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11.6" Netbooks Face Off

kdawson posted about 5 years ago | from the category-benders dept.

Portables 238

Dr. Damage writes "Netbooks have grown from tiny curiosities with 7" screens into surprisingly well-rounded little computers. The latest step is 11.6" displays with 1366x768 resolution and near-full-sized keyboards. Two such systems are available now for under $400 at US retailers: the Aspire One at Walmart and the Gateway LT3103 at Best Buy. The Gateway packs an Athlon 64 processor and Radeon graphics. The Tech Report bought them both and has compared them head to head in some depth, choosing a clear winner between the two." Like most such in-depth reviews, this one is spread across 10 pages.

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trollin (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28945751)

for the frosty piss

Hi Guise! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28945757)

I fucked your dead great grandmother!

Dad! (3, Funny)

spun (1352) | about 5 years ago | (#28945863)

Stop drinking and posting.

More and more powerful... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28945775)

soon we'll be marvelling at the 15" netbooks with core 2 duos!!!

I can't wait!

then we'll see the introduction of some amazingly tiny 7" microbook!!

I can't wait!

Re:More and more powerful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28946023)

True. I disagree with the term "netbook" because it somehow seems to imply that you have to use Google Docs and other crappy JavaScript based web applications to do everything. when of course in reality, on my 7" Eee PC a lightweight client will run much, much faster than any of this web-based stuff.

I wish they'd just stick to the term 'subnotebook', even though that itself is a politically correct term for laptop to discourage people from actually using it on their laps and suing the manufacturer if their lap overheats? or whatever negative health consequence could possibly arise from using a laptop on one's lap

Re:More and more powerful... (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 5 years ago | (#28946039)

Then the microbook will grow to be 17" screen full keyboard QuadCore 64 bit CPU with Nvidia graphics card and all the users will abandon this and flock to Nanobook that has a 7" screen and all the marketing gurus of these hardware vendors will sign and start it all over agin.

Re:More and more powerful... (4, Insightful)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 5 years ago | (#28946081)

I am with you. 11.6" is just too big.
Lets get back to the 7" and 8" models please.

Re:More and more powerful... (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 5 years ago | (#28946493)

Surprised no one called you an insensitive clod.

Re:More and more powerful... (3, Funny)

chaboud (231590) | about 5 years ago | (#28946519)

I was about to, you insensitive clod!

Re:More and more powerful... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 5 years ago | (#28946511)

Lets get back to the 7" and 8" models please.
The EEE 700 series was pretty much as big as the 900 series despite the smaller screen. Can't say i've seen many 7 or 8 inch ones from other brands.

Personally I want a 10 inch with 1366x768 resolution. HP made one (the mini 2140) with a very thin border such that it was about the same physical size as and EEE 900 but refused to release it in this country and having had a bad experiance with one grey import attempt (I got my money back eventually) i'm not in the mood for trying again plus that model is discontinued now. HP and sony now seem to be about to release new 10 inch models here with the higher res screen though (unfortunately they aren't as small as the 2140).


Re:More and more powerful... (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 5 years ago | (#28946665)


Re:More and more powerful... (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | about 5 years ago | (#28946983)

In fact, the predecessor to the 2140, the 2133, packed a 1280x768 resolution into an 8.9" screen. It was awesome, although somewhat eyestrain inducing. It probably would've been better with a slightly larger screen (9.3", perhaps?). IMHO, even 10" is getting too large for it to be considered a netbook.

Interestingly enough, the 2133 also had the best keyboard I've yet tried in a netbook, and the speakers were fairly crisp (although lacking bottom-end). Unfortunately, it suffered from ergonomic issues (the screen wouldn't tilt back far enough so to use it on your lap, you had to kinda tilt it back yourself - very awkward), and the usual HP how-much-longer-do-I-have-before-this-dies-on-me? issue (only five days, in my case).

      --- Mr. DOS

Re:More and more powerful... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 5 years ago | (#28947253)

In fact, the predecessor to the 2140, the 2133, packed a 1280x768 resolution into an 8.9" screen. It was awesome, although somewhat eyestrain inducing. It probably would've been better with a slightly larger screen (9.3", perhaps?). IMHO, even 10" is getting too large for it to be considered a netbook.
That's the amazing thing, the 2140 was exactly the same size as the 2133 (which is approximately the same size as an EEE 900) despite the bigger screen. Unfortunately unless I want to pay an intermediary to import a refurb one from the HP US buisness outet store for me at great expense a HD mini 2140 is no longer an option for me.

So afaict (and please tell me if you know of other options with the screen resoloution I want) that leaves me with the option of it's larger (wider border making it comparable in size with the EEE 1000) sucessor the 5000 series (which afaict is about to be released here in the uk though I dunno if they will offer us the HD option or not) or the very similar machine (vaio w series) that sony is about to release.

P.S. sony also offer an 8 inch with 1600 x 768 resolution but I think that's packing the pixels in too small.

Re:More and more powerful... (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | about 5 years ago | (#28947257)

The 12.1" netbook from Lenovo with the Nano processor blows the socks off of the Atom and it's cruddy graphics.

not so funny (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | about 5 years ago | (#28946543)

I owned a Fujitsu notebook PC with a 10.4" screen around ten years ago; most active matrix screens were that size at the time. So we're just reverting to an older format with these new netbooks. I'd have to agree with the thread originator; we need both bigger, more powerful and more gorgeous notebooks, and smaller, more portable netbooks. The in-between size is a trade-off that benefits very few.

