netbook. But while it offers the usual roster of netbook facilities, there is the just-higher than average netbook speed performance, and the distinction of two memory card slots. Battery life is good too." -PCAdvisor
"Visually, the new case of the Acer Aspire One 531 is good. Not only the flattening of the base unit, but also the now predominant matte surfaces and the solid lines please straight away. The protruding 6-cell battery indeed seems an inconvenient and unsightly attachment but it is almost indispensable for a reasonable battery life. Also the overall weight of now only 1220 grams is a further plus point compared to the Aspire One D150 in the same display format." –Notebookcheck
First seen: 8 July 2009
Freak Score: 9.7 out of 10
Our mini NB200 companion PC is perfect for on-the-go fun and convenience. Thin and light at less than 3 pounds and under an inch thick, this netbook fits easily in most carry bags. Yet its comfort-driven design gives you plenty of room to type and browse. And it also delivers extended battery life up to nine hours to power your busy day—surfing the Web, enjoying a casual game or two, chatting with friends and family, or enjoying music and photos.
Pros: long battery life, comfortable keyboard, quality display, good battery life, adequate storage
Cons: freezes up, large display bezel, too hot, speaker is muffled, fn keys are small
"Netbooks are all the hot thing right now in the tech market because you can get portable computing for under $400 and they offer some really nice features as well. In particular, the Toshiba Mini NB205-N210 has 1GB of RAM, a large 160GB of hard drive space, a 10.1-inch widescreen LCD, and is an Energy Star 5.0 certified PC, which means it uses less power and therefore gives you a lot of battery life." -TechReviewSource
"Toshiba’s basic Netbook doesn’t break any new ground, but offers better battery life and a faster CPU than many in the same price range." -CNet
First seen: 12 June 2009
Freak Score: 9.5 out of 10
You want a netbook that delivers all the features you need at home but that’s portable enough to take with you on-the-go – and at a price you can afford. No problem. The N130 sports a stylish design with crave-worthy specs such as a battery that lasts long enough for you to upload photos, surf online and chat with friends. And images rich with sharp details and bold colours make every website, game and movie look great while a host of connectivity options makes getting online fast and easy. Get going with a netbook that understands what you need at a cost you can afford.
Pros: excellent keyboard and touchpad, matte screen
Cons: underside gets uncomfortably hot, disappointing battery life
"If your budget is flexible, the N140 is definitely the better choice. If $349 is your sweet spot, however, you can also pick up a Toshiba mini NB205 running Windows XP, which has comparable benchmark scores and hours more battery life, for around the same price. Overall, the Samsung N130 is a decent netbook, but there are better choices in this price range." -Laptop Magazine
"While the N130 has no truly standout features, its great usability and battery life at such a low price mean that it betters many of its more expensive rivals. In a market where low prices are key and yet increasingly rare, this makes it a true breath of fresh air." -TechRadar
First seen: 30 August 2009
9.5 out of 10
Occupying the 8th spot on this list is a surprise from a company that’s well known for their monitors and televisions, Hannspree. Apparently they know how to make a very good netbook as well as a good monitor.
The HANNSpree HannsNote SN10E11BUF is a netbook powered by an Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz Processor / 512 KB Cache / 533 MHz FSB and runs Genuine Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 3 operating system. It is supported by an Intel 945GSE + ICH7M chipset, 1 GB (DDR2 667) Onboard (Up to 2 GB Max) memory, and sports a 10 inch 1024 x 600 TFT Active Matrix LCD with LED Backlight display that is powered by an Intel GMA 950 graphics and video module.
