I sold my Gateway LT3103u a few weeks ago and I have been looking for a replacement ‘carry-around’ notebook (my Gateway P-6860FX is a great laptop, but it is also a 9.3lb device with a 17” screen –and not something I want to keep in my backpack all the time).
I looked at some of the new CULV laptops, but their price vs. performance isn’t where it needs to be yet. The lower end (SU3500; Core2 Solo 1.4Ghz) is has about 160% the processing power of a 1.6Ghz Atom N270 (488 vs. 304 on Passmark), it is sells for $100-$200 more (using $300 as the current average price for a NetBook).
The high-end CULV (SU9700, Core2 Duo 1.6Ghz) is almost four times as fast (1106 vs. 304), but most models sell for 2 to 4 times the price of an average NetBook.
|CPU Type||Passmark Score|
|Intel Atom Z520 @ 1.33GHz||251|
|Intel SU1300 @ 1.06GHz||264|
|Intel Atom Z530 @ 1.60GHz||295|
|Intel Atom N270 @ 1.60GHz||304|
|Intel Atom Z540 @ 1.86GHz||306|
|Intel Atom 230 @ 1.60GHz||315|
|Intel Atom N280 @ 1.66GHz||315|
|Intel Core2 Solo U2100 @ 1.06GHz||323|
|Intel Atom Z550 @ 2.00GHz||346|
|Intel SU2700 @ 1.30GHz||438|
|Intel Core2 Solo U3500 @ 1.40GHz||488|
|Intel Core2 U7500 @ 1.06GHz||571|
|Intel SU2500 @ 1.20GHz||581|
|Intel Atom 330 @ 1.60GHz||624|
|Intel Core2 Duo U7500 @ 1.06GHz||637|
|Intel Core2 U7600 @ 1.20GHz||664|
|Intel Core2 U7700 @ 1.33GHz||696|
|Intel Core2 Duo U7600 @ 1.20GHz||709|
|Intel Core2 Duo U7700 @ 1.33GHz||748|
|Intel Core2 Duo U9300 @ 1.20GHz||768|
|Intel SU2300 @ 1.20GHz||930|
|Intel Core2 Duo U9400 @ 1.40GHz||947|
|Intel SU4100 @ 1.30GHz||971|
|Intel SU7300 @ 1.30GHz||1005|
|Intel Core2 Duo U9600 @ 1.60GHz||1106|
|Intel Core2 Duo T8300 @ 2.40GHz||1476|
|Intel Core2 Quad Q9650 @ 3.00GHz||4456|
|Information obtained from Passmark Website|
The big benefit in the CULV systems is that they are very thin & light and can have between 8 to 12 hours of run time on a single battery charge. All of the systems I looked at were 12” to 14” screens with 1366x768 resolution (for 720p capability)- which is the same resolution that most of the newer NetBooks feature.
I had resigned to lugging around my old faithful Gateway, but I decided to keep looking in case a good deal caught my eye.
This afternoon I was making my normal weekend rounds (Fry’s, MicroCetner, GameStop, etc) and I came across the Sony VGN-P530H/Q at MicroCenter- on sale for $499. This device launched at $899 and the current lowest online price I can find is $634.99 (for a refurb unit from Geeks.com).
It is a lowly Atom Z520 (1.33Ghz) but it comes with 2GB of RAM (hard-soldered to the board), a 60GB hard drive, WiFi b/g/n and an integrated webcam. What sets this apart from other ‘NetBooks’ is the integrated Bluetooth, GPS, Verizon EVDO and (wait for it) an 8” LED backlit screen with 1600x768 resolution!
The system ships with Vista Home Basic and it runs like crap; If I decide to purchase it would immediately be formatted and loaded with Windows 7.
Still debating if I can handle a 1.33Ghz CPU, but it is a pretty damn good buy for a micro-sized 1.5lb laptop!