Poll: Does Intel’s Atom provide a good user experience?

Intel’s Atom processor took the world of low-cost PCs by storm last year, and it’s accelerated the decline of traditional systems with more expensive, mainstream CPUs—not to mention the decline of PC makers’ profit margins. But its popularity raises an important question: is the Atom really fast enough to provide a good user experience?

"User experience" might seem like a somewhat vague concept, but it’s really pretty straightforward in this case. Assuming a given netbook or nettop has a half-way decent storage solution and a healthy amount of memory, is the Atom fast enough to handle day-to-day desktop tasks without getting in the way? Can you browse YouTube and do some light multitasking without your system slowing down to a crawl?

We’re curious to see where readers stand on this, so we’ve turned that question into our latest poll. Feel free to vote whether or not you’ve used an Atom PC to begin with—it should be interesting to see the difference in perception between users and non-users.

Our previous poll topic was about processor sockets, or more precisely, which socket you’d choose if you were upgrading today. The Core i7’s LGA1366 socket won by a handy margin, securing 44% of the 7,027 votes. AMD’s DDR3-enabled Socket AM3 came in second place with 30%, while LGA775 and Socket AM2+ were about even with a respective 13% and 12%. Unsurprisingly, our readers seem to care more about performance and future-proofing than anything else when making this kind of choice.

Comments closed
    • swaaye
    • 10 years ago

    I’m entertained with how Atom makes hardware with performance very similar to the best of 2000/2001 feel new and exciting again.

    If it was 2000, you wouldn’t really want to be using a 486 from 1991. 9 years definitely doesn’t mean what it used to.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 11 years ago

    For some uses, the Atom is great (surfing, word processing, e-mail, MP3 player). For others, it needs help (Flash-intensive stuff, MPEG-4 video), though with the right platform (e.g., Ion) it could do this okay as well.

    For heavier apps, you need a heavier processor than Atom, but that’s to be expected. Atom wasn’t designed for all-day Photoshop use, or video encoding, 3D rendering, or gaming –it’s meant to be lightweight.

    Helped my buddy get an Acer Aspire One, and actually thought it worked quite well for what he wanted to use it for.

    • Pax-UX
    • 11 years ago

    In the next poll, how long is a piece of string

    • swaaye
    • 11 years ago

    Atom @ 1.6 is just about like a P3 @ 1GHz. If you’re ok with that, you’re ok with Atom. I’m not ok with it unless Atom is used where it’s needed and another CPU isn’t an option (for price, heat, power, etc reasons).

    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    I mostly just look at these first-gen Atoms as a proof on concept and for an idea of where things might head in the future. I don’t think I could bring myself to buy one unless I truly needed something tiny with long battery life, I wouldn’t want to get something that I would want to use for a while is going to be stuck on an old OS or linux (sorry linux fans.) The popularity is due to a number of things, ‘adequate’ computing being one and the economy being another. Future Atom CPUs and chipsets should be more interesting, I don’t know if Intel will include more limitations to push them in to their intended target market. With the advent of CULVs and Athlon Neos I think the Atom netbook/nettop phase will die out anyway.

    • paulWTAMU
    • 11 years ago

    I’ve used one briefly (my father in laws) and it sort of straddled the line between adequate and not. I guess I could live with it, but it certainly felt slow even doing stuff like web browsing. Of course, how much was the Atom and how much was the cheap SSD or the low RAM in the EEE I don’t know.

    • Deffexor
    • 11 years ago

    I have two Atom-based PCs:
    – a Dell 9 Mini (1.6Ghz HT w/ 2GB RAM) and 4GB SSD (running Dell’s Ubuntu)
    – an Intel mini-ITX motherboard with the Atom230 (1.6Ghz HT) also with 2GB RAM and 1TB WD “green” HDD.

    Generally, I’ve had two different experiences with them despite have very similar hardware.

    The Dell 9 Mini is a mediocre netbook. The sucky things about it for me are the very oddly shaped/designed keyboard. It physically slows me down. (The Acer Aspire One has a very nice keyboard despite being only ~10% wider.) The Dell 9 Mini 4GB SSD is pretty slow comparitively. Sure it has really fast read access times, but the device doesn’t feel snappy. (I’m getting an after-market SSD replacement [from RunCore] — we’ll see if it makes a difference…)

    The mini-ITX Intel motherboard is a real PC, in my opinion. It’s also very useable for “everyday” tasks like Email, Websurfing, MP3 playback, even light Photoshopping, etc. And it never really feels like it is slowing me down. I use it primarily as a file/print server, but occasionally I log into it directly and use it to web surf, etc.

