The Dodge Retort

Tech, media and other interesting stuff

Netbooks: Is Performance the Main Issue?

Posted by jdodge349 on April 2, 2009

I did three netbook reviews for eWeek.com a month ago and I invite you to read them. Indeed, I liked the HP Mini’s terrific keyboard, and Lenovo’s Ideapad S10’s and the Asus’ EEE PC 1000H features for the price despite less than  satisfactory ivories.

That was 4-5 weeks ago and so I’ve evolved my opinion  as I’ve become an everyday netbook user. My revelation is this:  I can get used to the smaller keyboards and displays, but have a more difficult time with slower or I should say inconsistent performance. Using the netbook in bed has been hit or miss proposition and always slow when using the Internet which is all the time (I’m in the cloud, baby!)

Before I blame the netbooks entirely, one likely culprit could be Comcast and my router. Comcast Internet seems slower and I’ve been waiting for years for FIOS to come to my neighborhood.

Still, the Internet performance of my tethered Dell desktop far exceeds that of the netbook — presently, a very slick looking Lenovo Ideapad S10 model 4231 — which on one or two occasions could not find my wireless router. What’s more a  Lenovo T43 notebook (a older but nice machine) wirelessly performed just fine in the same spot two doors and walls and about 40 feet away from the router.

That made me question graphics performance of the Intel Graphics Accelerator 950 or 1.6 Ghz Atom CPU in the netbooks because graphics intensive sites like CNN.com or Boston.com were the slowest while Google was its usual fast-self, relatively speaking. I suspect the spotty netbook wireless performance was due to a combination of factors.

To calibrate my conclusions, one can adjust to smaller netbook keyboards  and displays just as with a Blackberry.  Slow performance is much tougher to get used to. The good news is that performance always improves with time and is something netbook vendors should be able to fix.

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2 Responses to “Netbooks: Is Performance the Main Issue?”

  1. Phil said

    I was enjoying my eee pc by Asus until about a month ago (I bought it in May 2008). I was willing to put up with its lack of hard drive space and clumsy tiny keys on the keyboard because of how portable it was when travelling with my backpack on an hour long commute into Vancouver from Abbotsford for day trips. Since I did not want to lug around a larger laptop the netbook was a great solution since all i wanted to do was check my e-mail and social media sites. Then all of a sudden it stopped recognizing my router (d-link). Neither d-link nor Asus have been able to resolve the problem. I have made sure my wireless is routed etc. Now it sits in my home gathering dust. All my other three wireless computers, two laptops and one tower, work perfectly.

    • jdodge349 said

      It definitely sounds like one of those problems that have you pulling your hair out! Interesting to see you share my opinion about
      the keys being designed for someone the fingers of a child!

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