So I inherited a well-used Dell X300. The hinges are weak but work OK
enough. 1.25GB memory. 1024x768 12.1" screen in good shape and still quite
bright for it's age.

4200 RPM hard disk. Ick. I swapped it out with an older IDE-based Samsung
32GB SSD. Far better booting & app load performance than the old hard

XP w/o swap file and Ubuntu 9.04 both run great on this unit (dual boot).
In fact, Ubuntu gets the 'nod' for ease of installation & use. No service
packs or's really nice. Suspend/resume works 100% of the time,
everything seems faster in Ubuntu than XP, but XP ain't bad for this old

So why buy a netbook to squint at the screen when a 5 year old X300 or even
a Dell X1 does a better job of being a netbook than a netbook does?