    It’s really a great low-cost ($300 to build), low-power (draws 30-ish watts) alternative to most desktop PCs.

    • smilingcrow
    • 11 years ago

    At the time of writing this just over half the people that have actually used an Atom based system enjoyed it whilst over two thirds of those that havenโ€™t anticipated a bad experience. Thatโ€™s a big difference but it might just mean that those with a low expectation have shied away from the platform. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Captain Ned
    • 11 years ago

    OK, does the Atom platform make sense as a dedicated firewall box running the appropriate Linux distro?

      • Deffexor
      • 11 years ago

      Captain Ned: Ya know, I think it makes a great platform a firewall or a light-duty print/file server (home server)

      I have an Atom230 (1.6Ghz single core w/ HT) and it runs Ubuntu 8.04 just great! I have a single printer attached and a 1TB WD “green” 5400rpm drive in it. I use it for network backups, home file sharing, etc.

      My only wish would be to get the power draw down to like 5 or 10 watts (from the 30 watts that it draws continuously.) I guess I could try Wake-On-LAN or something like that, but that introduces lag in network access of things, but it might be worthwhile.

      • bthylafh
      • 11 years ago

      Maybe, but IMO unless you have relatively high-end needs a consumer router (with 3rd-party firmware like Tomato or DD-WRT) is probably cheaper, smaller, and just as good.

    • tu2thepoo
    • 11 years ago

    I think for most people the difference in CPU/platform performance is academic. Most people who get full-size laptops end up getting models with 5400rpm drives, which ends up being such a bottleneck with all the random software people load that the CPU’s waiting for the disk subsystem anyway.

    I’ve used an eeePC with a clean install of winXP, my C2D Dell XPS M1210 with Vista, my roommate’s 15″ HP with the Puma platform, and a bunch of others. For browsing and taking notes, the eeePC was quite usable, but the HP and a few Toshibas were so loaded down with bloatware and slow drives that they were unusable at times.

    Hell, I’m doing a file recovery on my roommmate’s HP and I had to switch to my desktop because I couldn’t even use Firefox or IE8 while the disk was thrashing.

      • LiamC
      • 11 years ago

      Agreed. Disk and memory is the issue. I had the unpleasant experience of trying to “fix” a Dell 6400 with 512MB/5400rpm disk/Vista Home and it was */[

      • vikramsbox
      • 11 years ago

      Not all HDDs are the same. There is a difference in the brands when it comes to multi threaded apps (i.e.- the HDD tries to access data for more than 2 apps at a time). My laptop HDD is a 120GB 8MB WD, its more than equal to many desktop HDDs of the same capatity range.
      From what I understand, the logic cards of the HDD’s play an important role. RPM is signifivant only in sequential read/ writes. But for random, the spin up/ down times and card logic are important- and these are not dependent on rpm.

    • glazed
    • 11 years ago

    I have the little Shuttle box with the Atom 330. I’ve been unable to spend any real time with a single core variant, but the dual-core is a pleasant box and given that it’s so quiet and unobtrusive I replaced my Northwood P4 Shuttle XPC with the new X27D.

    It plays the TV shows captured by my TVR, I don’t have any HD content – so that’s not a problem. It’s also got DVI which will probably see use once it goes to the living room this summer. For now I’ve had a good time with it under XP and I’m planning to do some Win 7 testing on it.

    • HurgyMcGurgyGurg
    • 11 years ago

    I didn’t vote since I’ve been holding off on buying a netbook. I like the concept, I’d love to buy a netbook, but for now I still get the feeling that most netbooks are not “There” yet. They finally have got physical form down, keyboard size, screen size, etc… but they still have to deal with the same hardware.

    I understand Intel has no real plans for the Atom in netbooks and instead plans to continue moving it down range with its hopes of killing ARM’s smartphone market. Has its success changed that or not really?

    I’m waiting until ULV Core i5 mobile lineup (Aburndale successor?) transition to 32 nm. At that size it should squeeze into the netbook category. Unlike the current ULV Core 2s which sit at around the 13.3 size range.

