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Almost There For Mobile Gaming

While the E-350 at least brings netbooks into the era of genuine usability and the Radeon HD 6310 is definitely a step up from the Nile platform's IGP, you'll see that unfortunately CPU performance isn't quite there yet.

In all cases the HD 6310 acquits itself fairly well compared to the other integrated parts, but CPU performance takes its pound of flesh. Bumping settings down can improve the situation (usually these lower-powered parts will hit bandwidth limitations at 720p and can come into their own at around 800x600) and at that point you're liable to see a substantial improvement over the Nile platform's Mobility Radeon HD 4225, but at the end of the day we're still pretty heavily processor limited.

Jarred's working on some additional gaming tests for his E-350 review, but the general rule of thumb is that you'll want to look at slightly older games (or very undemanding current games). As an example, the original Half-Life 2 runs reasonably well at 1366x768 and medium quality settings; move to the later episodes, however, and performance starts to drop into the 20s and teens—and don't even try bumping the shadow quality above "Low". Maybe now would be a good time to rediscover some of the gaming gems from before 2007?

Fusion-Powered: Application and Futuremark Performance Genuinely Portable AMD is Here
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  • Impulses - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    At the same time, this is cheaper than many tablets AND far more powerful and capable than just about any tablet... It may be anemic compared to a full fledged laptop, but you can get a lot more done on this than on a tablet. Frankly I think the market for this kinda system is larger than the market for tablets...

    IMO, the only people spending $500+ on a tablet are A) wealthy B) people who don't need an actual laptop for work/study C) people who have a big desktop replacement laptop and want something lighter to read, etc. It's just a total luxury item for someone that already has a smartphone and also needs a laptop.

    Maybe I'm just blinded by my own usage habits, but I read a lot on my phone, and when I put it down it's because I want an actual keyboard (so I pick up my netbook), or I need an SD card slot or ample storage space, or I need to do stuff only my desktop can do (gaming, video editing/encoding, etc.). So a tablet's value to me would be pretty much limited to the couch, as a replacement for my phone when I'm watching TV, meh.
    Reply
  • Powerlurker - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    Most people, especially if they don't have school-age children, don't use their home computer to do "work". They do their work on an employer provided computer at their place of employment. They use their home computer for general web-browsing/media consumption, email/IM/Skype, and casual gaming. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    Have you heard of Tiny 7? It is a stripped down windows 7 install that fits on one CD. It uses 145MB of RAM. There are many different groups all simultaneously discovering that win7 need not take up much more space or resources than win xp. The UI can be changed pretty easily also. For example, icons can be blown up really big on Windows 7. It is just a matter of getting x86 tablets out there in quantity for cheap. (ie under $200). Once there is a good base of tablets, there would be a whole bunch of hacking and optimizing going on. The only reason it is not happening is because tablet manufacturers are all hellbent on 200%+ markup. There just is no market for $600-$800 tablets, except for dumb yuppies who all bought ipads already. Reply
  • Dex1701 - Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - link

    No offense, but a comment like that can only come from someone that values a sexy gee-whiz gadget over an actual portable computing device. Tablets are great fun and have their place, but if you actually want to get something done in an acceptable amount of time they don't work. Tablets = low-powered ultra-portable entertainment devices. They're great for some things, but if you want to be productive (even on a personal pursuit such as an artistic hobby) they're extremely limited even compared to a netbook.

    Does it really matter to you that much whether such a device is running MacOS, iOS, Linux, or Windows? Again, a comment like that can only come from someone that's more interested in image than results.
    Reply
  • Griswold - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - link

    I think you're late to reality.

    Atom based netbooks were useless for most work tasks. Same with pretty much all tablets. They're recreational devices, you cant do any meaningful work with it.

    This puppy seems to fill the gap just fine.
    Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Sunday, February 27, 2011 - link

    Tablets are a fad - and talk about anaemic! As soon as people realize how good they look in commercials but how so-so they actually are to use compared to a netbbook or laptop, they'll die out.

    I've said it before - give me a tablet with a hard cover to protect the screen and a decent amount of storage, say 300GB. Oh, wait, that's a laptop, never mind. Or, give me a tablet I can stick in my pocket. Oh, that's a smart phone. I guess I didn't want a tablet computer after all.

    Something about the tablet reminds me of the Etch A Sketch, not sure what . . .

    ;)
    Reply
  • helboy - Thursday, March 10, 2011 - link

    well IMO tablets are for ladies and people who dont like to get their hands dirty ;) ... Reply
  • Gigantopithecus - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    Tablets are great for consumption but those of us who produce need a real keyboard, real hard drive, and not to mention, better connectivity than what's offered with the iPad at least.

    I'm waiting for the X120e (love the nipp...err, trackpoint), but I expect its performance will be similar.

    One question, Dustin - is the mini-PCIe slot mSATA enabled? I.e. does it support Intel's Soda Creek SSDs?
    Reply
  • zepi - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    I believe that vast majority of computer users are consumers. Most people don't actively generate new content, they merely consume it.

    Thus, for most of the people tablet could very well be The Ideal computer.

    I vaguely remember seeing stats that only 10-20% users actively produce content and that the rest of us just read it. I couldn't find it now, but I suppose that Anandtech forums / comments could be used a quick statistics...

    I wonder how much pure readers does Anandtech have in comparison to users who actually participate in creation of the content? Though I suppose Anandtech is not the site whose users portray the Average Joe that accurately.

    For the entire history of computing, computers have been generated by Creators for Creators. Tablet, feature rich home consoles and internet-enabled televisions might just be a start of an era where most devices are based around consuming content, instead of generating it.

    This applies to Jarred's post also. Anandtech Crew is definitely in the subset of creators, which I believe to be a tiny minority of all people.
    Reply
  • freezervv - Monday, February 21, 2011 - link

    And you don't see anything wrong with converting the majority of people into consumers, rather than creators? Reply

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