Mobile Buyers' Guide, December 2009

by Jarred Walton on 12/6/2009 12:00 AM EST
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  • zicozz - Friday, December 11, 2009 - link

    I'm looking for a smaller laptop and I'm currently aiming at either the Asus UV30 or the Asus F83. Can't seem to find any reviews of the F83, but the UV30 seems to be the king in this hill in it's class. Reply
  • zicozz - Friday, December 11, 2009 - link

    Sorry UL30 not UV30 Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, December 11, 2009 - link

    The major difference between the UL80Vt and the UL30Vt is the screen size (13.3" for the UL30Vt) and the lack of an optical drive. It also weighs about 1 pound less. If you want something a bit smaller, go for it, but make sure you get the UL30Vt; there's an older UL30 that doesn't support Turbo33 and comes with a smaller battery I believe. Reply
  • jtsarnak - Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - link

    I cannot recommend any Sony laptops, even the SR mentioned in this article for its good screen. I am the owner of a Z series and this laptop would have been near perfect except for one problem that is plauging most of Sony's line: Battery Drain.

    See here:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=4...">http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=4...

    And here:
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=2...">http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=2...

    These are just two examples, there are a ton of threads out there discussing the problem. Sony's line has the unfortunate "feature" of draining the battery while the laptop is completely shut down. I say "feature" because numerous consumer attempts to get Sony to rectify the issue have been met with a canned response that this is typical for their laptops.

    I have also emailed various websites and publications in an effort to get someone with a little more visibility and press to address the issue with Sony but to no avail. Sony continues to get good reviews on their machines but I'm doubting the reviewers ever bother to look for the drain during the review process.

    Maybe Anandtech will take up the call. Sony is delivering a defective product (a mobile device that loses battery when it is shut off is, imho, defective) and claiming it as a "feature". Anandtech did a great job getting to the bottom of the SSD debacle with the JMicron drives, perhaps they can help us Sony owners as well. In the meantime, avoid these laptops if you don't plan on having it forever plugged in when you're not using it.
    Reply
  • aznchum - Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - link

    I'm an avid fan of IPS panels, and the only notebooks that I know carried them were the Flexview Panels on the IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads. If LCD quality is of a huge concern to you, you probably are better off picking up a Thinkpad x200 (non s) and retrofitting a BOE-Hydis HV121WX4-100 panel (12.1" 1280x800) in it. However, most of these panels floating around the market have a digitizer attached, since they're sourced from tablet PCs. So the mod is kind of a pain in the ass. I personally have modded a T60p with a QXGA screen and found it to be a relatively easy mod with the hardware maintenance manual. The 4:3 15" chassis of the T60/61 and R60/61 are probably the fastest notebooks you can buy that come with Flexview panels. If you're not snobby about LCDs, then go with the recommendations in this guide. Reply
  • CheesePoofs - Monday, December 07, 2009 - link

    Thanks for the article, I've been looking forward to something like this!

    The UL30VT seems pretty interesting to me - same specs as the UL80VT but smaller package making the low-res screen a bit more bearable (I hope).

    Also is there any word on when Arrandale laptops will come out? I've heard Jan 7th for Arrandale chips, but I have no sense of what the delay is between chip release and laptop availability.
    Reply
  • btmedic04 - Monday, December 07, 2009 - link

    I recently purchased a Sony Vaio VPPCW17FX at Best Buy for $799 (before tax) and I am absolutely thrilled with it (especially since i was coming from an ancient HP ZV6000 series with a desktop Athlon 64 3200 that weighed 7 lbs and looks like hell. served its purpose though, but i sure was surprised to see it survive a deployment to Iraq lol)

    Specs are as follows:
    Intel Core2Duo T6600 2.2ghz 2MB L2 800mhz FSB
    4GB DDR3 1066 (for some reason at DDR3 800mhz with no option to set 1066 in bios >.< )
    500GB Hard Drive
    Nvidia G210M with 256mb GDDR3 ram
    Blue-Ray player
    14" Monitor @ 1366x768
    5.5 lbs
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

