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  • shabby - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    Maybe if this was $299 it might sell, i just cant imagine anyone paying this much to get such shoddy battery life. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    You're not paying for the battery life, you're paying for the performance and form factor. Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    so basically a "keep it plugged in like a desktop...and if you have to move from your bed to the couch, it won't die on you between plugs"? Reply
  • wintermute000 - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    Way to troll, boy genius. Since when has 4 hours been in the 'keep it plugged in like a desktop' ballpark? Reply
  • RamarC - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    gotta agree that $479 for so-so battery life is too much regardless of the compact form factor. heck, i just got a core-i3 14" laptop that has almost 4 hrs battery life for $499. Reply
  • shabby - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    What performance? It can barely keep up with the culv laptops. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    It beats the tar out of Atom, CULV laptops are barely in its price bracket (please don't quote me refurbs on NewEgg), and Intel's IGP sucks royally compared to the HD 3200 in the U230. Reply
  • dmjazzijeff - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    Dustin, by fiddling with the voltages and such, did you notice any appreciable gain in battery life? The drop in temps would be nice, of course, but increased battery life would be nice as well. I realize that the majority of a portable's power consumption is the screen and rotating media - I'm curious how much of this laptop's so-so battery life is processor related. Reply
  • megakilo - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    I would really like to see some results and reviews of the new Nile platform. The Congo platform uses a K8 CPU. Nile has a 45nm K10 processor. Reply
  • whatthehey - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    Isn't that what they said in the conclusion? Interesting laptop, and at least it's not the putrid pile of feces that the Ferrari One is, but for $480 it needs to do more than outperform Atom. CULV performance and battery life with a decent IGP is what we're looking for. Reply
  • arthur449 - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    I must say, that keyboard layout *is* quite nice. I'd love to see that on more ultraportable laptops. Reply
  • jeremyshaw - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    I agree, however, it's called "one last hurrah" for a good reason. Even though I am not a vendor, I am speculating the low voltage Nile K10.5 CPU aren't in mass numbers, yet. We now AMD has made one massive push into this market, with over 100 new laptop designs produced, but I have yet to see their delivery numbers truely slide into view. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    What I don't get is why Dell seems to have the most compelling Nile offering on the planet, and then they go and make a UK/Europe part! You can get a nicely equipped model for £579, but that's with VAT (17.5%) and shipping, and prices in the UK tend to be higher anyway. Seems like the US price should be able to get down to ~$600, which should be pretty good for the K625 model. Reply
  • futurepastnow - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    I suspect the cheaper model with MV-40 will still handily outperform any Atom netbook. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    That's like beating a 5-year-old in an arm wrestling match. :p

    I've used an MV-40 notebook (also from MSI, only with an HD 4330), and while faster than Atom it's still sluggish at far too many tasks. The 4330 was a waste, really.
  • anactoraaron - Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - link

    Expecially considering you can drop $500 on an ASUS UL-50 refurb with 210M and Optimus.

    I mean, yeah, it's a refurb... but if I was spending $500 on almost outdated tech this is the route I would go...
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    This review is pointless, and it is obvious that reviews of old AMD products are placed on this site merely as filler. Why even bother? Change name to IntelTech. Reply
  • maniac5999 - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    Actually, I've owned a U230 for about 6 months. (bought it at the same price it is today) and while I do agree that it is a little unfair to review a product right at the end of it's product cycle, Anandtech can only review products that are sent to them. (alrhough I'm still waiting for the K10.5 Toshiba review that they promised they'd have up in a week, when they reviewed the old M600 one a month ago)

    Personally I think that the review is pretty much spot on, It's a great machine with bad battery life. I use my notebook for basic internet surfing and document creation, as well as time-killing with games. Civ IV and WoW run great on it, and it can even struggle through Starcraft 2. Something SLIGHTLY more powerful (both CPU and GPU) with double the battery life in the same case would be ideal. (to be honest, the U230 is very small for a 12" notebook, most 12" notebooks are at least 1/2" larger on every size.

    Because of this I'm really looking foward to Bobcat. Intel can't make a decent GPU to save their life (Look how old the 3200 is and how it's STILL at as good as intel's top of the line desktop IGP) and Nvidia seems to only want to make discrete graphics for netbooks in this size range. Unless Nvidia releases Ion 2 for 12" i series CULVs, AMD's still going to be the only game in town. (Disagree? point me at any other 12" laptop that'll play Starcraft 2)
  • maniac5999 - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    EDIT: No, the Alienware M11 doesn't count, it's a 14" laptop with an 11" screen. 4.5lbs is HEAVY Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    I went on vacation, the A665D has driver concerns, and I was hoping to get them sorted out while traveling. Sadly, that has not happened and the result is that the Toshiba review will be up soon but it will not be particularly positive. The Danube platform appears to have potential, but Toshiba's implementation makes some real questionable moves.

    Besides that, these "old system" reviews are not a disservice to AMD. Here we have a laptop that we generally like, and it can certainly compete. We conclude with a few pointers on what the next update needs to offer to truly impress. Manufacturers do read these sorts of articles, so hopefully we can get both a Nile update of U230 (sooner rather than later), and if the planets align properly Dell might even try selling M301z in the US.

