A Look at the ASUS Eee PC and HP dv5

A new class of portable computers, dubbed 'netbooks,' burst onto the scene in late 2007. Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS spearheaded the netbook revolution with their playfully named, and ostensibly tiny, Eee PC.

When compared to a full fledged notebook, these computers,weighing between two and three pounds, have limited functionality. You can type up a memo, surf the web, or watch a movie – albeit on a small screen – with ease, but you wouldn't want to edit a home movie, track your finances, or rely on a netbook for any mission-critical application.

A Netbook for Me?

Early models of the Eee PC had limited storage space, underpowered processors by VIA, and were preloaded with Linux rather than Windows. These computers made up for a lack of performance and maturity with a low price-point; you can get an early model Eee PC for as little as $299.

Newer models feature higher storage capacities, more memory, faster Atom CPUs by Intel, larger screens, and the option of running Windows. They are a bit more costly, with top-end models setting you back $499, but this extra cost gets you a more robust computer. It's still not a machine you would want to use as your primary computer, but it's a nice option for commuters and travelers.

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