    Not bad at all for the price I paid for it. It gets almost 3 hours of battery life with the Balance power plan in Windows 7. I also love the chic let style keyboard and theres no discernible flex in the chassis (as you can understand, im not about to try to fold my notebook in half long-ways LOL) It has 3 USB ports, a firewire 400 port, VGA port and HDMI. I havent tried any gaming on it yet, however I suspect with the lower resolution monitor, I should be able to play modern games with lower settings and older games with higher settings (much better than the integrated ATI Xpress 200m in my old laptop) I have hooked this laptop up to my 32" LCD TV and watched blue-ray movies at 720p with out any issues. Also, Sony released updated drivers for the G210M the day Nvidia did (I dont want to risk the nvidia release drivers as my friend totally destroyed all gaming capabilities on his laptop equiped with a Go7900GS. needless to say Toshiba sucks when it comes to driver updates) All in all, the VPCCW17FX is a great notebook at a great price
    Reply
  • Roland00 - Monday, December 07, 2009 - link

    No intel Celeron t3000 dual core love?

    It is the same chip as the intel pentium dual core t4200 except it runs at 1.8 ghz instead of 2.0 ghz and intel speedstep has been disabled (thus it won't get good battery life). Yet I seen this chip routinely in the 320 to 450 price range for laptops and it should blow away the competition in that price range.

    http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=40738">http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=40738
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, December 07, 2009 - link

    Is it really that much cheaper than the Pentium T4200/T4300 laptops? I see prices of $430 (Toshiba Satellite L455-S5980) to $500+ (Lenovo ThinkPad SL410/SL510), and that's not even with a well-equipped laptop (i.e. 2GB of RAM, 160GB HDD). The Lenovo G550 is 3GB, 250GB HDD, and T4300 for http://www.provantage.com/lenovo-2958acu~7LENO1EE....">$495 or so. It's obviously not a huge jump from 1.8GHz 1MB to 2.1GHz 1MB, but SpeeStep is a pretty big omission IMO. Reply
  • Roland00 - Monday, December 07, 2009 - link

    The pentium t4200/t4300 will be about 50 dollars more on average. For example without any sale go to the Toshiba website and you can get a T3000, 2gb memory, 160 gb hd and wifi n For $400, it costs 44 more for the pentium dual core.

    Now the whole point of the t3000 though is not to buy the laptop at the normal price, the same or similar laptop will go on sale. For example fry's has had a similar laptop to the toshiba but an msi 14 inch on sale a couple times for $319 (once) and $349 (twice). The msi also didn't use intel integrated graphics but instead the 8200m (half the speed of the ion but still 30 to 40% faster than the 4500m hd)

    $319 is only 20 dollars more than those mythical $299 acers/hps that walmart was selling that was using the amd single core at 1.6 ghz (tf-20)
    Reply
  • Hrel - Monday, December 07, 2009 - link

    I've said it before on here I'd be glad to buy the ASUS UL80Vt if it only had a screen with a resolution of at least 1600x900 (decent quality screen required. like 1000:1 contrast ratio) The Intel SU9600 CPU instead with the same percentage overclock and the Nvidia GT240 GPU. Finally I'd like that laptop to cost less than 1000 dollars and get at least 7 hours internet battery life. If removing the integrated GPU and having only the dedicated GPU is required to keep the price down I'd be totally fine with that.

    Or better yet, sell it with the integrated GPU, leave the slot and heatsink for the dedicated GPU and offer the dedicated GPU as an add on or after-market purchase on newegg.
    Reply
  • geok1ng - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    I really don't get the idea behind the suggestion of the ASUS UL80Vt on the sub $850 range, when you can get the Dell Studio 14z: you get a better CPU, a better IGP ( and having Nvidia 210M as add on VGA isn't really a great improvement over the 9400M G)and a better battery for the same price range.

