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Netbook cheat sheet: Old and new models compared

Published

(Page 4 of 4)

 
Dell Inspiron Mini 10v
(New Model)
Dell Inspiron Mini 10
(Older Model)
Price
$299
$349
Weight
2.5 lbs.
2.6 lbs.
Screen
10.1" 1024x576 widescreen LCD
10.1" 1024x576 widescreen LCD
Processor
Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz
Intel Atom Z520 1.33GHz
Memory
1GB DDR2 533MHz RAM
1GB DDR2 533MHz RAM
Hard Drive
120GB 5400 rpm SATA hard drive
160GB 5400 rpm SATA hard drive
Video
Intel 945GSE
Intel GMA 500
Keyboard size
92% full-size
92% full-size
Wireless Networking
802.11g
802.11g
Memory Card Slot
3-in-1
3-in-1
Ports
Three USB ports, VGA, Ethernet
Three USB ports, Ethernet, HDMI
Rated Battery Life
3 hours
(3-cell)
3 hours
(3-cell)
Misc.
1.3MP webcam
1.3MP webcam

Our verdict
Buy: Dell Inspiron Mini 10
Despite the price drop, we found the original Mini 10's HDMI port and extra 40GB of hard drive space more valuable than anything the Mini 10v brought to the table. In addition, the Mini 10 can be customized with a 1366x768 LCD (+$35) or mobile broadband modem (+$125) — two options that the Mini 10v lacks.
 

Conclusion
When it comes to performance, all netbooks are outperformed by budget laptops, many of which pack Intel Dual-Core and Core 2 Duo processors. Also, keep in mind that many of the "new" netbooks are pricier than most budget laptops. Nevertheless, if you're still dead set on a netbook, there are some things worth keeping in mind. For instance, until the first Ion-based netbooks make their debut, you can expect to find little-to-no performance differences amongst netbook manufacturers, since the majority have the same specs under the hood (an Atom processor coupled with 1GB of memory).

When shopping for your netbook, we recommend you look at its features, which can make the difference between buying a good netbook and buying one you'll want to throw out the window. Things to look for include battery life, keyboard size (cramped keyboards really crimp your style), LCD specs (How small a screen can you work on? Is your screen LED backlit), and connectivity (are you getting wireless-N, Bluetooth, HDMI, or VGA?). By focusing on the design features rather than hardware specs, you're more likely to choose a netbook that'll make you happy.

Louis Ramirez is dealnews' Features editor.

DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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