I like to follow mobile devices. Not that I am buying them but it’s great show unlike established desktop market. They can be very different in functions and prices. Both functions and prices change fast as well.
I had recently played with two ultra-mobile notebooks in a row. They were so alike and different in same time that just asked for comparison.
MSI Wind U100
Wind is one of the emerging netbooks class. It is relatively cheap, uses hardware designed especially for this segment and is extremely small and light. Comes in two models with different screen sizes. U100 has 10" screen.
HP Compaq 2510p
This one is traditional notebook tweaked for reducing size and dimensions. Comes in numerous variations based on the same chassis. See below for specs of model I played with.
|**MSI Wind U100**||**HP Compaq 2510p**|
|CPU||Atom N270 1.6GHz||Core2Duo U7700 1.33GHz|
|ODD||None||DVD+/-RW Double Layer|
|Video||945 IGP||X3100 IGP|
|Display||10” 1024x600||12” 1280x800|
|Ports||3xUSB, 1xLAN, 1xVGA||2xUSB, 1xFireWire, 1xLAN, 1xVGA, 1xDock, 1xModem|
|Wireless||WiFi, Bluetooth||WiFi, Bluetooth|
|Dimensions||260x180x19-31 mm||282x212x24 mm|
|Weight||1 Kg||1.29 Kg|
|OS||Windows XP Home||Windows Vista Business, Windows XP Pro downgrade|
Translation for non-number-geeks
Wind is three times cheaper for comparable size and slightly smaller screen. But in performance Compaq eats it alive and comes with optical drive on top.
I had forgot to note which battery Compaq had but it had worked almost twice longer than Wind (in power-hungry mode).
If you draw a line where notebook is small enough but still usable Wind is going to be below and Compaq above.
10 inch screen (biggest netbooks can get) is still tiny. Compaq with screen adding only 2 inches and 200 pixel to width and height in the end provides way better experience.
Wind keyboard is considered one of the better among netbooks. Still not comfortable enough to instantly adjust like Compaq’s was for me.
I totally expected Wind to be excellent deal. Surprisingly it isn’t. Wind is second computer at best (third at worst). It simply doesn’t provide more than some browsing on the go. I can’t imagine using it as main PC. Strangely it’s not an cheap impulse purchase either – there are cheaper netbooks (or decent budget notebooks with same price tag).
Compaq is clearly far from fastest notebook. You can get ones packing more hardware for same money (more bulky thou). But it gets work done and is simply awesome for its dimensions and weight. Even Vista was bearable after some performance tweaks. If it was mine I’d just downgrade to XP from the start and get even better performance.
So what do you think?
Are you looking for cheapest possible as long as it runs browser? Or won’t approve any that can’t provide desktop-like experience? Tell me in the comments.