Re:More and more powerful... (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | about 5 years ago | (#28946331)

It's about the value - if we really do see 15" netbooks with Core 2s and 5 hour battery life at under $400, it'll knock my socks off. But it does lose the portability. I like being able to carry my 9" aspire one in my backpack.

Re:More and more powerful... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28946947)

I believe the point of a netbook is to be low powered and small, they're not meant to replace notebooks. The manufacturers are falling into the old game of bigger is better (or bigger numbers are better), only in the case of a netbook all consumers really want is the long battery life and portability. Keep the size, up the specs as much as you want but not at the cost of battery life.

Not Quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28946437)

Actually, the Acer at least is less powerful than most netbooks on the market, it uses an Atom Z520 targeted at 'UMPC' type devices. It has lower clock and FSB speeds than the N270/N280 used in almost every other netbook on the market.
Thats why I didn't buy one for $330 at Costco yesterday.

Re:More and more powerful... (2, Funny)

lazyforker (957705) | about 5 years ago | (#28947039)

Fuck that. I'm waiting for the 17" HD netbooks with built-in FW800, DVD burner GigE, 802.11n etc. I think Apple makes a pretty good one.

Slashvertisement (2, Insightful)

WilyCoder (736280) | about 5 years ago | (#28945795)

Nice slashvertisement.


Re:Slashvertisement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28946247)

You got me!! I thought you were serious until you wrote "Not." Seriously, I did. Serious.

Since netbook can mean just about anything... (5, Funny)

Chees0rz (1194661) | about 5 years ago | (#28945817)

I have a 7 inch netbook in my pants...
(rounded up to compensate for low self-esteem)

Re:Since netbook can mean just about anything... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28946347)

You know you can overclock that ... eww ... nevermind.

Re:Since netbook can mean just about anything... (3, Insightful)

Shark (78448) | about 5 years ago | (#28946517)

It'll just drain his batteries faster...

Re:Since netbook can mean just about anything... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28946513)

It definitely has enough room to fit in next to your 2 inch baby cock

Re:Since netbook can mean just about anything... (4, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 5 years ago | (#28946597)

Netbook is a computer optimized for getting on the net while mobile. Small size (for mobility) and low power (for longer battery).

If you have an optical drive, a large screen, or a fast (power-slurping) processor, you're not using a netbook. You're using a laptop.

for those that didn't rtmfa (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | about 5 years ago | (#28945837)

The Gateway one "won" in the writer's estimate, due to a larger screen, faster CPU, better graphics.

In short, it's all of about an inch and a half smaller than his regular notebook, with a (probably, I didn't read all TMFA either) bigger HDD and more memory.

Re:for those that didn't rtmfa (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about 5 years ago | (#28946549)

The Gateway one "won" in the writer's estimate, due to a larger screen, faster CPU, better graphics.

Well that's effing retarded.

The entire -point- of netbooks is that they are small. The whole netbook industry seems to be grappling with its product identity, and reviewers aren't helping by routinely grading them on how close to a laptop they are.

Netbooks should be graded on size, favoring SMALL. Performance is important, but secondary to battery life. Items like durability, and comfort of the keyboard, position of the trackpad (or inclusion of a track point), operating system options, connectivity (usb/firewire/vga/dvi/etc), dvdrw internal or external, ram, flash, hard drive, etc should all factor in.

Selecting for "Largest screen and hard drive" however is demented. I can buy a Toshiba at Bestbuy for 299$ with a 15.4" screen and a 160GB hd. If I wanted a large screen I wouldn't buy a netbook. For $50 more I can make that a 300+ GB Hd.

What then? the best netbook on the market is ... not a netbook!?

When that happens something's wrong with your selection criteria.

Re:for those that didn't rtmfa (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | about 5 years ago | (#28946949)

I know man, I know. I think it's retarded too.

Re:for those that didn't rtmfa (4, Insightful)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 5 years ago | (#28946955)

Yeah, have to agree here, once you clear a 10" screen imho, it isn't a netbook any longer. Also, if the battery life isn't at least 4hrs, it shouldn't be praised either. I got a netbook because it was small and portable, and I didn't need to be tethered to a wall after two hours of use. I did bump my ram to 2gb, and my hdd to 500gb, and in win7 with the hardware changes I went from about 5.5hrs of typical use to about 4.5... most of that is likely the change in hard drive. Still, my phone's (rooted G1) wifi tethering runs down the phone's battery in less time than my netbook lasts anyway.

Re:for those that didn't rtmfa (1)

adisakp (705706) | about 5 years ago | (#28947213)

The main reason that performance won out is that the 751 was slow enough to be occasionally unusable... especially in the default configuration where anti-virus and pre-installed bloatware and cruft were causing continuous and severe random stalls on the machine.

The netbook manufacturers are on thin margins and get paid to install all this cruft but if they just gave us a slimmed down OS install as well as a slimmed down machine, the netbooks would feel a lot more powerful.

10 page article? Check out AutoPager for FF (5, Informative)

Tynin (634655) | about 5 years ago | (#28945877)

Like most such in-depth reviews, this one is spread across 10 pages.

