With not having any other working ARM development builds to compare the PandaBoard ES performance to locally, I made things interesting and compared the PandaBoard ES to several (mostly older) Intel mobile processors. (For those wondering, I do plan to get a Raspberry Pi board for benchmarking when they are available.)
There is also a pre-production OLPC XO-1.75 that I used for running some tests, but since its software stack is limited and couldn't be loaded with Ubuntu at this time, there isn't as many tests that were run on this much slower single-core 800MHz ARM notebook. The OLPC XO-1.75 also has only 512MB of RAM and 4GB of flash storage.
The PandaBoard ES with its dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 clocked up to 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of SDHC storage was compared to an Intel Atom N270 netbook (a Dell Mini 9) with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of solid-state storage, an Intel Atom Z530 Poulsbo with 1GB of RAM and a 160GB HDD (the CompuLab Fit-PC2), an Intel Pentium M 1.86GHz notebook with 2GB of RAM and 80GB HDD (a IBM ThinkPad R52), and lastly was a Lenovo ThinkPad T60 consisting of an Intel Core Duo T2400 with 1GB of RAM and 80GB hard drive. All of the Ubuntu setups were using clean installs of Ubuntu 11.10 in their stock configuration with the Linux 3.0 kernel, Unity desktop, and GCC 4.6.1 -- the only exception was the XO-1.75 with its OLPC 11 operating system that is derived from Fedora.
With not comparing the ARM graphics performance in this article and the storage mediums being different due to no SATA support on the PandaBoard ES, etc, being published in this article are mostly the processor-focused benchmarks. However, on the OpenBenchmarking.org result file are about four dozen different ARM test profiles used.
While the Phoronix Test Suite is capable of monitoring the system power consumption during testing, due to the different device form factors (some netbooks/notebooks with attached display), no power monitoring was done in this article.