Netbook Shopping

While I’m on the subject of Netbooks, here’s a few that I’ve been considering:

Acer 751h Netbook $310 (from Costco.com)

  • Intel Atom Z520 (1.33 GHz, 512KB L2 Cache, 533MHz FSB)
  • 11.6″ WXGA LED-backlit 1366 x 768 resolution
  • 2 GB Memory
  • 250 GB Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
  • WiFi b/g
  • Webcam
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • 3-cell battery
  • 2.8 lbs
  • 11.2″ x 7.8″ x 1.0″

acer_4

I actually bought this Acer model from my local Costco store and gave a detailed review in some previous postings. My model only had 1 GB of memory, a 160 GB hard drive, and had the Windows XP Home OS installed. The price I paid was $290, while this slightly upgraded model is going for $310 if you order online. (Note: I noticed yesterday Costco had a blue and red colored model available, but as of today they only show the blue model. They may be closing out this particular model, so you can get it now or wait to see what Costco might be offering in the next few weeks).

I really like this Acer Netbook, and my only wish list for improvements would be a faster processor (maybe the Atom N270) and more video memory to help with the graphics refreshing when dragging windows around on the screen. Otherwise, I think it’s a well made Netbook for the person on the go.


Dell Inspiron 11Z $399 (from Dell.com)

  • Intel Celeron 743 (1.3 GHz/800 MHz FSB/1 MB Cache)
  • 11.6″ 1366 x 768 WLED screen
  • 2 GB Memory
  • 160 GB Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
  • Dell WiFi a/b/g
  • 1.3 MP Webcam
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • 3-cell Battery
  • 3.05 lbs
  • 11.5″ x 8.43″ x 1.0″

dell_latitude_11z

I noticed this Netbook on the Dell.com web site, which is comparable in size and functionality to the Acer 751h and Lenovo IdeaPad Netbooks. The specs are very similar to the Acer Netbook, except it’s slightly larger and heavier and has a smaller hard drive. It does use the Intel Celeron processor which is suppose to have higher performance than then Atom Z520 in the Acer Netbook.  So for those who want a bit more CPU power and like the Dell brand name, the 11Z might be for you.


Lenovo IdeaPad S12 Netbook $500 (from costco.com)

  • Intel Atom N270 processor (512KB L2 Cache)
  • 12.1″ WXGA TFT 1280 x 800 resolution
  • 1 GB Memory
  • 160 GB Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
  • WiFi b/g
  • 1.3 MP Webcam
  • Windows XP Home
  • 6-cell Battery
  • 3.42 lbs
  • 11.5″ x 9.1″ x 1.4″

lenovo

The Lenovo is another Netbook available from Costco, and sports a larger screen (although the pixel resolution is smaller). As such, it is larger and heavier than the Acer 751h and Dell Latitude 11Z Netbooks. Of the three Netbooks reported here it is the highest priced (at $500), but it does have a larger screen and 6-cell battery. Unfortunately, Costco doesn’t have this model on display at their local store for a hands-on evaluation, so you’ll need to order it online and return it if you don’t like it (which isn’t a big deal, since you can do so at your local Costco store and even get shipping costs refunded).

Now, I’ve never owned or used a Lenovo machine before, so I can’t vouch for their build quality or reliability. But if they are being sold at Costco they can’t be too terribly bad.


My comments:

So, what am I going to do? I currently have a Acer 751h Netbook that I bought from Costco for $290 which is a very nice and capable machine. After reading more online reviews and forum postings, I decided to order the Dell Inspiron 11z. The total cost was $475 US and with that I was able to get all the features listed above as well as a internal bluetooth adapter, WiFi-N wireless card, and a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it comes out on Oct 22nd (later this month). It’s definitely more money, but I am getting quite a bit more for that money.

It was a hard decision, since the Acer Netbook is a great little machine. Hopefully, this Dell laptop (it’s not considered a “Netbook” by Dell) will be just a nice as the Acer Netbook and better. The delivery date is estimated for Oct 27th, so I’ll post my initial impressions once I get it and have a chance to test it out. The only bad thing, is that I can’t return the 11z very easily as I could with the Acer that I bought from Costco. But let’s hope I won’t be returning it because of defects or dislikes.

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2 Responses to Netbook Shopping

  1. Arnel says:

    Can’t imagine…really amazed at what can 290 dollars buy nowadays. I remember I spent a couple of thousand dollars to buy a computer much uglier, much less powerful than a netbook a decade aho loz…:)

  2. zunetips says:

    I was thinking the same thing yesterday. High resolution screen, WiFi, nearly full-sized keyboard, 3 hours of battery life, and the ability to run Vista and/or Windows 7 all for $290? Quite amazing.

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