Saturday, November 12, 2011

Asus Eee PC 1215B vs Sony Vaio YB vs HP Pavilion dm1z vs Lenovo Thinkpad X120e vs MSI U270 vs Dell Inspiron M102z

THE ULTIMATE AMD FUSION E-350 ZACATE SHOWDOWN!


The bunny lady walks around the RING entertaining all the guests. The crowd went wild and cheered.
A spotlight came on. Focusing on a gentlemen standing in the middle of the ring and a microphone lowered in front of him.

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! Welcome to the AMD Fusion E-350 Zacate netbook Royal Rumble!!!! Tonight, you guys are going to be in for the ultimate treat... A showdown between all the AMD E-350 netbooks in the market! And tonight, we will find out who's THE BEST in the industry..."

So, let us bring out the boys!!!

ASUS Eee PC 1215B
  • Operating System: Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 
  • Display: 12.1" LED Backlight WXGA (1366x768) Screen 
  • CPU: AMD® Fusion APU E350 1.6GHz (dual core) 
  • Graphic: AMD® Radeon HD 6310 
  • Memory: DDR3, 2 x SO-DIMM, 2GB 
  • Storage: 2.5" SATA 500GB HDD 
  • Battery: 6-Cell 56Wh Li-ion Battery
  • Dimensions: 296 x 203 x 38 mm (WxDxH) 
  • Weight: 1.45 Kgs (w/ 6cell battery) 


SONY Vaio YB
  • Operating System: Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 
  • Display: 11.6 inch 1366 x 768 px glossy display
  • CPU: AMD® Fusion APU E350 1.6GHz (dual core) 
  • Graphic: AMD® Radeon HD 6150 
  • Memory: DDR3, 2 GB of memory
  • Storage: 2.5" SATA 320 GB HDD
  • Battery: 39Wh 3500 mAh battery
  • Dimension: 202.8 x 25 x 290 mm (11.4 x 8 x 1.25 inches)
  • Weight: 1.46 Kg (3.2 pounds)

HP Pavilion dm1z
  • Operating System: Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 
  • Display: 11.6 inch 1366 x 768 px glossy LED backlighting display
  • CPU: AMD® Fusion APU E350 1.6GHz (dual core) 
  • Graphic: AMD® Radeon HD 6310 
  • Memory: DDR3, 3 GB of memory
  • Storage: 2.5" SATA 320 GB 7200rpm HDD
  • Battery: 6-cell Li-ion battery (51Wh)
  • Dimension: 11.45 (L) x 8.45 (W) x 0.9 - 1.25 (H) inches
  • Weight: 1.5 Kg (3.2 pounds)

MSI U270
  • Operating System: Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 
  • Display: 11.6 inch 1024 x 600 px display
  • CPU: AMD® Fusion APU E350 1.6GHz (dual core) 
  • Graphic: AMD® Radeon HD 6310 
  • Memory: DDR3 2 GB of memory
  • Storage: 2.5" SATA 320 GB HDD
  • Battery: 6-cell
  • Dimension: 297 x 190 x 31 mm
  • Weight: 1.3 Kg (3.0 pounds)

Lenovo ThinkPad X120e
  • Operating System: Genuine Windows® 7 Professional 
  • Display: 11.6 inch 1366 x 768 px display
  • CPU: AMD® Fusion APU E350 1.6GHz (dual core) 
  • Graphic: AMD® Radeon HD 6310 
  • Memory: DDR3 4 GB of memory
  • Storage: 2.5" SATA 320 GB HDD
  • Battery: 6-cell
  • Dimension: 282 x 189 x 29.5 mm
  • Weight: 1.3 Kg (3.0 pounds)

Dell Inspiron M102z
  • Operating System: Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium
  • Display: 11.6 inch 1366 x 768 px LED Backlit LCD display
  • CPU: AMD® Fusion APU E350 1.6GHz (dual core) 
  • Graphic: AMD® Radeon HD 6310 
  • Memory: DDR3 4 GB of memory
  • Storage: 2.5" SATA 320 GB HDD 7200rpm
  • Battery: 6-cell
  • Dimension: 292 x 205 x 35 mm
  • Weight: 1.55 Kg
Just by judging from the technical specs of these netbooks, it is not difficult to see that Sony Vaio YB's GPU is a step lower than the rest, which will affect its graphical performance.
The two models worth noticing would be Dell and Lenovo, because they have the highest ram and another thing is because Lenovo's model belongs to their THINKPAD series, which is well-known for its build and quality.
But if you're a person who is more concern with display, you might like to look at Asus 1215B and MSI U270, since they are the only ones with 12.1", while the rest are 11.6" screen.

Exterior, design, build quality
No. 1 Lenovo Thinkpad X120e
No. 2 HP dm1z
No. 3 Asus Eee PC 1215B & MSI U270
No. 4 Sony Vaio YB
No. 5 Dell Inspiron M102z

Lenovo's Thinkpad X120e is clearly a winner in this category. Frankly speaking, who would have thought of making a netbook with "Thinkpad series" build and quality? No one except Lenovo I supposed. And also Lenovo's Thinkpad X120e is the only netbook with a non-fingerprint magnet matt finish. I supposed it will be pleasing to a group of people who won't want tons of ugly fingerprints all over their Thinkpad and spoilt the "image". I know I won't want that to happen.

