Pros AMD A-8 CPU (Among the best of AMD notebook processors, another plus is that this CPU has 4mb L2 cache, an area where AMD is usually skimping.)
Integrated Radeon 6620g graphics.
Cons The memory is only @ 666Mhz when the standard is usually 1333Mhz.
This normally wouldn't be a big deal but the integrated graphics rely heavily on the speed of the RAM, because the 6620g has no integrated RAM.
Summary All in all this was the best deal I could find when I looked for notebooks up to the $650 price range.On a side note, as far as the memory goes fry's currently has a 2x4gb RAM set @1333mhz from PNY for $35 as a one day sale today.
The graphics could definitely smoke the Intel HD 3000 graphics found with the Sandy Bridge core i3 & core i5.
Even with everyday computing this should run much better than a similarly priced Intel machine. (Based on the fact that you probably are not going to be using it for encoding media and such.)
Updated on Oct 2, 2011
I would recommend updating the RAM
In this review, even though it is for the desktop counterpart you can clearly see the benefits of a higher speed RAM setup.
Pros I paid $449 after $200 instant rebate on top of an additional $50 coupon savings. I must say that the MacBook type look is a plus as well as the beefy specs you get for the money. I drove several salesmen from several stores nuts because I researched
Cons None that I can think of so far.
Summary If you get as good a deal as I did, this is the most awesome I have ever come across for a computer brand new. It's slick looking, the specs are killer for a "budget" laptop and the Radeon 512 meg video card is head and shoulders above the standard Intel 128 meg video memory I've been seeing with comparable i3 and i5 laptops. Just as well, this comes with 6 gigs of DDR3 ram vs. the standard 4 gigs most laptops in this range come with. Epic deal.
Pros Quad core, system on a chip means decent graphics, decent power, without an outrageous price tag. Integrated radeon graphics perform reasonably well in casual gaming. Excellent choice for basic entertainment like 720p video, internet surfing, email. My
Cons Small screen real estate, only 1366x768. Few upgrade possibitlies because of the integrated AMD A8 design. Despite quad core nature, CPU relatively weak compared to an i5 or i7 from Intel.
Summary Its a great choice for people who are looking for something to do their homework on, play a casual game, or surf the internet from their living room. For those that are looking for a laptop that is going to be a reliable mainstream device 3 or so years from now, you may want to continue looking in the marketplace for a more powerful choice. For its price range, this is a great selection so long as you go into the purchase understanding what this laptop is intended to be - and what it is not.
Pros Four real cores give you multitasking and core-aware programs a real boost; The APU gives you unsurpassed experience on multimedia for this price range; generous ram and had drive space. Seriously, unless your running some cpu-intensive benchmark you will
Cons You cant brag that you had much more money to waste on Intel i7
Summary You will not find a notebook at this price range that gives you better all-around performance. The cnet reviewer is probably mixing apples and oranges by comparing it to discrete graphics card models and failing to say what he considers "everyday" workloads. Unless your doing cpu intensive work, you will not notice any slowdowns. On the other hand, you will notice crisper flash video; responsive entry-level 3d video games on lower resolution; smooth high def video and similar or better battery life to intel models in the same price range--something this cnet guy fails to point out (he must get kick backs from intel or something.)