Our Compaq Mini CQ10-688nr Netbook has the following specifications:
- 10.1-inch anti-glare display (1024×600 resolution)
- Windows 7 Starter Edition
- Intel Atom N455 single-core processor (1.66GHz, 512kb cache, 6.5W TDP)
- Integrated Intel GMA 3150 graphics
- 1GB DDR2 RAM (1x 1GB; 2GB max. supported)
- 250GB 7200RPM Seagate hard drive (ST250LT007)
- 802.11n wireless network adapter (Broadcom 4313)
- Built-in Verizon Wireless 4G LTE mobile broadband
- No integrated Bluetooth
- Integrated VGA webcam
- No internal optical drive
- 1-year limited warranty
- 6-cell li-ion battery (10.8V, 4910mAh)
- Weight: 3.1 lbs.
- Dimensions: 10.55 x 7.54 x 0.90~1.26 inches
- Price: $619.99 Retail; $449.99 w/ 2-year contract – $300 promo discount = $149.99 final price
These are more or less the same specifications netbooks have come with for years. The Starter edition of Windows 7 is particularly disappointing; manufacturers only use it to shave a few dollars off the bottom line. Limitations in the Starter edition include an inability to change the desktop background and lack of multi-monitor support. The second issue with the specifications is the low screen resolution as I detailed above.
Performance and Benchmarks
The overall responsiveness of this netbook for everyday usage is laughable; there is noticeable lag even when opening Windows Explorer and typing in Microsoft Word. YouTube videos are choppy. The single-core Intel Atom processor simply isn’t capable of keeping up with workloads placed on it. A measly 1GB of RAM does not help matters; 2GB would be preferable. The included 250GB 7200RPM hard drive actually has impressive performance; it is a 7mm thin model with a single platter. It’s not enough to make up for the overall lack of performance elsewhere, though.
wPrime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
Mobile Broadband Performance
The netbook itself isn’t the greatest performer; what about Verizon Wireless’ new 4G LTE network? I ran a bandwidth test using SpeedTest.net:
The Verizon 4G LTE wireless connection is even faster than my home cable Internet connection. I experienced strong connections nearly everywhere I went, including inside buildings. The responsiveness is excellent. With a network this fast it will be easy to eat through the relatively small amount of bandwidth offered in Verizon’s monthly plans (more about this in the conclusion).