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  • diego10arg - Monday, March 15, 2010 - link

    Hi all,

    I am trying to upgrade my Atom 270N netbook and my primary and only concern is FullHD Playback through HDMI. I will be using an external harddrive for backup and storage purposes, so HD does not matter.

    After looking for a while I found several laptops with Celeron ULV 723, Athlon Neo MV-40, SU4100 and SU7300.

    So far I got this prices (I live in Argentina, prices are in USD)
    . MSI Wind 210-050AR, Athlon Neo MV-40, 2GB RAM, HD250Gb > 609 USD
    . MSI X340-241AR, Celeron ULV 723 1.2Ghz, 2GB RAM, HD320Gb > 699 USD
    . Dell Inspiron 11z, ULV SU4100, 2Gb RAM, HD160Gb > 709 USD
    . ASUS AU UL30A-QX050D, ULV SU7300, 4Gb RAM, HD320GB > 915 USD

    What differences are between CULV 723 and SU4100?
    What would you buy? Why?


    Thanks all!

    Regards,
    DiEGO
    Reply
  • Daeros - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Any word on how something like the 1201n will perform with the new GPU-accelerated versions of Firefox and IE? I feel the current-gen Intel graphics are just unacceptable, so the Ion and AMD laptops are more attractive, but I don't want to feel like I'm trapped in molasses when I browse the interwebs. Reply
  • fwacct4 - Monday, February 15, 2010 - link

    I would like to see noise levels tested for laptops. The thing with desktops is that you can actually hide them some place where noise doesn't bother people, but laptops are always right in front of you, and some laptops have a very annoying high-pitch noise that is noticeable because they are so close to the user.

    I'm sure there are a lot of people interested in having quiet laptops, so I hope that noise level can be compared among laptops as well, and especially with CULV processors which are low voltage, there is an opportunity to present a particular model as being particularly quiet, which would really be a selling point for some.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - link

    All of the CULV laptops tend to run very quiet, to the point where my SPL meter has trouble detecting the noise level over the background noise in the room (around 30dB). Even under a heavy stress test like CINEBENCH, the fans rarely reach a level that I would consider distracting (so typically under 35dB). When you're not running a stress test, the fans are often stopped. Out of the three, the Gateway EC5409u seems to be a bit quieter, likely because it's larger and has even more room inside to dissipate heat, but the others weren't loud by any stretch. Reply
  • viewwin - Tuesday, February 09, 2010 - link

    I would like to see the next version of Ion mixed with a CULV CPU for a decently powerful HTPC. Reply
  • acron1 - Tuesday, February 09, 2010 - link

    A couple of weeks ago I was looking to replace my Toshiba NB205 with something small but with a bit more punch. I ended up with the Toshiba Satellite T115D-S1125 primarily because of the HD3200 graphics. I knew that in terms of battery life the Intel based solutions are better choices but I wanted the extra graphics power available from ATI. Battery life while browsing the web, some flash and email is just over 5 hours... Reply
  • Hrel - Saturday, February 06, 2010 - link

    I'm still waiting for a CULV laptop with a screen of AT LEAST 1600x900 and a dedicated GPU that's about equivalent to the GT240 from Nvidia; I'd prefer it be from Nvidia but since I want DX11 AMD will do fine; the 5series really steps it up. Asus has what I agree is the best CULV laptop, I just want the CPU overclocked to 2GHz, a screen with a resolution of 1600x900 and a GPU about as powerful as a GT240 for 1000 bucks or less. That's totally reasonable. And I want it NOW! 15" chassis too, btw. Reply
  • Schugy - Friday, February 05, 2010 - link

    I don't think that I care about the time I can wait in front of my Netbook but I need to know whether the battery can encode xxx thousand frames to complete the task. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 05, 2010 - link

    In that case, FPS is a more useful figure than the time taken, since you don't know how many frames are in the video we choose to test. (For reference, we use a 1080p MPEG2 video for the DivX test with 719 frames.) You would also need to know how long the battery lasts under a heavier CPU load, which I haven't shown here. If you look at the "100% CPU power draw" figure and divide the battery capacity by that amount, you can get an estimate... but the power settings will definitely come into play.

