Finding the perfect Netbook Video
Finding the perfect Netbook Video Transcript
>> I'm Dan Ackerman, senior editor at CNET.com. And we are here to help you try to find the perfect netbook. Now, what's a netbook? It's a smaller, low-power, low-price laptop computer. They're great for surfing the web, checking email, working on word documents. They don't do a heck of a lot more than that, but that's 90 percent of what you do with your laptop anyway. This is an increasingly popular category. Everybody from Dell to Lenovo to HP is getting into it. There are a flood of netbooks on the market right now, but that can be pretty confusing. How do you pick the right one for you? Well, to help you out, we've created a handy chart. ^M00:00:30 [ Music ] ^M00:00:38 Well, first up, we've got the Asus ePC 901. Now, of course, Asus started the whole netbook craze last year with their original seven-inch version. This is a nine-inch version of that. It's got Intel's new Atom processor. That's a CPU that Intel makes specifically for these netbooks. It's got 12 gigs of solid-state hard drive space. That's not a lot of storage space, but it's certainly better than the four gig drives these things started out with. It's got one gig of RAM, which is certainly more than enough to run XP, which is the operating system here. We get more than five hours of battery life out of the e 901. It does have kind of a chunky battery on the bottom, but five hours is great for any kind of laptop. The only problem with this guy, it's about it 600 bucks. That's as much as a regular laptop. So you kind of don't get the netbook discount advantage with this. Anyway, that is the Asus ePC 901. Now, if nine inches isn't quite enough screen for you, there's a new Asus ePC 1000. This guy also has an Intel Atom processor. It's got a whopping 40 gigs of solid-state hard drive space. That's one of the biggest solid-state drives when seen in a laptop to date. You can also get it with XP, but Linux saves you a couple of bugs, and let's you actually get a slightly bigger solid-state hard drive out of it. The screen is ten inches. That's about the limit for netbooks. And we also got more than five hours of battery life out of this guy. Obviously it's a slightly bigger netbook, so you can fit a bigger battery on the bottom of it. And of course the fatal flaw for this guy, it's almost 700 dollars. So you really got to love the netbook experience to spring for the Asus ePC 1000. Next up is the Acer Aspire One. It's a netbook we like a lot. It's got a great design. It's also got that Intel Atom CPU. It's only got an 8 gig solid-state hard drive, so not a lot a space to store stuff or install new programs. And it's only got 512 megs of ram, not one gig, which we would prefer, which makes it very hard to run XP on one of these guys. Fortunately, it has that Linux operating system on it. But a lot of people still prefer XP. They're more familiar with it. It's got the nine-inch screen. We like that. Unfortunately, battery life, only a little bit more than two hours, certainly not enough to hang out at the coffee shop all day, or take from class to class. On the bright side, 379 bucks, a definite netbook bargain. That is the Acer Aspire One. ^M00:02:42 Next up is the MSI Wind. This is the netbook that had a lot buzz going on around it. It's also got the Intel Atom processor. It seems to be kind of a trend there. It's got an 80-gig standard spinning platter hard drive instead of the solid-state hard drive. You definitely get a lot more space with that, but the solid-states drives; they're better for heat. They're better for battery life. And they actually make your laptop lighter. It's got one gig of RAM and Windows XP. We like that. It's got a nice big 10-inch screen. Here's the problem though, less than two hours of battery life. And besides, be aware of this, of course they're working on a version with a bigger battery, and that'll be great when we see it, but for now, it's kind of a deal breaker. However, 499, that certainly hits the sweet spot on price. That is the MSI Wind. Last, and possibly least, we've got the Sylvania G Netbook. Yes, Sylvania is the guys who make the light bulbs. Somebody actually just licensed the name to put out this netbook. Now, it doesn't have Intel's Atom processor. It's got an old VIA processor, which is not nearly as speedy. We hear that VIA is working on a new netbook-style processor, and we hear it's pretty good. We look forward to checking that out. And in the meantime, this guy has got a regular 30-gig platter hard-drive. It's got a gig of RAM. It's got a custom Linux operating system instead of XP, and it's only got a tiny seven-inch screen, much like the original ePCs from last year. It's about as small as netbook screens get. Battery life - we got about three hours. That's not great, not terrible, definitely acceptable. And it comes in at only 399, so that's pretty cheap. That's about the same as the Acer Aspire, which honestly is much more usable machine. It doesn't have a little, tiny touch pad like this guy. Anyways, that is the Sylvania G Netbook. So what's the upshot here? Well, none of these guys really hit all the marks we'd like to see. So if you're in the PC making business, pay attention because I'm going to show you how to build the perfect netbook. First of all, we'd like to see the Intel Atom processor. We'd like to get at least 12 gigs of solid-state hard drive space. We understand solid-state drives are expensive. We're not going to be greedy here. We'd like to see Windows XP. People are familiar with it, and it works really well in the netbook format. I think a nine-inch screen really hits the sweet spot between portability and screen size. And, of course, you need at least three hours of battery life. More is obviously better. And, of course, you've go to hit that almost impulse purchase price of 499. So to recap, give us the Intel Atom CPU, at least 12 gigs of solid state hard drive space, Windows XP, a nine-inch display, at least 3 hours of battery life, and get it to me for 499, and then you have built the perfect netbook. ^M00:05:03 [ Music ]
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