HP 311 Ion Netbook Review Confirms Expected Greatness
The HP Mini 311 featuring the long-awaited ION platform by Nvidia has been reviewed, and the results look very promising.
The folks at Laptopmag has managed to get their hands on an early unit and run it through a series of tests. The conclusion is that the Nvidia LE GPU provides a significant boost to graphics perrformance, while still being able to provide almost 6h of battery life, which is a lot more than anyone expected from the earlier testing units.
In terms of CPU power, the Mini 311 comes with the same processor as almost every other netbook out there – the 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270. So it won’t perform any better than the average netbook when it comes to everyday number crunching. It is not as fast as, for example, the Gateway LT3114 which has a 64-bit Athlon CPU.
However, in the graphics comparison the HP 311 crushes the competition by an incredible 1,400% performance improvement over the standard integrated Intel GMA950. It’s actually even on par with the latest MacBook Air, which is fitted with the 9400M – the “full version” of the ION platform – and a much faster processor.
Likewise is 1080p video not a problem for this mini laptop, and it provides a 5x performance boost in video editing. The ION netbook also shines in the gaming tests. While not being able to produce playable frame rates with Call of Duty 4 or Far Cry 2 at native resolution, it did perform well on lower resolutions. In the less demanding (but no less popular) World of Warcraft, the HP Mini 311 turned out a fully playable 36 frames per second – even at the Mini’s native 1366×768 resolution.