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"Netbooks" Move Up In Notebook Rankings 139

Posted by kdawson
from the changing-mix dept.
Ian Lamont writes "For the first time, a list of popular notebook reviews shows three 'netbooks' in the top 10. The netbooks use Intel's Atom processor. Notebookreview.com's editor says there has never been more than one netbook in its monthly ratings. The reason for the netbooks' sudden popularity no doubt relates to the price and basic functionality, but there's a catch. Despite calling Atom a 'high-performance' chip, Intel cautions people not to confuse netbooks with notebooks, as netbooks will be unable to take on video editing or other processor-intensive tasks. This leads to the question of how netbooks will be able to handle demanding Web apps — or whether Web apps will have to be slimmed down to accommodate millions of netbook owners."
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"Netbooks" Move Up In Notebook Rankings

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  • Yuppies (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suck_burners_rice (1258684) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @07:39PM (#25259771)
    This is sort of like comparing these netbooks to that Apple sub-notebook that has only one USB port and a power port, no other externally accessible I/O devices. Except that these netbooks are affordable and that Apple thing is, well, for yuppies to show off at the cafe.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by node 3 (115640)

      This is sort of like comparing these netbooks to that Apple sub-notebook that has only one USB port and a power port, no other externally accessible I/O devices. Except that these netbooks are affordable and that Apple thing is, well, for yuppies to show off at the cafe.

      No other I/O, except for audio, video, WiFi bluetooth, camera, microphone. Oh, and the "Apple thing" runs a full Core2Duo, not an Atom or C7.

      The MacBook Air is like a "netbook pro". Very much like the Lenovo U110 (which is priced similarly to the Air).

    • by Firehed (942385)

      As a Mac owner I agree that the Air is completely stupid for 99% of the people, and probably would have never made it to market if the eee had come out a little earlier.

      But how about you stop your fucking trolling and not bring Apple into a discussion where they're completely irrelevant. /just got a sandwich, can afford to tear off a bit to feed the trolls.

    • Why do I need other I/O ports, exactly?

      • by Abreu (173023)

        Sensible redundancy?

        It is not unheard of for a USB port to break or malfunction otherwise...

        • While that's definitely, possible, I've never, ever encountered that once. I'd rather have a smaller form factor and be prepared to take it in to get fixed on the off chance something breaks if I was in the market for a laptop where portability was a major factor. Besides, it has wireless.

  • We can only hope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by martinw89 (1229324) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @07:42PM (#25259789)

    We can only hope that the popularity of netbooks will slim down web apps and speed up JavaScript implementations. There's so much bloat that some websites feel slow (after fully loading of course) on my Core 2 Duo with 2GB of RAM. That's just unacceptable and we can all reap the benefits if netbooks lower the performance expectations of web developers. Nowadays hardware is cheaper than good development, but a little extra development can go a long way.

    • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @08:10PM (#25259963)

      Nah. I think it's going to be something more dramatic. I've got this idea for local apps: natively compiled code that runs independently of a browser. Should be nice and fast, even on a "netbook."

    • Re:We can only hope (Score:4, Interesting)

      by lysergic.acid (845423) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @08:35PM (#25260159) Homepage

      i know a lot of people complain about certain sites with AJAX interfaces being unbearably slow and resource-intensive, but i just haven't observed this.

      i'm running a 4-year old Dell 2.8 GHz with 1 GB of RAM. it was a top of the line desktop when i first got it, but it can't hold a match against today's PCs, and i've rarely had any slowdowns due JavaScript alone. sure, if there's a digg discussion with 900+ comments, it'll take Firefox a few seconds to load it all, but those are extreme circumstances (though a little pagination would easily solve the problem) and not due to inherent complexity of the JavaScript implementation.