    Combine that with a 40 nm AMD or Nvidia mobile graphics and it will finally fulfill the netbooks promise. To bad I have to dream for another year…

    • vikramsbox
    • 11 years ago

    I’ve used an Atom 1.6GHz laptop on battery mode and compared to my X2 @800MHz on battery. The atom was slower and the fan seemed to put out hotter air than the X2. Before anyone talks about the X2 being a dual core, let me point out that I didn’tuse multi threaded apps. Using word and Excel, its like comparing an 800MHz CPU with a 1.6 GHZ CPU. In fact, its well known that the 1.6GHz atom is slower than a 1.2GHz CeleronM.
    The success of the Atom is one of pure marketing. Its not a very good product for the price they’re asking for the netbooks. We all know that we use CPU’s in a way that they’re idle 99% of the time. The Atom caters to this 99%.
    Insofar as the Atom being able to give an “additional” 50% battery life, has anyone checked the impact of a smaller screen? A smaller screen has a huge impact on battery life. My X2 with 15.4″ screen gives about 2 hrs backup, with med backlight, while one with 14″ gives 2.5 hrs similarly- with 6 cell batteries!
    The success behind the netbook is neither the atom, nor the price, nor the battery life. Its the low weight and small screen (=netbook size) and this- when many praise something, we all believe it.
    Netbooks are occupying the same price bracket as the Celeron M and Sempron notebooks, while being smaller and more essential. For 50$ more than a netbook, I’m glad I purchased a 15.4″ X2 notebook. I can work for hours andtype as long as I want, open as many windows as I want (right now there are 15 open) and not worry about anything. I’ll bear the slightly heavy weight and slightly lower batter life for the exponential functionality that I get with it. My hands, eyes and patience- all are safe and sound!
    Oh, and before anyone lambasts me for criticizing the proponents who praise the Atom, remember- many praised the P4 in its heyday too!
    Its all in the game friends!

      • stmok
      • 11 years ago

      I’m glad I’m not the only one that sees netbooks/nettops as not being “value for money”.

      I prefer Intel’s CULV over it any day…

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      “Seemed to put out hotter air” is not a useful metric at this level of subjectivity. You need to know the airflow volume and actually measure both the inlet and outlet air temperatures to know how much heat energy is being transferred out of the unit. Moving more air than you have to just wastes energy in turning the fan, and since the atom doesn’t have a very wide thermal envelope, it doesn’t require a conventional heatsink and larger fans with variable-speed control. Your X2 has both, and the “cooler” air under low power operation is an artifact of that.

      The smaller screen is an important point, especially since many netbooks are able to use LED lighting at very high efficiency since there isn’t a lot of screen area to fill. LED lighting can be effective on larger screens but the efficiency begins to fall off because the number of lamps has to be increased significantly with increasing area.

      There was nothing wrong with the performance of the P4 after the Northwood was released and SDRAM platforms became available, so people would have good reason to say nice things about it.

      That said, I probably wouldn’t buy a netbook for my primary mobile computer, either. I already owned a 15″ Centrino notebook when the netbook first arrived. However, a 15″ notebook has limits as to when and where you can conveniently use it, and since I’m not into the whole smartphone thing, the netbook very conveniently fills my lightweight portable computing needs.

    • torquer
    • 11 years ago

    I have a Dell Studio 1535 with a 2.16 C2D. I rate the experience as being “very good” by virtue of the fact that it is rare that I wish it were faster, and generally only because of the decidedly pokey 3450 graphics. I also have an HP Mini 1000 with the Atom 1.6. I do wish it were faster on a regular basis, but it is not so slow as to be unusable. The storage solution is slow as well (16GB SSD).

    Things I can’t do with my Atom that I can do with my C2D, irrespective of the graphics card:

    1. View all flash animations smoothly

    2. Have a responsive experience with java apps (generally custom GUIs for Telco equipment)

    3. View any HD flash videos

    It does very well at what I know it was intended to do: email, web, IM. And for $279, not a bad deal even with its limitations. You just have to look at it in context for your perception to be realistic

    • FuturePastNow
    • 11 years ago

    There’s a whole spectrum between “love it” and “hate it.” I’ve used an Atom system, not as a netbook, but as something it really isn’t intended for- a server. And its performance is acceptable for a home fileserver/NAS device.

    Windows Home Server on an Atom 230 with 2GB of RAM and, so far, three terabyte drives. I won’t comment on web browsing because I’ve never used it for that. 99% of the time, it does what it does without a hitch. It just chugs when WHS decides to index its drives, though.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 11 years ago

    As much as I dislike the concept of Atom, these options:

    [I haven’t used one but anticipate good things]
    [I haven’t used one and expect a bad experience]

    shouldn’t be there.