    Let's see if I can help: a 90 minute DVD as an example encoded into DivX would require the encoding of approximately 162000 frames. Now our test results show 5.14 FPS, but that's a far more complex 1080p encode. DVD quality should be a lot faster. A quick test of a 3978 frame chapter of a DVD yields an encode rate of 43.71 FPS (91.0 seconds) on the Gateway EC5409u. That means for a 90 minute 30 FPS DVD (like my test video), you'd need at least 61.77 minutes of battery life. I don't even need to run a test to say that it wouldn't be a problem for CULV on that sort of encode. Atom N450 would still take about 40~50% longer, but again that's not a problem.

    Then again, the default settings result in a low quality encode. If you do a 2-pass DivX encode targeting better quality, total time required increases over two-fold. I just tried it out and the EC5409u managed to encode the same 3987 frame DVD chapter in 237s, or 16.83 FPS. That means roughly 2.7 hours for a 90 minute DVD, or over 3.5 hours for a two hour DVD encode. If that's what you're trying to do, it's unlikely you'll manage the entire encode while on battery.
    Reply
  • buzznut - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    I have the 8200M chipset, I really wouldn't recommend it for gaming. As the article suggests, a discrete graphics option would be better. I think the chipsets that allow the discrete card to turn off when not needed to save battery life are the best options.
    My laptop has a 2.1 Ghz dual core and 4 gigs of ram, with 4 gigs ready boost. It can't game very well, its heavy and the battery life is atrocious. It gets quite hot while watching video, probably the cpu while using flash, and struggles with hidef.

    Given today's options, I would not have gone with the notebook I currently have, as it is too big to carry with the addition of my enormous and heavy chem and bio books. Why drag it along when the battery will die after 2 hours? Most days it sits on a bed side table. I think I would go for a culv with the switchable chipset I mentioned. I am quite jealous of my wife's netbook and 8 hour battery life.

    Nice article, it would be nice to visit again in 6 months to see how the mobile market changes.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Jarred. Without even having to read the article/comparison here, I could have told you this would have been a no brainer.

    Last year I purchased a Toshiba Laptop with a T3400 CPU in it for less than $400( barely ) with free shipping. Now technically, this CPU is labeled as a "Pentium dual core. What that means exactly, I am not sure. But what I can tell you about this complete system is that at max load, it draws less than 40W( 17W light duty / idle ), and will play all but the most intense games reasonably well.

    Now what really surprised me about this laptop, after the fact that I did not think it could even play Hellgate: london( and it does, well, mostly ). Was that it encodes h264 video at close to the same speed as my desktop. Granted, my desktop is somewhat aged, but is no slouch. A P35 based system running an E6550 with 4GB of ram. Over Clocked to run 1:1 with the memory( 2.8Ghz ). Now perhaps I am missing something here, like perhaps Handbrake is not the best app to use to encode h264 ( x264 ), or maybe I am missing something else. Either way, I am fairly impressed. Which as I get older is something that is not as easy as it once was to do.

    So my point here, is that if an older system based off older technology can do well in this arena. I can see why newer technology can put the Atom to shame for a slightly higher price, and slight higher power consumption.

    One thing that does have me confused. Is why vendors/ OEM's have not implemented low power / performance parts for the common desktop. There certainly is an interest, all one has to do is search the web for a while and find 1000's of people out there trying to do different various things along these lines.

    For instance. Many of us possibly know that getting a low power desktop is not much of a challenge(read: ~50W full load, including an LCD ). However, popping in a discrete video card that has any sort of decent performance will more than likely triple your load at the wall. Why nVIdia/ATI insist on bleeding us dry with costs on the cards, and then insult us further by requiring us to buy an even bigger power supply. Not to mention the first born children we're obligated to give our local power companies for powering such beasts. Is it too much of a stretch of imagination to put a mobile graphics processor on a PCI-E 16x PCB ? I think not.

    With the above said. No, this does not imply gaming. Discrete graphics vs. integrated / onboard is a huge performance gain on its own. There are many different application out there that could benefit from this, and gaming is just a minor part of that.
    Reply
  • Souka - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    My brother bought a HPmini netbook for our Mom, she hated how slow and unresponsive it was.

