February 24, 2010 -- We have tested a few interesting Intel Atom-powered nettop computers lately from the ASRock ION 330HT-BD that bears a Blu-ray drive and an Intel Atom 330 CPU with NVIDIA ION graphics to the ASUS Eee Top that packaged the entire system within a touch-screen monitor. In this article we are trying out the CompuLab Fit-PC2, which is definitely the smallest Atom-powered computer we have tested to date. The Fit-PC2 easily fits in the palm of your hand and it packs an Intel Atom Z530 processor with a Poulsbo graphics processor, a 160GB SATA HDD, and 1GB of system memory.
January 13, 2010 -- Back in July of last year we were one of the first to review the ASRock NetTop ION 330, which was the first Atom-based "nettop" computer from this budget manufacturer that worked in conjunction with Pegatron Corp to assemble this compact computer. The original ASRock NetTop ION 330 worked out quite well and packed reasonable hardware (a dual-core Atom with NVIDIA ION graphics), but the latest computer in this series from ASRock is the ION 330HT-BD. This new nettop computer, which we are reviewing today under Linux, comes complete with a Blu-ray player along with 802.11 g/n WiFi, EuP 2.0 certification, and an MCE remote controller.
December 22, 2009 -- For the past year my netbook of choice has been the Samsung NC10 as while it shipped with stock Intel Atom hardware like other netbooks such as the Dell Mini 9 and earlier ASUS Eee PCs, the Samsung was built very well and possessed a rather large and well laid out keyboard for only being a 10.6" mobile computer. Catching my attention recently though has been the ASUS Eee PC 1201N netbook, which packs quite a bit of horsepower with offering the Intel Atom 330 dual-core CPU and NVIDIA's ION platform to provide compelling graphics capabilities. The Eee PC 1201N also ships with 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and a 1366 x 768 display that measures in at 12.1". Oh yeah, ASUS claims a several hour battery life for this $500 USD netbook too along with a full-size keyboard. As was alluded to last week, I ended up purchasing the ASUS Eee PC 1201N as soon as it was made available on the Internet. This is now the initial Phoronix rundown on the 1201N for how it works with Ubuntu Linux, including many benchmarks.
July 15, 2009 -- In the past we have published OpenSolaris vs. Linux Kernel benchmarks and similar articles looking at the performance of Sun's OpenSolaris up against popular Linux distributions. We have looked at the performance on high-end AMD workstations, but we have never compared the OpenSolaris and Linux performance on netbooks. Well, not until today. In this article we have results comparing OpenSolaris 2009.06 and Ubuntu 9.04 on the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook.
July 10, 2009 -- Over the years we have looked at dozens of ASRock motherboards, and as we have noted in recent reviews, over the past year or so they have really ramped up their efforts on providing feature-rich motherboards while still delivering them at very low prices, as they have long been known for their budget status. Two recent motherboards we had looked at that illustrate this trend is the M3A780GXH/128M and the X58 SuperComputer, both of which motherboards had bolstered a nice set of features, were priced well, and carried other unique advantages. ASRock has not only been focusing upon driving innovation into their motherboards, but now other products too. In conjunction with Pegatron Corp, ASRock has released its first Atom-based nettop computer. We have our hands on this new ASRock NetTop ION 330 product and to say the least it is a wonderful system using Intel's Atom processor with NVIDIA's ION platform.
June 25, 2009 -- Back in March we reviewed the System76 Serval Professional Notebook and found it to be an excellent contender at the time. This notebook, which shipped with Ubuntu 8.10, had packed an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 processor with a GeForce 9800M GTS graphics card and other great hardware, but since then System76 has rolled out notebooks with newer and better hardware. One of the new notebooks to recently leave the System76 facilities is the Bonobo Professional, which packs an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000 processor and an impressive NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280M discrete graphics processor. In this article today we are seeing how this high-end notebook performs with Ubuntu 9.04.
June 15, 2009 -- Last week we published an in-depth article looking at the NVIDIA ION Linux Performance using a nettop device that contained this chipset with GeForce 9400M graphics rather than the usual Intel 945 graphics. From video playback to 2D to 3D, the graphics performance with the NVIDIA ION was wonderful. For that testing, the nettop we were using came courtesy of ZaReason and it was their new Ion Breeze 3770. In this review we are taking a closer look at the ZaReason Ion Breeze 3770 hardware.
May 08, 2009 -- At Phoronix we have tested out Ubuntu 9.04 quite extensively with a variety of different hardware and have delivered numerous benchmarks, but we had not looked closely at running the Jaunty Jackalope with older hardware. In this article though we have done just that and carried out a number of Ubuntu 9.04 tests using an older VIA-based PC.
April 14, 2009 -- While there are many netbooks on the market from a variety of different vendors, for the most part they are composed of the same hardware. They generally carry an Intel Atom processor with a solid-state drive or hard drive, 1GB or so of memory, and an 8" to 10" screen. One area though where these netbooks can differentiate is with the operating system. While Microsoft's Windows XP continues to be used on a large number of netbook computers, when it comes to those vendors deploying Linux each usually has a slightly different flavor. ASUS prefers a spin of Xandros on their Eee PC, there is Linpus, gOS, and many others are out there. When it comes to Dell with their popular Inspiron Mini 9 netbook, they happen to be using Ubuntu but with a few modifications. In preparations for an article later this week where we will be extensively looking at Ubuntu's netbook performance, in this article we are taking a closer look at Dell's Inspiron Mini 9.
March 17, 2009 -- ASUS is among the few tier-one hardware vendors that understands Linux. Of the dozens of ASUS products we have tested over the years, it is hard to remember a product from ASUS that did not work well with Linux. ASUS was even the first motherboard vendor to ship with an embedded instant-on Linux environment known as SplashTop and they continued their adoption of this lightweight Linux desktop with their notebooks and a massive number of motherboards. Earlier this year ASUS also struck a deal to put Phoenix HyperSpace on some of their products, which is another Linux-based environment. On top of these other Linux efforts, ASUS also ships a modified version of Xandros Linux on their very popular Eee PC series. Their recently introduced Eee Top series, however, is not Linux friendly at all with the current generation of Linux distributions. The ASUS Eee Top ET1602 is a mighty fine piece of hardware at an exceptional value, but it does not know how to play with Linux without taking some advanced steps.