The Teens Guide to Back to School: Top 5 Netbooks Under $400


As we walk into our classrooms this year, we will see more netbooks in use than ever before. This is in large part because you can get a solid netbook for under $4oo. These netbooks allow us to take notes in class while being way more mobile than laptops that, as we all know, are much bigger and heavier than even the largest of netbooks. All in all, netbooks are the becoming the student’s choice for school use and in this Back to School Guide, we have our top 5 Netbook picks for under $400.

Asus eee pc 1005pr

1. The ASUS Eee PC 1005PR is a very unique netbook. ASUS decided to slap an HD display on this Eee– that’s right an HD screen on a netbook. And the HD doesn’t slow down this netbook either because it also has an Broadcom BCM 70015 video decoder– meaning that HD YouTube or Hulu will play smooth and crisp. You also get 1GB of RAM, a webcam for video chatting, 750GB of hard drive space (all we can say to this is– WOW!), and Windows 7 Starter– more than enough for browsing the web, writing papers and even checking out some YouTube (of course not during class….). We can’t forget the best part, 11 hours of battery thanks ASUS Super Hybrid Engine. That means 11 hours of unplugged HD movie watching. All this for $399 makes for a great netbook deal that allows you to take notes during the day and watch HD movies at night. You can get the ASUS Eee PC 1005PR from ASUS’s site here.

toshiba mini-nb305

2. The Toshiba Mini NB305-N410 is a very solid netbook with a lot of great features. One of them is the Sleep-and-Charge USB port, where your netbook can be in “Sleep mode” and you can still charge your iPod or other USB device (Sleep mode is a low power state where your computer is not fully off but also not on. Think of it as a midway point between being on and being off) . You also get a very solid 8 hours of battery, so don’t worry about having to always be on the look out for an open outlet. This Toshiba also comes with 1 GB of RAM, webcam, a 250 GB of hard drive, and Windows 7 Starter and you can get it for a solid $375 from Toshiba’s site here.

asus eee 1018

3. Third on our list is another ASUS, the Eee PC 1018. This is a very design driven netbook, so get ready to turn some heads. Packing a sleek black casing and weighing in at only 2.5 pounds, this netbook not only looks great but should be no problem for carrying even with a jam-packed bag. No more sore back from your laptop in your backpack. This Eee has the standard netbook specs of a 250 GB hard drive, webcam, 1 GB of RAM, and Windows 7 Starter. The Eee PC 1018 is available now from Best Buy for $350.

acer-aspire-one d260

4. The Acer Aspire One D260 is packs some extra punch with the higher powered Intel Atom N475 CPU. This bump in processing power means your going from the standard 1.66 GHZ seen on the above netbooks to 1.83GHZ– which means things should run even faster and smoother. Another new thing about this netbook is that it has 1GB of DDR3 RAM which is the latest and fastest RAM for even more speed. In other words, its gonna be a much easier experience browsing the web, taking notes and checking emails with this Netbook. This Aspire also has the netbook standard 250 GB hard drive, webcam, and Windows 7 Starter and you can get it from Staples for a very solid $329.

hp mini 210

5. The HP Mini 210 is the perfect blend of sleek design with very top of the line features– if you’re willing to pay a little more. Starting at $329.99, you get all the standard netbook features we’ve mentioned above– a sleek, very portable design, 1 GB of RAM, webcam, Windows 7 Starter, 160 GB hard drive, and a 6 cell battery which HP claims can provide over 10 and a half hours of battery life. What we really like about this netbook though is the customization. For example, at HP’s site for $75 more (yes, we know this brings the price to $404.99) you can bump that standard Intel Atom processor of 1.66 GHZ to the all new dual-core Atom with a Broadcom HD accelerator (think of having now 2 processors in your netbook instead of one, and not only is this getting you much better speed, but Intel and HP don’t expect this to kill the battery either. This coupled with the Broadcom HD accelerator should make watching YouTube or other HD videos only a whole lot more enjoyable). And if you continue customizing, you can even add Windows 7 Home Premium (which allows for things like customizing the background and multitasking with more than 3 apps) and bump the RAM to 2 GB and the hard drive to 250 GB– throwing in just these 3 upgrades only gets you to $384.99. Heck you can even upgrade the screen to HD for only $20 more.

Of course if you want to change the color of your netbook, HP also offers a whole bunch of different colors to choose from ranging from the standard black to pink, lavender, red or blue for $20 more (though if your on a tight budget, we’d recommend taking that $20 and putting it toward buying one of the other upgrades mentioned above or maybe a stylish case). The HP Mini 210 is available from $329.99 at HP’s site here.

So there it is, our top 5 Netbooks for under $400. There are a ton of very good netbooks out there and this is just some of our picks for the top 5 under $400. Seeing as you’re probably going to be using this PC for a few years, we recommend heading into a local Best Buy or Walmart and checking some of these guys out for yourself– on paper all netbooks sound pretty much the same, but as we said in our choosing the right computer post, you’re going to be using it so you need to make sure it is right for you.

And if you are looking for a new back-to-school PC, we wanna know– what laptop are you taking to school this year? Any of these netbooks catch your eye? Is there a different netbook you’d want to recommend? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Posted on September 13, 2010, in Back to School, Computers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This is a very nice count down. 🙂
    How come dell mini is not included?
    i can highly recommend the acer AO532h 2db. I recently bought one and it can even play 720p HD movies.I tried some games and it can even handle warcraft III, call of duty and max payne. you can just tweak the page file to compensate with the 1Gb RAM. it’s advisable to stick with windows 7 starter with this model. Thanks for the post!

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