Went around shopping for a netbook as a light entertainment machine mainly for surfing the net & watching movies but I found this little gem in Tesco for RM788 instead! This model, CQ2120L has exactly the same specs as the CQ2035D model (sold for RM988) except that it doesn't come bundled with Windows Vista Home Basic.
The specs were pretty OK for the price:
• Intel® ATOM™ 330 Processor
• 1.60 GHz, 512 KB L2 Cache, 533 MHz
• Foxconn H-I945-ITX Iwith ntel® 945GC Express Chipset
• 1GB DDR2 RAM
• 160GB 7200rpm SATA HDD
• Intel GMA950 Graphics
• DVD+/-R/RW 16X 12X +/-DL LS 12X RAM SuperMulti SATA drive
• Realtek 8102 10/100 BaseT LAN
• Realtek ALC662 onboard High Definition 6-channel audio
• SD, MMC, SDHC, MMC Plus, MS, MS-Pro Card Reader
• Agere Systems PCI-SV92EX Soft Modem
But i guess the reason I went for it is due to its looks & small size (it's as big as a small DVD player) as it doesn't look too bad next to the LCD TV. Also, it's really quiet and it consumes very little power as it only comes with a 65W power supply!
Anyway, I installed Windows XP Professional over it, but it seems that 5 components were not detected & it took me some time to find it:
1. GMA950 graphics card driver – on Intel's site.
2. System & chipset driver – on Foxconn's site.
3. HDA audio driver – on Realtek's site
5. Modem driver – it's not listed on Agere's site, but you can find it on Windows Update.
If you need any more drivers, you might find that the Foxconn 45CSX motherboard is pretty similar and you can check out more drivers over there.
No Room for Expansion =P
Well, if you crack open the case, you'll find that there's not much space for expansion though, with only 1 bank for the RAM i.e. you need to take out the 1GB RAM and install a higher capacity one (but motherboard manufacturer listed 2GB RAM as max), also PCIe slot was already taken by modem which I guess you can take it out and replace it with something else but with a pretty cramped place inside, there might not be room for a graphics card. Also 5.25" bay already taken up by optical drive & 3.5" drive by the HDD. Furthermore, the ATOM processor is soldered onto motherboard giving you no choice to upgrade the processor.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have much connectivity options, there's a VGA port, 2 PS/2 ports, 2 USB ports in the back, another 2 USB ports in the front, 1 LAN port, 1 modem jack port & 1 audio jack set (line in & out, microphone) on both the back side & front. But if it's just gonna serve as a light entertainment machine for the living room, I doubt you need that many connections.
This is the hard part since I'm too lazy to go do the benchmarks and all, and afterall, this is a very low powered machine. But still the ATOM 330 should be 2x as fast as the ATOM N270 which is fitted onto netbooks 'cos it's just 2x of it. Anyway, I tried playing Halo on it with the max settings and it's kinda jerky but playable, probably making like 17fps. Movies play great and multi-tasking with browsers and Office apps (MS Office 2003 tested) were a breeze.
But if you wanna read some kinda performance review which is similar, you can probably check out this link on Neoseeker.
Certainly a value-for-money buy suitable for the living room if you're not an avid gamer. I think the offer in Tesco ends on 17th June, so go get it now otherwise, you have to pay an extra RM100 for it in other stores.
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