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Thread: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

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    Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    We currently own an Acer Aspire One. It's the 8Gb SSD model and I've upgraded it to 2Gb RAM and installed a light version of WinXP on it. The hard drive is incredibly slow, and loading times are gradually getting worse for what reason I'm not quite sure. All of this is by the by really - we're after something better.

    What I'm looking for is something that can display 1366x768 res, with about a 11-12" screen, ION or improved graphics capability, 2Gb RAM (or upgradable), and a mechanical hard drive, 80Gb would be plenty.

    So I realise this isn't common place at the moment, but is there anything coming up that I should be keeping my eye on. The budget really needs to be under £400 and be portable, otherwise I simply couldn't justify the cost over simply getting something like the HP 6375s for about the same money.

    My eyes been off the game with netbooks for a while, so what do we have to look forward too? I did read about the Dell Inspiration 13 which looks promising, but is there anything else to keep an eye out for?

    All thoughts welcome.
    Last edited by cptwhite_uk; 25-07-2009 at 06:45 PM.

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    Bows out! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    Once you start paying over £250 for a non-ruggedised netbook it is a bit OTT.

    You can this Toshiba M9 for around £380:

    http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/sho...CategoryID=362

    For under £500 you can also get the lightweight Toshiba U400 which weighs around 2kg:

    http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/sho...CategoryID=363

    http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/sho...CategoryID=363

    IMHO save up some more cash and get a proper notebook rather than a netbook as it will have a longer effective lifespan.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 25-07-2009 at 07:02 PM.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    There's a few Yukon platform PCs out - they use the ATI 690G Chipset (X1250 graphics) and Athlon / Sempron Neo processors - better single core performance than Atom by a long way (but Atom has Hyperthreading, of course). Aldi sell one with an 11.6" 1366 x 768 screen that might do you at about £340, and I think there's a Gateway / Packard Bell one around too. The HP DV2 weighs in at £500 but is truely beautiful, having looked at one today (really well built). There's also a couple of Core 2 CULV lappys around now - the Acer timeline 3810 looks a pretty good buy and comes in a variety of specs (but again, starts at around £500). However, there's not much in the £400 - £500 price bracket...

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    Re: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    So things to consider after a bit more research

    Dell Inspiron 13 -C2D T6500 2.1GHz (upgradable) / 13.3" / 1366x768 / Intel GMA X4500MHD graphics
    Hybrid design - Notebook style performance with "large netbook" styling (bigger screen but no CD drive). Price is unknown but probably about £500+

    Dell Inspiron 15 - C2D T4200 (upgradable) / 15.4" WLED / 1366x768 / Intel GMA X4500MHD graphics (or upgrade to HD 4330)
    Full laptop for comparison. Can be had with 320Gb drive, 4Gb RAM and HD4330 dedicate graphics for £453 -currently on offer as of 26 July 2009.

    HP Pavillion DV2z - Athlon Neo X2 L335 1.6Ghz / 12.1" / 1280x800 / HD3410 (or X1250 upgrade)
    Another notebook/netbook hybrid this time using the AMD platform, think of it as AMDs equivalent of Atom+Ion

    Lenovo IdeaPad S12- Intel Atom N720 / 12" / 1280x800 / Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics
    Think of it as a standard issue netbook with a 12" 1280x800 display. Currently listed at $599 on the US site, no word on UK pricing yet.

    Will update as I do more research.

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    Re: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    Let me know how you get on I'm looking for the same thing, the Atom is just too slow! I can even feel it merely browsing the Windows (XP) desktop!

    So far i've hit the realisation that;

    1. Atom isn't powerful enough.

    2. ION will be overpriced and probably not much better than Atom.

    3. CULV is paired with crappy graphics and is rather overpriced.

    4. AMD's Neo + 3410 combo drinks battery power like there's no tomorrow.

    5. The Macbook Pro seems to be the cheapest machine that actually offers a good amount of performance, great battery life and acceptable build quality. Sadly the cheapest it can be had for is around £760 from Laskys or £840 through Apple's education store with an additional £140 rebate on an iPod Touch.

    I'm now wondering if simply popping a decent SSD in an Atom machine would solve the sluggishness? Will look in to that further and if it does then i'll wait for more ION machines to hit the market and grab one of them and an SSD. If i can get the pair for under £500 i'll be happy

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    Re: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    The Acer Aspire 3810 TG uses a Radeon Mobility 4330 coupled with CULV. While that will almost definitely reduce the battery life, the fact that it boasts 8 hours (and Hexus got more than 4 hours of continuous Flash video playback out of one without the discreet graphics) suggests it should still provide decent battery life even with the more powerful graphics.

    The downside? A £570 price tag...

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    Re: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    Quote Originally Posted by McPhee View Post
    I'm now wondering if simply popping a decent SSD in an Atom machine would solve the sluggishness? Will look in to that further and if it does then i'll wait for more ION machines to hit the market and grab one of them and an SSD. If i can get the pair for under £500 i'll be happy
    Yes it will (even a 7200 rpm drive will help) and adding more ram will help as well.