    The problem is that outside Mac Books you simply dont get state of art notebook hardware: a C2D 45nm CPU, a 9400M G IGP and a small form factor. And a Non-TN LCDs is a dream.
    Reply
  • LongTimePCUser - Monday, December 07, 2009 - link

    For many people the ul80vt is a much better solution than the Dell 14z.

    The Dell 14z has a 5 hour battery life. The ul80vt has a 12 hour battery life.

    The Dell 14z doesn't have a DVD player. The ul80vt has one.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    G210M is roughly twice the performance of 9400M G, and where 9400M still has games where it struggles, G210M can run everything, albeit at low details in some instances (i.e. Crysis @ LQ 1366x768 and 42.05FPS -- compare to 14z with 25FPS for the same setting, with a CPU that's running 38% faster). If you can get both the benefits of G210M performance with better battery life than 9400M, isn't that desirable?

    As for non-TN panels, I believe you're mistaken. Everything out right now is TN on laptops. MacBooks used some IPS in the past, but that was several years ago. They have matte LCDs on the 15" and 17" MBP, but that's about it.
    Reply
  • Paulman - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    I was very surprised to see no mention of the AMD Athlon Neo based netbooks, such as the MSI Wind U210 or the HP dv2 series. My brother got an MSI Wind U210 with the Athlon Neo processor several months ago, and it ran Windows Vista on 1GB of RAM decently and I think the prices was just under $400 CDN online at Future Shop here in Canada. This was a 12.1" netbook (1366x768 with a bright LED backlight) at ~1.5 kg in weight with a 6-cell battery. I recently upgraded it to Windows 7 and it's running nicely.

    I quite like it, so I was disappointed to see that Athlon Neo-class products weren't even mentioned in this roundup.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    My experience with Neo is limited, but battery life didn't appear to be in the same ballpark as Atom and CULV products. Neo is faster than Atom, but CULV is clearly faster (dual-core CULV at 1.2GHz easily beats single-core MV-40).

    I guess it depends on what you're after. The MSI Wind U210 should get 3-5 hours of battery life at 100 nits. The HP dv2 with 4-cell battery looks like you'll get about two hours of Internet surfing, or 3 hours with the 6-cell upgrade. So if you're after battery life, Neo isn't an answer to Atom or CULV. However....

    When Neo is paired with a decent GPU, you can get much better than Atom performance, but the price of the HP dv2 is too high (nearly as much as the ASUS UL80Vt and UL30Vt). The Wind U210 uses X1270 IGP, which is only slightly better than GMA 4500MHD in terms of performance. Still, the Wind U210 would be a better choice for Neo than the HP dv2... pairing a (relatively) low power CPU like Neo with a discrete GPU doesn't make much sense, unless you can turn the dGPU off and run on an IGP when you want (a la UL80Vt).
    Reply
  • rwrentf - Friday, December 11, 2009 - link

    I posted a comment about the HP DM3 asking you how that would compare, and for some reason my comment is gone. The DM3 has a dual core neo (L335), 4GB ram, 7200 rpm hard drive and ATI HD3200 graphics. You say in your comment that the CULV is clearly faster, but I haven't seen any tests that back that up online. And Why would you compare the dual core CULV directly to a single core MV-40 when you can compare it to a dual core L335? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, December 11, 2009 - link

    I'd expect a 1.3GHz CULV (i.e. Pentium SU4100) to be roughly on par with the performance of the L335 (1.6GHz), and I would expect the L335 to use more power (18W TDP, but in my experience AMD chips run much closer to TDP than Intel chips). However, HD 3200 is still 2~3 times faster than GMA 4500MHD (though still too slow for gaming IMO).

