The new Netbook generation: Worth it or not?

hello to all readers!

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2010 took place through January 7th-10th. During this show, all technology enthusiasts took part in festivities filled with liquid crystals, Intel chips, Microsoft Xbox pastry, topped with the new Google Nexus pudding. Needless to say, it was a fun event for those who attended, and even those, like myself, who only watched the events unfold from the sidelines, through various blogs and news articles.

One major, or minor in the eyes of some, revealing was Intel’s new processors, with the Intel Atom.
The Atom CPUs have been around for a while. In 2007, the first lineup was announced, delivered at the end of that year with major rollouts hitting shelves and virtual stores in 2008.
The n280 was next, with it coming out in late 2008/more like early 2009. It boasted a 60 MHZ difference when it comes to performance (66 MHz actually, but it was only 62 since the n280 clocks in at 1662 MHz realtime). This gave the atom about a 6% benchmark increase in performance.
The n280 was really worth the upgrade, and for those unlocky souls who purchased their netbooks with the n270, that meant buying another $419-450 in a new netbook. Uh, doesn’t that end up to be like $800 total – about the same you’d of spent on getting a full blown laptop? yeah… About that.

The new n450’s are on the block. I’ve heard of a possible duo core n470, but they didn’t announce that at CES.
So really, what does the n450 have to offer? Not much.
The n450 has all 3 chips (CPU, Memory controler, and graphics) on lesser circuits, that is, only 2 chips. This reduces the footprint of the CPU, as electric current only has to go so far through circuits.

For the nongeek, that means a better battery life, and maybe a slight increase in graphics.

Users like me who purchased their netbooks in late November in hopes of having it for college are probably wondering, is it worth it?

There are several new netbooks on the market now, and they will begin to ship massively on January 15. My toshiba nb205 got a face-lift with the n450 as well, featuring no major visual style diferences, besides the battery pack not bulging out from the back – a sure sign that my netbook case will not fit on it. Damn. And I was hoping to recycle parts of this netbook when I retire it with a new one at the end of next year… If I’ll have the money that is.

The new netbooks don’t offer much over their older counterparts. The nb205 offers an 11 hour battery life, versus the 9.5 hours I can squeeze out of it now. That is around Intel’s standards for the n450, which state that the less circuitry means anywhere from 20-60% power lessening.
Is it worth the upgrade?
In my humble opinion, no. I think that if you’ve been able to stick with your netbook for this long, still enjoy using it day-to-day in school and sometimes even substitute it over your desktop or laptop, keep using it. In the longrun, your poor netbook won’t feel so abandoned in a storage box or in the hands of some careless user wh will only eat and slobber on it. You (and your netbook) may want to wait til the n470 is launched, which will feature a 1.83 CPU. That is a 170 MHz increase, nearly 10% better than the current 1.66 GHz. Expect those netbooks to probably be in line by this year’s early bird/black Friday sales.

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