Laptops on airplanes are hardly an unusual sight these days, but when Heather Poole pulled out her computer on a recent flight from New York to Los Angeles, she got a surprising reaction from the flight attendants serving drinks.
“They stopped service — they wanted to hold it, look at it,” said Ms. Poole, 38, a flight attendant herself, who also writes for the travel Web site Gadling.com.
The computer attracting all this attention? An Acer Aspire One PC, a tiny laptop that weighs just 2.2 pounds and is one of the most popular designs in the emerging category of netbooks, portable computers whose small size is matched only by their low prices. With powerful processors, 8- to 10-inch screens and compact keyboards, they typically cost well under $500; some go for as little as $200. Last year, an estimated 14 million were sold, according to DisplaySearch, a market research firm.
For frugal travelers, netbooks are a godsend. In one minuscule package, you can carry a nearly full-power computer, often without the aid of a power cord, since many netbooks come with long-lasting multicell batteries…..
Photo: New York Times (Maurice Tsai)