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Cheapest netbooks

Mini laptops under £200

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Updated 14 Jul 2011

Netbooks are designed for simple tasks we do often - surfing the web, emails, online banking, word processing etc - not to replace desktop computers.

All netbooks listed come with full wi-fi capabilities, Windows 7 Starter, and at least 160GB memory. If you need memory than this, consider buying a portable external hard drive - these cost as little as £30 for 500GB. Compare prices using the MegaShopBot.

Important! Ensure you know how to shop safely before trying these deals

  • For safety, pay by credit card if £100+

  • Protect purchases under £100

  • Use unfamiliar sites without checking

  • Let your antivirus run out

Full DOs and DONT's

What do you get for under £200?

The netbooks below are light and portable, and ideal for day-to-day tasks. However, if you want to play high-res games or watch HD catch-up TV, you may struggle on the small screen.

Best for battery life

Acer Aspire One D255E Netbook* - £195 delivered

Acer Aspire One d255e

If it's long-lasting power you're after, the Acer Aspire One is a good option. Its battery lasts for a whopping eight hours - more than double that of some of its rivals. It's £194.99 delivered from online retailer Expansys*, so it's still within budget.

The Aspire One is an inch thick and weighs 1.25kg, making it easy to use on-the-go. It comes with a built-in webcam and mic too, as well as three USB ports, letting you connect up any hardware, such as a printer or an external hard drive.

This netbook is the priciest of our four picks though, so before splashing your cash, consider all the options, and weigh-up whether you need to part with more money just for a bit more battery life.

  • Operating System: Windows 7 Starter

  • Screen: 10.1"

  • Hard Drive: 250GB

  • Processor: Intel Atom N455 1.66Ghz

  • Memory (RAM): 1GB~

  • Battery: 8 hours max

  • Weight: 1.25kg

Best budget netbook online

EMachines E350 Notebook* - £200 delivered

Emachines E350This EMachines E350 netbook's £199.99 from Best Buy UK*, and delivery's free.

Customers who bought the laptop have said the battery life isn't that hot and the sound not that loud - so it's not the best netbook for playing an extensive music collection. However it's portable, lightweight and the 160GB hard drive is easily upgradeable, making it good if you're after something cheap and cheerful.

  • Operating System: Windows 7 Starter

  • Screen: 10.1" (1024 x 600 windscreen)

  • Hard Drive: 160GB

  • Processor: Intel Atom N450 1.66Ghz

  • Memory (RAM): 1GB

  • Battery: 4 hours max

  • Weight: 1.25kg

Cheapest big brand

Toshiba Mini Netbook* - £175 in-store

Toshiba Mini NetbookThis Toshiba netbook from Asda* has up to four and a half hours of battery life. It has a built-in webcam and mic too, letting you chat to your friends online using the pre-installed Skype app. A built-in card reader allows you to insert memory cards.

At £175, you can pick up the Toshiba NB250 for free in-store, or pay £2.95 to get it delivered. Though certainly not bulky, the netbook is the heaviest of our four picks, so if you're after something ultra-lightweight, consider one of the other options.

  • Operating System: Windows 7 Starter

  • Screen: 10.1" (1024 x 600 windscreen)

  • Hard Drive: 250GB

  • Processor: Intel Atom N455 1.66Ghz

  • Memory (RAM): 1GB

  • Battery: 4.5 hours max

  • Weight: 1.8kg

Seen a better deal or want to feed back on these? Please post in the forum discussion Cheap Netbooks

Want to upgrade the RAM?

Big, cheap memory retailer Crucial has a handy tool on its site for selecting the right type of RAM for any computer; you just need to input the name and brand.

Its prices are often the most competitive too, though it's always worth searching elsewhere (once you've found the right type) to make sure you've got the absolute best price.

Want software too?

Unfortunately grabbing some good hardware's only half the battle; big software manufacturers will happily relieve you of any left-over cash in exchange for their wares.

Yet you can avoid them if you know where to look; there are now so many great, free-to-use equivalents of office suites, graphics programs, and other software you may never need pay for one again. See the updated Free Office Software article for a complete run-down of the best.

The same goes for Anti-Virus/Spyware and other security software; don't be scared into buying big corporate programs, check out their no-spend equivalents in the Free Anti-Virus & Safety Software article.

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