AMD vs. Intel: 10 notebooks tested

AMD vs. Intel: 10 notebooks tested

Summary: We put two of the toughest chip makers up against each other to see which has the biggest heart for notebooks.

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Contents
Introduction
Acer TravelMate 4150LMi
Asus A6000
Asus W5000A
Dell Latitude D610
HP NC8230
LG LW60 Express
MSI Megabook S260
MSI Megabook S270
Samsung M40 plus
Toshiba Tecra M3
Specifications
How we tested
Editor's choice
About RMIT

Dell Latitude D610
CPU -- Intel

For its size and features the Dell is surprisingly heavy at 2.42kg. The notebook is quite robust although moderate impacts on the back of the display tend to unsettle the image. With a standard aspect ratio and 1024 x 768 resolution resulting in large but blocky screen fonts, this 14in display is not a standout in this crowd. Graphics power is derived from the integrated Intel chipset and proves more than acceptable for most business applications, however it is certainly eclipsed by the third-party graphics solutions sported by many of the other notebooks in this review.

The Dell's keys are surprisingly large, in particular the often-used keys like Enter, Shift, Backspace and Tab, for example, are as large or even larger than most desktop keyboards. The travel and feedback is good and while the keys are not colour differentiated some of the bright blue legends do stand out. The Dell has both a track point and a touch pad -- both are pretty standard fare with just two buttons each and no dedicated scroll areas.

The volume level from the two speakers under the palm rest is very loud, however the audio is tinny and can be irritating at high-volume levels.

WLAN and LAN connectivity is broad with 802.11a/b/g and gigabit Ethernet and while four USB2 ports are generous, the lack of a Firewire port may be a problem for those that have external storage or video camera applications that require this port. Other omissions include memory card slots although with the single PC Card slot you could of course purchase an adaptor.

The Dell was the only notebook to include a smartcard reader and associated OtaniumSuite management software. It also was equipped with the fastest Intel mobile processor available and sports 1GB of DDR2, with a possible upgrade to 2GB -- an impressive configuration, with impressive performance figures to boot. This machine scored the highest in the Content Creation test than any of the Intel-based notebooks, only the Asus equipped with an AMD Turion managed to best the Dell in this test. Business application performance was also very good with a fourth place overall.

Dell claims a four-hour battery life, which may sound ambitious but we managed to draw the battery pack to four hours, 34 minutes.

Heat generation for this processor was slightly above average with a spot peak temperature of 37°C and a milder 29°C issuing from the heat exchanger vent.

Product Dell Latitude D610
Price AU$2816
Vendor Dell
Phone 1800 812 393
Web www.dell.com.au
 
Interoperability
Very good connectivity with 2 PC Card slots, 4 USB2, Gigabit LAN and A/B/G WLAN.
Futureproofing
Very good performance, average audio, relatively low-res display.
ROI
Below average price but features are also below average.
Service ½
3-year limited warranty plus 3-year next business day on-site parts replacement and 3-year on-site labour service.
Rating ½
Dell Latitude D610

Topics: Processors, Hardware, Intel, Laptops, Mobility

Andrew Shepherd

About Andrew Shepherd

IPD:23666

Anthanasia Zafiris

About Anthanasia Zafiris

IPD:23666

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Talkback

8 comments
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  • hmm lets see he said.......If you simply need a powerful notebook without too many bells and whistles, such as widescreen display, and more importantly you want to minimise the damage to your credit card then definitely look at the Acer TravelMate 4150 priced at just AU$2299. I believe this is a ridiculous price and I think this article does not do justice considering what has been reviewed. This guy is an intel spokesman!
    anonymous
  • How about Clevo D900T ($2999)for a barebone system packs a punch with more features than most of what you have evaluated. Please expand beyound your current limited known Companies.
    anonymous
  • I know AMD v's Intel but Apple smoke them all

    You know a G4 15" is lighter, faster, and has long battery life. Ok it does not run x86 natively and is fractionly more expensive than the editors pick. At $3,649 for a fully loaded (much better graphics than those tested too) or $3199 for a base model. Seriously, for normal business use there is not much it cannot do against XP.
    anonymous
  • good review!

    Well I just bought an LW60Express, not the base model either, and I am very pleased, specially as I paid less than $2400. :)
    Jondalar-650a3
  • LG LW60

    I bought an LG LW60 with 1Gb RAM for just under $2300 (about 2 days before this review came out), and I pretty much agree with the review of it... The display and keyboard are excellent, and having the keypad is a HUGE improvement over other similar sized laptops.<br/><br/>

    The Instant-On works pretty well, though if you are watching DVD's on the train (on the way to/from work...) I have noticed that if there is too much bouncing around it just hangs and has to be switched off/on, whereas the Windows apps such as Power DVD just skip for a bit. Oh yeah, the remote control that stores in the pcmcia slot is brilliant, it even works with Power DVD, WMP, etc.
    <br/><br/>
    Overall, the review is spot-on with this laptop... I am certainly very happy with it.
    anonymous
  • Asus a6000

    You need to clarify which model of the a6000 you are using they all come with a letter designation after the a6000 (i.e a6000u/n/k/l etc)

    They are very different machines depending on this letter.

    The nvidia graphics on the a6000 is only available on the very highest spec and is not available everywhere.

    All the other models (infact any amd 64 notebook/setup) using the sis graphics have a MAJOR MAJOR problem.

    The SIS graphics 661/MX (aka mirage series) use the memory controler to allocate video bandwidth. on the SIS m760 setup the chipset memory controller is not present (because of the amd64 intergrated on chip).

    The problem here is that the combination results in a severe lack of bandwidth to the graphics chip (espeically when the cpu is throttled). Meaning simple XV overlay of video etc is corupted alot. It also means that Dual head must be droped in resolution.

    This is a serious bug, and is a testament to ASUStek's engineers (there are also other brands with similar issues) hastily putting together a platform...
    anonymous
  • LG LW60 Express

    I went out and bought the LG after reading your comparisons. There's very little information about the computer up here, and I don't think its even available in the U.S. Anyhow I took a chance and I'm very happy with my decision. I can't seem to get the type of battery performance out of it that your reviewer did but other than that I have to say for the price, the look and performance of the machine can't be beat. Cheers for the review, if I hadn't come across it I would have probably gone with a Toshiba.
    anonymous
  • Apple = Intel
    becherovka-089d0