I highly suggest checking out the Firefox Autopager [] add on. It nicely formats this into a single page for easy reading. Although I do suggest turning off the "Show AutoPager Refinements" as it will give you suggestions on search pages that try to redirect you to some other search engine. Otherwise it is EXCELLENT and fixed a lot of my hatred of viewing this 10 page articles that should be on one page.

Re:10 page article? Check out AutoPager for FF (1)

ctd600ftlb (1210574) | about 5 years ago | (#28946763)

At least they're decent length pages here, with information and images, rather than pages with only two or three paragraphs each and the rest just covered in ads.

a netbook? (3, Insightful)

seringen (670743) | about 5 years ago | (#28945881)

11.6" and only five hours of battery life for the "clear" winner?

i guess it's the cheapskate route for people who really want a 13 inch macbook, but don't need bluetooth or wireless n.

i personally think it shouldn't be called a netbook if you really can't use it all day without carrying around a charger.

Re:a netbook? (1)

Tynin (634655) | about 5 years ago | (#28945965)

Agreed, the battery life for the "winner" for surfing the web was 96 minutes!!! That is just horribly short for a basic task. Of course that is only for the 3-cell battery, but still, it doesn't do that great with the 6-cell battery either.

Re:a netbook? (3, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 5 years ago | (#28946017)

Yeah, I think the term "netbook" has come to mean "smallish low-end laptop with no optical drive". No doubt better for profit margins, but not much of a win for the consumer.

Re:a netbook? (3, Interesting)

petermgreen (876956) | about 5 years ago | (#28946841)

not much of a win for the consumer.
I disagree, it used to be that most cheap laptops were big, usually 15 inch, occasionaly 13 inch. The large screen size combined with poor build quality meant that theese machines were pretty damn fragile. If you wanted an ultraportable you went to sony and payed through the nose or bought a secondhand toshiba with really crappy specs.

Then came the OLPC XO, it was cheap but this was tempered by the fact it was only availible though a G1G1 program (pushing up the effective price), it couldn't easilly run windows or normal linux and it had a weird screen and keyboard.

Then came the EEE 700 series which were really pretty crappy machines. They had a case big enough for a 9 inch screen but only fitted with a 7 inch, hardly any storage and a crappy old processor that they then underclocked. Still we jumped on them because they were way cheaper than previous ultraportables while still being pretty conventional machines.

Since then the gap between the first "netbooks" (I hate that term, it implies the machines are far more crippled than they really are) and regular laptops has been gradually filling and I regard this as a good thing, users can now pick there preffered tradeoff between size and functionality.

Personally I want a 10 inch with a vertical resoloution of at least 768 pixels. There was the HP mini 2140 but the "HD" option for it was never released in the UK and my attempt to grey import one failed. Both HP and sony now have 10 inch 1366x768 models about to be released and i'll probablly end up buying one of those unless something better comes out in the meantime.

The power issue doesn't bother me too much, most long distance trains here now have power outlets anyway. I can see for some people it could be annoying though.

Re:a netbook? (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | about 5 years ago | (#28946075)

i personally think it shouldn't be called a netbook if you really can't use it all day without carrying around a charger.

I have to agree.

11.6" netbooks, HA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28945893)

My 12.1" Samsung NC20 netbook with 1280x800 resolution does just fine thank you

Bigger screens, less powerful chips (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 5 years ago | (#28945909)

The 11.6" are an odd variety... of what I have seen so far. In the spring, they upgraded the 10" ones I was looking at from the N270 Atoms to the N280, which could handle HD video but the screens were usually at 1024x600. Just barely big enough for comfortable browsing. Now the Acer Aspire and a few others that I have seen have that 11.6" wide screen that have a really nice ~1300x768 resolution, but the chip is now a Z520, which reportedly stutters when handling HD video.

Now that Always Innovating's arm-based Tablet/Netbook is out, I'm almost tempted by that instead: []

But the resoluion is still the dreary 1024x600, although being able to take off the body/keyboard completely is the first well done tablet form factor I have seen.

Not far off are Arm's multiple core chips and I assume intel has something like that for atom in the works. Ah, the old upgrade-treadmill is really hitting netbooks bigtime, haven't really had this problem in desktops the last five years.

Just change resolution for HD viewing (1)

dbet (1607261) | about 5 years ago | (#28946729)

I have a similar problem - a Mac Mini (the original PPC version) hooked to my HD television. It looks beautiful at something like 2200x1400 resolution, but video stutters, even normal AVIs. I lowered the resolution to ~1900x1200 and it plays video, even HD video just fine. Maybe you can buy the aspire with 1300x768 screen and simply lower the resolution when you want to view HD video.

Re:Bigger screens, less powerful chips (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 5 years ago | (#28947033)

I was really looking forward to the ION platform (nVidia Chipset + Atom CPU), which would have been a compelling reason to upgrade for me, but without that, I'll stick to what I am running now. My only irritation has been the keyboard (Eee 1000H), but not enough to shell out another $400+ on. I got it because my old 17" laptop was too small to do actual work on, and too big, with too poor a battery life to comfortably take around with me. The 10" netbook is great for email/chat, which is most of what I use it for, beyond low-def video, and audio chores.

Lenovo S12 (1)

ibookdb (1199357) | about 5 years ago | (#28945915)

There is also the Lenovo IdeaPad S12 Netbook []

Re:Lenovo S12 (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 5 years ago | (#28946423)

Throw in trackpoint and I'd buy one. Yeah, I wrote this before.