Pros: Bluetooth, 802.11n Wi-Fi, comfortable keyboard and touch pad, rare matte screen, matte interiors avoiding finger print attraction
Cons: Thicker than many Netbooks, undistinguished design, battery life could have been better
"The Hannspree Hannsnote doesn’t set the Netbook world on fire, but it’s a surprisingly usable and well-featured mini-laptop at a competitive price from a new manufacturer." -CNet
"For being a first venture into the netbook market for Hannspree, the Hannsnote is a success. It doesn’t stand out in any way, but it has a commendable feature set. Again, it would have been nice to see what twists they could have added to gain an edge in design, but it’s not an ugly netbook by any means. It remains to be seen how many will respond to its release, considering its lack of history, and whether or not those shopping for Netbooks will have enough confidence in the brand to make the purchase. " -DevHardware
First seen: 1 April 2009
Freak Score: 9.5 out of 10
The Wind U123 is a netbook which has Intel’s latest Atom processor. Not just that, this product comes with the N280 as well as a TV tuner and optional 3G antenna. This product is an ultraportable netbook. This product also has 8 and a half hours battery life span from a 9-cell battery. The MSI’s Wind U123 comes supported with a 2GB RAM.
Pros: comfortable keyboard, long battery life, quality display, adequate storage, face recognition login
Cons: period and slash keys, short battery life, poor balance, small comma, fun ctrl key reversed
"The Wind U123 brings a lot of muscle to the netbook arena: It’s slightly faster and has a much longer battery life than any we’ve previously tested, though the nine-cell battery adds bulk to the otherwise sleek netbook. And the bright screen is sure to win fans. But there are certainly netbooks out there that are lighter, easier to upgrade, and offer similar performance, even if they can’t quite match the battery life." -MaximumPC
"Other than its mediocre touch pad with its stiff buttons, the Wind U123 doesn’t have any major flaws. And while few of its features are real standouts, its amazing battery life makes all the difference in today’s crowded netbook/ultramobile market. With the U123 selling for around $380 at the time of this writing, with the nine-cell version of the battery included, this netbook is less expensive than many that run out of juice hours faster." -ComputerShopper
First seen: 10 July 2009
Freak Score: 9.4 out of 10
Last, but certainly not least we’ve got another top netbook from Samsung, the N140.
You want a netbook that delivers all the features you need at home but that’s portable enough to take with you on-the-go – and at a price you can afford. No problem. The N140 sports a stylish design with crave-worthy specs such as a battery that lasts long enough for you to upload photos, surf online and chat with friends. And images rich with sharp details and bold colors make every website, game and movie look great while a host of connectivity options makes getting online fast and easy. Get going with a netbook that understands what you need at a cost you can afford.
Pros: fast startup, good battery life, battery life is brilliant, size design, very portable
Cons: nothing much, glossy lid smudges easily, narrow touchpad button, annoying trialware pop ups, no dvd drive
"The Samsung N140 is a worthy successor to the NC10 and N110, and it’s one of our favorite 10-inch Windows 7 netbooks. It offers good performance and a stylish design, plus better sound quality than the Toshiba mini NB205-N330BL. Overall, we prefer the NB205 because it lasts nearly 9 hours on a charge and includes a larger touchpad and discrete mouse buttons. But the N140’s 6.5 hours of endurance, coupled with its comfortable keyboard, make it a very strong contender." -Laptop Magazine
"At first glance around the bodywork and through the specs tells us there’s nothing new to see here. But closer examination shows a fractional upgrade in wireless connectivity, along with a step back in usability with the new recessed trackpad buttons. The Samsung N140 is a very good netbook that continues Samsung’s run of higher quality netbooks, but unless 802.11n wireless is essential to you, we’d advise you to also look out for a cheaper and more comfortable NC10 or N110 model." -PCAdvisor
For the Best of 2009 we see that Acer and Samsung dominate the netbook market in terms of producing quality products that users and experts agree are very well made and top performing netbooks.
MSI is also another company that has become well known for their Wind series of netbooks, they’re very popular and and have been highly acclaimed, so it’s no surprise to see them make our Best of 2009 list.
A surprise on the list is from Hannspree, for a company more well known for their quality monitors than anything else they’ve proven that they also know how to make a decent netbook as well.
To see all of the top rated netbooks and learn what users and experts have to say about them, stop over and see our netbook category on the main site.