I use a Samsung Netbook with greater frequency, and have been really annoyed with the 3-pane look which includes a Chat section which I don’t even use. The alternative: Use the Gmail Interface which has been optimized for small screens.
Initial research recommended changing the User Agent String, which is both difficult (or not possible, depending on your browser) and unnecessary. The following link works just as well:
This has not been optimized for all browsers, so use at your own risk.