    If you haven’t used an Atom-based system, you have no business commenting on its user experience.

      • clone
      • 11 years ago

      I disagree, the additional 2 options provide an outlet for those who may have simply decided to comment that “atom is wonderful” because they like the idea of it and / or “atom blows” because they dislike the product.

      it makes for a more accurate poll.

      providing the additional options provides data on how effective/ineffective Intels marketing has been, how the public has viewed the online worlds comparative testing results and how the public feels about the product overall….. and most importantly it provides insight into the undecided buyers which are the ones that matter because it’s of the future earning potential.

      limiting the poll to only Atom owners narrows the scope and limits the value.

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    Judging by where the poll result is going, it looks like Atom has the “Vista Problem”: Bad press founded on a real but limited number of negative experiences, subsequently driven straight to the moon by an ignorant mass participating in the two-minute hate.

      • Ushio01
      • 11 years ago

      I’ve used several netbooks and found them all to be to slow but i believe that to be mainly because of the terrible storage solution’s offered.

      Maybe techreport should do a comparison between an atom netbook with an intel ssd and a core2duo notebook with a standard 5400rpm hdd and see which one comes off more responsive for normal tasks.

      • ecalmosthuman
      • 11 years ago

      Nah, look at the poll numbers between people that have actually used them: There are more people that feel they are too slow than those who have had enjoyable experiences. So why over-analyze the data? It would seem people who expect bad experiences from Atom-based netbooks now have at least a solid poll that supports their assumption. With a 7% margin. So much for the “ignorant mass.”

        • moshpit
        • 11 years ago

        Um, I’d say the ignorant masses comment was completely on target. Look at the poll. Those who haven’t used an Atom are mostly aligned to “it won’t be fast enough” while those who HAVE used it show a 4% lead in saying it IS fast enough.

        According to the poll results:
        42% have not used it, 28% saying it won’t cut it, 14% saying it will.
        45% have used it, 24% saying it’s good enough, 21% saying it isn’t.

        I’d say the ignorant masses should use something before condemning it. This is indeed another rehash of the ignorant crap spouted about Vista.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 11 years ago

          Or maybe the self-selection works in another way: the people who have used Atoms only want to use it for low-power applications while the others might want to use it for a little more than that and so fairly would expect a bad experience. Also there’s the ‘I bought one and don’t want to feel bad about my purchase’ syndrome which causes people who own something to say it’s good to validate their purchase.

            • ludi
            • 11 years ago

            “Also there’s the ‘I bought one and don’t want to feel bad about my purchase’ syndrome which causes people who own something to say it’s good to validate their purchase.”

            In an anonymous poll covering relatively low-cost hardware with eBay resale value? How likely is that?

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            That doesn’t have anything to do with it, it’s basic psychology and I see it all the time in comments and recommendation in forums, even though those have a screen-name they’re still ‘anonymous’ in reality.

            • moshpit
            • 11 years ago

            You’re completely off base, at least in my case. I’ve never bought one of these. I tested it formally. As in, for work. I beat it up pretty good. The Atom 330 met most of our needs for a client machine.

            • JustAnEngineer
            • 10 years ago

            Even if you think that you might be able to get by with retro 20th-century performance right now, don’t buy an underpowered joke like the Atom.

            The company that I work for is in the process of replacing a bunch of client machines company-wide. Corporate IT picked a low-powered client a while ago and dictated that all locations use it. More recently, Corporate IT picked a new training application that uses embedded narration and animated test questions. The under-powered clients won’t run the software adequately, so all of those machines have to be replaced.

            Having to throw away relatively-new hardware during the current economic climate is a real burden. How many more people will they lay off to pay for the hardware replacement?

            • ludi
            • 11 years ago

            So basically, you’ve got a hunch. Well, I’ve got one, too, but it’s different than yours. Which one wins? Steel cage match at dawn?

    • bowman
    • 11 years ago

    Mine is just decent. It even deals with high-res photos in paint.net decently.

    I didn’t expect too much of what is essentially a 1.6GHz Pentium MMX and costs a fourth of a ‘real’ laptop, but it delivers.

    It doesn’t run HD but the display is too small and low res for that realistically anyway so I don’t care.