    I suppose the question is what sort of battery life you can get out of such a laptop compared to CULV options of a similar price. I found a comment from an HP representative (off Wal-mart) stating around 3 hours from the DM3, which is about half of what a typical $600 CULV will get, but elsewhere you see "up to 6 hours". If it can truly get 6 hours, it's definitely worth a look.

    Incidentally, if I were to go with a DM3, I'd grab the Turion X2 L625 -- better power characteristics than the Athlon X2 L335.
    Reply
  • zefyr - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    I commend you you on a thorough article. You've covered many of the laptops I've been looking at, and indeed have raised the same question "Any Good LCDs?" But, whats the answer? Especially if you plan on buying online. Can one find a high contrast LCD w good blacks like the Sony VAIO you mentioned and also get a gaming level NVIDIA GPU? Can it be done online w/o actually seeing it in person? I've almost bought both an ASUS g51vx and g71 for $800 or $900 respectively, until I realized the only thing they lack is a good LCD. Anyone, please post any suggestions. Reply
  • kawatwo - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    I have the G71x from Best Buy and the viewing angle is not great but for just you sitting directly in front of the laptop it is not an issue. The bang for the buck is still amazing. Don't know how long it will take for someone to come out with a 280m for ~ 1500, maybe never. I'm happy with the 260m though. Reply
  • fyleow - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    The Studio XPS 13 is a better comparison to the MBP than the Studio 14z IMO. The XPS 13 and MBP both have the same screen size, optical drive, and better build quality. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    It's a different comparison which is more favorable towards the MacBook pricing, but the XPS laptops have always been a premium part. Given the price, I'd actually take the 14z, but some will prefer the XPS 13 with the slot-load DVD.

    It looks like you get about the same features for the same price, but Dell will get you 4GB plus the ability to upgrade quite a few other parts. I'd imagine the XPS 13 will need the 9-cell battery to match the MacBook battery life.

    LCD quality I can't say, since I haven't had a chance to look at either laptop in person. I'm guessing the XPS 13 is better than the 13" MacBook and possibly the 13" MacBook Pro. I know the other XPS laptops have generally had decent LCDs at least.
    Reply
  • Drag0nFire - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    Thanks for the article. Clearly a lot of thought went into the recommendations at each price point.

    For future reviews, I was wondering if it might be practical to do a review of tablet technology? I evaluated the options a few years ago and decided it wasn't worth it. But Win7 brings some exciting new opportunities...

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • jabber - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    Got mine delivered a few weeks ago. 1.3Ghz CULV works a treat, really slick and teamed with 4GB of ram, a 320GB 7200rpm HDD and a Geforce 105M grahics it zings. Joy of joys it has a decent sized screen and a DVD burner. Ran it yesterday at work for 7 hours and it still had 2 hours+ left to run when I got home.

    Playing Eve online I get around 40FPS at high quality settings and 60+ at mid settings.

    CULV is the way to go.
    Reply
  • Mk4ever - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    Since their release, I haven't heard a word about them at Anand's.

    Do you hate them? Are they stealth to your radar?

    The HP Smart Touch tx2 has a lot of features that are not available on anything else. And afaik, it still has the best IGP/GPU on a Tablet PC.

    Popular, cheapest tablet, small size, good balance of performance/options...

    Are you willing to look into it?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    Thanks for the comment. Tablets are certainly something to mention, and I'll see about updating post-conclusion tomorrow.

    Personally, I've never been sold on the tablet concept. I've used a couple and came away unimpressed... it's not a feature I feel I need. So yeah, I pretty much overlooked the category.

    Getting the price down is certainly a bonus, and the tx2z is about the cheapest I've seen for a tablet. I'm not sure if having a better GPU really makes a difference, but the HD 3200 is certainly 2-3 times faster in graphics tests than the GMA 4500MHD. For under $1000 for a reasonable configuration, it looks good for those that want a tablet PC.

