After a little bit of research and shopping around, I decided to buy a new Toshiba Mini NB205-311NW netbook at Best Buy. This model comes with the Intel Atom N280 1.66GHz CPU, which is slightly faster, than the Atom N270 that comes in many netbooks. It is also expandable to 2GB of RAM, unlike some 10” netbooks (such as the Dell Mini 10). It also comes with a 160GB 5400rpm drive, and Windows XP Home Edition SP3, just like most 10” netbooks.
Of course, I always want to tweak any hardware that I buy. I bumped the RAM up to 2GB, and put a 250GB 7200rpm drive, and then I installed the x86 version Windows 7 RC, (from a USB thumbdrive). Windows 7 installed drivers for everything except the Bluetooth stack.
Here are the Windows Experience Index numbers. Notice the hard disk score of 5.9, due to the 7200rpm drive. The lowest score is 2.0 for Graphics, due to the integrated graphics. Even with this relatively low graphics score, the system still supports Aero Glass, and graphics performance is pretty snappy for normal Windows use.
I have also installed SQL Server 2008 Developer Edition (just the database engine and SQL Server Management Studio), and performance is quite decent.