While we grabbed not one but two hands-on demos with the UMID M1 MID at Mobile World Congress last month, we didn't want to push our luck running benchmarks on the compact touchscreen handheld. Obviously UMPC Portal's Steve isn't quite so shy, hence these CrystalMark 2004R3 results for the 1.3Ghz Atom MID.
MSI's dual-storage Wind U115 Hybrid netbook was advertised as not only a speed demon (thanks to the 8GB or 16GB SSD) but a frugal one, with the company predicting runtimes of up to 10.5hrs from a single charge. However it now looks as though MSI were actually too modest in their claims; Eee PC.de have been running battery tests and the MSI Wind U115 lasted 13 hours and 15 minutes.
Seagate and AMD will be demonstrating the world's first SATA 6Gbps hard-drive today, theoretically offering twice the throughput of the existing SATA 3Gbps standard. The demo will compare an existing Barracuda 7200.12 HDD and a SATA 6Gbps HDD that uses a prototype AMD chipset to offer 5.5Gigabits per second performance.
Sony is still causing no amount of frustration among would-be VAIO P buyers with the various levels of configuration and the bemusing differences in availability. Three processors have been employed - ranging from the 1.33GHz Atom CPU you can buy in the US, through the 1.60GHz version, and up to the 1.86GHz VAIO P that you'd have to source through importers if you wanted it. Now there are finally benchmarks of all the different configurations (including SSD and HDD versions) to help decide.
Full benchmark results after the cut
It didn't take LaptopMag long to make up their mind over the Samsung NC20, but then we've known about this VIA-based 12-inch netbook for so long that it might prove tough finding anyone still on the fence. Obviously it's bigger and heavier than the NC10 - but then it has a larger display, keyboard and trackpad, too - but what we all really want to know is how well the VIA Nano U2250 processor and Chrome9 HC3 integrated graphics stand up.
Intel's X25-M solid-state drive has generally aced all testing, with its combination of super-high read and write speeds, which is why SSD-loving geeks were so disturbed by PC Perspective's long-term performance analysis. According to their findings, Intel's file controller - which cycles through available flash cells progressively, so as to avoid wearing out regularly-accessed blocks - results in a significant slow-down of performance due to the OS being unable to keep track of fragmentation. Now Intel are denying that the PC Perspective testing - which simulated a longer life-cycle - is in fact an accurate representation of an X25-M's use.
After talking the big talk last week, NVIDIA are looking to walk the walk this week with preview samples of the NVIDIA Ion reference nettop hitting at least two review sites. Both LaptopMag and PC Perspective have been playing with the Ion platform, which couples an Intel Atom CPU with NVIDIA's GeForce 9400 chipset for improved gaming performance together with 7.1 HD audio and Blu-ray full-HD video.
Since Apple won't give us the netbook so many people have been calling for, the past six months have seen a surge in Hackintosh netbooks: formerly Linux or Windows XP machines tweaked into running OS X. It's not exactly allowed in the terms of Apple's EULA, no, but with the latest drivers it's not exactly difficult, either; question is, is the machine you end up with worth it? Over at Apple Insider they've been running benchmarks on an Advent 4211 (an MSI Wind U100 rebadge), comparing it to a late-2004 G4 iBook and a first-gen MacBook Air.
There are now two of OQO's Model 2+ UMPCs out in the wild, and the second - which has the SSD option - paused long enough to get unboxed by MID Moves' Steve Paine. The solid-state drive seems to make a big difference, with its maximum 53MB read and 35MB write rates keeping Vista moving along smoothly, despite the Intel Atom processor.
Unboxing video of the OQO Model 2+ after the cut