Re:Lenovo S12 (1)

ibookdb (1199357) | about 5 years ago | (#28946469)

Yeah Lenovo should learn from the Thinkpads :)

Thinkpad 240 Lenovo S12 (1)

MsGeek (162936) | about 5 years ago | (#28947025)

Netbook size and battery life but released in 2000. It could use more modern ports and a better processor (240 has a PII-class mobile Celeron) and more room for RAM, but it's serviceable. The keyboard is a nice clicky old-school Thinkpad keyboard. And it has a trackpoint, glory be!

Srsly, Lenovo needs to look at this old-school model for some inspiration.

IBM ThinkPad trackpoint (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 5 years ago | (#28947297)

Throw in trackpoint and I'd buy one.

The original keyboard clit. It's what your finger was made to play with...

netbooks, eh? (5, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 years ago | (#28945927)

Is my 12" Powerbook with 5-hour battery life now retroactively a netbook?

Re:netbooks, eh? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | about 5 years ago | (#28946163)

Is my 12" Powerbook with 5-hour battery life now retroactively a netbook?

You really get 5 hours with that thing? I'm lucky to get three with mine...

My EEE 901, on the other hand, claims six or seven hours and I get about five. And it runs Linux. I am so happy with that machine. :)

Re:netbooks, eh? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 years ago | (#28946215)

Yeah, though admittedly on a newish battery, not using the WiFi, and without the screen at full brightness (i.e. basically "airplane mode").

Re:netbooks, eh? (4, Funny)

elashish14 (1302231) | about 5 years ago | (#28946233)

If you ask me, it depends on how much you paid for it.

Re:netbooks, eh? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 years ago | (#28946339)

Yeah, I was being somewhat facetious, but I suppose I could actually see an argument for the 12" Powerbook being in the netbook category if it were re-introduced today, at an appropriately low price.

Re:netbooks, eh? (0)

Quasar1999 (520073) | about 5 years ago | (#28946351)

Is my 12" Powerbook with 5-hour battery life now retroactively a netbook?

No, you still paid way too much for it... At best it can be a retro 'Apple fanboy' netbook! :P

eBay it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28946471)

12" Apple Netbook with 5-hour battery life! New product. Lightly used!

Then, watch as the fanboys bid it up to over grand.

Go ahead! Do it and buy that Macbook Pro you've always wanted.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28945931)

what defines a netbook?

To me it seems to orginated as meaning "subnotebook", small, versitile, light.

I love the "near full size keyboard"

Fine I will pit an 11.5 netbook vs my 12 laptop.

One problem with netbooks... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about 5 years ago | (#28945941) that some sites like Yahoo Mail still "delay" one's surfing experience with a warning of how your display settings might not work well with the site. Folks at Yahoo in particular, do not realize that netbooks with lower resolutions are in existence. By the way, if you choose to ignore the warning, the site displays normally.

I think they (Yahoo), are just lacking the normal expected degree of ability. What do you think?

Re:One problem with netbooks... (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | about 5 years ago | (#28946397)

Sadly, many websites have displayed a similar level of ineptitude over the years, and many continue to do so. Back when I was a webmaster, I was annoyed by this. I figured they should hire me so I could do a better job. That offer is still open, but, in the meantime, I've stopped caring quite so much - it isn't going to change anytime soon, so there's no point in letting it get at me so much.

Nice review; some additional thoughts: (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | about 5 years ago | (#28945957)

More detail on the power features of these chips would be nice, even if it confirms that there are none. From my own experimentation, I found that the AMD L110 has no intermediate power states, so that could mean no power saving mode.

I own a Gateway LT 3103 and can vouch for it. The screen, touchpad, and keyboard are phenomenal, and everything I've thrown at it so far, from demoprods to Aero run smoothly. The exception is high resolution flash video in full screen mode. Even so, the LT 3103 is about as perfect as a netbook can get these days. Sure, the next generation might be better, but I have a feeling in a few years we'll look back on the LT 3103 with a similar status as the Radeon 9500 and Radeon 4850.

Now imagine for a second you're at the home of Rob Malda. He's having breakfast with his long-time lover Michael Simms and the two are - of course - bickering like an old married couple. With me so far? Good. Michael ruffles the NY Times paper and coughs under his breath. Rob butters his toast and lights another Parliament. From under the table a mischievous cackling is heard. In a high, feminine falsetto, Rob asks Michael who's under there.

"Oh that's just ESR. He's been under there all night." Michael says and goes back to his paper. Sure enough, ESR crawls out from under the table dressed in women's thigh-high stockings (black) stiletto pumps and negligee. There are purple bruises under his left eye just at the cheek bone and what can be construed as crusted drying semen on the corners of his mouth; ESR has - apparently - had a rough night, indeed.

Ever since Eric Raymond had raped him at his house in Holland and later again at Slashdot New Year's Eve party, Rob Malda has had ESR living with him off and on. Michael doesn't care for the arrangement but who cares? So, sleeping until four or five in the evening, ESR would wake and surf the 'net for pictures of young, boyish men and call and talk tearfully to Hemos on the phone. He ignored Slashdot, thinking himself above editing tech-news, while his Open Source stocks slipped. Depression and anxiety had Rob so entirely that it seemed he would never again enjoy life. He had truly hit bottom.