      even a modestly powered netbook should have no problem with most AJAX interfaces. the YUI framework has some pretty slick JavaScript & AJAX UI implementations that really push the envelop in terms of responsive web interfaces, but even those interface elements aren't that resource intensive. the WYSIWYG editor control is a little heavy, but even a netbook should be able to handle it just fine--assuming they're not using a bloated and naturally resource-consuming browser.

      there's a huge difference between not being able to do video editing on a system, and not being able to run web applications on it. but then again, i don't have a netbook. so we'll have to see what netbook owners have to say on this issue. personally though, i don't think web apps have gotten to the point where they require a dual core workstation to run smoothly on. if anything, it's the OSes and browser clients themselves that need slimming down.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by node 3 (115640)

        i'm running a 4-year old Dell 2.8 GHz with 1 GB of RAM. it was a top of the line desktop when i first got it, but it can't hold a match against today's PCs, and i've rarely had any slowdowns due JavaScript alone. sure, if there's a digg discussion with 900+ comments, it'll take Firefox a few seconds to load it all, but those are extreme circumstances (though a little pagination would easily solve the problem) and not due to inherent complexity of the JavaScript implementation.

        Turn JavaScript off, then re-open digg, and you'll notice the difference. It might not be enough to bother you, but it's very obvious on a side-by-side comparison.

      • At this point, RAM is in my opinion one of the larger potential bottlenecks for web apps.

        Browsers can eat up a lot of memory while running JS-heavy "web apps", and leaks can result in hundreds of MB being used over time, causing excessive disk swapping etc.

        On a laptop with WinXP and 512 MB of RAM, even Firefox using 200 MB of RAM (not an unrealistic number if you have a few tabs with mail, maps and other big sites open,) can start to hurt the overall system performance.

    • Re:We can only hope (Score:5, Interesting)

      by glwtta (532858) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @09:01PM (#25260337) Homepage
      We can only hope that the popularity of netbooks will slim down web apps and speed up JavaScript implementations.

      At least that one's a solved problem: V8, TraceMonkey, SquirrelFish - the next generation of JS engines in the major browsers (with the obvious exception) are orders of magnitude faster than the current releases (in the literal 10 or 100 times faster sense). No idea what's going on with IE8, though.

      I've heard claims that some of them are approaching the performance of unoptimized (ie -O0) native C, for what that's worth.

      Also just saw some demos of GPU-accelerated animation in the <canvas> tag - it's really looking like we are in for a major shakeup as far as browser performance goes.
      • Re:We can only hope (Score:5, Interesting)

        by lysergic.acid (845423) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @09:54PM (#25260591) Homepage

        now that's the direction we should be moving in. instead of ever more bloated software to cancel out any increase in hardware performance, we should start seeing cheaper and lower-end hardware sufficing for casual daily computer usage. as a result, we should see web browsing capabilities cascading down to smaller and smaller portable devices.

        the rise in netbooks and the surge of other web-accessible smart appliances should transform the traditional web browsing experience into a transparent function of daily living. but this requires that netbooks and other smart devices provide the same intrinsic web browsing experience as desktop computers and laptops.

        the WAP/WMLHTTP/HTML (mobiledesktop) divergence model proved to be a failure. this was because WAP browsers provided a crippled web browsing experience with no resemblance to the useful and convenient web experience users were accustomed to on their computers. people don't want a stripped down version of the web for their mobile devices. the whole point of smart devices is so that you can use the genuine web, in all of its original glory, anytime and anywhere you want.

        people don't want to pay exorbitant fees for a cellular data plan just so they can find out that their favorite sites don't have a netbook-optimized version. until the day people are using their browsers to edit videos or do CAD work, there shouldn't be a separate tier of web applications just for sub-laptop devices.

    • by aztektum (170569)

      Amen, brother.

      I wonder how much bandwidth is wasted on Flash and Javascript? I have a chuckle when I goto Verizon, Comcast, etc. sites and see all the Flash on there, and then they turn around and bitch about bandwidth hogging web services.