    AMD's got a real problem with manufacturers not trying to promote their product. Nearly all the big names now have AMD-based notebooks and laptops, but so many are "hidden" without any push to educate the consumer. And many feel half-baked and shoved out without fully optimizing performance. I would think MSI could have done voltage tweaks of the CPU on their own, which would have added 30 minutes to the battery life at least. The MSI GX640 practically doubled its battery life with a BIOS update. Can the same be done with the U230? Probably not a doubling of battery life, but it can certainly be improved. So U230 + BIOS Optimizations + Nile may finally give us the AMD-based ultraportable we've been waiting for.
  • maniac5999 - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    Its interesting that your U230 didn't have powersaving options. Mine was probably one of the first US models to come out of the factory (purchased the week it went on sale) and it had them. Did you cycle through the power 'modes' that you can choose with the Fn + FX (I forget what number) command on the keyboard? Mine came with about 6 options. By default it would jump between 1.6ghz/0.925v and 800mhz/0.8v on everything but max performance, and even had a setting to lock it at 800mhz/0.8v.

    I wasn't quite as lucky with undervolting as you were however. I still get 0.825v at 1.6ghz but still need .775v to do 800mhz. What I realy wish I could find is a way to overclock it, but the clock generator seems to be totally locked down. I'd imagine that it could easily do 2ghz at about 0.9v, at which point it'd easily be more powerful than anything it's size, and since the battery life already stinks, making it a bit worse wouldn't be much of a big deal.
  • frozentundra123456 - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    Seems like the worst of all worlds to me. Mediocre battery life and so/so performance at a high price for the components included in the package. I would either buy a low end Intel notebook and get better performance or a true netbook or ULV platform for long battery life.
    As another poster said, I would agree that at 300.00 this might sell. At the listed price, I see no place for it.
    Note to AMD: If you have inferior technology (except for the graphics), you have to sell at a reduced price. And is there any point to 4gb of ram?? Can this processor really run enough programs at once to use that much ram?
  • Lolimaster - Sunday, August 08, 2010 - link

    Blame MSI dude. All major players have already Athlon II / Turion II Neo and they compete on equal terms wil CULV cpus.

    The best ultraportable/netbooks right now are the AMD powered machines. From the single core V105 to the K665 1.7Ghz dual core.

    Single core
    V105 1.2Ghz 9w
    K125 1.7Ghz 12w

    Dual core
    K325 1.3Ghz 15w
    K625 1.5Ghz 15w
    K665 1.7Ghz 15w

    All of them with the HD4200. A tweaked HD3200 with updated UVD/DX10.1 and lower TDP's. Next, Fusion with even better GPU's.
  • niva - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    Has this been tested to be fully compatible with linux flavors such as Ubuntu?

    As much as I like ATI cards in windows I always cringe at their terrible performance in linux when compared to the nvidia cards.

    This is a nice little machine and a definite alternative to the intel chips.
  • wiak - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    but the U230 is old, its from 2009
  • swaaye - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    Athlon Neo X2 arrived less than a year old, I believe. Why bother with K10 at this point as it's pretty retro too. :) Reply
  • matt b - Thursday, August 05, 2010 - link

    Apparently, the Turion flavor of Congo, the L625, has better voltage management and thus battery life. Multiple reviews have shown that the Lenovo Thinkpad x100e with the K625 dual core processor has superior battery life to the MV-40 single core. Both are Congo chips with the same GPU, as well as the L325/335 processors, yet the higher clocked L625 with more cache appears the most power efficient.
    One complaint/issue that I would raise with battery life comparisions in these tests: Two of the four tests use the GPU to a greater extent. Unsuprisingly, with a superior performing GPU, AMD suffers in those battery test. How about non-flash heavy web browsing? Most of my websites are not flash intensive, and I never watch movie on my laptop (have a 50 incher at home for that). I know some people do and I think that the movie test is a good one, though I imagine it favors a weaker GPU. I work on flights, not watch movies. I think that a test that uses word processors, and some non-flash heavy browsing is probably the most realistic for most users.
  • Cal123 - Friday, August 06, 2010 - link

    This weeks review is a k8, what's in store for next week, pentium D review? Try to review up to date stuff, k10.5 and i series have been out for months now. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, August 06, 2010 - link

    We can really only review what they send us. This one was actually a matter of some internal debate, but we decided to go ahead anyhow. There's no real reason NOT to review the thing.

    Of course, that said we like to think we're at least a little ahead of the curve. Pentium D for is old news, next week we're going to be posting our impressions of Intel's new Core 2 Duo E6600 and how well it pairs up with the GeForce 7800 GTX.
  • danacee - Saturday, August 07, 2010 - link

    I just picked up a K325 equipped toshiba for the $450 mark at newegg. They are hardly just trickling onto the market and I could not think of a reason anyone would look at MSI's line considering how god awful their wind series has been from the start. Reply
  • ProDigit - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    If we compare this product to the Atom processor netbooks, we have to account for the fact that this one is nearly twice as expensive.
    Especially when you know that the battery life of this sucker is not even lasting a fifth of an Atom processor, we just got 2 different beasts for 2 different audiences!

    I would love to see this one's performance, with the battery life of an Atom processor platform.

    I'd rather believe in Intel boosting the speed of the atom, than in AMD making a more efficient platform.
  • ProDigit - Monday, August 09, 2010 - link

    But I do believe the graphics processor of the N450 series should be removed, and add a budget/power efficient AMD/ATI card in there and you'd have the best of both worlds.

    Why does industry have to be so difficult to just not make the best when they can?

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