For the sake of public posting, I bought an Acer Aspire One. It weighs 2.1 pounds (less than my Lenovo ThinkPad) and has an 8.9" screen. The two preceeding voice posts feature the opening of the package. This should make me extremely portable: the thing will likely fit nicely in a purse!
The Acer now has JAWS installed. I had to de-install McAfee in order to settle some security blocks that were preventing JAWS activation from running. Volume was set fairly low (37 percent). 100 percent is quite manageable for my needs in a laptop. It comes with a 60 day trial of Office 2007. I'm hoping I can just type in my own key and be up and running--that will save me time. This machine does not have an optical drive; so if I want anything on it that installs from CD I will have to copy the image to an external drive from another machine or else purchase an external DVD drive.
The machine uses Intel graphics, which posed the same problems for me that I had with the ThinkPad. I got things fixed easily enough--I've had to do this so many times that I am finally remembering what to do: disable hot keys, set the screen type in the graphics profile, restart the computer.
Tonight I'll give the battery a run for its money. I'll be doing a child care run at a friend's house, and most of the time the kids will be asleep. So I'm taking my new treasure and some homework.