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Buying Guide: The Best Tablet Netbooks

written by: M.S. Smith•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 4/21/2010

Often times the best tablet computer is the smallest tablet computer, which means that looking into a netbook-sized tablet is a good idea. This guide highlights three of the best tablet netbooks on the market today.

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    Choosing the Best Tablet Netbook

    The netbook form-factor is great for a tablet computer. Tablets are usually best when they are on the smaller size, as large tablets are heavy and unwielding. Tablets are also usually not asked to do significant number-crunching, so the reduced performance of a netbook isn't an issue.

    But while it seems like a tablet netbook should be a naturally great device to use, not allow of the tablet netbooks on the market today are worthwhile. This guide rounds up three of the best on the market.

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    ASUS Eee PC T101MT

    Best Tablet Netbook The ASUS Eee PC T101MT is a relatively new tablet netbook which replaces the older Eee PC T91. The T101MT updates the old design by bringing the product in line with ASUS's other new Eee PCs. The T101MT is a light weight, aesthetically pleasing tablet netbook with a 10.1 inch screen, 1GB of RAM, and an Intel Atom processor. It has the best keyboard available on any tablet netbook and the trackpad, while not larger, is also a plesaure to use.

    The tablet features of the Eee PC T101MT are solid. ASUS has a custom tablet software suite, including hand-writing recognition software, which ships with the netbook. There is also a stylus included.

    The T101MT offers around six hours of battery life. This is a little low for a netbook, but it is good for a tablet netbook. It is available in two versions, one which comes with Windows 7 Home Basic and one which comes with Windows 7 Home Premium. The model with Home Premium comes with 2GB of RAM. The starting price for the T101MT is $499.99.

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    Intel Convertible Classmate PC

    Tablet Netbooks from Intel The Intel Convertible Classmate PC is one of the results of Intel's classmate PC project. While it is designed for use in the classroom, the Convertible Classmate PC has a lot of things going for it.

    Durability is obviously a focus of any product which is going to be used in a classroom. The Convertible Classmate PC feels rugged. The bezels around the keyboard and the screen are both thick and sturdy to protect the computer from minor drops and bumps. The netbook even includes a handle, an addition which is extremely nice to have when carrying the netbook around in tablet form. The hardware of the Convertible Classmate PC is backed up by an impressive software suite which includes some of the best hand writing recognition software on any tablet today.

    However, the Convertible Classmate PC is built for children, and so it includes a smaller keyboard than other netbooks. The screen is also smaller than the alternatives. This means that the Convertible Classmate PC is best for users who are going to be using it mostly in tablet mode. The Intel Convertible Classmate PC can be found for around $450.

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    Apple iPad

    Apple iPad Tablet While the iPad isn't really a netbook, is most certainly a tablet, and it is of about the same size and price as a netbook PC and it should be considered by anyone who is looking for a tablet of this size.

    Given that the Apple iPad has no physical keyboard and doesn't ship with hand-writing recognition software (although you can buy programs from the App Store), the iPad is difficult to use for "real work." The glossy screen further limits the uses of the iPad. However, the Apple iPad has an excellent touch-screen interface, a large volume of great entertainment applications and a screen which provides better color and viewing angles than anything the competition provides. The iPad also provides ten hours of battery life, which is much longer than the competition.

    As a result, the iPad is easily the best tablet for play. The question, then, what tasks you need to perform. The iPad starts at $499.99, but can become much more expensive when equipped with 3G Internet and additional memory.