Dell Inspiron M101z
I have to hand it to Dell, it has come up with a very nice notebook. Thanks to a generous spec - 1.3GHz dual-core AMD Athlon II Neo K325 processor, ATI Radeon HD 4225 graphics and 4GB of 1333MHz DDR 3 memory, the M101z punches above its weight. With its glossy gun metal grey interior, it looks good, and if it seems a mite bulky, it's because of a 56Wh battery, which delivered more than three hours' runtime in tests. All the right ports are present, and the keyboard is solid. The M101z feels well built. It's pricey, mind, though you can shave a bit off by accepting only 2GB of memory - I'd avoid the single-core model.
Reg Rating 85%
More Info Dell
HP Pavilion dm1-2010sa
I asked HP to supply one its dm1 sub-notebooks for this round-up. While the company's website lists the dm1-1100, a dual-core 1.2GHz Celeron-based machine, it actually sent us the dm1-2010sa, a version based on AMD's single-core Athlon II Neo K125, the same as the one in the Samsung X125 (see below). Now this is odd: HP's website says the machine is now obsolete.
That said, it still appears readily available from a number of resellers, so I'll give it a go. It performed as well as other machines based on one-core CPUs, its PCMark score lifted by better graphics. And it's a nice notebook that augments Windows with DeviceVM's Splashtop fast-boot OS for quick access to email, the web and your media files. But there are faster machines for only a little more outlay.
Reg Rating 60%
More Info HP
Next page: Lenovo ThinkPad X100e Enhanced
Anyone else miss the old 12" 4:3 sized machines. Especially the old 12" G4 Powerbook. Not everything has to be wide screen, for web browsing and general work I'd rather have the relative screen hight.
believe it or not...
...the entire world doesn't revolve around Apple. Mac.
Thinkpads all the way.
I'd rather splash out £200 on an IBM X61s off ebay, pretty much the same spec and I can spend any left over cash on a decent SSD and more RAM. Honestly, you only need to use a proper Thinkpad (not the e100 jobby) once to be converted.
My desktop monitor is mostly used portrait.
Thank you for this. I have been looking forward to an article on 11 inch machines. They seem to be quite out of fashion. I have contended for a while now that 11inch is an ideal compromise between portability and functionality. I have started at 15 inch, went down to 14, then to 11, then to 10. I had to go back to 11 inch, as the resolution on 10 inch makes so many things a pain, or completely unusable.
In respect to processor, personally I prefer a fairly slow single or dual core part, balanced by the longest possible battery life. I have been using full time a Philips Freevents 11NB5000 (a Twinhead F11Y in reality) 11 inch sub-laptop for 3.5 years - and it has been an excellent work companion. However, I need quite often the optical drive - and the Packard Bell seems to be the only choice with one at 11" in the entire market.
I know they have been out of production for years - but a word of respect for the Sony TT/TZ/TX lines of yonder. All 11 inch machines, amazing build quality, some of them 9 hours of battery at the time, optical drive integrated (some of them BluRay writer!), even optional integrated 3G. Expensive but what a feat of engineering. Long gone now, I'm afraid. Those were the days. Sigh.