When a netbook's too small and a standard notebook too heavy, you may be looking for the Elonex SlimNote, which aims to bring comfortable surfing to the budget netbook market.

First impressions of the Elonex are good, and the slim silver metallic chassis almost makes you think of the Apple MacBook Air when you first open its lid, although the similarities end with the slim line look.

The SlimNote features netbook style specifications with a 1.6GHz VIA Nano U2250 processor, 2GB of RAM, 250GB hard drive and runs Windows Vista. This also makes the SlimNote extremely light, at just 1kg and it measures just 2.5cm when closed.

The mouse track pad is responsive and the keys feel tactile and well cushioned on impact.

The feature which sets the Elonex SlimNote apart from the rest of the netbook field, such as the iconic EeePC 1000HE and successful MSI Wind U100, is the large 13.3" screen with a maximum resolution of 1280x800 and full size keyboard.

Both these factors mean that you get the feeling of a normal laptop, and the tactile keys are completely comfortable for writing extended documents, without the hand cramps associated with netbooks.

13.3 inch display

The display looks great, and having the ability to browse the web without squinting at tiny text is a real breath of fresh air, and clue that Elonex has solved a real problem with the SlimNote.

The other main difference between the SlimNote and other netbooks is the presence of an optical drive, meaning you can insert CDs and DVDs. Unfortunately, we're not looking at the first media capable netbook, as the SlimNote is graphically unable to handle any form of video playback due to its seriously weak onboard graphics chip.

The weak specifications mean that there's no hope of running many programs. The VIA Nano processor is extremely poor at multi-tasking, although it does outperform the highly successful Intel Atom which is found in most 10" netbooks, although it doesn't offer the same power savings.

The increased power means the VIA Nano has become the processor chip of choice in larger 'netbook' style notebooks in the 11" and 12" categories, such as the Samsung N20 and now the Elonex SlimNote.