I've periodically ranted on about ipads versus netbooks, but this time I've put my money where my mouth is and bought a second netbook.
Not as replacement for the Asus Eee travel computer but as a little laptop for J who needs something small and light for writing and researching and for web related tasks away from home - and Officeworks had this MSI netbook [video]|[wikipedia] for $249 - 1GB RAM, 250GB HDD, Windows 7 starter, 10.1 inch screen and a chiclet style keyboard with spacing between the keys that means you can actually type on it, compared to some of the other cramped netbook keyboards. Add a claimed decent battery life and it seemed fairly irresistable.
Windows 7 starter was a bit of a downer, but apart from the cosmetic irritation of not being able to change the background, it actually does seem to do the job. Add something lightweight like Abiword, the Chrome browser, and a lightweight pdf viewer such as Sumatra, and you have an excellent lightweight writing machine, with web access for email and fact checking. Drafts can be emailed to evernote if required. Add Skype and you're away - all you need to do is ensure that the library you work in has free wi-fi.
I was going to use wubi and install ubuntu 11.04, but given my underwhelming experience so far with Unity I ended up holding off on that, especially as that's a geek indulgence, and this machine is targeted as a lightweight machine for work stuff, and as a lightweight machine it should be fairly effective