All the netbooks on test shares common specs such as three USB ports, a multi-card reader, a webcam and stereo ins/outs, but that’s where the similarities end. Even though they each have something going for them, none of the 10.1-inch netbooks performs terribly well when running multiple audio tracks and plug-ins. Portability is high on the wishlist for a lot of musicians and DJs, but it’s just not enough unless it can be backed up with the necessary processing power.
This is where the larger netbooks step in. Unfortunately, the Lenovo IdeaPad loses out due to its misguided attempt to run Windows 7 Home Premium using just an Intel Atom processor. That leaves us with the Toshiba Satellite T110 and Packard Bell Easynote Butterfly XS. Although the Satellite has more RAM, the Easynote wins on all-round performance and the addition of an optical drive.
The Satellite comes in second by the narrowest of margins. If you can do without the DVD drive and want to spend that little bit more for the extra gigabyte of RAM, this netbook can handle a lot for its size.
Despite its price tag, the Samsung N210 is the best of the 10.1-inch netbooks, pipping the Sony Vaio M to the post by a hair’s breadth. It has a good battery life and a more rugged chassis than the rest, and is capable of getting the job done in a live situation if you are running programs like PreSonus Studio One and Reaper. It’s probably better suited for just running backing tracks than for multitrack sessions, but it is certainly worth serious consideration.
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