    All she did on it was read her hotmail, look at some gardening sites, and read the news... She was quite disappointed how slow it was compared to her 8 year old Pentium4 thinkpad laptop.

    I tweaked it best I could for performance, cpu typically wasn't very busy, 200mb+ free ram, hard drive not too busy... just plain sluggish.

    I even removed the Antivirus and all unecssary runtime apps... no noticible difference


    Ended up getting her a cute little used Sony Vaio ULV book... she loves it...and I paid just a bit more than the netbook.
    Oh yeah...the Vaio gets 5-8hrs run time on used battery... nice

    Reply
  • Mumrik - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    The display is "11.6" LED Glossy 16:9 768p (1366x768)" in the box for the Gateway. It should be 15.x... Reply
  • aglennon - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    I always wondered, Would battery life when playing videos be longer if you played the videos off of a flash drive rather than the hard drive?

    You could put the hard drive to sleep to save on the battery draw. Or would you?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 05, 2010 - link

    My experience is that powering of the hard drives may not occur as frequently as you would expect. Even when idle for over an hour, if you look at a running laptop you will often see the HDD activity light blinking periodically. I can try to test this, but I'd be surprised if the results change much. They could even become worse because of all the USB activity.... Hmmm, this could be interesting. Would USB flash drive model make a difference? Most of my flash drives are pretty old/slow, but they should handle movies fine. Reply
  • aglennon - Friday, February 05, 2010 - link

    It seems it may. I think it would depend if you could truly put the HD into standby mode. In the specs I've been able to find, USB flash drives pull about 60-80mA compared to WD 2.5" Hard Drives which pull about 500mA when running, 400Ma when idle, but only 50mA when in standby.
    I would think it would expand battery life considerably for those long airplane flights.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 05, 2010 - link

    Testing is underway. I had to use DivX, since my largest USB device is only 4GB and my x264 video is larger than that. Either way, it should be enough to tell if things have changed at all. (I also need to verify the result with the HDD, since I think I have a different DivX codec doing the work now. I used Win7's native support initially, since it's lower CPU use and better battery life than ffdshow.) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, February 07, 2010 - link

    So here are the results (bearing in mind that I am not using the built-in Win7 codec because the ffdshow codec has taken priority and I didn't want to take the time to figure out how to fix the problem):

    DivX from USB: 268 minutes
    DivX from HDD: 291 minutes

    So, by my testing using a USB flash stick reduced battery life by around 8%. Ouch. Or put another way, it looks like USB increased average power use from around 12.8W for the HDD to 13.9W (based on battery capacity).

    My best guess is that the HDD isn't powering down, and/or the USB traffic is creating a lot more CPU usage than SATA HDD accesses. It's also entirely possible that the USB device I used is less than optimal - read/write speeds are nowhere near what you could get with a modern USB 2.0 stick, let alone USB 3.0. I think it can read/write at 13MB/s at best.
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    How does the recently released Alienware m11x stack up? Reply
  • synaesthetic - Friday, February 05, 2010 - link

    Hardware Heaven has a review of the M11x already up. They're claiming that it's the best Alienware system yet.

    I'm on the fence. I don't like the design much and I think the screen's too small for the weird form factor. Really I think they should have bumped the chassis size up slightly and tossed in a 13.3" display.

    The price is very tempting though... entry-level configs starting at $800 and directly competing with systems like Asus's UL30Vt, but with a LOT more graphics muscle.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Still waiting for a review unit. I am also curious to see if Alienware allows overclocking, similar to the ASUS UL series. If they do, and with the GT335M, the m11x is going to be a very speedy machine in many respects. Of course, it's going to cost close to $1000 I imagine, but the features will probably make it worthwhile. Reply
  • synaesthetic - Friday, February 05, 2010 - link

    There is a BIOS option to overclock the FSB on the M11x. According to the review, the SU7300 was overclocked to 1.6GHz with a respectable boost in performance and a negligible increase in heat (only a degree or two hotter). Reply
  • yyrkoon - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    I could not get past the brand name personally. Many people out there do their best to avoid the "greatness" that is Acer. I am just one of those people.