Last night, Rob had forgotten his birthday but Hemos managed to coax him out for a night on the town across the state in Detroit. After their little road trip, the pair went on a shopping spree, took in a movie, and ate dinner at a very chic and expensive restaurant. After stopping for ice cream, the two friends headed to Rob's favorite Detroit night spot, the Malebox Bar. There they wasted no time dancing to the latest hard house remixes and downing shot after shot of watermelon Jolly Rancher drinks.

As time wore on and mix after mix pounded the dance floor, Rob and Hemos began feeling tipsy and decided to take a break in the club's arcade. The two fought through Mortal Kombat like an old married couple, went back and forth in Altered Beast, and played a couple rounds of Spy Hunter. The conversation had slowly turned to MAME, an Open Source program that emulated dozens of arcade games by means of illegally pirated ROM files, as they began playing Rampage. Rob and Hemos had gigs and gigs of illegally pirated ROM files.

"It's ludicrous playing video games here when we have MAME on our systems at home," Hemos said as he punched Rob in the back of the head and jumped halfway up a building.

"Yeah," Rob said as he smashed a tank. "But you can't get any action sitting at home playing video games like you can here."

"Too bad there's no way to pick up guys and play MAME at the same time," Hemos said as he ate a bathing woman and burped. "That would be the best."

"Yeah, that would be pretty great," Rob said.

Rob stopped climbing the building he was on, leaving Hemos to smash the building and jump away before it collapsed. Rob fell on his butt and lost some life.

"Rob, are you okay?" Hemos asked while button-mashing Rob's character into oblivion. "Rob?"

Hemos continued speaking, but Rob wasn't there. His eyes were wide and glazed, focused elsewhere. He was smiling weird and crooked as the game showed in reverse in his eyes. Hemos finally turned to look at Rob.

"Robert Hubert Malda!" Hemos yelled, hands on hips in frustration. Not waiting for a response, he reached out and pinched his friend's elbow. He didn't like that look in his eyes it always meant something bad was about to happen. Rob came to, shaking his head and stepping back from the game, which was now blinking GAME OVER at him. He turned and looked at Hemos, who was fuming.

"Jeff, uh, I'm sorry. I guess I zoned out there for a minute," he said as he looked around the bar. "I, um. I'll be right back."

"Jesus Christ, Rob!" Jeff said between breaths. "This thing is heavy and there's barely room for it in my back seat!"

"Ha, yeah right," Rob said, grunting. "There's always room in your back seat!"

Jeff rolled his eyes at Rob's little jab. "You be nice, you're lucky I'm letting you do this."

With one final shove and groan, Rob was finished, and the old, worn arcade game shell was wedged tightly the back seat of Jeff's VW Jetta. They bound the back doors to the machine with bungie cord and then tied their red hankies to it, sat down against the side of the car, and lit cigarettes.

"So what exactly are you going to do with this thing?" Hemos asked between puffs. "You're building a MAME system?"

"My plan is much more ambitious than just some MAME system," Rob said, smirking. "But it's based on the same concept. It also combines my love of hairless man-boys."

There was a depraved look of malignant inspiration in Rob's tired, bloodshot eyes.

"It was when you were talking about playing MAME and getting ass," Rob continued. "That very instant, on that very spot, I decided to build a twink molesting machine."

Hemos choked on his cigarette. "A what?" he asked in disbelief. Rob flicked his cigarette away and stood up. "I'm going to build a cage in which I can entrap young boys a cage from which they can't escape and are totally vulnerable in."

Hemos sighed. "Vulnerable to what, Rob?"

"To homosexual assault, of course!" Rob leered as he entered the passenger side door.

"Oh god, Rob," Hemos said, opening the driver's side door. "You have been watching way too much hentai!"

And with that, the car, weighed down by the old arcade machine, rolled off toward Holland.

Acer Aspire One (3, Interesting)

TheMeuge (645043) | about 5 years ago | (#28945963)

For all it's worth, I own one, and I find it fantastic. The resolution is finally high enough to actually use it (I couldn't stomach a 1024x600 screen), and it's VERY thin and light. What did it for me, is the ease with which this netbook can be upgraded. Both the hard drive and memory are easily user-serviceable. Actually, I purchased a 2gb memory kit along with the notebook, and I don't even think I booted it with the 1GB it comes with. I got the WinXP version sans bluetooth from newegg for $380... a little over $400 w. the memory upgrade. The computer also has an internal minPCI slot and a SIM-card reader, which makes it theoretically possible to install an internal 3G card for ultimate portability of communications. The battery lasts about 6.5-7 hours with Wifi usage and brightness set to about 75%. Overally, some of the best $400 I've spent in the digital world.

The glossy shell does attract fingerprints, but I don't really care too much (I lost that compulsion a little while after I got my iPhone). When it really bothers me, I take a damp microfiber cloth to it and the fingerprints come off... really same idea as my car.

As an aside, to be honest I am not a big fan of WinXP these days. I've become spoiled with WinVista64SP1 on my gaming desktop, and Ubuntu on my work laptop.

!netbook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28945967)

A device with a 9" screen and 8+ hours of battery life is a netbook. A device with a 12" screen and just 5 hours of battery life is a sub-notebook.

Re:!netbook (3, Insightful)

Tetsujin (103070) | about 5 years ago | (#28946185)

A device with a 9" screen and 8+ hours of battery life is a netbook. A device with a 12" screen and just 5 hours of battery life is a sub-notebook.

