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Round Up: Five Powerful, Light Ultraportables

Testing: Performance - Windows Experience Index

Performance: Windows Experience Index (WEI)

Windows Vista includes built-in performance benchmarks for components. There are performance tests for the processor (calculations/second), memory (operations/second), graphics processor (not specified), and hard disk drive (data transfer rate). The results of each component test are reduced to an index number, which is presented as the performance number for each component in the WEI. An overall score is also reported, which is the lowest score that a computer achieves on the component tests. This is a rather arbitrary way to summarize performance, so it is very important to look carefully at the component tests as well as the Windows Experience Index itself.

As you’ll note below, each notebook’s WEI score is simply the lowest score it achieved on the components tests.

Processor performance is pretty much in line with the speed of each notebook’s processor.

All of the notebooks have pretty much the same memory. WEI memory performance seems fairly tightly tied to processor performance.

3D graphics on these relatively low powered notebooks refers to business graphics, not to gaming graphics. The two notebooks with older Intel GMA 950 graphics processors (Sony and Toshiba) perform more poorly than the ones with Intel’s GMA X3100 graphics processor, which was introduced in late 2007.

Aero and desktop graphics performance is quite similar to 3D graphic performance, with the X3100 graphics processor equipped notebooks performing better.

Sony’s solid state disk drive does best in these tests, but not super well, as might be expected. This appears to be a function of the WEI hard disk drive benchmark. See the PCMark Vantage disk drive tests on the next page for a more spectacular performance from the Sony’s 60GB SSD.

  • Thanks for writing this article; I have been interested in how these things perform.
  • these are all at the high-end of the price spectrum, have you considered the asus eee pc or acer aspire one? i have one of these, and while it's not exactly a gaming powerhouse it does all you need in a small laptop... mind you the linux distros these things come with can be a real pain
  • JJeng1
    A possible reason for the fingerprint reader placement. Look into the options of the fingerprint software, as sometimes the reader doubles as a scroll wheel.
  • Regulas
    Rubbish, get the the new Macbook, 13" screen plenty of power no viruses and no bloated Vista for the low end of cash stated in this review.
  • bjornlo
    Rubbish, get the the new Macbook, 13" screen plenty of power no viruses and no bloated Vista for the low end of cash stated in this review.
    Typical ignorant fanboi BS.
    Get your facts straight. Nothing wrong with a Mac other than total cost of ownership and slightly reduced software choices... although the default browser is very unsecure (but fixable, DL any other). But, there is nothing special about them except their style and slightly better ease of use for the "technologically challenged".
  • Placebo
    First of, Macs are rubbish. Buying one is alright for the creative crowd, whose fav. software is exclusive for OSX. Other than that, the company would have already closed up, if not saved by the mighty (LOL) Ipod-brand.

    Regarding the otherwise brilliant review, how come the Dell M1330 isn't mentioned, or even tested, its not even on the site?!?!

    Best selling product in the category for almost two years. Anyone buying should look into it. Had one for around a year, can honestly say its the best electronic device i ever owned.

    Its cheap, lightwight and with supurb spec! for notebooks :-)Sry... they jus do a better job.

  • cruiseoveride
    Linux > OSX >> Windows

    I wish the IBM one was cheaper.
  • boostercorp
    i guess i never understood why you'd need such a small underpowered laptop and also never knew who would buy such a thing.
    But if you're on the road alot like me it would be more handy then dragging around a 8 pound 17" laptop like i 'm currently doing.

    i only hoped they'd be a little less expensive cause i bought my 17" for € 899 and got a shedload of stuff i didn't need like that fingerprint scanner ,bluetooth ,ir , ...
  • Can we post a review of ultraportables with eSATA and Express Card ? I think the ASUS U6V (not sure) has one, the Dell E4200 and E4300 have eSATA but no Express Card. The Lenovo X200 and X300 series have some great features. I really hope manufacturers start making machines with eSATA and Express Card and not one or the other. Oh and How about the Toshiba dynabook R6 ?
  • enforcer22
    "Rubbish, get the the new Macbook, 13" screen plenty of power no viruses and no bloated Vista for the low end of cash stated in this review."

    O your right and look i cant do anything i want to do with it either.. I also cant get it to look like a computer instead of a over priced pos paperweight. Linux is as usless to me as that over priced thing keeping my desk up to.