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Thread: Powerful + Light Netbook

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    jim
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    Powerful + Light Netbook

    I'm seriously considering selling my Dell Studio 15 (see sig) and replacing it with a netbook - the Studio 15 is just far too heavy to lug around when all I'll want it for at Uni is note-taking and potentially the odd MP3.

    Thing is, I've used a single-core Atom machine and was hugely unimpressed... it felt far too slow in typical usage. So, what are my options?

    I've had a look in PC World, and reckon that 1.4kg is about my limit - which apparently corresponds to an 11" netbook with a 3-cell battery, or a 10.1" with a 6-cell battery. Taking Dell as an example then, the 10.1" is a single-core Atom... great. The 11" Inspiron though is a Celeron 743 or a Pentium SU4100 - both at 1.3GHz. Are these any better than the Atom?

    I don't need this for about 6 months, although I suspect that I will need some kind of portable for that period, so what do you recommend?

    Wait 6 months for a new range of netbooks? Or sell my laptop now and replace it with a current netbook? And if so, which one should I buy?

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Powerful + Light Netbook

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    ... The 11" Inspiron though is a Celeron 743 or a Pentium SU4100 - both at 1.3GHz. Are these any better than the Atom?
    Yes, considerably. They are Core derived, out-of-order processors that would give Atom a wedgie and hang it from the flagpole.

    Well, I assume they would: unfortunately the little time I have for research in work hasn't let me find an appropriate review to back up my assumption. But they are both derived from a much better CPU architecture than Atom, so they should be much better performing.

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    Re: Powerful + Light Netbook

    I wanted a netbook but found my sisters not 'snappy' enough. We have a celeron about 5 yr old laptop and although a bit slower I would not really want to change but I do not have the portability issue.

    The newer atom 'pinetrail'(?) have just incorporated more on die so only save a little power. In terms of performance they are not really an upgrade.

    I'm holding out for something nice to come along which cathes my eye. In your shoes I would stick with a notepad and pen.

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    Re: Powerful + Light Netbook

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Yes, considerably. They are Core derived, out-of-order processors that would give Atom a wedgie and hang it from the flagpole.

    Well, I assume they would: unfortunately the little time I have for research in work hasn't let me find an appropriate review to back up my assumption. But they are both derived from a much better CPU architecture than Atom, so they should be much better performing.
    Anandtech benchies: "Who needs Atom".

    http://www.anandtech.com/mobile/showdoc.aspx?i=3735&p=6

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    Re: Powerful + Light Netbook

    I bought a HP 2510p from these very forums. It's an older business class 12" notebook.

    Design is very "business like"
    Build quality is superb
    Really nice machine with Core 2 Duo derived Dual core 1.2Ghz processor and 2Gb RAM. Aeon sold to me for £300, so if you can find one second hand it may fit the bill - graphics are it's weak point, and battery life isn't great, but I have a 6 cell + 3 cell backup so between them it lasts a good 5-6 hours minimum.

    As the item of release (2-3 years ago) they were uber-expensive £1000-1200. But at £300 it's an incredible little machine.
    Last edited by cptwhite_uk; 17-03-2010 at 02:06 PM.

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    Re: Powerful + Light Netbook

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Thing is, I've used a single-core Atom machine and was hugely unimpressed... it felt far too slow in typical usage. So, what are my options?
    Ultra low cost option = single-core Atom @1.6Ghz, being single core it's going to feel sluggish as soon as a process gets stuck... prob best stick to WinXP for this.

    Med cost option1 = dual-core Atom330@1.6Ghz w/ Ion platform (12inch Asus 1201N Eee PC), typically £420 for 2gig verison. Being dual-core, should feel a lot snappier, and run Win7 fine. Keyboard size will be better then a 10" netbook.