Or, you know, a notebook...

Re:!netbook (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | about 5 years ago | (#28946285)

^A good number of netbooks, while energy efficient, come with equally anemic batteries (stock, anyway). 3 hours is pretty common, unless you spring for a larger battery.

I know which one. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28946035)

Since both have an ATI graphics chip the choice is easy, neither.

Re:I know which one. (2, Informative)

Tetsujin (103070) | about 5 years ago | (#28946297)

Since both have an ATI graphics chip the choice is easy, neither.

The Aspire One has an Intel graphics chipset. If you'd really rather run that instead of an ATI chipset, be my guest...

Re:I know which one. (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | about 5 years ago | (#28946743)

No shit an Athlon 64 and Radeon GPU is going to eat the Acer like a too small bag of doritos - because its apples to oranges here.

My first laptop was a Compaq 15" w/Athlon64 3200+ and Radeon 200M. It also weighed about 8lbs (a lot with or without textbooks in college) and sure, I could run Half Life 2 on it - but it sucked the battery out in 2 hours normal use, maybe 1/2 hour on HL2. Which is why I looked at my priorities, and how since it was for school and browsing the web when visiting family, I replaced it with a 12" Gateway Core Solo ULV and Intel GPU - much lighter and longer battery life of up to 4 or 5 hours.

My point is, too many people don't see that the reason for netbooks in the first place is to have a light weight laptop with decent battery life that costs under $1200 USD. Don't give me that "Oh, but they want it because it's cheap!" crap, because they could just as well go get a $400 luggable desktop replacement like the one I had. If they want a cheap fast computer, they could have my old laptop (if it still worked). If they want something cheap, light weight, and long battery life, they just might have to put up with it being a tad slow.

Now, if they **really** want something light weight, mediocre to long battery life, and whatever the current generation of desktop processor is, they will [] *definitely* pay out the ass [] for it. That held true for spec to price ratio when I bought my 12" Gateway 2 years ago, it holds true now, and it will more than likely continue to be true another 2 years from now...

Re:I know which one. (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | about 5 years ago | (#28947085)

It has a PowerVR graphics chipset that Intel stuck their label on, not an Intel graphics chipset. No open drivers for that.

Size (1)

robow (1609129) | about 5 years ago | (#28946073)

Isn't the point of the netbooks how small and convenient they are.

Re:Size (1)

Narishma (822073) | about 5 years ago | (#28946527)

Everyone has their own definition. To some it's the price, others the size or the battery life or the lack of an optical drive or a combination of all or some of those things.

Notebook, laptop, netbook ... (1)

Omniscient Lurker (1504701) | about 5 years ago | (#28946091)

I think we need clearly defined sizes for terms or else we'll end up with 15 inch netbooks by the end of next year.

I propose:

  • Portable: over 19.5in
  • Notebook: 16.1in-19.5in
  • Laptop: 11.1in-16.0in
  • Netbook: 8.0in-11.0in
  • Ultraportable: under 8.0in

Re:Notebook, laptop, netbook ... (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | about 5 years ago | (#28946413)

I'd prefer expanding Portable to include desktop replacements and dispensing with the "laptop" designation alltogether. To me, an ultraportable is not an even smaller device than a netbook, but a netbook-sized device with higher-end specs than typically found in that form factor (i.e. Macbook Air). Anything smaller is a mobile internet device, imo.
  • Portable/Desktop Replacement: over 16.1in
  • Notebook: 11.1in-16.0in
  • Ultraportable (high end) / Netbook (value segment) 8-11.0 in
  • MID (Mobile Internet Device): under 8in

Re:Notebook, laptop, netbook ... (1)

simplu (522692) | about 5 years ago | (#28946485)

I don't think we need new names for the same device in different sizes. Marketing people probably need them.

Re:Notebook, laptop, netbook ... (2, Funny)

Orange Crush (934731) | about 5 years ago | (#28946551)

[Obligatory Car Analogy]So you don't feel the need to distinguish between a motorcyle and a pickup truck?[/Obligatory Car Analogy]

Re:Notebook, laptop, netbook ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28947167)

I think the better terms to use in that analogy would be "SUV vs. Crossover".

What netbooks are still available with Linux? (2, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 5 years ago | (#28946105)

I'd still like to get a somewhat bigger Linux netbook. I have some EeePC 2G Surf units, and like them, but the original version with the tiny screen just isn't quite enough. Has Microsoft totally crushed the Linux netbook market, or is something cheap still available with no Windows?

Re:What netbooks are still available with Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28946151)

No. Linux isn't available anymore anywhere. Please stop asking about it.

Re:What netbooks are still available with Linux? (3, Informative)

Orange Crush (934731) | about 5 years ago | (#28946261)

Dell still sells Mini's w/ a modified version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix. I think Acer still preloads Linpus on some models of the One (Good luck finding one though. If it's on a retail shelf, it's almost certainly running windows) Or you can get any old netbook that strikes your fancy (despite having XP) and try the Windows-Refund route. I imagine you have a preferred distro you'd rather install than whatever comes stock anyway. (I love my 8.9" Aspire One, but couldn't stand Linpus. Running UNR presently.)