    At least one review (CNet) for the tx2z says that the tablet input is sluggish, and battery life is mediocre with the default 6-cell battery (around 3 hours). The 8-cell battery can get about 5 hours of battery life, but it juts out the bottom of the chassis and that's not a good feature for a tablet IMO.

    At present, I don't know that there's much more to be said. If HP offered to send one, I'd look at it, but they haven't sent much of anything to us (the HP Mini 311 came direct from NVIDIA).
    Reply
  • Mk4ever - Monday, December 07, 2009 - link

    All the points you mentioned are absolutely valid. I'll add some points from my experience.

    I decided to get a small notebook with good IGP a bit more than a year ago. My best option was a ATI 3200 IGP, and I wanted a 12' notebook max. My only option at the time was HP tx2510us. It was a tablet. I didn't like that fact, but it was my only option. It was offered for around $950 back then.

    The tablet part turned out to be a great bonus indeed, that I can not overlook in a future purchase. I still rarely use the touch, but it is really useful when using Adobe Illustrator, and for commenting on word documents or solving math problems without a calc (to train my lazy brain) or taking notes. Also flipping the screen alone adds to the portability of the PC, as you can handle it easier when you are standing up or walking, or even wanna read a pdf or a file like how you would hold a book while reading.

    The thing is, for the price, the flipping screen and the touch part can be considered as a free bonus. It can be really useful. If you don't like it, simply don't use it, and it is still a great notebook.

    I agree with the abysmal battery life, but to tell the truth, and from my experience, it is in line with what most low/midrange laptop batteries offer. And my battery life saw an improvement with Win7.

    The HP tx series is popular. When my friend got me my tablet (I live in Middle east where the model wasn't available, he bought it for me from Circuit City or Wall Mart I guess), he told me he saw 2 other people buying the same tablet at that moment. Reviews of how convenient it is for guys in colleges fill the internet. They like the portability of it with the screen flipped to take notes during lectures.

    Also, HP tx2 series is especially interesting to review for 2 reasons: One of the few that support multi-touch ( Windows 7 finally supports that feature, and I guess it's worth reviewing this feature on a Technology website, whether it's bad or good, so we know what to expect), and because it has an AMD Turion Ultra, which I haven't seen reveiwed on Anadtech ( it should at least be compared to regular Turions, to test energy savings and battery performance claims to say the least, don't you think?)

    I hope you will consider reviewing an HP tx2, if you get the chance.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, December 07, 2009 - link

    Thanks for the feedback. Multi-touch on tablet might make it more useful, though I honestly don't like the idea of touching my screen... fingerprints, bad! :) I've actually tried (several times) to get a laptop with a Turion Ultra. Now I'm looking for Turion II Ultra. I'm hoping AMD can help out, but HP I think is one of the few currently making laptops with Turion II Ultra CPUs, and the big OEM thing can be a problem. We'll keep at it, though.... Reply
  • MrMom - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    Any matte screens available for under $1k? All this glossiness makes my head hurt! Reply
  • IlllI - Monday, December 07, 2009 - link

    here http://www.photodon.com/c/Standard-Custom-Sizes.ht...">http://www.photodon.com/c/Standard-Custom-Sizes.ht...
    don't limit your options just b/c of the screen

    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, December 07, 2009 - link

    I've placed an order... I'll do a review if they work well. Reply
  • yacoub - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/bto/20091118/by-manf....">http://i.i.com.com/cnwk.1d/i/bto/20091118/by-manf....

    I can't find the initial article anymore but this just came out a couple weeks ago.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10400447-1.htm...">http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10400447-1.htm...

    HP had the most quality issues, Asus the least.
    Reply
  • Blahman - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    If you thought the UL80Vt was good, check out its newer slimmer brother: the UL30Vt. It shares all the same specs, but better build quality and all packed into a thinner, lighter chassis.