    Reply
  • clarkn0va - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Maybe my information is just out of date, but my knowledge of the Acer Timelines differs somewhat from the information presented in this article.

    For starters, Jarred is stating that they have plastic covers. I own a 3810T and the cover is brushed aluminum (or a really good fake), thank goodness.

    Secondly, it was my understanding that (at least some of) the TZ models had switchable graphics, enabling the user to switch from Intel to AMD graphics on the fly. Perhaps this isn't offered any more.

    Lastly, and this is not Jarred's mistake, just an unfortunate reality, mine came with an 80GB Intel G1 SSD. This not only improves performance markedly, but should help to extend battery life. I think it's a shame that more desktops and laptops don't include this option.
    Reply
  • AmbroseAthan - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    I was going to comment on this too. There are A LOT of differences within each Timeline series. I know there are 1810T's with aluminum rather then the plastic, and the new Olympic editions are very nice.

    Personally I own the 1810T (black plastic with SU7300) and couldn't be happier with it. It does have some of the problems Jarred listed, but you quickly adjust to the size of the trackpad; I haven't had any issues dragging things around the screen.

    My brother owns the 3810T (Brushed aluminum w/ SU7300), and it is much more polished then the 1810T (blakc plastic). The little extra size really helped Acer make it a much nicer laptop. Even his keyboard is of a different material/style then mine. The touchpad is also different. He got his only a couple weeks after me, and I gladly would have taken the slight extra weight for the updates it had to everything else had I known.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    If I'm not mistaken (and I admit, I might be -- curse Acer and their plethora of SKUs that are all very similar!), the aluminum Timeline models are more expensive than the plastic models. At a price of around $750 to $800, I'd go with the ASUS UL80Vt and get switchable graphics. The Olympic Edition of the 1810 does look very nice, but can anyone confirm that it's truly aluminum? Look at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...">these pictures and it appears to be glossy plastic to me. Still, it's got the right parts and price ($550), if you're okay with the keyboard action. Reply
  • jabber - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    I'm a convert! Since I got my Inspiron 13Z with its 7300 it's been great. Similar grunt to an old P4 2.8Ghz dual core with a Nvidia 105 GPU and 4GB of ram.

    For a small laptop its perfect. Plays games just fine and if I set it to balanced power it can run for 8 hours+ easily.
    Reply
  • tno - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    I hope not to start a flame war or cause any hard feelings or upset on Jarred's part, but I feel it's worth pointing out that this piece could have really used a polish. One of the great things about AT is that the coverage and the writing have always been equally high in quality. Certainly, the occasional typo or awkward sentence would sneak out, but on the whole it could be trusted that the articles read as if they had been reviewed by an editor.

    This article, however, did not feature the typical AT polish; a fact which was evident in the very first sentence:
    "A couple years back, ASUS released the first netbook on an unsuspecting world."

    While a conversational tone is certainly appreciated, the absent 'of' between the second and third word mar this sentence. The opening paragraph continues with several sentences which reach or border on being run-ons; and could easily stand the presence of a few semi-colons. Typos and word misuse ("differentiator" is a specialization mechanism in cell biology, and not a general term for the variable that separates members of a population) litter the first page, and would no doubt have been caught by a copy editor.

    Again, I am absolutely a fan of this site and the wonderful articles produced here. Letting mistakes like these slip past, however, diminish the articles to the level of blog posts and not quality technical journalism. As the number of writers and staffers grow, it becomes harder to enforce high writing standards. If it hasn't been done, perhaps it's time to consider hiring some proof readers?

    tno
    Reply
  • QuietOC - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Haha, Jarred lifted some of that wording from a sample review I submitted to them: "A few months later ASUS released the original Eee PC on the unsuspecting world market." There's nothing particularly unique about the language. I wouldn't be surprised if I unconsciously borrowed it myself. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    The use or omission of the word "of" in the first sentence is entirely a stylistic preference. "A couple years ago..." or "A couple of years ago..." mean the same thing, with an extra syllable in the latter. As for differentiator:

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Differentiator">differentiator - a person who (or that which) differentiates.