      Boo urns

    • I would imagine most of the blame here rests with Flash, and not with Javascript.

    • by pimpimpim (811140)
      Was hoping the same, but I won't put my bet on it. More likely will we just wait for netbooks to get a boost in computing power and RAM.
    • by nurb432 (527695)

      And pigs might fly too...

      Don't hold your breath. Even the toolkits people are using are bloating at an alarming rate.

  • by pavs.ma (1124133) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @07:53PM (#25259839)
    The listed top 10 are hardly all "netbooks". Acer Aspire One is the best of the bunch IMO; and the fact that you can customize (even Mac OS X ?) to your heart's content, gets added brownie points. Most popular Linux OS can be easily installed on the aspire one if Linpus doesn't cut it for you. Here is a list of "hacks" (whatever you wanna call it) http://www.linuxhaxor.net/2008/09/27/30-cool-acer-aspire-one-hacks/ [linuxhaxor.net]
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dattaway (3088) *

      Agreed, I can't recommend the eeepc 701 anymore. My eeepc 701's limited screen seems like working with a Nintindo DS compared with my Acer One. Not to mention the hardware bugs of the 701, like the USB ports staying on when the netbook is off: this *kills* USB powered hard drives when the batteries fail. The Acer seems to have much higher quality than the Asus this time.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by orkysoft (93727)

        this *kills* USB powered hard drives when the batteries fail.

        Could you please explain? Does the battery failure actually break the drive?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by dattaway (3088) *

          Could you please explain? Does the battery failure actually break the drive?

          Yes. Run a USB powered hard drive from a USB port with too little current and the drive will start clicking as it malfunctions. It can fail to start up after that. Data cannot be recovered.

          • Run a USB powered hard drive from a USB port with too little current and the drive will start clicking as it malfunctions. It can fail to start up after that. Data cannot be recovered.

            Which brand of USB-powered hard drive fails to cleanly shut down on insufficient current, so that I can buy the competitor?

    • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @08:24PM (#25260075)

      Definately. When my old Windows laptop croaked a month ago, I was on the verge of finally breaking down and getting a MacBook or MacBook pro to replace this 12.1" Powerbook. I happen to be at Best Buy, saw the Acer Aspire One with 1GB of Ram, 120GB HDD, and XP home for $350 and brought it home with me.

      I only need to test compatibility with MSIE for webpages and there are 2 windows-only applications that I love to use for rapid development/deployment of database driven sites and the Aspire One handles them great. True, I have to carry around two machines, but it is nice to be able to write code on my 12.1" Powerbook and view the changes on the Aspires screen or the other way around. I can fit the two small laptops on a small table at the coffee shop I usually work out of side by side and it's almost like having a dual monitor set up that is 7lb total.

      My only problem is going from an apple keyboard to the netbook's keyboard layout side by side. That can cause some copy paste errors when I'm tired.

    • I think the Aspire looks like one of the best out there, but it was a competition between an A1 and a eee 900 for me as to which I could find a sub-$300 deal on first. The eee just won out at 288. I'm not too keen on the Atom in the A1 though - I'd rather get a Nano-based HP 2133 (Aluminum and Magnesium case FTW) if/when they become available.

    • I don't know; even though the Acer Aspire One with 8GB SSD is only 300$ (although I can't find it at WorstBuy/PrehistoricShop anymore) and it also comes with an option for a 120GB HDD, LED backlit screen...

      The Dell E is passively cooled. No moving parts whatsoever. Sure, it's 80$ more here to match the 8GB of the Aspire One... But passively cooled! For the screen and keyboard, HP has everybody beat. So I don't know anymore. Can you stand a winey fan? (and I hear Dell's E keyboard is not too bad) Not to ment

    • by glwtta (532858)
      Seconded. I recently bought one and was very with the performance and build quality, for something that costs $320.

      Way better experience than the EEE, and at this point, it's what, less than half the price?