    It's available from Amazon for $800. The reviews so far are very positive.

    http://www.amazon.com/UL30Vt-X1-13-3-Inch-Laptop-W...">http://www.amazon.com/UL30Vt-X1-13-3-In...ctronics...
    Reply
  • trickdaddy111m - Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - link

    The UL30Vt does look very nice, but it lacks discrete graphics and the Turbo function of the UL80Vt. So, "same specs" is not accurate. Reply
  • KikassAssassin - Wednesday, December 09, 2009 - link

    The UL30Vt has turbo and the discrete graphics. The specs are exactly the same as the UL80Vt except it has a 1" smaller screen, no optical drive, and a slightly smaller battery.

    You're probably looking at the UL30A.
    Reply
  • KikassAssassin - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    The UL30Vt looks like a really nice alternative if you want something lighter than the UL80Vt and you don't need an optical drive. Unfortunately, the UL30Vt on Amazon is the X1 model that only has a 4400 mAh battery, compared to the UL80Vt-A1's 5600 mAh battery, so it'll only have about 80% of the battery life. The battery life should still be excellent, just not quite as amazing as the UL80Vt's Reply
  • techwriters4breakfast - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    atom 2

    arrandale
    Reply
  • bsoft16384 - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    I just want to give another shout out for the Acer 1410. This is an absolutely fantastic notebook for $400.

    I have the single-core version (Core 2 Solo SU3500, 1.4GHz, 3M cache) so it's somewhat faster on single-threaded code but slower on multi-threaded code than the Celeron SU2300 (1.2GHz, 1M cache). That said, I have no performance complaints about the laptop.

    GPU performance is, as you would expect, pretty bad. But it's still dramatically ahead of a GMA950-based netbook (around 5X by my estimations), which makes it fine for playing older titles like Warcraft III, CS 1.6, UT classic or 2004, Quake 3 / OpenArena, Half-Life.

    Even WoW runs "OK" on the Acer 1410, as long as you're willing to deal with ~20-30 FPS and a slideshow in Dalaran. But you *can* run it, and it's fine for doing dailies or checking the AH. I have my desktop if I want to play for real.

    The keyboard is excellent, except for the page up/down buttons (which are annoyingly above the arrow keys) and home/end (combined with page up / down). Other than those annoyances, the keyboard is full-sized and has the layout that you would expect.

    The screen is decently bright; contrast is "OK" but not great, and the viewing angle is lame (but so are most laptops). It's easily better than my ThinkPad T61.

    There are some surprises port-wise: the 1410 has HDMI (with 8-channel LPCM audio) and the audio-out port does SPDIF/TOSLINK (with a 3.5mm to TOSLINK adapter), neither of which are common on a $400 laptop.

    The WiFi is Intel 5100 802.11n, which is also nice. Ethernet is Atheros, audio is Realtek.

    As you would expect with an ULV notebook, the 1410 doesn't really ever get hot, even at 100% CPU / GPU. It's not particularly noisy either, unless you have a defective fan (as my first one from Amazon did).

    The 1410 takes forever to charge from empty (2.5 hours if off, 3-4 if on). That's because it uses the same 30W power supply as the Aspire One. On the other hand, the power adapter is very small and decently cheap, both of which are pluses.

    Battery life is 5-6 hours, depending on how hard you push the machine. At idle, at minimum brightness, Windows reports over 12 hours, but you can't achieve this in practice. With light web browsing and Flashblock, expect 6+ hours.

    The touchpad is Synaptics, and does multi-touch.

    This system is the smallest, lightest system that I would consider a 'notebook' rather than a 'netbook'. I considered the HP Mini 311, but it maxes out at 3GB and doesn't support x86-64 or virtualization, plus the Core 2 Solo beats the pants off of the Atom. NVIDIA ION isn't really a whole lot better than the GMA X4500MHD, because the Atom CPU prevents you from playing any modern games anyway and the GMA X4500 does fine for Windows Aero and HD video acceleration.