Although the exterior and build for the rest of the 5 models are round and curve edges, plastic, glossy and ultra-finger print magnet, HP dm1z truly deserves the 2nd spot. It is the only one where the plastic build feels very solid and sturdy in your hands.

Keyboard
No. 1 Lenovo Thinkpad X120e
No. 2 HP dm1z
No. 3 Asus Eee PC 1215B
No. 4 MSI U270
No. 5 Dell Inspiron M102z
No. 6 Sony Vaio YB

It seems like making a netbook with Thinkpad build and quality certain has its advantages. Among all the 6 models, Lenovo X120e has the largest keyboard area and is the most comfortable to type on, mostly attributing to this Thinkpad origins and furthermore, it is the only netbook with a spill-resistance keyboard.

For HP dm1z, MSI U270 and Asus Eee PC 1215B, it was a really close call between these three and it took very tiny details to separate these three. And in the end, HP dm1z came in 2nd, because its keyboard buttons are well-spaced and frequently used buttons like Enter, Space and Backspace were made wider and longer to reduce typing error. It is also very quiet when typing.

Unfortunately, Sony Vaio YB came in last. We were expecting Sony to be having very high QC for this laptop, since they're renowned for it. But sadly, this wasn't the case. The keyboard was quite cramped and commonly used buttons were smaller and narrower, so typing errors for people with bigger fingers would be a common issue. Besides this, it is also rather uncomfortable to type on and its the loudest among all the 6 models when typing.

Trackpad
No. 1 Lenovo Thinkpad X102e
No. 2 Sony Vaio YB
No. 3 Asus Eee PC 1215B
No. 4 MSI U270
No. 5 HP dm1z
No. 6 Dell Inspiron M102z

Lenovo Thinkpad X102e claims top spot in this category, having both the trackpad and the famous "red dot" Thinkpad tracking point. X102e retains the signature "clicking" sound of their Thinkpad trackpad buttons and X102e is one of the few netbooks which still retains two dedicated trackpad buttons these days.

HP dm1z and Dell Inspiron M102z claims the last two spots. The trackpads are responsive but because the trackpad buttons are integrated with the trackpad, it is very easy to hit the left or right click button, even though HP and Dell made an effort to "draw lines" to distinguish the areas. But if you are a minimalist person, you would welcome this idea and design.

Display

No. 1 Lenovo Thinkpad X120e
No. 2 HP dm1z
No. 3 Dell Inspiron M102z
No. 4 MSI U270
No. 5 Asus Eee PC 1215B
No. 6 Sony Vaio YB

Once again, Lenovo X120e claims the top spot with an almost 180 degree display pivot angle. It is the widest among all 6, as the remaining 5 have limited pivot angle between 120 to 135 degree. The remaining 5 models were judged based on the image quality at different angles, and we have HP dm1z coming in at 2nd place again.
Sadly, for Asus Eee PC 1215B and Sony Vaio YB, these two models have one of the worst viewing quality. The quality of the image drops drastically as you pivot the screen back and forth, with Asus Eee PC 1215B edging with slightly better image quality when turning it from side to side.

Performance
When it comes to the Performance department, even though all 6 come with AMD Fusion APU, which is supposed to provide both CPU performance and graphical power for a netbook category. But the results for all 6 models were making it difficult to judge,  because this is the category which will show you the main purpose of their laptop.
I will see actual test results from different PC review websites and you be the judge to determine which of these 6 models is the top in this category:

- Sony Vaio YB: http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=6091&p=3

Battery Life
No. 1 HP dm1z (6hr 40min)
No. 2 Lenovo Thinkpad X120e (6hr 10min)
No. 3 Asus Eee PC 1215B (5hr 40min)
No. 4 Sony Vaio YB (5hr 15 min)
No. 5 Dell M102z (5 hr 00 min)
No. 6 MSI U270 (4 hr 30min)

We put all 6 models through a Battery test. In order to reflect the usage as close to Real-World usage, we set the brightness to 50% and continuous web surfing via wifi. And the results were quite amazing.
HP dm1z claimed the top spot with an astonishing endurance of 6hr 40mins!
Followed closely by Lenovo Thinkpad X120e with 6hr 10mins.
Sony Vaio YB was a surprise to be able to last more than 5 hours, perhaps the lower GPU unit help to increase its endurance slightly. Dell M102z managed 5hours. While MSI U270 came in last with 4hr 30mins.

*Updated the battery life ranking after feedback from readers.

Summary
If you are looking for a lightweight, business-like and affordable laptop, with the power for some light gaming
while you're waiting for your client, then Lenovo X120e is the one for you.
If you are more into design and looks, then Sony Vaio YB and HP dm1z would be for you.
But if you want something more classical and want something less fanciful, then the other 3 models would be for you.
Still, in the end, I would recommend you to head down to any authorized dealers such as Harvey Norman, Courts, Best Denki, Challenger, Sim Lim Square or Funan IT Mall and physically test out these netbooks, if available.

Below are some more youtube videos for your reference:


No. 1 Lenovo Thinkpad X120e




No. 2 HP dm1z




No. 3 MSI U270




No. 4 Asus Eee PC 1215B




No. 5 Sony Vaio YB




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