Review Roundup october 28 2010
macworld reviewed the Apple MacBook Air
The new Air even takes what looks like a step backwards in processor speeds, going from the standard 1.83GHz and 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo processors in the previous models to a wince-inducing 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo in the standard 11-inch models
Comparing the 11-inch 1.4GHz MacBook Air to the new 13-inch 1.86GHz MacBook Air, we see the 13-inch system was about 27 percent faster in overall Speedmark 6.5 performance. The new 13-inch MacBook Air was able to display a few frames per second more than the 11-inch MacBook Air in our Call of Duty and CineBench graphics tests, and was faster in Photoshop, HandBrake, CineBench CPU, and MathematicaMark. Duplicating a 1GB file took the same time on all four of the new flash-storage-equipped Airs: 13 seconds.
Compared to their predecessors, the new MacBook Air models show improvement. Looping a movie at full-screen, full brightness and volume set at 1, the 11-inch MacBook Air’s battery ran out of power after 3 hours and 40 minutes. The new 13-inch MacBook Air lasted 4 hours and 25 minutes. The older 2009 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook Air lasted 3 hours and 5 minutes.
The 15-inch 2.4GHz Core i5 MacBook Pro’s Speedmark 6.5 score is 55 percent higher than the 11-inch MacBook Air, and 22 percent higher than the 13-inch MacBook Air
engadget reviewed the Apple MacBook Air
The MacBook Air has never exactly been a simple product to review. Since the laptop’s launch back in the heady days of 2008, we’ve always considered it a niche, high-end product and much less a mainstream system.
Of course, over time the market for laptops of this type has gotten quite crowded, with a slew of ULV-based thin-and-lights that offer lots of options for lots of budgets.
A couple of things missing from the new Airs include an ambient light sensor and a backlit keyboard. The former might not be an annoyance (in fact, we prefer to dim the screen to our liking manually), but the latter can actually be a little problematic.
The batteries, hard drive, and RAM are all kept under lock and key — nothing here is removable or user upgradable (at least not easily). In fact, the RAM is hardwired to the logic board and the flash storage is located on a custom Mini PCI Express board, meaning that tweaking the internals is not really on the table for most users.
Make no mistake about it, the new MacBook Airs are very good laptops. What they lack in speed and power, they make up for in build quality and big time battery life. Add to that gorgeous displays, solid state storage, and the unquestionably stable OS X, and the concoction makes for a nearly irresistible offering
anandtech reviewed the Apple MacBook Air
Apple’s 2010 MacBook Air (11 & 13 inch) Thoroughly Reviewed
The original MacBook Air had three main issues. It was hot, the 1.8” HDD was unbearably slow, and it shipped with 2GB of memory that you couldn’t expand to 4GB. It was a great machine for writers as you could open up TextEdit and hammer out a document for five hours straight. And when you needed to, you had the greater-than-Atom performance to get more intensive work done.
The new design forgoes the rounded nature of its predecessor and introduces more angular surfaces toward the rear of the machine. Connectors like flat surfaces so Apple outfitted the new MacBook Air with a pair of USB ports (one on each side) in addition to the MagSafe connector, miniDP out and line out. Everything is fully accessible from the start, nothing is hidden behind any secret panels.
Now the good news: after two years of complaining Apple has finally added a 4GB memory option. It’s not end user upgradeable, but for an extra $100 Apple will solder 4GB of memory onto the MacBook Air’s motherboard instead of 2GB.
Going back to my old MacBook Air was always weird. It lacked the glass trackpad that I’d grown accustomed to. The trackpad just felt rough.
he original MacBook Air didn’t have an optical drive. The new models are no different. When I bought my first Air I actually purchased the external SuperDrive, thinking I’d use it. To be honest, I’ve only used it when doing weird things to the MacBook Air for reviews on AnandTech. I won’t go as far as to say that no notebooks need optical drives, but the absence of one in the MacBook Air isn’t that big of a deal.
Unlike the 11, the 13-inch MacBook Air is far easier to recommend and can actually replace a machine in your arsenal. If you’ve got another machine (e.g. desktop), the 13-inch MacBook Air can easily replace a 13-inch MacBook Pro.
hexus reviewed the ASUS Eee PC 1215N
Indeed, the system’s 12in display, dual-core processor, dedicated graphics and Windows 7 Home Premium operating system do make you wonder; is it still a netbook at all?
Blurring the lines between netbook and notebook, the ASUS machine comes equipped with a dual-core, hyper-threaded 1.8Ghz Intel Atom D525 processor that’s actually designed for desktop use, 2GB of DDR3 memory and two GPUs; Intel’s GMA 3150 and NVIDIA’s ION 2. With Optimus technology onboard, the more powerful NVIDIA GPU only kicks in when needed and shouldn’t be a major burden on battery life.
Nothing out of the ordinary along the right edge, where ASUS provides headphone and mic jacks, two USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 Ethernet and the customary Kensington lock slot.
A power connector, VGA and HDMI out and a third USB 2.0 port decorate the left edge, where you’ll also find an air vent and a multi-card reader.
You may want to invest in a decent pair of headphones, though, as the system’s built-in speakers offer very basic audio. Mounted underneath the system’s front edge, the speakers offer little mid-range and practically no low-end, resulting in the kind of tinny audio experience you come to expect from a netbook.
The ASUS Eee PC 1215N’s dual-core Intel Atom D525 processor is clearly an improvement on the traditional single-core Intel Atom N450.
But the leap isn’t significant enough to challenge other CPUs in the line up. Intel’s Atom falls short of AMD’s Athlon II Neo, it isn’t able to catch the ageing Core 2 Duo ULV, and pales in comparison to a mobile Core i5 part.
Looping a 720p video until hibernation, the Eee PC 1215N is able to keep running for 3 hours and 26 minutes. Not that impressive, right? Well this is where Optimus technology comes into play. Setting the Eee PC to a balanced power plan, we were able to use the system for light web surfing for an impressive 5 hours and 47 minutes.
Judging the systems on the merits of their hardware components would favour the ASUS Eee PC, but the 12.1in netbook falls short in other areas. Despite offering more than double the performance of an average netbook, the Eee PC 1215N never feels particularly quick and the user experience is stifled by an average keyboard and merely-adequate build quality.
tbreak reviewed the LG X140 Netbook
The 10.1” LG X140 comes in Black and Red, but we got the pearlescent white for review. With silver paint on the bottom panel and the non-glossy pearl-white inside, the X140 does retain its classy look, but the gray keys inside just make it feel a little lackluster after first sight.
The keys are evenly spaced out, but a little too small considering the big sizes on the recent HP Mini 201 and Acer One series of netbooks. Still, it gets the job done as far as basic typing needs are concerned.
Specs wise the LG X140 holds its own against similarly priced netbooks, coming with an Intel Atom N450 (1.67GHz) CPU, 1GB ram and 160GB HDD and an Intel GMA 3150 added in for good measure. The lower ram maybe a bit of a disappointment, but Windows 7 Starter works mighty fine with it.
Considering the LG X140 is AED 150 lesser than the Mini 201, the performance difference seems almost negligible. Taking all that into consideration, the LG X140 is quite a good bargain of a netbook, while performing decently for what it is.