      Haven't tried the MSI Wind yet, supposedly it can give Acer a run for the money.
  • I ride a bus about an hour to work and back each day. I've tried bringing a laptop, to see if I can't get some productivity out of that 2 hours, but the regular 15" laptops are too big and heavy for me. I was looking at the sub-13" laptops, but those were always uber premium executive toys with the high prices to match. I'm thinking a netbook is just what I need. Hey, for $350 I can afford to buy one and not be out too much cash if it turns out not to be what I'm looking for.
    • Generally, yes, sub-13" "notebooks" are quite pricey compared to their 15" equivalents.

      I just bought a HP 2230s [hp.com]. Core 2 Duo, 3GB RAM with a 12" 1280x800 screen. Unlike certain netbooks it has bluetooth, which should be standard in any consumer device. It also has a HDMI port for when I purchase a 24" LCD!

      For around $US1K, it has similar specs but in a smaller form factor at less than half the price of a notebook I bought 18 months ago - which has sadly just died, out of warranty :(

      It's powerful enough

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @08:01PM (#25259887)
    The problem isn't if Netbooks can handle web apps, it is the question of if they are usable on a tiny screen. For example, Google maps, though "usable" usually requires me to zoom out a bit on Firefox 3, go to fullscreen mode, and hide the sidebar in order for me to use it on my EEE (701, 4G Surf running eeeXubuntu).
    • by pherthyl (445706)

      Well since most of the new netbooks have significantly bigger screens than the 701, that's not really a problem anymore.

      • But most aren't as cheap as the $300 701 though. A lot of people who don't know much about computers may just go for the cheapest laptop.
        • by pherthyl (445706)

          True, but the Acer Aspire One at 329 is pretty damn close. I have a 701 from last fall, but the bigger screens of the new gen are very tempting...

    • by xs650 (741277)
      I just got an ASUS eee 1000h with 160G hard drive. 10 inch screen and weighs a hair over 3 lbs. Google Maps and Earth are very usable and I'm an old phart with bad eyesight. The keyboard is 92% of standard size and is easy to use. It's big for a netbook but way better than a normal notebook for travel.

      It came with XP Home, I just added a Ubuntu eee which is Ubuntu optimized for the eee. Price was $470 at Amazon.

      It's what I was waiting for since the first rumors of netbooks were leaked.

      Acer and MSI make com
  • by vitaflo (20507) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @08:11PM (#25259975) Homepage

    FWIW, the rankings are based on click counts to the reviews of laptops on the site mentioned in the OP. It has nothing to do with actual sales.

  • Over time, computers have become more and more powerful. And people always find uses for the additional power. If anyone tells you that we "don't need more power", ignore them.

    But the netbooks show that there is a solid niche for people doing basic tasks wherever they want to go. I love going to small local espresso shops, and enjoying some sort of coffee drink while reading Slashdot. Even my OLPC XO is adequate for this, let alone an Atom-powered netbook. If anyone tells you that netbooks "aren't powe

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      Oh noes, my netbook is underpowered for video editing. How many people thought otherwise?

      This is becoming standard notebook-vendor marketing B.S. Think up some activity that used to require the full processor power of a desktop PC but can now be done with the specs of your average laptop. Advertise, explaining that beginning this year the top of your line of laptops can do everything that a desktop can. Next year, pretend everybody has been clamoring to do this activity on their laptops and that they will no longer settle for less. Never mind whether anybody really wants to do it or not.

      I mean,

  • My main worry about these netbooks is video decoding. I have had trouble decoding flash video on a few years old. The same holds true for the HD like movies with DRM. I know that the primary use of these machines is not to watch video, but you know it will become a dominant use. The net book makers should learn from the mistakes Apple made in the late 90's and the class action lawsuits from the DVD player that almost worked.
    • For video decoding use VLC. I installed VLC on an Acer Aspire One running Linpus and it works quite nicely.