    I am using it as the latter, and it is correct in that sense. Sorry if I view the English language as more fluid than others, but I have no qualms about playing with words as I see fit. I would hope most people are more interested in the technical content than whether or not I follow the MLA guidelines.

    If you really want to complain about my writing style, you'd be far better off saying that I have a bad case of word diarrhea, IMO. I write far more text than I often feel is necessary, but then if I omit certain aspects of a review I always get someone complaining that I "didn't talk about feature xxx". Another potentially valid complaint would be my use of parenthetical comments and phrases set off by dashes--and I'm sure I use dashes incorrectly at times! ;)
    Reply
  • tno - Friday, February 05, 2010 - link

    Jarred,

    Again, I am not writing to instill any ill will. But technical content is only half of the product. Grammar and style are not mutually exclusive, and the proof of this is the use of style guides like the MLA, or Strunk and White, or even that of fellow online publication Engadget. These guides do more than just tell you where to use a comma; they seek to elevate and standardize the quality of writing for a publication.

    Now I am all for introducing personal style to an article. And I am always impressed with the technical fidelity and content of AT writing. AT articles are more than just spec sheets and test results; they are pieces of writing. Arguing that omission of the preposition connecting two nouns is a matter of style is ignoring proper grammar with no gain. It is inexcusable for the writing component of any AT articles to be neglected, even if the technical content is of a high caliber.

    Again, I am not trying to cause you any grief, nor imply that your writing is insufficient for inclusion on AT. I am simply pointing out that a small amount of editing and proofreading could go along way to improve all of AT's coverage.

    I believe that this discussion has probably moved beyond the scope of the comments section and invite you to look-up my email through the forums if you would like to continue discussing this.

    tno
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 05, 2010 - link

    Sadly (I suppose) I'm usually the one doing editing of other articles. It's much more difficult to edit your own content, especially after you've been over it ten times in the process of writing.

    But seriously, I find it astonishing that out of all the articles written on AnandTech and all the mistakes present in said articles, you would choose to complain about something so innocuous as "A couple years back" vs. "A couple of years back". We could also rephrase it "Just over two years ago" and it would be correct. I suppose http://www.thefreedictionary.com/couple">I'm in the minority when dropping the "of", though again I prefer to stick with informal styles for the most part.

    At least we're not having a discussion about my use of "everything but" vs. "everything except"... or was that you as well? LOL
    Reply
  • aapocketz - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Back when the macbook Air came out these CULV processor laptops were $2000+, now they have dropped in price and could cannibalize high end netbooks. They are even being confused with netbooks now; consider the new Alienware m11x keeps being called a netbook, even though it uses a CULV.

    I have had similar thoughts, and almost purchased a Thinkpad x301 recently for under $800. The only reason I held back was I know these CULV chips are a couple years old now, and there are new I5 and I7 chips coming out soon, forcing prices down even further. When the Core2 CULV ultralights are sub $500, why buy these (bloated) netbooks for similar price? Netbooks originally were supposed to be around $200 or less though.

    Also these ultralights have a few more little perks than the netbooks have, like backlit keys (or a "thinklight") - there is not a single netbook with a backlit keyboard.
    Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Why dont you compare the $400 CULV notebooks with the netbooks, since that is the direct competition? Also there should be a Sempron M100 in here somewhere. Reply
  • macs - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    What about arrandale ULV? Asus UL30JT is coming soon and he brings core I7-620 ULV and NVIDIA 310M GPU. Should be great!

    I want something better than my atom netbook, maybe with a 11.6" screen but I want to wait those new Nehalem ULV...
    Reply
  • Visual - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    I would love to see also the Acer 1420P / 1820P variants - no need to explore their tablet functionality in this comparison as it is off-topic, but do compare their keyboards, build quality and especially screen quality to the other non-touchscreen options. I've always wondered if touchscreen panels have a noticeably different visual quality.

