Linux Netbook Roundup

Are you in the market for a ultra-portable but don't want to pay the Windows tax? We round up seven possible options for anyone looking to purchase a Linux-based netbook.
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ASUS Eee PC 1000
The company that really started the consumer netbook craze could also be considered the one most committed to Linux offerings.

ASUS offers a number of netbooks running a customized version of Xandros Linux. The Eee PC 1000 is a newer model that has reviewed well and combines screen real estate, flash memory and excellent battery life.

Specs
Operating System Xandros Linux
Processor Intel Atom N270, 1.60GHz
Screen Size 10″
Resolution 1024×600
RAM 1GB
Storage 16GB flash

List Price: $399
More @ the ASUS Website

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Dell Inspiron Mini 9
Dell’s first foray into the netbook market, the Inspiron Mini 9 runs the Ubuntu Netbook Remix OS, a custom GUI build for a netbook’s limited real estate.

While the battery live of the Mini 9 seems to be a bit shorter than that of it’s competitor’s, the entry level offering — like many things from Dell — is priced very competitively.

Specs
Operating System Ubuntu Netbook Remix
Processor Intel Atom N270, 1.60GHz
Screen Size 8.9″
Resolution 1024×600
RAM 512MB
Storage 4GB hard drive

List Price: $249
More @ the Dell Website

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Acer Aspire One
Sporting quite a bit of storage for the price, the popular Aspire One runs the Linpus Linux Lite operating system. Linpus is based on Fedora and was developed by a Taiwanese company to run on everything from cellphones to low-end laptops.

While a newer version of the Aspire One with a 10″ screen is now available, the company does not appear to have one available with Linux pre-installed.

Specs
Operating System Linpus Linux Lite
Processor Intel Atom N270, 1.60GHz
Screen Size 8.9″
Resolution 1024×600
RAM 1GB
Storage 120GB hard drive

List Price: $300
More @ the Acer Website

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Lenovo Ideapad S10
I’ve got some good news and some bad news about Lenovo’s Ideapad S10. First the good: It’s basically a small ThinkPad, which, if you’re into that sort of thing (I am), is probably pretty exciting.

Now the bad: the Linux version isn’t being sold in the US. However, the company has said that they are selling the S10 with Linpus Linux in other countries. Maybe it’s time to give that cousin in Korea a call…

Specs
Operating System Linpus Linux Lite (non-US)
Processor Intel Atom N270, 1.60GHz
Screen Size 10.2″
Resolution 1024×600
RAM 512MB
Storage 80GB hard drive

List Price: $349
More @ the Lenovo Website

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HP Mini 1000 Mi
The HP Mini 1000 is a slick little netbook that runs an operating system called Mobile Internet (Mi).

A bit like Google’s Android (built on Linux but isn’t Linux) Mi is a custom interface that comes with the curious feature: “the Linux command line interface is disabled on this edition.” Caveat emptor.

Specs
Operating System Mobile Internet (Mi)
Processor Intel Atom N270, 1.60GHz
Screen Size 10.1″
Resolution 1024×600
RAM 1GB
Storage 60GB hard drive

List Price: $399 (with the “Recommended configuration”)
More @ the HP Website

Quick Footnote: If you’re looking for something a bit more “Linux” than the Mi operating system from HP, you can see if you can track down an HP 2133 Mini-Note (no longer available from HP). Released in the spring of last year, it’s possibly a little long in the tooth as far as netbooks go (uses the Via C7-M processor) but did feature the option of SUSE pre-installed.

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MSI Wind U100
The MSI Wind U100 is probably the last MSI netbook that will be running Linux for awhile. After deploying a stock version of SUSE on the U100 without much thought toward usability, the company then saw more than 40% of the Linux version returned for refund. To correct this problem it appears the company is only offering Windows XP on its netbooks going forward — nor are there any Linux U100s listed on the MSI website at this time.

So why include it here? Because it appears that you can get what looks very much like the U100 from eRacks with your choice of either Ubuntu or Fedora pre-installed.

Specs
Operating System Fedora or Ubuntu
Processor Intel Atom N270, 1.60GHz
Screen Size 10″
Resolution 1024×600
RAM 1GB
Storage 120GB hard drive

List Price: $395
More @ the eRacks Website

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Dell Inspiron Mini 10
“Hey,” you’re probably saying, “the Inspiron Mini 10 only comes with Windows XP.” True, but, according to the company, a version with Ubuntu Linux will be available soon.

So if you in the market for a netbook, here’s one to put on your radar.

Specs
Operating System Ubuntu Netbook Remix (likely)
Processor Intel Atom Z530, 1.60GHz
Screen Size 10.1″
Resolution 1024×576
RAM 1GB
Storage 160GB hard drive

List Price: $399

More @ the Dell Website

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