Re:What netbooks are still available with Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28946367) has 3 HP 2140 Mini-Note, 10", Atom N270, 160GB, Linux ready for shipping:


Missing Information (5, Funny)

Drummergeek0 (1513771) | about 5 years ago | (#28946181)

What I would like to know is which netbook is John Travolta and which is Nicholas Cage.

Re:Missing Information (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | about 5 years ago | (#28946521)

Travolta wears a blue suit, Cage wears a black one, therefore Travolta is the Acer, Cage is the Gateway.

I want a netbook again in few years time (4, Insightful)

luvirini (753157) | about 5 years ago | (#28946217)

I have an original eee 701 and I am very happy with it. It is about right size, has large enough keyboard to type short notes and so on. The only complaint really is that it is a bit on the thick side and the use time is slightly too short. I really like the use of a solid state disk and lack of windows too, not to mention the 199 euros I paid for it as new.

I am hoping that once the current crazyness of calling ever larger things netbooks is finally over someone will make something revolutionary.. whatever they call it then... something the size of eee PC, though hopefully by then they can make it thinner. I will likely personally need such in about 4-5 years or so.. hope they have again such on the market at that point instead of the current "netbooks"

Re:I want a netbook again in few years time (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 5 years ago | (#28946901)

I'm also an 701 4G owner. I upgraded it to 2GB RAM, but in hindsight that was not necessary. However, there are a few things that annoy me a lot at this netbook (and I like that netbook, really)
  • Battery life. Not to mention that if you put it in sleep, it eats 10% per hour.
  • Performance. I know this is only a 900MHz Celeron, but I have used a P-III 600MHz laptop that was more responsive (albeit that one ran Window). It insists on clocking itself down to 630MHz. I have a cron job which checks it every 5 minutes and sets it back to 900MHz, but that's just a hack. Do note that if you let it do what it wants, it doesn't affect battery life.
  • Screen size.... I think the 900s were better, using the whole space. 800x480 is just barely enogh. I find myself using Firefox in full screen (F11) pretty much all the time.
  • The operating system. I used the preinstalled Xandros for a long time. It was fine and ran reasonably fast and supported the hardware well. Alas, Asus doesn't update it well, the repositories were pretty much horrible. I opted for Debian Lenny to have a way out. Debian Lenny is very slow on it, even though I use LXDE. I'm still looking to find a better operating system.

It's fun to have it, and neat to have around, but I wouldn't call it sufficient. I like my netbook, but I wouldn't recommend the 701 to anyone except hardcore geeks who can live with its shortcomings.

Summary (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 5 years ago | (#28946257)

The Tech Report bought them both and has compared them head to head in some depth, choosing a clear winner between the two."

One time a scientist friend of mine talked about a pet peeve of his regarding some academic papers: when the Abstract section reads like an advertisement for the paper, rather than a summary.

I wish kdawson had the same sensibilities.

Re:Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28946487)

I wish kdawson had ANY sensibilities.

You forgot the Toshiba which beats both (1)

Maarek Stele (7770) | about 5 years ago | (#28946365)

The new oshiba for $400 beats both of those in preformance and quality.

Re:You forgot the Toshiba which beats both (1)

ibookdb (1199357) | about 5 years ago | (#28946643)

which new toshiba has a 12" screen?

MacBook AIr is what I want in a netbook (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 5 years ago | (#28946375)

But it has a "mainframe" price :-(
The Air is light, very readable screen, fast graphics, etc.

Re:MacBook AIr is what I want in a netbook (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28946881)

The Air would be ideal except I'd like a couple add-ons (mainly for security):

1: Some place for a Kensington lock slot. The HP laptop I have put the slot in the hinge so it is out of the way when being used.

2: A TPM chip, or a generic APDU compatible crypto token. If my laptop gets stolen, I don't want to be worrying if my passphrase was good enough, even if it is 64 characters (the max in TrueCrypt). With a good FDE program and a hardware chip, an unauthorized user gets only a few guesses before the thing drops the curtain down on the access attempts for good.

3: If people remember the venerable PowerBook Duo, it had one of the best docking stations at the time. You put the subnotebook in, and it had a motorized eject. Perhaps something similar for the Air so one could just slide it in a dock when not in use at the office.

Solution for too many split pages: (0, Redundant)

asdf7890 (1518587) | about 5 years ago | (#28946383)

Like most such in-depth reviews, this one is spread across 10 pages.

Not with the AutoPager extension installed it doesn't.

Executive Summary (4, Informative)

steveha (103154) | about 5 years ago | (#28946475)

I read the whole article; I thought it was worth my time. But I'll summarize the most important points for you.

He liked the Gateway better. The Athlon64 uses more power and radiates more heat compared to the Atom in the Acer; but it delivers more performance, and the author thinks it's worth it. If you want maximum run time and don't care so much about performance, the Acer would be better for you. (The Atom does hyperthreading, and some video codecs are tuned to take advantage of that, so the Acer did slightly better than expected on some video playback; but even so, he felt the Athlon64 was better overall for video playback.)

Both netbooks come pre-loaded with Vista and piles of bloatware. He scrubbed off the bloatware and updated Vista to the latest service pack, and the machines were a bit faster. He then installed Windows 7 and they were a bit faster again, but not amazingly so. He didn't say anything about Linux, but I'll wager that if he put Ubuntu 9.04 on the netbooks, they would fly.

