Jollity (25th June 2012)
The 5400 spin hard drives seems to cripple Atoms, I'd like to see one with an SSD instead.
I'd say even with an Atom CPU, an SSD will make a marked difference. Not worth getting an ultra fast model, but the responsiveness of an SSD should help to compensate for the sluggishness that's inherent.
5400rpm hard drives are awful, just upgraded a 5-year old Core2Duo laptop with a Crucial M4 and knocked 30 seconds off the cold boot > desktop time, plus apps spring up instantly.
Get the SSDs installed as part of the spec as some of the netbook size computers don't have easily accessible HDD covers and you don't want to be opening up cases on brand new kit
Personally I'd go for the extra grunt of an i3 sub-laptop (11" - 13") with SSD, will cost a bit more but will last you longer performance wise and the extra screen space will prove useful.
No idea if it's any good but I notice that Sony do a 11" Vaio E Series which looks like a decent alternative to the X130e?
VAIO E Series : VAIO & computing : Sony
Netbooks have the disadvanage of screen size and lower cpu power than laptops.
They have the advantages of value for money and all day availability due to battery/cpu ratio.
EVerthing else is the same - they are just as relaible/unreliable/prone to abuse/not prone as each other
Its a simple trade-off
PS I'd personally class things like the 130e as something in between
Thanks for your thoughts all.
I have made up my mind that the Minibook is out. RM say there is no way I can put an SSD or extra memory in without voiding the warranty. With your comments, this really makes me doubtful it will be good enough.
The other factor that tipped the balance is that the Intel N2600 apparently does not actually support x64, despite what the Intel website says. This would mess up our plans for going 64-bit only with Windows 7.
My current plan is to order one X130e, give it a good look over, and then order the rest provided it looks okay. I will have another trawl for 11" laptops for fallback - I will certainly look at the 11" Vaio E Series. If anyone near Kent happens to have an X130e, or one of its predecessors in that line, that I could look at, I'd love to hear from you.
I recently ordered 120 of the Dell Latitude 2120 (Dell Latitude 2120 Netbook) and got them down to a very competitive price (PM if you want further information on this), but we did get them with 3 years accidental damage, as if they are going to be as heavily used as ours they need them.
They are the most solid Netbook I have ever held, and the dual Core (appears as 4 in windows due to HT tech) seems to do a good job, the rubberised case seems really sturdy and the power socket seems to be really well made, but the best feature (by far) is the keyboard, at first look it is a standard laptop keyboard with the modern plastic cover between the keys, but on closer inspection, they have small bits of plastic off the keys, which meant even me attacking it with a screwdriver for a good 10 minutes, I could not get the keys off, it was such a delight to see.
All the best
Do you use the Latitude 2120s on a domain?
We do not use x64 at the mo, as we have some older software which just wont work (I am working on it) and there is current domain image being created for them
Mrs Enjay has just bought an 11" Samsung, very nice piece of kit - £330 and weighing in at just 1.6KG. She originally decided on the 11" Sony Vaio, but PC World didn't want to our money. There were some HP ones in PC World too, but they were a bit bulkier-looking, and had thicker screens so didn't balance as nicely.
I wouldn't want to use it for Photoshop, web design, etc but for surfing, Word and PowerPoint (which is all she wants, and let's be honest is a good 99% of PC usage in this school too) it seems ideal.
Jollity (26th June 2012)
Okay - full disclosure time. Mrs Enjay has just returned her 11" Samsung, and we've bought a 13" instead.
She found the screen was too small, especially since the only resolution it could (sensibly) render is 1368x768 which is just a bit teeny on an 11" screen. She also found that the processor (AMD E450 1.65Ghz) couldn't handle Bejeweled Blitz, which is a total show-stopper :-)
Jollity (28th June 2012)
Thank you very much for coming back to update, Enjay. I'm sorry your wife had her shape matching interrupted.
I am a little concerned that the E-450 could not handle a Flash web game. However when I had a look at Bejeweled Blitz it does seem to use a remarkable amount of processing for what it is apparently doing. In what way did it not cope? Stuttering animation?
Bejeweled Blitz is oddly resource-intensive - I notice performance differences between my home computer and some of our older-but-still-well-specced PCs in school. On the school PCs, it just runs a little slower, taking a bit longer to drop the next pieces into place, but the on E-450 it was unplayable as it would take sometimes as much as a few seconds to move the pieces after clicking on them. So, I think that might be as much about the game as it is about the laptop; the screen size issue remains regardless though - 11.6" is small, and 1360x768 is a small resolution for a screen that size (I tried changing it, but the driver doesn't have any other widescreen options on it).
I think 11.6" is fine in some contexts, and have no problems using my 10" tablet, but I am conscious that when I use that, I am holding it much closer than I do with a laptop screen. The 13" she's replaced it with is much nicer (for other reasons, she got an Ultrabook rather than a "normal" laptop, and that is really nice too!).
Jollity (29th June 2012)
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