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    Re: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    I played with a 160Gb / 1Gb RAM version of the Medion E1210 (rebranded MSI wind from Aldi). Wasn't sluggish at all compared to our Acer, which just showed who pooor the SSD is in the Acer. It didn't feel sluggish at all really so I think the Atom is fine for general office/desktop tasks. Just ensure you have 1Gb RAM minimum and a mechanical drive (any as far as I'm concerned).

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    Re: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    Another contender: MSI Wind12 U200

    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=19858

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    Re: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    The Samsung N510 is now available at Carphone Warehouse;

    http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/buy/SAM_N510_NETBOOK

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    Another contender: MSI Wind12 U200

    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=19858
    Not sure what you want to use it for, but if light gaming is a consideration then the GMA 4500MHD is really, really poor. Unlike most of Intels chips it can manage some stuff (like Half Life 2) but generally most games won't run at all. Not sure what it's like with video though.

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    The Acer Aspire 3810 TG uses a Radeon Mobility 4330 coupled with CULV. While that will almost definitely reduce the battery life, the fact that it boasts 8 hours (and Hexus got more than 4 hours of continuous Flash video playback out of one without the discreet graphics) suggests it should still provide decent battery life even with the more powerful graphics.

    The downside? A £570 price tag...
    Looks good to me. Will have to look in to that one. Not sure i can bring myself to buy another Acer though, my last one was in repair 4 times in the first year, then the warranty expired. Next time it broke i sold it for spares. Really, really bad build quality.

    Also, that eBuyer page states 8 hours battery life?!?!? Impressive if anywhere near true.

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    Re: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    The samsung N510 looks promising. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Regarding use, not really planning on gaming on it, so that's not a major consideration for me.

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    Re: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    Quote Originally Posted by McPhee View Post
    Also, that eBuyer page states 8 hours battery life?!?!? Impressive if anywhere near true.
    Hexus review: http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=18862&page=7. They tested a 15" version *without* discreet graphics, so the gaming result is for the GMA 4500 - obviously the Radeon 4330 will blow that out of the water. They reckon around 6 hours of web / office, and over 4 hours of continuous video playback, so the battery life is definitely good. Obviously, with discreet graphics you'll get a bit less than that, but with carefully managed power settings you should still be able to get better than average battery life...

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    Re: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    Ditto to the OP.

    I'm also in the market for something to replace my aging samsung Q35:
    That's a 12.1" core duo, and fairly light (1.9kg)

    Netbooks are too underpowered, was looking at the HP tx2 (quite fancy a touchscreen), but that seems discontinued now.

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    Re: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    I was tempted by this netbook at Tesco for £300. Packard Bell Dot m/a 020 with Vista HP. Wasn't sure if it was eligable for Windows 7 upgrade though.

    The Packard Bell seems to be an Acer (who is the parent company) rebranded model. The price of mobile mini-laptops seems to jump considerably, e.g. HP DV2-1010 at PC World

    Edit: Have you considered replacing the current Acer HD. Will be cheaper than replacing the unit.

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    Re: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    I'd pick the N510 myself. The Lenovo s12 is another great little netbook. The U200 is a beast compared by netbook standards, it has screen size but it should carry a high price.

    This link has a list of low price computers but all are under 10 inch screens and the info is quite dated.

    liliputing.com/2009/03/19-netbooks-for-350-or-less.html

    Also these sites have great information.

    liliputing.com
    Netbooknews.de (German)
    Blogeee.net (French)
    NetbookChoice.com

    For the non english sites use babel fish to do the thing on them, but even in a foreign languages the information still stands out.

    Right now I use a MSI Wind U100 with normal upgrades like Wifi N card from dell, 2 GB Ram, and a 320 GB HD. I am running OS X 10.5.7 and over clocked thanks to the Bios settings. To be honest I have to say I was lucky to buy a Wind because of the level of upgrade support in their web forums, but the same can be said about any Netbook.

    I would say try to get one with high battery life, six cell battery at the very least. Some of the new models have HDMI (unheard when I bought my netbook) which is a great add on feature to have.


    Good Luck with the hunt!!


    Edit: Wow the poster above me has a great point. HD swap. jjkmobile.com has a ton of information on that subject.
    Last edited by dloadkgeerrss; 28-08-2009 at 12:36 PM. Reason: I forgot jjkmobile.com

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    Re: Better than a 9/10" netbook, smaller than a 15.4"+ laptop - what are the options?

    Quote Originally Posted by Antagram View Post
    I was tempted by this netbook at Tesco for £300. Packard Bell Dot m/a 020 with Vista HP. Wasn't sure if it was eligable for Windows 7 upgrade though.

    The Packard Bell seems to be an Acer (who is the parent company) rebranded model. The price of mobile mini-laptops seems to jump considerably, e.g. HP DV2-1010 at PC World

    Edit: Have you considered replacing the current Acer HD. Will be cheaper than replacing the unit.
    I did consider it, but to be honest I'm after something more more screen real estate anyway I am capable of upgrading the unit (installed RAM which is a fully invasive proceedure for the Aspire One...)

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