The newest netbooks: how do they fare?

The lucky writers at Gizmodo were able to get their hands on five new netbooks powered by Intel’s Pine Trail (Atom N450) processor. The netbooks are:

– Sony Vaio W
– Toshiba NB 305
– HP Mini 210 HD
– Acer Aspire One 532h
– Dell Mini 10 HD

Of these 5 netbooks, the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 came off as the best of the Pine Trail netbooks with HD. From their review:

The Dell Mini 10 is a little bulkier than the other contenders, but I’m happy to trade a little weight for the sturdier build. The glossy red top was a welcome splash of color without looking cheap. And where most netbook batteries stick out the back end or bottom like oblong tumors, the Mini’s is safely tucked away in the bottom deck. The result? A small form laptop with a big boy design. The Mini 10 was also the easiest to type on, with flush and raised keys leaving me pleasantly hand-cramp-free compared to the island-style netbook keyboards.

Most importantly, Dell (along with HP) has managed to mitigate the netbook HD problem by throwing Broadcom’s Crystal HD accelerator into the mix. It won’t offer the full 3D graphic support of Ion, and you’ll have to download Adobe’s Flash 10.1 beta 3 for the full effect, but once I did I was able to reliably stream 1080p video off of YouTube, as well as full-screen HD content from Hulu. it’s your best bet until Pine Trail Ion 2 netbooks start popping up later this year.

If you don’t care about HD, then the Acer Aspire One 532h would be perfect for you.

The Acer Aspire One 532h has a sleek design and performs at least on par with the Dell and HP in almost every other respect. It had the best battery life of the bunch, it’s wafer-thin and extremely light, and has a raised trackpad that’s actually enjoyable to use.

What do you think? I’m leaning towards the Acer Aspire One myself, but I’d like to get your opinions, guys.

One Comment on “The newest netbooks: how do they fare?

  1. I’ve had my Acer Aspire One since August 2008, and it’s been with me around the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Working on my travel blog while on the road meant having to transfer photos from my camera to the laptop and post processing the pictures before uploading. I was able to do that with the CS2 that I managed to install.

    If I’m to get a new netbook, I’d probably buy another Acer Aspire One. Though I have to admit the call of the Lenovo is strong.. they’re just too pretty ♥

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