1. Dell Inspiron Mini 1018 - £200
Dell's Inspiron Mini range has grown over the years from tiny nine-inch models to larger 12-inch ultra-portables and finally settled on the 10-inch Inspiron Mini 1018.
The chassis is by far one of the most rugged around and feels extremely tough. As such, it lacks the svelte style of the Asus Eee PC Seashell 1015PE.
The rock-solid build quality continues to the user interface, with the keyboard being one of the best we've used. Avoiding the use of the isolation-style design seen on the Asus, all keys feel larger and more accessible with the smooth typing action proving flawless.
The 10.1-inch Super-TFT screen is pleasing. One of the brightest panels on a netbook, images pop from the screen and colours are vivid. The screen only folds back 45 degrees from vertical, however, so it can be tricky to get a comfortable viewing angle.
Part of the reason for this is that Dell has indented the screen's hinge by 19mm to make room for a strip of textured plastic on the rear. It's an unusual design choice, but does make the Dell more comfortable to carry.
When combined with the 427 minutes of use we managed to get from the battery, this is a great choice for mobile workers and for school children.