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Small, cheap computers for scholars

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

HP Mini 210-4125sa

RH Numbers

Another 10.1in Atom-based netbook, you might think, but a closer look reveals that this HP has a couple of interesting USPs: first, it comes with an Atom N2800, the higher clocked version - it runs at 1.86GHz - of the almost N2600 seen almost everywhere. A small, but welcome 12 per cent performance hike. Secondly, the Mini sports a Beats audio sub-system, which will please folk with a penchant for bassy, red headphones. I'm more impressed by the eight-and-a-half hours battery life, though the trade-off is bulk: the HP is a hefty 33mm thick.

HP Mini 210-4125sa

Reg Rating 75%
Price £230
More Info HP

Lenovo IdeaPad S206

RH Numbers

Lenovo's entry into the 11.6in netbook segment follows the customary AMD CPU route, though here the manufacturer has fitted a 1.4GHz dual-core E1200 chip. That, coupled with 4GB of Ram, sets the S206 up as one of the fastest netbooks here. And I like the fact that it comes with dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi - all the others are single band. However, this isn't a slim machine, which might not matter so much if it had been packed with battery, but you'll just get four hours typical usage out of the S206. I found the keyboard area a little too bendy for my taste too.

Lenovo IdeaPad S206

Reg Rating 70%
Price £350
More Info Lenovo

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