Compared to your average laptop, netbooks lack specs appeal. These lightweights pack puny processors and tiny screens. But that's exactly what makes the netbook the perfect travel buddy. It'll slip in your hand luggage, so no need to lug around a separate laptop case. And while netbooks struggle to run memory-heavy apps, they're perfect for web-browsing, word-processing and e-mail. In other words, 99% of the stuff you use your bulky laptop for now. Here are three little wonders we recommend. (See the best inventions of 2008.)
Asus Eee PC 1000HE
Taiwanese tech titan Asus has mastered the art of making teensy, high-performance PCs. The 1000HE ($530) has a zippier processor than its rivals (making for smooth HD video playback) and a 9.5-hour battery. But that all adds bulk at 3.2 lb (1.5 kg), it's one of the heaviest netbooks around. www.asus.com
Sony Vaio P
The Vaio P (from $1,170) pairs supermodel proportions it's as thick as a tube of lipstick with savvy features. Text on the 8-in. (20 cm) LED display can be magnified with a key tap. And the 60-GB drive can be upped to a 128-gig solid-state drive, which, as it has no moving parts, is more likely to survive a fall. www.sony.com
The NC10 ($450) is built for life on the road. Its sturdy plastic casing, which houses a 10.2-in. (26 cm) screen and 160-GB hard drive, will stand up to a battering in your bag. And its wide trackpad and near laptop-size keyboard mean that even the sausage-fingered can tap happily on this micro-PC. www.samsung.com
Got an awful travel gripe? The Avenger may be able to sort it out for you. Click here to tell us your problem.