Emachines EM350 is one of the most affordable mini laptops out there costing just under 300 dollars. It comes pre-loaded with Windows XP Home, unlike Windows 7 Starter operating system that is prevalent in almost mini laptops around. To be honest, I still prefer XP over Windows 7 Starter Edition due two basic reasons: 1) I can change wallpaper in XP 2) There are no restrictions or missing features in XP compared to Starter. That said, it is still possible to load Windows 7 Starter on it, thanks to Emachines which has provided its drivers on their support site.
Build – Build quality is really high. Nothing is filmy or feels cheap on this machine. This is despite the fact that the whole computer is made of plastic. Keyboard is excellent as well. You get full size keys. Touchpad is awesome too.
Display – EM350 has a 10.1 inch display that packs 1024 x 600 pixels. It is very bright and easy to use, even in bright sunlight. It is surprisingly clear too.
CPU – Emachines has equipped with Atom N455 processor (which is little slower than AMD C60) that is common in most mini laptops. Since it runs Windows XP, the performance is top notch. Just make sure you uninstall the Anti virus software and other useless apps (like mine came loaded with Adobe Reader. I replaced with Foxit Reader, which is much lighter).
RAM – It came with 1GB RAM which is upgradable to 2GB DDR3. If you are planning to keep the XP running on it (like me), 1GB is more than enough.
Hard disk – It features 160GB hard disk (5400rpm) which is more than enough for a mobile device.
Upgradability – Both hard disk and RAM are easily upgradable by removing few screws located on the bottom of the mini laptop.
Battery Life – I usually get around 5-6 hours while doing wireless web browsing. This was with brightness set to 20 percent.
What I did not like about the machine – There is no USB port on the right side of machine. So make sure you get a wireless mouse for it.
There is no built in Bluetooth but it has no use for me and thus I don’t miss it.
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June 19, 2011