Netbooks are small lightweight computers designed primarily for accessing the Internet or light processing such as taking notes in class - typically they do not have a CD or DVD Drive.
Though I am very happy with my 17 inch laptop, it is really a desktop replacement and is too big to comfortably travel with or take to a WiFi Hotspot. I use the Internet enough that I could justify having a second more mobile laptop.
I did a lot of research and then decided I would get one of the following: HP 2140 Mini-Note, ASUS 1000 HE, and Samsung NC10. My final decision came down to which one I could get quickly (with a preference for buying from Costco because of their good return policy).
I ended up with the Samsung NC10 with a 10.2 inch screen (loaded with the XP Operating System). Mine is Black, but they also come in Dark Blue, White, and Pink (though availability at a particular retailer may vary).
Like many netbooks, the NC10 has an Intel® ATOM N270 (1.6GHz) Processor and 1 Gigabite of DDR2 SDRAM memory (upgradable to 2 GB). Its size (about 10.25 by 7.25 by 1.25 inches) is about the same as other netbooks with similar screen size. It might be a bit thicker than some netbooks which don't have a VGA Port (a feature I wanted in case I want to use it with a projector for presentations).
The Samsung NC10 weighs about 2.8 pounds. The NC10 easily fits into a small leather backpack / handbag along with my camera and mobile phone (see photo).
The NC10 comes with a six cell battery (while many other netbooks have 3 cell batteries in their standard configuration). The NC10 has better battery life than most other netbooks (I have used it for over 4 hours without AC power and still had battery capacity available). A full boot to the start menu without an hourglass takes about 1 minute and 10 seconds.
The NC10 has an 802.11B/G WiFi card. It seems very strong, and I successfully used it at about 18 different hotels during a recent trip. The NC10 has three USB ports and a 3 in 1 Memory Card reader (SD, SDHC, MMC). The NC10's keyboard is very comfortable and seems larger than those on some other netbooks.
The mousepad is small for my tastes, but since the NC10 has Bluetooth, I usually use my wireless mouse. The small internal speakers are pretty weak (probably a common shortcoming in netbooks, but there is headphone jack).
The NC10 has a one year warranty, and 24/7 phone support.
I am very happy with my NC10. This is a dynamic portion of the market and there will probably be even better values in six months.