Intel's Atom 330 is most definitely intended for the nettop, not the netbook, market, we're told, and so hopes were high that the latest super-efficient chip would offer a pleasing boost of dual-core performance what with battery concerns no longer an issue. PC Pro brought a Shuttle barebones - I'm guessing the X27D - based on the Atom 330 in from the cold and proceeded to benchmark it against not only the single-core Atom N270 but a 2GHz VIA C7-D system too. The results were, to be blunt, mildly disappointing.
After a week or so of positive reports on Windows 7 pre-beta performance - with testers generally finding the upcoming OS, even in its current early state, besting Vista in real-world challenges such as start-up and friendliness to ageing or low-power hardware - we're perhaps overdue a more critical one. InfoWorld's Randall Kennedy certainly delivers the goods, with a full-on benchmarking comparison that, on the face of it, suggests that Windows 7 "threatens to deliver zero measurable performance benefits while introducing new and potentially crippling compatibility issues."
The recently released Windows 7 pre-beta has had its moment on the ASUS Eee PC 1000H and the MSI Wind; now it's off to find more netbooks to play with. HP Mini Guide have loaded the latest build of the upcoming OS onto an HP Mini-Note 2133 with a mind to run some benchmarks and see how well the VIA C7-M processor handles things. As it turns out, it's been a mixed experience.
You've seen it live and bare, now see the LG X110 netbook stripped from its packaging and paraded. UMPC Fever have unboxed the 10.1-inch budget ultraportable and not stopped when they got to the plastic; they've also cracked the X110 open to scope out possible upgrade points.
Update: Check out the video unboxing after the cut
The Samsung NC10 netbook has had a pre-release unboxing and benchmark photoshoot, pitting the NC10 against ASUS' Eee PC 901. While falling short of a full review, it does tell us that the keyboard is more usable than the Eee PC's - thanks to larger keys - and the trackpad, though relatively small, works well. As for the benchmarks, in CPUMark 2.2 the NC10 scored 75.05 points, while the 901 managed 74.27.
Check out the full Samsung N10 image gallery after the cut
While we wait for the first proper English-language review of Raon Digital's Everun Note, there's definite interest to be had in the preliminary benchmark testing from UMPC Portal. If you remember, Raon Digital themselves stirred up some interest pre-launch by announcing some very promising performance figures; at the time there was a collective assumption that they were too good to be true, but in fact that turns out to not be the case.
Steve from UMPC Portal has been able to comfortably use the Everun Note as a desktop replacement, with the setup you see here running two Firefox windows with five tabs, Skype and Livewriter with 434MB of RAM free. In fact he's unable to tell the difference between the Note's performance in this setup, and that of a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo laptop.
Benchmark details after the cut
Raon Digital's Everun Note was always going to get some attention due to its compact size, but the company's marketing department have really put the cat among the pigeons with the release of a very promising benchmark screenshot. Using an AMD Turion 64x2 Dual Core 1.2GHz (1MB L2 Cache) processor with 1GB of RAM, the figures - yet to be third-party verified, remember - knock Atom performance into a cocked hat.
See the benchmarks after the cut
The words "cheap" and "SSD" don't tend to cluster together all that much, which is a shame because many people would love to upgrade their tech with cool-running, fast-accessing solid-state storage. OCZ promised to (almost) change things, with their Core Series line of drives: the predicted retail prices are $169, $259 and $479 for 32GB, 64GB and 128GB respectively, with read transfer rates of over 100MBps and sub-1ms seek times. Bold claims, and Laptop Mag have had the 64GB model in recently to see if OCZ really have kicked off the age of affordable SSDs.
One of AMD's upcoming ATI Radeon video cards using the RV770 GPU, first tipped in May, has slipped out early and delivered some details into the hands of HotHardware. The ATI Radeon HD 4850 features 800 stream processors packed onto a 55nm GPU with a 625MHz clock speed. As expected, there's 512MB of 993MHz GDDR3 RAM linked with a 256-bit memory bus. Of course, when you're holding a pre-release card you don't just sit & grin at it; you slap it into a test system and benchmark it against some of NVIDIA's latest rivals.