      The greater problem is that you can drain the battery in about two hours and that can be a problem if you're planning to watch videos on a long flight.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I do the same thing. VLC is the greatest thing next to white bread. VLC will work perfectly with the same content that iTUnes chokes on. As many nice features as iTunes has, and for audio it really revolutionized the way I listen to music, for video it is junk POS.

        But, one not everyone knows that it exists and should be the player of choice. Two, VLC does not always work well with flash media. It will play, but it sometimes crashes when using the foward/backwards. And, of course, it does not work wi

      • by sznupi (719324)

        The other option would be SMPlayer, a nice frontend to mplayer, which also gains popularity in circles that are already using VLC (I use one of the other, depending on the situation).

        Has ridiculously low cpu usage. And generally feels much lighter/snappier.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by raistlinwolf (1365893)
      I wonder what flash advertising is doing for battery life. I'd like to view a site through a notebook portal to address these 'battery life' concerns, to stop all of the moving pictures. While they are at it, web developers could put all of the text on the same page (like Tom's Hardware, not that I've been there in years...), also to extend 'battery life'.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        (insert obligatory Firefox + AdBlock Plus advertisement here)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Miamicanes (730264)

      > My main worry about these netbooks is video decoding
      Video decoding is fairly easy... it's ENCODING that really sucks down the CPU cycles. Old computers didn't have problems decoding video in realtime because they were too slow... they choked because they didn't have enough RAM to keep everything related to the video buffered in physical RAM, and keep it there while doing other background tasks. The moment you start getting page faults and swapping things out to hard drive, all bets are off... even with

  • by PhotoGuy (189467) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @08:25PM (#25260077) Homepage

    I've always been a fan of the "subnotebook." I had the first model of the Toshiba Libretto, the size of VHS cassette, circa 1998. The odd person would laugh at its size, but meanwhile I was using it at restaurants, comfortably on a plane while eating a meal, and so forth.

    (One time on a plane the stewardess pointed at my lap and said, "wow, that's the smallest one of those I've ever seen!" Man, did she ever turn red when she realized how that sounded. I held up the laptop to make it quite clear what she was referring to :S)

    When Toshiba announced a new version of the Libretto, I jumped on buying one. Updated specs, wifi, bluetooth, 2ghz, yadda, yadda, yadda. I even bought the three year SystemGuard with it; even if a drink spilled on it, they would cover me.

    Unfortuantely, I had a few hardware problems with it, post warrantee, but within the 3-year system guard. I had it to two different service depots, where it sat for months. When I got it back, nothing was done to it. Dropped it off again. The bluetooth and wifi weren't working. The DVD dock never did work right. I wrote a frustrated noted to the President of Toshiba Canada, and have been playing phone tag with someone ever since, trying to get this damn laptop working again. It's a good chunk of a year I've been without it.

    I see these EEE PC's kicking around for a few hundred dollars. I could have bought a few of them, with what I spent on the Libretto (and not been without a tiny laptop for months). The System Guard warrantee alone would have paid for one. If I can't get half decent service on a more expensive "subnotebook," which I mainly use for wireless web access, email, word processing, and other lightweight tasks, I might as well pick up cheap and semi-disposable netbooks.

    Toshiba, if you're listening, I would love to regain my trust and dedication to your brand; when I had a big company, we bought dozens of your laptops, but I don't think I'd ever touch them again, after this terrible service experience...

    If I don't get some resolution before my System Guard is up this December, I'll likely just dispose of the Libretto on eBay, and pick up an EEE PC. A sad demise for a rather pioneering legacy by Toshiba. If the EEE PC dies outside the warrantee period, I'll just grab another one, or whatever else has come out since. It really is becoming a commodity item, which I welcome.

    • I'm a subnotebook fan also. I got a Fujitsu Lifebook back in 2006 for about $1400 (USD). 10.6" (diagonal) LCD, 1280x768, 512 RAM with XP, no fans, suede material on the bottom - no, really - 3 pounds, and from 3 to 4 hours of battery life thanks to some nice power management features.

