Thanks for your reply. I'm not convinced by the tablets, either, but they seem to be edging out the notebooks. It turns out that none of the big box electronics stores in my area even carry the inexpensive notebooks any more. How long have you had your Asus? Is the ten hour battery standard? My Acer had an eight hour battery, but the ones I'm finding online at an affordable price only have a four hour battery.
To answer your question, my Asus is about 1 and a half years old. As far as I know it is the standard battery. Here is the current model which advertises 12.5 hours:http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-1025C-MU17-BK-10-1-Inch-Netbook-Black/dp/B0071N3AYC/ref=dp_ob_title_ce
If it wasn't for your word processing, I would consider a Kindle Fire. But from what you are saying I would probably go with another netbook, especially if battery life is a concern.
I am not familiar with a "tablet PC". Do you just mean a tablet that is not made by Apple? Can someone post a model number or a link?