    Med cost option2 = dual-core Athlon64 w/ Conger platform (11.6inch Acer Ferrari) - over twice as quick as the single-core Atom and about 10-20% faster then dual-core Atom330. Around £380 with 2gig ram and Win7, cost another £20 to upgrade ram to 4gig. This is the option I went for, and no regrets so far. Excellent machine.

    Med cost option3 = dual-core CULV such as Pentium 1.3Ghz (a notch faster then Athlon64 above) or Core2 1.3Ghz (faster) with built in IntelHD onboard (lots of examples of these starting around £400+)

    Higher cost option = dual-core CULV Core2 @1.3Ghz with discrete gfx card (something like 13"Asus UL30VT or 11.6" Alienware 11x), but into decent laptop price range now.

    Highest cost option = Core i5 or i7 ultra portable. Somethin like the Sony Z series... but talking serious money.

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    I've had a look in PC World, and reckon that 1.4kg is about my limit - which apparently corresponds to an 11" netbook with a 3-cell battery, or a 10.1" with a 6-cell battery. Taking Dell as an example then, the 10.1" is a single-core Atom... great. The 11" Inspiron though is a Celeron 743 or a Pentium SU4100 - both at 1.3GHz. Are these any better than the Atom?
    1.4kg is definitely netbook territory. That's the exact weight of my 11.6" Acer Ferrari and about the same as the 12" Asus 1201N Eee. Both have more or less full size keyboards - the advantage over anything with a smaller screen.

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    I don't need this for about 6 months, although I suspect that I will need some kind of portable for that period, so what do you recommend? Wait 6 months for a new range of netbooks? Or sell my laptop now and replace it with a current netbook? And if so, which one should I buy?
    Well, think you kind of answered your own question. If you don't need it for 6 months, then prob best to wait until you need it and then buy it then. Technology moves so quickly that perhaps the low-voltage i3 and i5 may well have taken over from the CULVs by then.
    Last edited by Covenant; 18-03-2010 at 11:34 AM.
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    Re: Powerful + Light Netbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Covenant View Post
    1.4kg is definitely netbook territory. That's the exact weight of my 11.6" Acer Ferrari and about the same as the 12" Asus 1201N Eee. Both have more or less full size keyboards - the advantage over anything with a smaller screen.

    Well, think you kind of answered your own question. If you don't need it for 6 months, then prob best to wait until you need it and then buy it then. Technology moves so quickly that perhaps the low-voltage i3 and i5 may well have taken over from the CULVs by then.
    Thanks for the round-up, useful info there

    My only concern was whether it would be better to sell my laptop now - in other words, would it depreciate to such an extent that I'd be better off getting the netbook now whilst my laptop was still worth something.

    However, I've convinced my girlfriend to manage without a portable for the moment and swap over to a desktop for the next 6 months - which is when I'll get the netbook instead, so hopefully your prediction re the i3 will be correct and there'll be something good on the market.

    Thanks to everybody for the advice, much appreciated

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    Re: Powerful + Light Netbook

    I would look at the Acer Ferrari One or the Acer Timeline 1810TZ.


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Powerful + Light Netbook

    That Timeline does look good actually, haven't seen that one before... here's for hoping there's a bit more choice in the market by August

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    Re: Powerful + Light Netbook

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    I bought a HP 2510p from these very forums. It's an older business class 12" notebook.

    Design is very "business like"
    Build quality is superb
    Really nice machine with Core 2 Duo derived Dual core 1.2Ghz processor and 2Gb RAM. Aeon sold to me for £300, so if you can find one second hand it may fit the bill - graphics are it's weak point, and battery life isn't great, but I have a 6 cell + 3 cell backup so between them it lasts a good 5-6 hours minimum.

    As the item of release (2-3 years ago) they were uber-expensive £1000-1200. But at £300 it's an incredible little machine.
    Exactly the right sort of thinking. Buy 2-3 year old tech and a new battery.

    Lots of cheap ibm x60 ot x60s on ebay for sub new netbook money.

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