      It also ran variants of "Hackintosh" from what I'd heard due to the Intel GMA chipset. It's pricier than the more modern machines out there, but it's a great little laptop given the balance of size/features/price. I regularly g

  • Anyone have ideas on what the best netbook for writing code would be? All of the reviews look at them from the perspective of web browsers, media viewer and document viewer/writers. I'm more interested in a super-portable machine for writing code and using as a remote desktop viewer.

    To me the Dell Mini 9 has the best specs as far as build quality, features and price but while the keyboard is nice and "large" (relatively) it puts the braces {} and brackets [] plus some others in very awkward places that se

    • Plus they all could benefit from a higher vertical resolution (or a rotatable screen).

      I don't know if this is widely known, but the Asus Eee PC (at least the 901, the first Atom processor model) has a "rotatable screen," at least in the software sense. Hit Ctrl-Alt-RightArrow and it goes into portrait mode. Hit Ctrl-Alt-DownArrow and it will even flip upside-down. Unfortunately, it's pretty difficult to use in these modes because the screen itself has no pivot. The fact that the touchpad doesn't change orientation makes it doubly difficult. It is handy for viewing certain kinds of documents

      • by LarsG (31008)

        Asus Eee PC (at least the 901, the first Atom processor model) has a "rotatable screen," at least in the software sense. Hit Ctrl-Alt-RightArrow and it goes into portrait mode. Hit Ctrl-Alt-DownArrow and it will even flip upside-down.

        As far as I know, that should be possible for every display provided that the X driver for the gfx card has proper xrandr support.

        I actually just discovered this myself a couple days ago while playing around with my new aspire one. "xrandr -o normal/left/right/inverted". Bind a hotkey to the command(s) and screen flipping should be just a keypress away.

        One would need some way to flip the meaning of the touchpad /arrow keys too to make it really useful, so if someone knows of any magic xorg trick to achieve

        • by PCM2 (4486)

          Ah, sorry -- I assume you're right about Xorg, but I'm running Windows on my Eee PC. There the feature is somewhat unusual.

    • eee1000 (Score:3, Informative)

      by Fantastic Lad (198284)

      Asus eeepc1000. I'm using the one with the hard drive. It's a solidly built machine with a 10" screen and a battery life which is about double that of the nearest competitor. They're going for $460 on some order sites.

      If you can live with a slightly smaller screen and if battery life isn't terribly important, then the Aspire One looks like a pretty great deal with a lot of happy users and an 8Gb SSD.

      I find writing on the eee1000H really easy. Nice, big keyboard, and a decent screen size. If the machine

    • by wikinerd (809585)
      The ASUS Eee 900's keyboard is acceptable for coding.
    • If you are serious about coding, I strongly recommend that you invest in one of the more expensive full-featured machines. I found that the best option on the Aspire One was to kill X and use virtual consoles, but vi and the Linux command line wont be everyone's ideal development environment. The keyboard on the Aspire is quite usable, but the trackpad sucks bigtime. The other area where the Aspire shines is in the role of dedicated database and web server during development, assuming you aren't dealing wit
    • by h3 (27424)

      Dell moved the apostrophe key to the bottom row, which pretty much broke the deal on the Mini 9 for. I don't know what kind of coding you do, but I use the apostrophe and quotation mark TONS.

      See here for a closeup: http://www.medicthree.com/2008/10/remapping-dell-mini-9-inspiron-910.html [medicthree.com]

  • by IPSection (226113) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @08:34PM (#25260155)

    is the 1024x600 resolution of these netbooks. A lot of website and webapps are designed for a minimum of 1024x768. Those missing pixels do make a difference ....