    Also, if I understand correctly all these "current" CULVs are old Core 2/Penryn based, and as such are already old tech despite being launched in the products that you view only very recently. Shouldn't they get replaced with new Nehalem-generation 32nm processors any time soon? Or am I misunderstanding something?
    Intel's code names and roadmaps are making my head hurt right now, so I'd really like to know your say on the matter - is there something in the same segment that is worth waiting for on the horizon?
    Reply
  • QuietOC - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    The CULVs are all "old" 45nm Penyrn-3M/Wolfdale-3M 82 mm² dies--same core as the desktop E3x0 Celerons, E5x0/E6x0 Pentium Dual Cores, and E7x0 Core 2 Duos. The significant difference is that the CULV SpeedStep goes down to a 4x CPU multiplier during idle, my desktop Wolfdale-3Ms only go down to 6x. The Atom N270 also only goes down to a 6x multiplier. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Arrandale ULV parts have been announced, but nothing has shipped yet. I'm hoping to get one some time in the next month or two. One thing with the Arrandale ULVs is that they have a TDP of 18W compared to 10W. Obviously part of that is the integration of the new IGP, but there's definitely a question of how low their idle power draw can go. I suspect the initial Arrandale ULV parts will use slightly more power than the current Penryn parts.

    Performance is the other question we'll need to answer. Price wise, the newer Arrandale ULV chips run at a stock speed that's slightly lower than SU4100/SU7300 (1.06GHz and 1.20GHz for the http://www.anandtech.com/mobile/showdoc.aspx?i=370...">latest chips), and they also cost quite a bit more than SU4100. But yes, I am very interested to get some new ULV parts for review.
    Reply
  • GTaudiophile - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Anand,

    Out of curiosity, why not compare with the AMD Turion / Neo / X2 processors by chance?
    Reply
  • OMG Snarf - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    I've got to agree with this. For the price point of the systems being benched, you can pick up an Athlon Neo X2 for $500, or a Turion Neo X2 for $600, direct from Toshiba with no shipping. Obviously the battery life won't be as good compared to the Intel CULVs, but I would be curious to see how the 12cell stacks up too. With the added $150 cost of the battery, you hit the same costs as the Intel CULV systems ($650), but get a Radeon 3200 instead of the anemic Intel 4500.

    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    The problem comes in getting anyone - and I do mean anyone - to send us AMD laptops for review. The manufacturers seem to view them as bastard step children that should be kept out of view as much as possible. The Gateway NV52 shows what sort of performance you can expect, give or take, as it has a 2.1GHz QL-64 CPU, but battery life on the newer 45nm parts should be better and performance can be a bit higher as well.

    Even going to AMD doesn't really help, since they don't want to step on any toes by sending out review units. They would love to do that, but if they did they could easily end up with HP (as an example) saying, "We don't like you sending out our product... so we're going to discontinue that SKU."

    Of course, the new Intel HD Graphics actually beat the HD 3200/4200 in quite a few tests as far as I understand things. (I'm still trying to get i3/i5 laptops for review as well.) Even then, HD 3200 at least really struggles in quite a few games to get playable performance - the GeForce 9400M for example looks to be about 60% faster.
    Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Actually, I made a mock-CULV out of my $400 Toshiba notebook, equipped with AMD 3100 graphics and an Athlon X2 QL-65. I use a program called K10stat, which allows you to alter the P-states of K8+ AMD CPUs. By default, the QL-65 is a 35W CPU with a max-clock of 2.1ghz, but after I changed the 2 power states to .9v @ 900mhz and 1.0v @ 1.3ghz, I end up with a CPU that consumes 9-17W, depending on the P-state (it stays mostly in the 9W area). That tweak added about 30 minutes to my battery life (6-cell), matching my company-issued 3-cell HP netbook. Even with the reduced clocks, performance is still massively better on the Toshiba. My wife hasn't noticed or complained about performance yet, though we don't demand much beyond internet, iTunes (sigh), and office/budget stuff. Reply
  • OMG Snarf - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    That's a darned shame - the manufacturers don't even respond to requests for hardware? I wonder if that's the manufacturers or some super secret Intel clause (conspiracies ahoy!). I guess I'd have to look through the NV52 reviews again, but its nice to know that a 1.5GHz part should equate roughly to a 2.1GHz part.

