Netbooks are great and all but when you start getting into the upper esculents of the segment in terms of their pricing it makes you wonder what else you could be getting for your 400 pounds. For all those more comfortable with the relatively safe bargain hunters grounds of eBay 400 quid could pretty much land you a decent second hand 15" laptop with less pokey specs in terms of number crunching power and screen real-estate. Sure at 400 quid it might not be the most sharpest of offerings in terms of rouge seeping freshness but applications wise it'll most likely be able to handle a little more with the added bonus of having something that has a full sized keyboard for all those a bit more serious about their typing input needs. At the same time any thoughts of its external physical characteristics now pretty much takes a backseat status in terms of importance as you kind of come to the reasoning of what do you expect for the price.


The Acre Timeline range has been out for some time now but its only now that we're starting to see the prices come down on them (by £200 to £300) to the point that they're close to being in line with top end netbook prices. Appearance wise they certainly won't leave emotionally unstable design students wanting to self harm at the sight of them by a long shot. If anything I'd say these are some of the slimmest and best looking machines on the market with the added bonus of having exceptionally good mobile uptimes for what they are.

 First to throw down is the Acre Aspire 1810T with an Intel® Core 2 ULV SU3500 throwing 1.4GHz at 800MHz down the front side bus being piped through to 3GB of DDR3 1066MHz RAM. To show you pictures'n'stuff it uses an integrated Intel® GMA X4500MHD GPU with up to 1277MB Shared Memory all the efforts of which can be seen on its 14" 1366x768 LED widescreen display. They reckon you can get up to 8 hours of mobile use out of this with its pre-installed copy of Vista on the 250GB hard drive that also comes with it but no doubt your chances would be little better with a copy of 7 on it instead which you can also get an optional upgrade to for an extra 50 quid. There's also a DVD burner, 1 megapixel webcam and Wi-Fi A,B,G,N (Including MIMO) support.  As you can pretty much see it beats the pants of most netbook's whilst giving you a full sized keyboard to work with. All of which you can snap up for  £349.49 inclusive of delivery direct to your door.


 For brand new £349.49 14" design conscious laptop lovin' click here or just watch the vid below for a little more info on it. 

Next up is the Acer Aspire Timeline 5810T. Its basically exactly as the above but slightly larger at 15.6"and  comes with 70GB's more of hard drive space which will bring the asking price up to £397.97 inclusive of VAT and delivery seeing about a 200 quid price drop. Those interested click here. But to be honest I reckon you might be better off paying a couple of extra quid to get the Acer Aspire Timeline 5810TG instead.


For £399.97 the Timeline 5810TG gives you everything the 5810T has but majorly one ups it with the inclusion of an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 with 512MB its own Dedicated RAM instead of the comparatively weak GMA X4500HD. At the same time the official blurb reckons you'll still get the same amount of battery life. Interested? Click here.


So there ends my round up of alternatives to the much loved netbook.