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Arngautr (745196)
      F11
      ;-)
      I also highly recommend the Tiny Menu [mozilla.org] extension for FF.
    • XGA please (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The real advantage to these netbooks is travelling around with them to give talks. You know, on those projectors they have everywhere.

      The ones that

      DISPLAY XGA NATIVELY.

      I'm sorry, I get a little emotional. To have the perfect solution for travelling and giving talks, but then have to resort to moving the mouse on the WVGA screen so I can see what the audience is seeing at the bottom of my slide.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by wikinerd (809585)
        Use a presenter and don't look at your computer's screen at all! When I give presentations I use a computer pointing and laser pointer device (presenter) which allows me to control my computer while looking at the audience or the wall. I can move the mouse pointer, go down or up a page, etc. In fact I have four such presenters.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Onaga (1369777)
      I am a web developer and also own a EEE PC. Websites with fixed height are declining. People are designing with the idea of "above the fold" and don't really care about the vertical scrolling.

      Moreover, with my EEE PC I browse in full screen mode (F11), have a plugin to replace the menu-bar with a button next to the address bar, and also have a tiny-button theme which is even smaller than the default firefox "small buttons" option. I don't really care enough to do an actual comparison, but I think it's pre
    • *If* this encourages web designers to make their websites more flexible w.r.t screen real estate, it's a good thing. It's not always just a reduction of height but width, also. e.g. Nokia's maemo devices using an 800x480 screen.

      No more horizontal scrollbars!

      At the other end of the scale, websites that use a fixed width narrow band of content surrounded by side ads are most annoying on a pixel dense screen - you're sometimes left with vast empty expanses either side and text too small to read in the middle.

  • Web 2.0 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OrangeTide (124937) on Saturday October 04, 2008 @09:11PM (#25260385) Homepage Journal

    If your modern web apps can't run on a 1.6Ghz dual core or hyperthreaded CPU. then I think I'll blame the web apps and not the CPU. Does the Internet have to be this hard? What sort of supercomputer tasks does it take to render an interactive webpage?

    • The Atoms aren't like other CPU's from Intel. They only really have what Intel decided was the most common instructions for their domain implemented in real hardware, the rest don't have dedicated hardware. So depending on what instructions a program is using, the Atom can perform slower then a much lower rated CPU (I have seen benchmarks where they get beaten by 400-500Mhz Celerons).

      That said, I own an Acer Aspire One, and it feels faster then any of the computers I owned up until 2005.

      • I have two Atom systems. They are fairly fast, faster than my Celeron M system. Which Celeron series are you compared it to, a Coppermine? (P-III) or perhaps a heavily underclocked Northwood/Willamette to get it to be 500Mhz?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by wombat21 (1378555)
      I have an Aspire One (1GB, XP/Ubuntu on dual boot, yada yada) : I dont expect it to have the same grunt as the 2.2GHz dual core processor in my Macbook Pro or the Centrino 2 in my HP dv9 : it seems that I may be in the minority. We want it all - a 500 buck laptop that plays Crysis at 80fps while wowing the latte set and impressing our corporate overlords with the our sudden increase in productivity. Like the 'perfect' programming language (or car/surfboard/whatever) it doesn't exist. Here in Oz, the Aspire
  • > This leads to the question of how netbooks will be able to handle demanding Web apps

    Which leads to the answer "Yes, of course they can. They can run full versions of OSes like Ubuntu - why can't they run a script language like Javascript, or display video/animations like Flash?"

    Acer provides shockingly bad support, but fortunately there are independent forums where you can go for help. I'm using mine to learn about Linux for the first time and I'm quite enjoying it.

  • I'm a college student. My netbook is used mostly to take notes during class, and to check email between classes (and occasionally during class, if it's an especially boring class.)

    I don't need a super computer here :P Though, I will note that it's plenty good enough to load Youtube so I can keep up with my buddies on the latest viral video. However, my screen is just a LITTLE too small for when I'm trying to watch porn on redtube.... no joke, the height of the video is more than my browser window can acc
  • There were no examples cited of "demanding" web apps. I can't think of a single commonly used webapp that is "demanding" enough for a netbook to show weakness.

