Samsung bills the new R590 as a “performance” notebook, and that is a fairly accurate summation for this device.
For the Samsung R590 is indeed an impressive performer, being able to handle pretty much anything you throw at it - whether that be intermediate gaming, word processing or modest multimedia functionality.
This is thanks to the Intel Core i5 M450 processor (2.4GHz) with 4GB of RAM and 640GB hard drive, plus the Nvidia GeForce GT 330M graphics card. Sound is handled fairly competently through the built-in speakers, though if you’re an audiophile you should consider adding some higher-end speakers externally.
It runs on the Windows 7 Home Premium OS, and Samsung has thrown in some nice software extras, including Cyberlink DVD Suite, YouCam, McAfee Security Center, Skype and some decent games demos.
Externally, the R590 is a gorgeous looking machine, boasting a deep blue exterior and blue LED lights at various points on the keyboard if you’re the kind of person who works in the dark. The screen is a non-glossy 15.6-inch LED with 1366×768 resolution
They say that when you’re onto a good thing, you should stick to it.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the new MacBook Air takes more than a little inspiration from the phenomenally successful Apple iPhone and iPad.
Not only is the new MacBook Air Apple’s lightest Mac ever (it weighs in at just over 1kg), but it also uses the flash storage last seen on the iPad, rather than a traditional notebook hard drive. The upshot of this is that the device runs much faster than your typical hard drive-based laptop.
The new MacBook Air also incorporates the FaceTime video chat technology, currently seen on the iPhone 4 and the latest iPod Touch. Using the integrated camera, microphone and stereo speakers, you can chat with other users running the software on a compatible device.
Apple has also announced it is introducing an App Store for the Mac, similar to the stores for iPhone and iPad apps. While this is scheduled to launch overseas in the next three months, no firm date has been set for a New Zealand launch.
The new MacBook Air is available in New Zealand now. It comes in 11-inch and 13-inch models, with pricing starting from $1699 the model with 2GB of memory and 64GB of storage.
Buy a cheap MacBook on sale in New Zealand
While it lacks most of the bells and whistles of the most expensive netbooks, for around $700 you’ll get a solid performer that handles all the basic essential tasks well.
The Acer Aspire One 532h is a nice basic netbook for under $700.
Under the hood, you’ll find the usual specifications for netbooks, including an Intel Atom N450 CPU and 250GB hard drive. The good news is that this Intel processor provides excellent battery life, so you can expect up to 10 hours when performing low-power tasks.
The 10.1-inch widescreen display with 1024×600 native resolution is also a fairly standard specification for an entry-level netbook. There’s also a touch pad, which is unfortunately on the small side and may prove tricky for anyone with larger hands.
Acer has also equipped the Aspire One 532h with 802.11n Wi-Fi (but unfortunately no Bluetooth).