Lately, I’ve been out and about more and lugging around my laptop (even the smaller one) has been a pain in the backside. I needed something even more portable, but more potent than my iPhone. The decision came down to getting a Kindle (or Nook), the iPad, or a netbook.

Deciding between the three wasn’t too difficult. The main purpose of the device would be for writing and work, so that immediately knocked the Kindle (and Nook) out of the running. And I know there are people out there who would be voting for the iPad because…OMG IT’S SHINY!!…but I couldn’t justify it. While I can write on my iPhone, it’s not as pleasurable as typing with a traditional computer (I love to feel the keys sinking under my fingers and hearing the light click they make as I type), plus it was about $500 more. So my decision was made for me.

A netbook would allow me to write, get some basic work done, and should the mood hit me, read. But which netbook to get?

I ended up making a chart listing the specs/features of each brand/model and after all was said and done, the Asus Eee PC 1005PE won. It had ample battery life, upgradeable memory, light weight, and a reasonable price; it seemed like the best value. As a bonus, it even came with Kindle for PC pre-installed.

I’ve had it for about a month (actually, this is my second one because I had to send the first one back to Amazon, a discussion I’ll save for later) and so far, I’m really liking it, despite its quirks. I’ve already read an entire novel via Kindle which was surprisingly comfortable, watched a couple shows on Hulu, which was surprisingly stilted, and typed a few documents, which was…normal.

The processing speed is slower than a regular laptop/PC (which I expected), but not egregiously so. The keyboard is small, but getting used to it is nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be. The only things I still haven’t gotten used to is the smaller SHIFT key on the right side, plus needing to use the FN key when paging up or down, home or end.

One other annoyance is that it comes with a bunch of unnecessary bloatware, but not as much as some laptops, so I count myself lucky there. Right now I’m uninstalling Microsoft Office, which was included with a 60 day trial, and Adobe Acrobat Reader. When the uninstalls have finished I’ll be installing Oo 3 and Foxit PDF Reader respectively.

Once I’ve played around with it for a while longer, I’ll probably be writing a review at Amazon about my experience. As an early estimation, it’s an adequate computer, but it’s hovering around 3.5 stars (one star off because of the craftsmanship–to put it plainly, it looks cheaply made–and half a star off because of some usability quirks).