Hands on with HP Mini, Lenovo S10, BenQ U101
- — 08 December, 2008 08:44
Battery life is one of the top considerations in a netbook. Some people may choose a 3-cell battery because it will make the overall device slightly lighter and less expensive, while others will prefer the extended life of a heavier 6-cell battery. For me, the cost and weight differences are far less important than being able to use the device for hours on end without needing a battery recharge.
The 3-cell battery in the device I used ran for just over 2 hours of typing and Internet use, about standard. But the HP Mini 1000 apparently doesn't yet offer the option of a 6-cell battery, and so does not even come close to rivals in battery life.
HP-Taiwan told me there will be a 6-cell version available that will raise battery life to 5 hours to 6 hours, but the company was not able to say when that product might be out. According to HP's Web site, it's still not available.
Price is also an issue on the Mini 1000. HP's Web site lists the basic configuration, with an 8.9-inch screen, for US$399.99, while the recommended model is US$504.99. On Amazon.com, the lowest price for an HP Mini 1000 was US$549.78. That's a lot more expensive than the Acer Aspire One's on Amazon.com, which carry similar components, for US$384.99.
Lenovo IdeaPad S10
Lenovo was late to the netbook market, but its first offering is a solid star. Its components are nearly identical to the standardized netbooks already on the market. I used an S10 with a 10.2-inch screen, a 1.6GHz Atom microprocessor, 1G byte of DRAM, a 160G byte HDD, and Microsoft Windows XP. The rest of its components are standard fare.
The IdeaPad S10 booted in 36 seconds, exactly the same as the HP Mini 1000 I used and fairly standard for most netbooks using Windows XP. One thing about the Asustek Eee PC and Acer Aspire One I tried is both companies added embedded Linux OSs that open in about 8 seconds with full access to the Internet, e-mail, messengers, songs and other data. Windows XP opens in the background while you're already off surfing the Web. Asustek uses an embedded OS called Express Gate, while Acer uses one from Linpus.