    • SnowboardingTobi
    • 11 years ago

    My netbook (Asus 1000HE) does things reasonably well for my purpose. During my most recent trip to Japan, I used the netbook to offload photos/videos from my CF cards to an external HD. The load times of loading a raw file (~25MB) into view took a few seconds (maybe 5 secs), which to me was plenty fast for what I would reasonably expect. Good enough for a quick spot check of photos here and there, but I save the post processing of the photos for the computer at home. Besides, color reproduction on that netbook’s screen isn’t that good.

    Viewing 1080p MOV files on it is futile, though, and I really didn’t expect to be able to either, but I tried anyways. FYI, I tried playing the files though VLC, so I have no idea if other players would work better, but I would guess not so much.

    • brm001
    • 11 years ago

    The entire discussion surrounding this is pointless. Let people have their personal preferences ๐Ÿ™

    • bthylafh
    • 11 years ago

    I’ve used one Atom-based Dell Mini-9 for a short period, and while it was noticeably slower than a “real” laptop, it was adequate for what I would expect to do with it, i.e. Web, email, and a text editor.

    If I had the extra money (got a kid on the way, so I don’t), I might spring for an Eee 1000HE for traveling.

    • nstuff
    • 11 years ago

    Having used Intel Celeron systems in the past, and reading reviews and seeing benchmarks performed on the Atom, I don’t think i’d be able to use one. Which, to me, makes the ~$200-300 price too expensive.

    I think the perfect “netbook” would be something along the lines of the HP tx2z. A 12″ screen, convertable tablet style chasis with touch screen, and a 64-128GB SSD disk drive (option not available on the hp), 2-3Gb memory and a very low-end AMD or Intel chip (just not Atom-level low-end). As SSD prices come down and the “tablet” price premium goes way with more and more touch-screen devices bringing prices down, I think $500-$600 would be a perfect price for something like that.

      • Lans
      • 11 years ago

      I would love to try a HP DV2 or maybe a Celeron CULV based laptop.

      I used an Asus EEE PC 1000HA and thought the Atom was okay for stuff like web browsing, word/pdfs, youtube, etc but hated the “user experience” because of the tiny screen and keyboard (no my hands are not very large but that is just my personal preference). Hence I have not voted, no I didn’t enjoy it but no it wasn’t “too slow”…

    • Ardrid
    • 11 years ago

    I think the Atom is more than adequate for what it’s aimed at. I recently purchased an Eee PC 1000HA and I love it. Honestly, the only thing the Atom really needs is a solid chipset/GPU combo to offload the video processing and it’s perfect. Couple that with a sick HDD and some good RAM and the Atom can easily offer a fantastic user experience.

    • pluscard
    • 11 years ago

    I just bought an Acer 5515 at walmart for $348 plus tax. It’s the 3rd one I’ve bought.

    Athlon 2650e
    15.4 WXGA
    3GB DDR2
    160GB HDD
    DVD-Burner
    10/100 Lan
    B/G Wireless
    Vista Home Basic

    No comparison to the netbook. This thing screams. I put win7 over the Vista on 2 of them, with no issues.

      • bthylafh
      • 11 years ago

      Don’t be tiresome. That machine is larger and heavier than a netbook. Netbooks derive much of their value for being small and light, and not sucking much power.

        • Vasilyfav
        • 11 years ago

        Unless you’re little red riding hood going for camping into the woods for several days on end, the powerful notebook wins every scenario.

          • bthylafh
          • 11 years ago

          Completely wrong, but I’ll spot you troll points for implying I’m a girly man.

            • indeego
            • 11 years ago

            I don’t think anyone implied LRRH was cross-gender, but I do appreciate the image. Now instead of a wolf I am picturing a hairy gay Bear. Thanksg{

            • bthylafh
            • 11 years ago

            You are most welcome.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            I am pretty sure his main point is that Atom netbook = great battery life and very compact win otherwise it = lose. Now OK finding a new model notebook for ~$300 (which are the very lowest netbooks, they range up) is not likely but there are always great deals on EOL notebooks.

            • bthylafh
            • 11 years ago

            Small is win. An Eee I can chuck into my backpack and carry around all day without noticing the weight. Not so with a 15.4″ 8-pound monster.

