Netbook Testing Setup

For our performance tests, we're sticking with PCMark05, 3DMark03 and 3DMark05 to give you an indication of relative system and 3D/graphics performance. We've also run a couple video encoding benchmarks along with CINEBENCH R10, but you really don't want to do any video encoding or 3D rendering on a netbook. Given the similarity in components and overall performance among the various netbooks, we are also providing detailed results from PCMark05 so you can better understand what the composite score means.

We include a couple entry-level notebooks in the testing results, the Gateway NV52 and NV58. These two notebooks are a good representation of the current AMD and Intel mobile platforms, and they are the next step up from the $300-$375 netbook price range. In fact, at $500 the Gateway NV52 has a lower price than the M1022 MSRP and provides significantly better performance while the NV58 has the same MSRP. The Gateway notebooks also weigh more and provide less battery life, so you will need to choose between which features mean the most to you. The NV52 will show up in the charts in dark green (AMD) while the NV58 is in Gold (Intel).

For reference, here are the specifications for the other netbooks and laptops we've previously tested. We are also including results from the Acer Aspire One 751h, which uses a larger 11.6" LCD along with a lower power (and lower performance) Intel Atom Z520 (1.33GHz) and an MID (Mobile Internet Device) chipset with Intel GMA 500 graphics. A full review of the Acer 751h will be available shortly. Testing procedures have also changed relative to some of the previous netbook reviews, so only results run using the current procedures are included. Unfortunately, we don't have the previously tested netbooks so we aren't able to rerun the necessary tests.

Gateway NV52
Gateway NV58
MSI Wind U123

Gigabyte M1022 Overview Netbook Performance Comparison


View All Comments

  • AnnonymousCoward - Friday, August 28, 2009 - link

    Great review, Jarred.

    The half-assed dock performance (analog video and slow ethernet) and the high netbook price are real turnoffs.
  • erple2 - Friday, August 28, 2009 - link

    I used to think that Docking Stations were worthless. If you never move your laptop, then yes, they're worthless. You can get all of the same functionality by plugging things directly into the laptop.

    However, once I got a laptop at work that I would bring home daily, it became clear that pressing 1 button to "unplug" the power cable, mouse, ethernet port, external non-portable storage and additional Monitor, I realized just how useful that is. Couple that with taking the computer with me to meetings, and I plug/unplug it about 6 times a day.

    Sure, it's a small thing, but it does take about 1 minute to plug/unplug everything each time. I figure that saves me about 3 minutes a day. That's 15 minutes a week, an hour a month. Any docking station would pay for itself in whatever your hourly rate is in not much time at all. Plus, few notebooks have DVI connectors for external 24" LCD's.
  • autoboy - Thursday, August 27, 2009 - link

    I think every notebook should offer docking capability. Docking stations offer so much flexibility in charging and peripherals so this computer is interesting to me except for it's price.

    I use a second monitor and computer for basic internet and work. My gaming machine changes so often it is nice to have a system that never changes, and notebooks are great for a 2nd PC. Having them on a docking station just makes it so much better.
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, August 27, 2009 - link

    I used to like the idea, but now I realize they are just a scam. Why in the world would anyone want to pay anywhere near $400 for a netbook when you can find deals like the Lenovo G530-444635u (pentium t4200) for $320? The battery life argument only makes sense if/when battery life in a netbook gets up around 24 hrs. If I can loop a youtube clip for 24 hours straight without my battery dying (and without stuttering), then we might be on to something. Until then netbooks are redundant. By the time I can loop a youtube clip for 24 hrs without my battery dying, I'll be able to do it on a cellphone, hopefully free with a 2 year contract. Reply
  • faxon - Thursday, August 27, 2009 - link

    hopefully nvidia's tegra platform will be capable of this. apparently the cheaper tegra devices may even be free with a paid 3G WAN plan, going up to $100 for a 10 inch device. now all we need is ChromeOS and we are set! Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 27, 2009 - link

    24 hours is rather excessive; I'm fine with 8-10 hours, so we're pretty much there now (i.e. ASUS 1005HA). The day I spend more than that in front of a computer watching videos is the day I check myself into the old folks' home. Reply
  • crimson117 - Thursday, August 27, 2009 - link

    ..where you'll have to fight the old folks for the TV remote. Reply
  • The0ne - Thursday, August 27, 2009 - link

    I've purchases Vostro laptops for home and business uses mainly because they are are steal when bought at the right time. A netbook selling at $400-$600 is going to a very hard thing to consider. I mean we're talking about a "net"book not an ultra portable notebook.

    Vostro 14" with a C2D 1.6GHz, 2Gig Ram, DVDRW can be had for $399 already. Scrap the resource hogging, slow Vista OS with Windows 7 and it'll run like a champ...even with Aero. I have several here proving it.

    Or get a Vostro 17" like what I'm using now with a 1900x1200 resolution, C2D T7500, 320gig HD, DVDRW, 4Gig ram for ~$800. It was a great deal at the time. Again, replace the lame Vista OS with Windows 7 and you have one really nice laptop with a gorgeous screen.

    For a "netbook" these prices are ridiculous in my view.
  • swbsam - Thursday, August 27, 2009 - link

    Have you guys visited the forum recently? A bunch of trigger happy mods are ruining the place (and I'm sure your ad revenue!) by being overly sensitive pansies, locking everything and banning people.

    There are other options out there, of course, and I'll personally move to one of these forums -but I like your reviews and hope your revenue stream isn't jeopardized by censorship.
  • faxon - Thursday, August 27, 2009 - link

    if intel is worried that sales of dual core atoms into netbooks will cut into the sales of their mobile CPUs, they are just being extremely paranoid. if i wanted proper performance in a mobile platform, i wouldnt even be considering a dual core atom in the first place FFS. as it stands now, if i can get myself a dual core atom netbook with a 10 inch screen for $350-400 i would consider it, but as it stands it just doesnt make any sense. sure, i wouldnt be watching HD video on it or anything, but i would still like to be able to play hulu full screen at 480p reasonably. im considering getting one of these for when i go to the GFs house, since she only has her macbook and i dont want to spend $200 on a mouse, keyboard, monitor, and a table to put it on, when i can just get a netbook. its not like im going to be doing anything besides browsing. if this isnt done soon, im going to end up waiting until nvidia's tegra platform comes out, in which case intel isnt going to make a dime. Reply

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