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  • In the market for a Netbook...

    I will be studying abroad this summer and need a netbook to take with me on my travels. I need the basics: Word processing and wireless internet capabilities. I would like to be able to watch videos, play music and have a decent enough graphics card so that HD video playback looks good. Ive been looking around Newegg.com for a bit but have realized that I know absolutely nothing about either ATI or AMD hardware. I was wondering if anyone has recently bought a netbook or is familiar with some of the pros and cons of the various CPUs and graphics processors in netbooks. Ive got a budget of up to $450 USD but by no means am i looking to spend all of that. Any help or opinions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Tarthkin

  • #2
    Re: In the market for a Netbook...

    First off, only one or two netbooks out there will do full HD (1080p) streaming video full screen ($400+). So if that's a deal breaker, then start looking at budget to midrange ultraportable laptops (11.6" to 14" range).

    As for hardware, there's a whole bunch. Ideally, I point most towards the Athlon II Neo based netbooks or a dual-core Atom based netbook. Graphics wise, you should aim for the Radeon HD IGP graphics (HD4250, HD6250, etc) or for the nVidia ION graphics. Both will at least handle full screen streaming videos. The ION and HD4250 and beyond will handle 720p HD streaming, but not 1080p. Playing from the hard drive, both chipsets will handle most videos through 1080p.

    Of all that, I have the least faith in Acer's netbooks and most faith in ASUS's netbooks. Acer uses some low-end fans in their stuff while ASUS uses better quality fans and even has a complete copper heatsink in some of the higher end models.

    I can easily recommend the following models:

    ASUS 1215T (Athlon II Neo, 2 GB of RAM, 12.1" Screen, HD4250, Windows 7, $380):
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834220858

    This is the first one I recommend. The Athlon II Neo may be only a single-core, but it outperforms the Atom single-cores and the older Athlon Neo X2s out there in the netbook market (probably thanks to the higher TDP rating and 1 MB of cache). The 12.1" screen and 1366 x 768 resolution is a huge bonus. After having used my two netbooks for the past 3 years, I can tell you how frustrating it can be sometimes with the 10" screen and only 1024 x 600 resolution.

    ASUS 1215B (AMD E-350 Dual-Core -- Brazos APU, 2 GBs of RAM, 12.1" Screen, HD6310, Windows 7, $450)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834230005

    Now this one is new to the market and one of the first ones to feature AMD's new Brazos APU. Now having read the reviews and tech articles on the APU, this thing will let you play full HD streaming videos and do some light gaming as well fairly well. Battery life-wise, it should be about the same as the above 1215T. The APU here delivers on the promise of "best of both worlds". The graphics processing power to handle HD, light gameplay, and mutlithreaded applications all without some huge sacrifice on battery life.

    Here are two more detailed reviews:

    1215B review: http://www.netbooklive.net/asus-eee-...b-review-8726/
    Brazos APU: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4023/t...-benchmarked/5
    Last edited by Acreo Aeneas; 04-14-2011, 12:38 PM.
    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
    Former 9th & 13th

    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

    TG Primer and Rules

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: In the market for a Netbook...

      I'm fully on board the Asus netbooks as I invested in an EEE for my son. Size and battery life were primary concerns as well as reliability and Asus wins hands down at under three pounds and battery life over 10 hours. The atom 1.66 processor with 2 gigs of ram handles web and Microsoft Office with no issues and streams video flawlessly. 95% full size key board is also a plus. I have looked at some of the newer 13's since but battery life still isn't up to par with what he carries now. With added memory and an external dvd drive, the price will still fall under your limit.
      Forewarned is Forearmed




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      • #4
        Re: In the market for a Netbook...

        Check out the HP dm1z as well. It's gotten great reviews and it uses the same E-350 Brazos APU that Acreo was talking about. 11.6" screen with a 1366x768 resolution is pretty decent for a netbook. Lists for $450, but it usually has a coupon code that will knock it down to ~$400.
        "Looking for brahs to come fight crime with me" - Unload



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        • #5
          Re: In the market for a Netbook...

          Will you watch the HD videos on the laptop/netbook(limiting you to its max resolution) or on some external monitor?
          |TG-12th| Namebot

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: In the market for a Netbook...

            Personally I would look at this:
            ASUS to debut Eee Pad Transformer

            Watch video here:
            ASUS Eee Pad Transformer shows up wearing Honeycomb to CeBIT (video)

            Pics:
            ASUS Eee Pad Transformer and Slider: another look

            and
            ASUS apologizes for Eee Pad Transformer delay it won't detail, US launch pegged for end of April

            Lots more info out there on in. So you would have a tablet for just surfing or walking around, and when you needed a full keyboard with keys, you just clip in. The keyboard is extra, but it has an extra battery and other slots. I can't wait to try one out at bestbuy.

            LINKS

            * *


            Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

            -Carlos A. Urbizo-

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: In the market for a Netbook...

              Just as a quick update, Anandtech posted their early review of the Transformer today
              ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Review

              Looks like it needs a bit more tweaking on the software side, but it is looking really good.

              LINKS

              * *


              Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

              -Carlos A. Urbizo-

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: In the market for a Netbook...

                Thanks for all your input. I ended up going with this model:

                http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834220858

                I was debating getting the duo core model here:

                http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834230005

                However, I decided to save some money and given that this isn't my main computer, i figured the added power and graphic capabilities really wasn't necessary. The first field test of my new toy will be on a 2 week London/Paris trip so hopefully it knows how to play nice with Europeans :)

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                • #9
                  Re: In the market for a Netbook...

                  I feel you should have gone with the dual-core (the 2nd link). Performance was significantly improved, battery life stayed the same, and weight pretty much never changed, all for $50 more. Oh did I mention light gaming is actually pretty good (here I mean older games and some WoW)? In the end, the one you got still trumps my current Eee PC notably because of the higher TDP processor and more capable graphics chipset.
                  |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                  TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                  Former 9th & 13th

                  Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                  Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                  SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                  TG Primer and Rules

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: In the market for a Netbook...

                    make sure you pick up some plug adapters and power converter for the european electrical wall sockets.
                    "Looking for brahs to come fight crime with me" - Unload



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