            There is a reason why business travelers love their 12.1″ ultraportables.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            I added a little bit to the post. Of course we all know that the next step up from a 10″ or less netbook is not a 15.4″ ‘monster,’ I think though you should have just gone all out with the exagerration and said a 17″ desktop replacement ๐Ÿ™‚

            • bthylafh
            • 11 years ago

            We /were/ talking about a 15.4″, though. See the beginning of this thread at post #19.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 11 years ago

            That was just his specific example and the conversation quickly went to generalities, you still missed the point of his post by focusing on the supposed little red riding hood troll but whatever.

        • axeman
        • 11 years ago

        I doubt that machine sucks much power either, the Athlon 2650e is a 15 watt part.

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      {begin “anti_troll_car_analogy”}
      {embed=”defcon_one.mp3″ volume=”11″}
      {font face=”arial black” color=”red”}INCOMING CAR ANALOGY!{/font}

      So you bought a 12yo used truck for the same money as a 8yo Corolla. I’m sure that’s a far superior choice for your daily commute.

      {end}

    • StashTheVampede
    • 11 years ago

    Give me a lower ghz Core Duo or Core2Duo, SSD and 2GB of ram. I’m betting people would be quiet happy with this.

    Microsoft doesn’t want XP on machines with 2GB of ram and Intel doesn’t want the Atom chip on nice chipsets. Shame.

    • no51
    • 11 years ago

    It would be fine circa Netburst era, but now? not so much.

    • madgun
    • 11 years ago

    It is fine for what it does. If I need to do something intensive I have some powerful machines to do that task.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    I have no faith in that low-power, sugar-free excuse of a processor, so I’m pretty sure I’d be disappointed if I used one.

      • Vasilyfav
      • 11 years ago

      Same. I can’t justify spending $400 on another computer only to find out later that it chokes when trying to do things a regular CPU does.

    • Hattig
    • 11 years ago

    Depends on chipset. 1.6GHz Atom with Ion – that will be fine. 1.2GHz Atom with Intel (or worse, Intel GMA500) – not so much. Dual core Atom + Ion – that would be nice.

    • jackbomb
    • 11 years ago

    I’ve used an Atom-based system, and it was too slow.

    The web-browsing performance is what bothered me most. The “heavy” web pages would freeze for around five seconds after loading. If I tried to use the scroll wheel during Atom’s 5-sec brain fart, the screen would suddenly unfreeze and zoom all the way to the bottom of the page…then freeze again for a sec. Very annoying.

    YouTube HD = impossible. Around 1.5 fps.
    YouTube SD = good, but jerky whenever mouse was moved.
    Standard 480p DVD under PowerDVD 9 with TrueTheatre HD enabled was very jumpy. However, with TrueTheatre HD disabled, playback was fine.

    Didn’t get a chance to test 480p/720p/1080p H.264, but based on the YouTube and PowerDVD 9 results, I’m gonna guess that it wouldn’t have been very pretty.

    I fired up my old T-bird 1333 machine after playing with Atom, and found its performance to be strikingly similar. However, the T-bird was a little faster at rendering web pages.

      • Tamale
      • 11 years ago

      interesting, I just got an EEE 901 with 12gb of SSD space and use it to watch hulu and youtube all the time… I’ve never felt it’s too slow for this.

      it even plays HD stuff fine.

      I voted “used atom and like it”

      can’t complain about the price either.. I got the 901 while a nice rebate and sale was going on at amazon for under $250.

        • jackbomb
        • 11 years ago

        What browser do you use? I was using IE7.

        “it even plays HD stuff fine.”

        What kind of HD?
        Like I said, I didn’t get a chance to play any DirectShow HD content (mkv, mp4, avi, etc). However, HD YouTube couldn’t even break 2 fps, and 480p DVD with PowerDVD’s “TrueTheater HD” was also jumpy.

          • ludi
          • 11 years ago

          Actually, I will grant that my Aspire One can’t handle complex Flash renderings, but I blame some of that on Adobe. For loading relatively lightweight stuff like the TR page or even basic YouTube browsing, it works well enough.

          I really don’t have any expectations for running high res HD content since it only has a 9″ screen anyway.

    • Ricardo Dawkins
    • 11 years ago

    Used 2 Aspire One with Linux. Very nice devices. I will buying one as soon as the tablet version is roughly the same price. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • swkerr
    • 11 years ago

    I have a dell mini netbook and it is fine for what I use it for but I would not want it as my sole computer. It is more a internet device than a full blown PC. It works for word processing but is by no means fast but is acceptable.

