OCZ Technology Neutrino Netbook Review


All told, OCZ's Neutrino is a fantastic addition to the netbook world. For too long now we've needed an option such as this: a netbook for the technology enthusiast that may already have a few parts lying around. The major problem we see, however, is that the non-selectable components (1.6GHz Atom N270, 945GSE graphics chipset and the WXVGA resolution) are somewhat lacking. Indeed, netbooks are shipping today with more robust processors and GPUs, so it's a bit odd that an enthusiast-targeted netbook wouldn't go ahead and equip itself with more cutting-edge hardware. The other sad part is even an $800 SSD and the quickest 2GB SODIMM money can buy won't help this machine play back 720p video clips, though perhaps that's not the most common usage model for a machine of this class anyway.

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That being said, we still think the value proposition here is great for those with a spare 2.5" HDD / SSD, SODIMM and OS license laying around. For $269 -- compared to nearly $400 for Asus' excellent N280-equipped Eee PC 1000HE -- it's somewhat of a bargain if you can consider the cost of an HDD / SSD and OS as "sunk." Plus, most DIY'ers would agree that assembling computers is somewhat entertaining, and there's a certain level of pride that comes with even partially building your own laptop. Also, this approach gives you the ultimate flexibility to select the hard drive, operating system and RAM that suits you best. There is no bloatware to delete and no worries over voiding your warranty if you take a peek inside.

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In the end, we're able to both recommend and recommend against consumers buying this netbook. It's pretty simple, really. Do you have a spare 2.5" hard drive, a spare SODIMM and a spare operating system laying around? Do you want a netbook? If you answered 'yes' to both of those questions, this is the one to buy. It's well built, the display is very good  and the battery lasts three full hours even under a fairly intense workload. The Neutrino may also be a good choice for consumers looking to customize their netbook, without having to cast away the hardware included with all of the pre-assembled models on the market.

Do you have no experience installing computer parts or operating systems? Do you not have any spare PC parts laying around waiting to be used? If you answered 'no' to those questions, this is not the netbook for you. There are plenty of
other options out there that don't require this much effort on your part to get up and running. There's also no financial benefit to buying this along with those extra parts individually. You'll come out much better by selecting a pre-fabricated unit from Asus, Acer, Dell, HP, etc.  That said, as we've mentioned, if you're the type that wants to customize things yourself with a larger, faster hard drive or more RAM, then right now, the Neutrino may just be the only game in town.


  • Good bargain
  • Solid battery life
  • Flexibility
  • A DIY'ers delight 
  • Beautiful matte display


  • Chipset is aged
  • Poor multimedia/gaming capability
  • Lackluster trackpad
  • Plain styling


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