    Could someone point me in the right direction?

  • I am planning on getting one myself maybe next year. I love the Eee Box especially with Xubuntu on it and I have been very happy with it. I am leaning more towards the Dell netbook as It comes preloaded with my favorite OS Ubuntu.
  • It's one thing to do it cheap, but I'd rather wait for the fine folks at IBM/Lenovo make a shot at making one with quality. Asus and such seem to just cut corners wherever and hope you don't notice.

    As for the ratings:
    Hopefully they do the right thing and separate them into their own category. Netbooks have done enough damage to kill off S-IPS and reduce quality.

  • I have been looking at both the new HP netbook, as well as the Acer One. I just can't get myself to buy one. I have been thinking about it because I currently carry my Dell D630 (Desktop replacement...kinda) and 3 Compaq EVOs when doing Pen testing. It would be nice to carry about 3 or 4 of the netbooks, but I need processing power, as well as lots of memory, so any opinions on how they perform in such a situation?
  • Learn how to use a remote control app and run it on your desktop from wherever you and your netbook is. The reason why your netbook is small, light, and cheap is that it doesn't have the CPU or storage to run demanding apps like video editing.

    Despite this, I'm fairly happy with my Linux eeePC.
  • by Lord Byron II (671689) on Sunday October 05, 2008 @01:54AM (#25261749)

    Intel keeps saying that it's Atom processors aren't heavy duty, but I think that's marketing spin to avoid taking the bottom out of the market for the more profit-laden processors.

    I recently compared the Eee PC to my laptop. The Eee PC was able to calculate prime numbers at about 90% of the rate of my existing three-year old laptop. So, on a processor-to-processor comparison, they are about even. But the Eee PC also has three years of better hard drive, bus, and memory technology, and I expect it to fully whoop my laptop there.

    Basically, I view these netbooks as having the same power as a 2-3 year old average laptop, but in a smaller form factor.

    • by Halo1 (136547)

      The Eee PC was able to calculate prime numbers at about 90% of the rate of my existing three-year old laptop. So, on a processor-to-processor comparison, they are about even.

      No, they are not. The Atom is an in-order processor. That means it will suck heavily at most regular desktop app code which has not been specifically scheduled for executing on it, because while stalling on memory accesses or waiting for expensive operations to finish it won't be able to do anything useful.

      That does not mean that no cod

  • If a web app demands significant performance from your local processor, comparable to video editing, then it sure as hell is unlikely to be portable and cross-platform. It's got no business being deployed at all.

  • As Intel tried to implement with the Celeron: the innovator's dilemma is that if you don't cannibalise your own market, your competitors will.

    "rich user experience"? They sound like Microsoft, and I'm afraid about as believable. The phrase sounds like an ad for Vista. A "sparse user experience" is a feature. Netbooks are just utterly compelling objects. Even the Eee, with its tiny keyboard and 800x480 screen. Anyone who's used one will laugh directly in the face of someone vaguely wibbling about the lack of

  • The answer is Microsoft and Intel. Both have tried to define this new product category that neither particularly wanted after the fact by telling their OEMs that they would be punished if they didn't fall into line and put limits on them. Microsoft wanted to limit them by RAM and screen size while Intel tried to set a limit of using only their own on-board graphics that came with the Atom platform.

    The OEMs initially complied and then Asus, which is both a brand name as well as an OEM, broke ranks and went w

  • Gotta put in the requisite "why is this news?" reply...
    So some website registers the most hits on its web pages of netbooks, and suddenly Slashdot declares that "Netbooks move up in notebook rankings"? I'm sure it's a valid headline, but at least back it up with a real ranking (eg sales numbers), and not the number of hits on a website. By that metric, Rick Astley should be this year's top artist.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

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