Dell Latitude D420 vs MSI Wind vs Acer Aspire One, a netbook review

The Dell Latitude D420, my pick of the netbooks!
The Dell Latitude D420, my pick of the netbooks!

I’m considering purchasing a netbook, so let’s review the options between the Dell Latitude D420 vs MSI Wind vs Acer Aspire One.

I’ve been looking at the MSI Wind, mainly because of Mac OS X compatibility. MSI Winds aren’t sold in New Zealand, and when they are, MSI Winds are offered for $782 inc GST at Ascent. That’s a little on the steep side. You can get a refurbished MSI Wind U100 off Ebay in 10 days for $499. You might want to consider if there is customs duty to pay on this. In terms of specifications, the MSI Wind seems to be the heavy-hitter of netbooks. There are positive reviews for Winds everywhere, they have a good 10″ screen, the touchpad has normal buttons (unlike the Asus eee pc), and the keyboard is nearly full sized. You can even install Mac OS X and run Half Life and Half Life 2 on it. Pretty good value really. Do note those 3 cell batteries really only do a couple of hours, so there’s an upgrade there.

I did look into an Acer Aspire One, retailing for $599 at PB Tech. You are losing an inch of screen here though. You also must note this has poor Mac OS X compatibility.

So then I thought to myself, these netbooks are great because they’re compact, but you’re getting the specification of a computer from a couple of years ago really. So why not look at laptops from a couple of years ago, and see what comes out, and the answer is the Dell Latitude D420. While this isn’t a netbook, it’s pretty close and has some good features:

  1. Retails around the same price as a netbook;
  2. Has a larger screen;
  3. Is designed as a business PC so can stand more abuse;
  4. Has a metal alloy body;
  5. Can handle 2.5GB of RAM;
  6. A 1280 x 800 display;
  7. The U2500 1.2Ghz processor is still better than the Atom 1.6Ghz in terms of processing.

So in other words, a proper little computer. And while it may not be so compatible with Mac OS X as some of these other netbooks, I think you’d get a lot more value out of this computer, than just something to surf the web on.