I like these for the following reasons:
- Solid build
- Easy access to the hard drive - one screw and it pops out of the side.
- Old style boot, not UEFI, so you can install old Windows
- Fairly compact
- Tolerant of high RF (My old MSI netbook goes a bit crazy when transmitting)
- Decent CPU - i5 with quad core can keep up with DSP tasks
Mine came with a pretty dead battery so I paid another $40 to get a new 9 cell replacement. I had a 240GB SSD handy so I used a USB key with a gparted live linux system on it to dd copy the internal disk over to an external drive case and then swapped the drive. (These little bootable USB utilities are a very useful tool in the kit).
As you can see above, I'm dual booting Ubuntu for WSPR but also keeping Windows 7 around for the Windows only software I sometimes need to run.