    My issue with the new Intel HD is that right now the Core iX UM systems aren't out that I've seen, and as was detailed in another article, there's still the issue of the L2 cache not being power gated and the later inclusion of SRAM to fix this to provide more power savings, so who's to say where those fit in the ultraportable world at this time? I think that will take time to flesh out, and by that point, there will be another 'Tock' and maybe another minor 'Tick' to fill it out. That's already the end of the year, given Intel's performance for last year. And by that point, there might be another AMD mobile chipset, so it all could be moot.

    Finally in reference to the 9400M, the issue is cost. The 3200 can push a few more polys than the 4500 can, so if you want the option is there. The 9400 can, too, if you want to spend double the cost, but the point I got out of this review was low-voltage that was around the Atom/Netbook price point that offered overwhelming performance advantage while still retaining the other features (battery life/portability).

    But I digress. Thanks for the response, and while I'm sad to hear that AMD gets treated that way by the manufacturers, its good to know that its not because of any bias on the editorial staff that others like to claim.

    So long as the illegal overclocking stops for the i3/i5/i7 and X3150 benchmarks ;) I kid, I kid. Heh. Those were the days.
    Reply
  • Drag0nFire - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Well, I'd love to see a review of the AMD-based Lenovo x100e if you can get your hands on it. It may provide competitive performance at the $400-500 price point. Reply
  • Cuhulainn - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    When I saw the article I figured one of those reviewed must have been from the Asus UL line. They get mentioned several times, and seem to be the only options with decent gaming ability + battery life. If nothing else one of them should have made the review list for battery life alone. Isn't that a big part of the reason for using a CULV processor? Reply
  • cblais19 - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    If you look at other reviews on this site, they've done an overview of the UL80vt mentioned in this article, as well as an in depth review. Reply
  • mschira - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    I especially like the Asus approach overclocking the sauce!
    I want a 10" overclocked CULV!
    Forget iPAD and Atom.
    M.
    Reply
  • feelingshorter - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Do you mean the 1810TZ in the conclusion? Which is the SU7300 11 inch laptop. The 4810TZ is a 14 inch laptop. Also did you mean 1410 instead of the 3810? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    No... I've looked at the 3810TZ, 4810TZ, and 5810TZ at stores, played around with them a bit, etc. They're all better, in my opinion, than the 1410/1810. It's not just a case of being larger, either; the keyboards just don't feel quite so mushy as the 1810 chassis.

    The 1410/1810 are good, but more of a "B+" as opposed to "A-". I have no hesitation recommending any of the Acer TZ models that have SU4100, though, which is why I awarded the group (along with the Gateway EC54) a bronze.

    Honestly, though, there's plenty of personal preference in what makes a good keyboard. Some people like the soft touch ("mushy" in my view) keyboards, and others like more of a "clicky" keyboard. If you can try any of the Timeline series out - or really any CULV, including the Lenovo U series and a few others I haven't mentioned - and you're happy, the performance is going to be very similar to what I've shown here.

    Hope that clears things up. :-)
    Reply
  • Roland00 - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Did the 1410 have the battery in them? Due to the design of the chassis (to hide the battery and not have it stick out), the battery provides a lot of support. With the battery inside there is a lot less give on the 1410.

    I know for I bought one for 350 with the su2300, 2gb memory, and 160gb hard drive.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 05, 2010 - link

    There's not a ton of flex - nowhere near as bad as some older MSI laptops, for example - but it does have a bit of spring and it's a "soft touch" keyboard, which just feels mushy to me. I prefer a bit more click, and the spacing and shape of the keys on the 1810 wasn't as nice as the 11z. But, that's a lot of personal preference so if you like the 1810 keyboard there's nothing else I'd complain about with the design. Reply
  • OCedHrt - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Maybe it is just me, but the graphs would be a lot clear if the processors were listed out.

    I assume the power draw graphs at the end of the battery page is based on the run time and battery capacity?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Power graphs are based on power draw from the outlet, at 100nits LCD brightness, with all power saving features enabled (balanced power profile).

