Acer Extensa EX4430
One of the best things to come out of the introduction of netbooks such as the EeePC was that it gave users the option of mobile computing at a fraction of the price of traditional full-featured laptop computers.
But netbooks typically feature small, cramped displays and often compromise performance, storage and graphics processing in order to maintain their low price range and small form factor. But even with these disadvantages, there's no denying their success in taking market share away from the traditional laptop segment.
Now laptop makers are fighting back with models in the same price range as their more portable rivals, offering a large display, more powerful processors and enhanced graphic and gaming capabilities.
Acer's Extensa EX4430 now offers users a machine equipped with an AMD Athlon X2 processor running at 1.9GHz, a 14.1-inch display, a 250GB hard disk drive, and an 8x Super Multi DVD drive.
More importantly for gamers, it features an ATI Radeon HD3200 dedicated graphics card for high definition videos and 3D graphics, such as those in the latest games.
Additional features include a built-in 1.3-megapixel webcam, 802.11a/b/g/n wireless connectivity, and Bluetooth.
It may not be as portable as the latest EeePC, nor as sleek as Sony's new P-series of netbooks, but if you don't mind the extra weight and bulk, and want to enjoy the latest games, the Extensa is a far better choice than a netbook. Best of all, it comes with a netbook-like price tag of HK$4,998.
Pros: big display, dedicated graphics card, big hard disk drive
Cons: it's bulky and heavy, and won't turn heads
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