Shootout: What’s The Best Ion Netbook?

Round 2: Overall Performance

Each of the four Ion netbooks we tested beat the PCMark Vantage netbook average of 1,131. The Mini 311 had the lowest score (1,227) and the Eee PC 1201N had the highest (1,488). This isn’t surprising since the Eee PC has the advantage of a dual-core Atom processor. The next highest score was the IdeaPad S12, earning a solid 1,306.

PCMark-Vantage

WINNER: ASUS Eee PC 1201N. All four of the netbooks proved to be snappy performers, but the Eee PC 1201N’s dual core CPU helps the machine easily take this round.

Round 3: Graphics Performance

Since netbooks started shipping with bigger screens and larger hard drives, consumers have wanted to use them as portable multimedia machines. And non-Ion netbooks just don’t cut it, with video that stutters at full screen, especially Hulu and YouTube content. Ion has changed all that, making it possible to watch both standard and high-definition video smoothly while also handling Flash-heavy websites with ease.

So how much better are Ion machines? The average netbook notches 857 in 3DMark06 (857), a graphics benchmark, and Ion netbooks blow this number away. Once again the Eee PC 1201N led the field with a score of 1,538, but the Mini 311 was less than 100 points behind (1,450). This time the Samsung N510 came in last (1,259) and the IdeaPad S12 was in the middle of the pack.

3DMark06

Most users won’t do heavy video editing or encoding on a netbook, but for the occasional YouTube video or webcam capture, it’s nice to know that you can do some simple encoding on an Ion netbook without having to fix a three-course meal while it’s processing. We transcoded a 114MB MPEG-4 video clip to AVI using vReveal, a program that takes advantage of Ion’s graphics acceleration (Nvidia calls this architecture CUDA for developers). The clear winner here was the Mini 311, completing the task in just 4 minutes, 52 seconds. The IdeaPad S12 took the longest at 9 minutes, 30 seconds.

vReveal

WINNER: HP Mini 311. Taking both 3DMark06 and video transcoding into account, the Mini 311 comes out ahead of the Eee PC 1201N.

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  1. Rogue Says:

    After reading the article, I don’t agree with that the Mini-311 is all it’s cracked up to be.Yeah I know it didn’t win, clearly it was the 2nd place champion. But I just wanna say, it’s the FPS that is the proof in the pudding for an ion netbook. Usability of the tool chosen for the job. When you’re watching a 1080p video, the fps will matter, not the keyboard or the ergonomics. When you’re gaming in WoW, even my 10″ ASUS 1005HA-PU17 has enough keyoard to be comfortable enough with a usb mouse attached.. The ASUS battery life is 1 hr less than the 311, not worthy of making a point. You won’t be raiding an instance for hours on a plane..you’ll do it in an airport at the laptop tables, in the admirals club, or at the lounge..or more commonly in a hotel room..all attached to an outlet. Or even if not, running on battery, unless you’ve chosen a flight with a 6hour layover..or decided to trek the kids across BFE..4 hour life at full gaming speed is more than hefty at this performance level. The ASUS EeePC 1201n is the blowout winner.

  2. Edwin Doherty Says:

    I have had the Samsung Rogue since Jan 7th, it previously worked good until about a couple of months ago. my phone doesn’t receive texts messages until about 20-30 mins after the other person sent them. almost all of the time i will get multiple messages at once, when i do get them. whenever i send a image message occasionally it will send just fine and other occasions it may take a few minutes, hours, or a day to get to the other person. i have heard of others having issues with their phone randomly turning off, mine does that too. my first samsung rogue got so bad i had to get a replacement, that was almost 2 weeks ago. I am still having the same problems with my new one! I am so disappointed, i just want to get a new type of phone. i payed retail for the rogue and am so mad that it turned out to be a crappy phone :/ just my rant…

  3. Andrew Says:

    Disagree with Rogue on the simple fact that the Mini 311 has an incredible community at MyHPMini which have developed a software Overclock that allows overclocks to ~2.0Ghz and an Unlocked BIOS that gives you access to all of the ION Chipset options and Allows (thanks to lowering the memory multiplier) overclocks to 2.2Ghz+ If you get an ION LE you can also unlock it to an ION as well as overclock the ION Chip, a lot. It can take 3Gb of RAM and you can adjust how much DDR3 VRAM you give it in the unlocked BIOS. My 311 is running at 2.23Ghz with the ION VRam set to 512Mb with the Chip itself overclocked. I have 3GB of ram a and a 320Gb 7200RPM HDD. I have also now upgraded to the new 9 cell battery which weighs the same as the standard (less excess plastic) but has 60% greater Capacity. Yes 60%. It is without a doubt the Best ION Netbook On the Market and the fact that you can pick one up for about £230 from Amazon makes it an absolute steal.

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