The Evolution of the Microsoft/Intel Netbook: Three generations of mini Windows laptops

Posted in Uncategorized by QuietOC on February 12, 2010

Case Materials

The right sides of 1000HA (top) and EC18 (bottom) with SDHC slots

My Mobile Pro was a 3-year-old system that had been used a lot, but it didn’t have any major breakage. It was obvious that the touch screen had been worn in a specific way because it was used for a particular application. Sometime after playing Half Life for a while on my first 1000HA it stopped working. The replacement ASUS returned to me had a slightly misshapen touch pad button, but it at least hasn’t died.  The first 1000HA had all glossy surfaces except for the matte LCD and keyboard. The second 1000HA was only glossy on the outside of the LCD cover. It would have been nice if it would have been all matte. The EC18 is similar in that only the top cover is glossy plastic, but the matte plastics on the Gateway look cheaper and even the textures of the various pieces don’t match. The fit of the various parts on the Gateway was very precise, but like the second 1000ha, the Gateway’s touch pad buttons were misaligned. Of the two new machines the ASUS definitely looks classier, except its top does seem more prone to showing fingerprints.

The left sides of 1000HA (top) and EC18 (bottom) showing exhaust vents

Handheld PCs like the 900C are all solid-state with no fans. Both of the x86 machines use a single fan and come with 5400 rpm hard drives. The included hard drives are pretty quiet. Most of the system noise comes from the CPU fan, which is noticeable on both systems. Neither is particularly obnoxious, and the extra cooling they provide is probably worth the noise. There are free community developed utilities for both systems which allow the user to adjust the fan speeds on both as they desire.


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  1. Fire Basket · said, on November 3, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    the best and cheap netbooks are made by Asus or MSI, if you want reliability then the best is Hitachi netbooks “

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