    Two years ago the Aspire 1410 would have cost $2000 and would be called an 'ultralight'. Today it's $400.
    Reply
  • Keeir - Wednesday, December 09, 2009 - link

    Don't forget its slightly more expensive brother

    Timeline 1810T-8

    Core 2 Duo (SU7300), 4 Gigs of Ram, Bluetooth, Larger HD, same wieght and battery

    Picked mine up for <600 from Amazon (though I see they have ballons to close to 700)
    Reply
  • notanakin - Monday, December 07, 2009 - link

    Unfortunately this guide came out just a few days too late, but fortunately I'd settled on the Acer 1410 (SU2300) and it's a nice little machine. Certainly fast enough for simple tasks and for my old eyes the screen size is better than the 10.1 inchers.

    Here's a very useful link to a table of laptops/CPUs/Screen size prepared for the recent PC Show in Singapore where I bought the laptop. Great for doing some quick comparisons.

    (Prices are in Singapore $ - about US$1=S$1.4, so the prices are a bit more expensive than in the USA, but they give some discounts off the published price and throw in stuff - I got an external DVD-writer plus a few smaller things with the Acer.)

    But how I HATE the glossy screen. Are they cheaper than matte screens or what? I'd gladly pay US$50 more for a matte screen.
    Reply
  • notanakin - Monday, December 07, 2009 - link

    Sorry - here's the link: http://pzportal.net/main/2009/11/notebooks-price-l...">http://pzportal.net/main/2009/11/notebooks-price-l... Reply
  • Roland00 - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    I seconded this, I just bought the dual core su2300 model, and have no complaints so far about it besides the horrible viewing vertical angles due to the tn panel and glossy.

    I am very surprised on how fast the processor is for normal every day tasks. It isn't my overclocked I7 but for most everyday tasks you wouldn't care about the difference. This is what my opinon the netbook experience was supposed to be, save the atoms for things such as cell phones, gps, blu ray players etc.
    Reply
  • ImSpartacus - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    I tried my best to goad my parents into getting my little sister a 1410 for her first laptop back when the SU2300 model was $399 (free shipping) on Newegg. They didn't want to buy it early.

    Then it ballooned to $409 (no free shipping) and they felt cheated.

    They ended up getting a bare-bones SL410 for it's ruggedness.
    Reply
  • AgeOfPanic - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    It ballooned by 10 dollars? 10 Dollars is not ballooning, it's 10 dollars. Reply
  • bennyg - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    Shipping.

    Just to compound your useless comment with another.
    Reply
  • GoodRevrnd - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    I have much interest in the 1410 and am thinking it might be a good replacement laptop for my g/f. It is ridiculous what you get in this thing considering what I paid for my Vaio Z a year ago (granted the screen on it is to die for). Reply
  • KikassAssassin - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    I'm curious about your statement that "(it takes about three seconds to turn off the discrete GPU and 15 seconds to turn it back on)" on the UL80Vt, because that hasn't been my experience at all. My UL80Vt takes the same amount of time to switch from the Intel to the nVidia GPU as it does to switch from the nVidia to the Intel GPU: About three to four seconds, both ways.

    The only time I've had it take longer is if I have a 3D game running when I try to switch graphics modes, in which case it forces me to close the game before it'll switch.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    Well, I can't even verify the time right now, since after updating the Intel and NVIDIA drivers I can't get the Hybrid GPU feature to work. Need to fix that and then I'll confirm, but I know that it took significantly longer to enable G210M at least the few times where I paid attention. I'll confirm when I get the driver situation sorted out. :) Reply
  • feelingshorter - Sunday, December 06, 2009 - link

    Try doing the test with all programs closed since i suspect that your running the flash 10.1 with GPU support, or even programs like the Zune software uses GPU acceleration. These little things might affect it. Maybe even having Win7 Aero on/off might make a difference. Looking forward to the full review of UL80Vt.

    Now back to studying exams at 4:10 AM...
    Reply

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