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SMB Netbook Mania: New Models From HP, Toshiba, Gateway

New SMB-focused netbooks and notebooks from HP, Toshiba, and Gateway illustrate the variety of choices available. Choosing wisely for your applications is critical.
Gateway's Midsize Netbook For companies that really need a highly portable solution, but for whom a standard netbook is just too small, Acer's Gateway unit debuts the LT3100, its first 11.6-inch netbook. Unlike most netbooks, which are powered by Intel Atom processors, this one has an AMD Athlon chip, and weighs in at 3.14 pounds and about an inch thick. Small, but bigger than typical netbooks.

In return, you get a full-size keyboard and a 1366 x 768 resolution screen, with pixels significantly bigger than those in HP's 10.1-inch screen with similar resolution. Configurations with 2GB of DDR2 memory, a 250GB hard drive, and a 6-cell battery good for up to five hours start at $400. I haven't gotten my hands on this one yet, so I can't say for sure, but with those specs it could sneak into consideration as a primary machine. Unfortunately, it ships with Windows Vista Home Basic SP1, which could slow performance. No word yet on whether an XP downgrade is available.

lt3103u Gateway LT3100 11.6-inch netbook

Toshiba's New Notebooks For situations where only a full-scale notebook will do, Toshiba has introduced three new Satellite Pro L300 new options designed for SMB and SOHO (small office home office) applications. Features include a 15.4-inch 1280 x 800 screens, 2GB - 3GB of RAM, 250GB - 320GB hard drives, Intel Core 2 Duo Processors, 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi, and DVD burners. Prices range from $679 to $779.

toshiba Toshiba Satellite Pro L300

Obviously, there are hundreds of different laptop models out there. But this week's announcements clearly illustrate the variety of choices, and the differences between netbooks and notebooks. Each one of these machines is right for some applications, and not as right for others. It's all about what you want to do with them.

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Fredric Paul is publisher/editor-in-chief of bMighty.com and SmallBizResource.com.