[Ubuntu-PH] can anyone comment on this? answers please
"Yosif ali" Roque Morales
queroph at gmail.com
Sat Feb 21 06:51:27 UTC 2009
Test Center Analysis: Playing the Netbook OS Game
By Samara Lynn <slynn at cmp.com>, ChannelWeb
6:00 PM EST Wed. Feb. 18, 2009
With their tiny form factors and flashy colors, netbooks are catching more
than a few eyes. But what are the factors customers need to consider when
purchasing these little darlings of the laptop world?
Notebooks typically have faster processors, more memory and are larger. In
contrast, netbooks generally are outfitted with smaller, more energy
efficient, yet slower chips, such asIntel (NSDQ:
Atom-based processors. The first generation of notebooks primarily entered
the market with 1 GB memory and are diminutive and lightweight - less than
three pounds. They also have smaller, finger-challenging keyboards, screens
and typically lack optical drives.
There's one major decision that hits potential netbook buyers right up
front: can they get by with the lightweight performance credentials offered
by most netbooks or are they better off spending a bit more for a full-blown
notebook? And then, if the netbook is the system of choice, do they want a
system based onMicrosoft (NSDQ:
Windows XP Home or would they rather go the open-source route with a netbook
based on Linux?
Extensive reviewing in the Test Center shows that netbooks and notebooks
each fill a specific technological niche, and in addition, a netbook still
cannot perform the same resource-intensive tasks that most notebooks can.
Netbooks have become the new "It girls" of technology. Small, sleek and
often available in a variety of bright colors like "Blossom", "Snow" and
"Onyx" (pink, white and black for the uninspired), perhaps what's attracting
most devotees are the relatively low prices. Netbooks range from $300 -$800
for higher-end models, falling somewhere between smartphones and notebooks
They are good at what they are designed for: surfing the Web, checking
e-mail, using a word processor or perhaps creating a Microsoft PowerPoint
presentation. Reviews of a variety of notebooks in the Test Center have
proven that while netbooks are useful at doing the aforementioned tasks,
they are not ideal for doing those tasks simultaneously.
Still, the Test Center set out to quantify the differences. To get an idea
of how different operating systems would perform in an apples-to-apples
comparison, the Test Center built its own hardware test bed to simulate a
netbook performance experience. Not content to use standard, vendor-branded
systems as our only means of benchmarking operating systems here, the Test
Center used the Intel D945GCLF2 Essential Series Mini-ITX retail board, with
Intel's Atom processor at 1.60 GHz, DDR2 support and integrated Intel
graphics. With 2 GB of RAM (which the board supports), the overall results
show nice improvements for the second-generation netbook platform. Doing
fresh installations, each, of XP Home and Ubuntu 8.10 Linux-based desktop
operating systems, reviewers used Primate Labs' Geekbench 2.1 cross-platform
benchmarking software to measure performance.
As a general rule, netbooks provide about half the performance of notebooks,
but at about half the price. In the lab, the XP Home-based netbook
configuration ran up a score of 1185 while Ubuntu scored 1104, giving
Microsoft a slight performance edge over its Linux-based peer. But by
comparison, most dual-core, Vista-based notebooks the Test Center has
reviewed over the past year have scored about twice as high as the XP Home
Battery life in netbooks we've reviewed has ranged from about three hours to
almost five hours; the notebooks the Test Center has looked at have ranged
from about two hours to more than 8 hours with supplemental batteries
In pricing, the bill of materials for our netbook test bed reached about
$250 for the hardware alone. Most Vista-based, dual-core notebooks the Test
Center has reviewed over the past year have been priced at at least $650 on
the lower end.
Netbooks do have a nice edge in mobility. For example, the Dell
Inspiron Mini 9 we reviewed recently is easily stowed into a carry-on bag
when traveling by plane. Most notebooks simply require their own, padded
carry-on bags for separate travel.
But netbooks do fall short in even some simple tasks too familiar for most
users to give up. For example, the Dell Mini 9 comes with an integrated Web
cam. However, when trying to use that Web cam for video conferencing with
Skype, for example, the half-GB of memory on the system means that the
application crashes the minute video is deployed.
*The Bottom Line*
Windows XP slightly outperforms Linux in controlled, test-bed evaluation on
standard netbook hardware, but both fall considerably short,
performance-wise, when compared to almost all Vista-based notebooks examined
by the Test Center in the past year.
The result: The CRN Test Center can recommend notebooks for many
limited-function uses - - like PowerPoint presentations, word processing or
light Web browsing that may not need a full-blown, dual-core notebook. But,
in the end, common multi-tasking or multimedia use is still a game for
full-blown PCs " and a game that netbooks will often lose.
A netbook could serve as additional tool for a mobile employee, but in the
same way that a smartphone does not substitute as a notebook, a netbook
would serve as a poor substitution if raw processing power is needed.
VARs that position themselves as the best resource to explain the
differences between netbooks and notebooks to customers can help head off
confusion and ensure customers get the best device to suit their purposes.
*Brian Sheinberg contributed to this report.*
Yosif Roque Santos Morales
Asian Academy of Business and Computers
Professor, Sociology, Strategic Studies and Islamology
Linux machine # 365046.
Mobile number +639275642816
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