    I would like the same cost and power window with the ability to play HD content to say I was really happy but I would not say I was unhappy with it either. It is just what I expected.

    • dragmor
    • 11 years ago

    We have a couple of show off pieces at work.

    Netbooks with Win2k3 server, MSSQL 2005, IIS, ASP.NET and a whole heap of custom software running. Once booted they run fine, but they are tunned, running 2GB of ram and a faster HD.

    • Jigar
    • 11 years ago

    What are this guys smoking ?? The one who enjoyed it, or let me guess, this is their first computer ? Or is it good … (I doubt that)

      • Jigar
      • 11 years ago

      Looks like people love it… Cool.

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        The minority do, so far.

      • Corrado
      • 11 years ago

      No Jigar, its not my first computer by any means. I’ve been using PC’s since 1983 with an IBM PC Jr. People need to stop looking at it as a LAPTOP and more as a NETBOOK. ‘OMG its not as fast as a C2D’. Its not supposed to be. Its not supposed to do video encoding, or photoshopping or gaming. Thats like buying a Tata Nano and saying ‘Meh, wasn’t worth the money, it doesn’t run 12’s in the quarter mile, it doesn’t do the nurburgrin in < 2.5 minutes, and it doesn’t pull over a G on the skid pad’. This is a basic CPU to do basic things in a basic machine. For that, its fantastic. I have a full quad core 8gb ram machine to do my heavy lifting, the Atom machine is to supplement that. And they are NOT $400, you can go get an MSI Wind U100 for $299 at newegg right now.

        • Jigar
        • 11 years ago

        I guess you are right… I forgot, it’s just made to do basic stuff…

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      “This guys” owns an Aspire One and finds it very lightweight and handy for trips where I neither need nor want the processing power and weight of my 15″ Centrino-platform notebook. Is it a lighting fast platform? Nope. Is it enough to get the job done with the pleasant tradeoff of being small, light, and having a very long battery life? Yep.

      TLDR: Life has possibilities beyond carrying a kerjillion 3DMarks everywhere.

    • ClickClick5
    • 11 years ago

    I would not call it really as “slow”, just when it warms up.

    The passive cooling on most nettops for the processor is annoying. As the chip gets to 65-70c, it slows down.

    And the hyperthreading issue…eh, I don’t really think it helps the Atom.

      • moshpit
      • 11 years ago

      I disagree heartily. HT helps Atom tremendously for Completeview video surveillance software and actually outright performs like extra cores completely. Our app is very heavily threaded and see very good benefits from HT on Atom and Nehalem. Pentium 4 HT never did us much good in the old days, we disabled it because it caused some issues for us.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    l[

      • puppetworx
      • 11 years ago

      Traditionally hard drives have been the slowest component in a PC, for some manufacturers however, it wasn’t slow enough. The Acer Aspire One A110 I am currently typing on is an example, housing a horrendously slow 8GB SSD it really is enough to put you off netbook hardware for life.

      The real disappointment for me has been the SSD not the processor, having a SSD means that I have to run Xubuntu rather then XP or OpenSUSE which would be fine on a HDD based netbook. Lucky for me I’m really starting to like Xubuntu and my netbook, having been so frustrated with unusable tweaked installs of XP and SUSE for the past few weeks.

      I enjoy the user experience on a netbook because I have low expectations for it. I expect to be able to word process, surf, watch SD movies and have the OS respond without noticable delay. I also spent less then ยฃ170(~$250) on my netbook – the cheapset available Atom netbook – if I had spent anymore I would certainly be disappointed.

      My advice know what they are capable of, know what OS to use and get the cheapest one available.

    • moshpit
    • 11 years ago

    Having used a Little Falls 2 extensively in testing for a new model of client machine, I’m quite impressed with it’s performance for our uses.

    Typically, our application, which is a video surveillance server app, will have up to 16 cameras being viewed simultaneously. Sometimes more, depending on the server that the client is hooked up to. But for the purposes of testing the LF2 platform, we restricted it to only having to deal with the standard 16 camera layout. All 16 cameras were running in 30fps, 320×240, MPEG4, and high quality settings. CPU usage hovered around 50%, split pretty evenly across all “4” cores (2 physical, 2 virtual).

    Visually, the cameras all ran smoothly and looked good. LF2 makes an outstanding video surveillance client as long as it’s not being used as the server as well.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      That’s a really interesting data point. Thanks for contributing that.

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