2. Asus Eee PC Seashell 1015PE - £235
While the Eee PC Seashell 1015PE adds little to the basic netbook concept, its unique features, great usability and ample storage make it easy to recommend.
The chassis looks impressively high end for such a low-priced machine, finished in sleek matt-black plastic. The resilient build quality is also more than tough enough for frequent travel use. Despite being one of the larger netbooks on the market, the 1.3kg chassis remains suitably slim and portable.
Asus was one of the first to use an isolation-style keyboard on a netbook and the feature is well implemented here. The spacious design and firmly fixed board ensure comfortable typing. Perfectly mirroring the wide aspect ratio of the 10.1-inch screen, the wide touchpad also makes it easy to manoeuvre onscreen.
Asus has utilised a matt TFT screen rather than a glossy Super-TFT panel. Reflections are entirely eliminated, making it easy to work outdoors. While many matt TFT screens can tend to reduce image vibrancy, we saw no such flaw here.
Where this machine stands out from the crowd is in extra features. As well as a capacious 250GB hard drive, Asus also includes 500GB of online storage, letting you safely back up your data via the internet wherever you go. A unique webcam is fitted above the screen too, which includes a sliding shutter to cover the camera when not in use.