    Adding the CPU to each line compresses the graphs in a way I don't like. Just to quickly list the various CPUs:

    Acer AO751h = Atom Z520
    Acer AS1810T = Core 2 Duo SU7300
    ASUS 1201N = Atom 330
    ASUS 1005HA = Atom N280
    ASUS UL80Vt = SU7300 (dark gold = OCed to 1.73GHz)
    Dell Inspiron 11z = Pentium SU4100
    Dell Studio 14z = P8600
    Gateway EC5409u = Pentium SU4100
    Gateway NV58 = Pentium T4300
    Gateway NV52 = Athlon X2 QL-64
    Gigabyte M1022 = Atom N280
    HP Mini 311 = ION with Atom N280
    MSI X610 = Athlon MV-40
    Reply
  • Ralos - Friday, February 05, 2010 - link

    The title of the article suggest this is a CULV vs Atom showdown. When I look at the graphics, I don't see this, I see a bunch of Acer vs Asus vs HP vs Dell and from what I gather, performance seems to be similar whatever brand the same CPU is sold with, so it really should show the name/speed of the CPUs in there. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 05, 2010 - link

    Per request, I've updated the chart colors to highlight other important systems. Atom 330 (ASUS 1201N) is orange, MSI X610 (Athlon MV-40 with HD 4330) is red, ASUS 1005PE (Atom N450 Pine Trail) is dark green, and ASUS 1005HA (Atom N280 Diamondville) is black. Hopefully that will help read the charts. Reply
  • OCedHrt - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Well, thanks for trying anyways :)

    I guess my question is where a Z550 would stack up. Its safe to say it's 50% faster than the Z520, but I don't see that laptop in the performance line up.

    I'd wager that it's marginally faster than the ASUS 1005HA with less power draw (but how much less?).

    Basically, I'm trying to figure out what is the possibility of a CULV Sony X laptop in the near future ;) It may be unlikely simply due to die size..
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    I think Z550 gets paired up with the GMA 500 chipset, which is good for HD video decode but I'm not sure that it's actually worth using. I know Linux users don't like it because it's a new proprietary GPU with no driver support.

    My experience (which is limited to the Acer 751h) was that it frequently crashed; what I don't know is if that was the chipset, or just a poor sample laptop from Acer. I also know that I've heard from a few readers saying they have one that crashes all the time as well. Hopefully it's the 751h and not the chipset.

    As far as power draw, it should be about the same as the other Atom laptops - probably more than the 751h and 1005HA, given the 2.0GHz clock. Even then, look at the two N280 units (ASUS 1005HA and Gigabyte M1022) and you can see that not all netbooks are created equal. The Gigabyte seems to be a poor example of a netbook, though, with much worse battery life than the competition.

    At 2.0GHz Atom Z550 will still be much slower than any CULV, so I'd recommend sticking with CULV unless the pricing is very compelling.
    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    The Z550 actually has a slightly lower (0.1) TDP than the N280. It's not the pricing that's compelling, but the form factor: 1.6 lb 11.1" 10.95"(W) x 0.55"(H) x 7.29"(D) Reply
  • KaarlisK - Friday, February 05, 2010 - link

    Power consumption should be lower - the TDP of the entire Poulsbo chipset is only 2.3W. However... the damn GMA 500 is HORRIBLY slow. Even for Aero. And Intel still hasn't (and probably won't) released WDDM1.1/DX10 drivers, even though the hardware supports it. Also, the driver doesn't support 8bpp color at all. Reply
  • OCedHrt - Friday, February 05, 2010 - link

    Best bet is probably to not run windows on this one ^^
    I really wish there was a CULV option, even a core solo would be much better.

    I saw in some forum that they got OS X running on it. *shudder*
    Reply
  • bh192012 - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    Then a good comprmise might be to use 2 lines for the description.

    example:

    Acer A0751h
    (Atom Z520)

    Acer AS1810T
    (Core 2 Duo SU7300)

    ASUS 1201N
    (Atom 330) etc.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, February 04, 2010 - link

    It would be a good idea, if our graphing tool allowed it. :-) Reply

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