By the way, I'm running Ubuntu on a six-month-old 10.6" Acer Aspire One, with an Atom chip, and the performance is great. My biggest complaint is that there are dialog boxes that are just too big for the vertical resolution (600 pixels); the reviewed netbooks both have 1366x768 resolution, so the dialog boxes that annoy me would not be a problem. (I'm talking about the setup dialogs for Evolution. To set up Evolution, I had to judiciously use the Tab key to move the highlight to the "Okay" button, which was not visible because the dialogs were too tall; it worked but it was a huge pain, and not everyone would know you can even do that.) I've been meaning to try the special Netbook Remix version of Ubuntu... but with these new 11" netbooks, there would be no reason to bother; just run Ubuntu 9.04.


Re:Executive Summary (5, Informative)

PacoSuarez (530275) | about 5 years ago | (#28946605)

To set up Evolution, I had to judiciously use the Tab key to move the highlight to the "Okay" button, which was not visible because the dialogs were too tall; it worked but it was a huge pain, and not everyone would know you can even do that.

Most window managers will let you move a window around if you press Alt and then click anywhere in the window. That's really handy for these situations.

[madatory subject] (1, Interesting)

ethana2 (1389887) | about 5 years ago | (#28946607)

Any machine with an Intel GMA500 is pure garbage. ..but both of them come with Windows and there don't seem to be any Ubuntu options, so I view this more as two clear losers rather than one clear winner. I know, I know. We're outnumbered.

Mini Acer Aspire One review (4, Interesting)

emag (4640) | about 5 years ago | (#28946623)

This past weekend, the wife picked up an Acer Aspire One (AO751h) @ Costco for about $330. Came w/ 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, 11.6" screen, WinXP Home w/ SP3, Atheros 802.11b/g. My impression of it, up until last night when we finally booted it w/ a USB-stick live linux distro was, in a nutshell, "worthless piece of crap that can't stay running more than a few hours".

I mean, quite literally, every few minutes, to every few hours, this new from box thing would just randomly lock hard, no keyboard, touchpad, or even power button response. Unpingable. Needed a battery pull to recover. This is with the from-factory supplied OS (WinXP Home 32-bit, w/ SP3, remember). Even sitting idle, it would do this. With or without any USB devices plugged in. Connected or disconnected from the network. With or without AV software running. With the original or updated BIOS or drivers (newest from Acer's site).

As of last night, booting off a USB-based Debian Lenny, trying to exercise as much of the machine as possible, from memtest86+ to md5summing the entire 160G drive, to just sitting idle all night long, it's _still_ running, as of about an hour ago with no lockups. Go figure. Alas, lenny's too old to have decent ath5k support (not sure that'll even really work), so I wasn't able to connect to our WPA2-protected wireless network, to see if that caused issues.

The only other caveat I've found so far, is that it uses the Intel GMA 500 graphics chipset which...isn't very well supported at all (the only Intel GMA one that isn't). Vesa resolutions are OK, but not 1366x768 native (IIRC, it's coming up 1024x768). A little too blurry/not crisp for me, but the wife seems happy enough, coming from a Thinkpad T30 that looks downright dull in comparison.

I'm not sure I'd get one for myself.

Re:Mini Acer Aspire One review (1)

speedlaw (878924) | about 5 years ago | (#28946885)

Sorry to hear that. I just got the same unit for $299 and after updating XP and one trip through the startup folder to remove extra stuff, this unit is fast and seems solid. It replaced a huge Toshiba laptop that died a natural death. The tosh had 30 gb, 512 mb and a 800 mhz pentium. Cost about 1200 new. This thing IS moore's law. Return it and get another.

GaOAT (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28946633)

about half of the MOre stable

Taskbar... (2, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | about 5 years ago | (#28946731)

Is it just me, or is the windows 7 taskbar much taller (ie consumes more vertical space) than previous versions?
That, combined with thicker titlebars, doesn't make for very efficient use of vertical space on widescreen displays and especially on small netbook displays...
The Ubuntu netbook interface seems far more suited to such devices, it has no bar at the bottom, and the menu bar at the top combines with the titlebar of any open window to use very little of the very limited vertical space on the screen.

Re:Taskbar... (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 5 years ago | (#28947157)

Disable the aero interface... seriously, you get a taskbar closer in size to the original 9x/2k style bar, but with the extra win7 goodness. I'm running in that config on my Eee. Though I tried having the bar auto-hide, and always on top, there were a couple apps that were quirky. Some websites I need to go into F11 mode to actually use though, and I have my address and toolbar all on one line in my browser.

They are still just as slow (1)

jeremy128 (976915) | about 5 years ago | (#28946745)

What I'm waiting for (and maybe I'll get it when Windows 7 comes out) is a netbook with an Atom 300 series, or any dual-core chip for that matter. It's not like I want to play Crysis on one, but a little more omf would be really nice. As of right now, they all seem to have more or less the same CPU, whether it's a N270 or N280 or Z something, they are all about the same.

screen hides poor wifi options. (1)

sjwest (948274) | about 5 years ago | (#28946891)

It's probably a chipset issue but i'd rather get something with n rather than g for future proofing, in this case screen size alone is a step backwards.

hmmm (3, Funny)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about 5 years ago | (#28947101)

Could we please stop using the phrases "Face Off" and "Shootout" to spark interest for a simple product comparison. It seems so "SUNDAY! SUNDAY!! SUNDAY!!!"
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