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Notebook holiday shopping guide, part 1



Xmas deals: Atom be gone

As you've
probably noticed by now, everyone is on about the Atom, netbook this, netbook that. If you're one of those people who despise small, underpowered economical cars, and who likes a big, moist lager to go with his juicy steak, you're probably more interested in real notebooks.

What are real notebooks nowadays? Well, for a start they have a real CPU, preferably a dual-core. They have a screen capable of displaying Websites in full res, and you don't have to have corrective laser eye surgery after using them for a few months. An optical drive is also a welcomed addition, as you'll need to burn some music for your car sooner or later (a car that runs on gasoline, as God intended it to, not a diesel or hybrid).

So, let's start with the small, ultra portable ones, and see what they have to offer compared to their meek Atom-powered, inbred relatives.

Well, if you're really keen on getting something tiny and not spending a fortune, Asus is offering the stylish U1F for €899. True, it costs twice as much as a netbook, but it looks that way, too. A very sleek design, powered by a Core 2 Duo U7500 2x 1.06GHz ULV CPU, it packs 1536MB of memory, an external DVD drive, a 11.1-inch 1366x768 screen and it weighs just 1kg, less than an Eee PC. Similarly speced machines sell well north of €1000, so the price is great, too.

FSC is selling the FSC Lifebook P1610, an 8.9-inch tablet powered by a Core Solo U1400 ULV at 1.2GHz for €749. It weighs 1.2kg, it's feature packed, and the price sounds right, until you take a look at it. This is probably the most hideous tablet on the market, if not the most hideous tablet of all time. If you can live with the uber-ugly design, and you really need a tablet, it's not a bad deal.

Moving on to 12-inch units, Lenovo is looking strong, both in the value and thin and light segment.

The Lenovo IBM ThinkPad X61s weighs a mere 1.4kg, but packs a Core 2 Duo L7300 at 1.40 GHz, 12,1-inch XGA LCD (1024x768), 1GB of memory and 80GB of storage. It ships with a 4-cell battery and costs €899. It's a good price, although you'll probably have to invest in a bigger battery and some extra RAM.

On the cheap side, Lenovo is offering the Lenovo 3000 V200, powered by a T7500 CPU 2.2GHz, it has 2GB of memory and a 160GB hard drive. It ships with a 3-cell battery, weighs 1.8kg and at €557 it's nothing short of a bargain.

In part two we'll take a look at the bigger models, starting at 13.3-inches.

Also read:

Notebook holiday shopping guide, part 2

Last modified on 18 December 2008
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