by August 14, 2006 0 comments



Price Range: Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 95,000, Average MRP: Rs. 72, 200 

Brands:
Gigabyte, HP, Lenovo, MSI, Sahara, Samsung, Toshiba

These are mid range notebooks, that are not the cheapest ones, and are
feature rich as well. We said in our introduction to this shootout that dual
cores were here. We saw one dual core in the budget category above, and this one
has four of them.

We also find a Turion64 X2 priced at Rs. 63,000 plus taxes in this mid range
segment. Except for one Pentium M (1.7 GHz) and the Turion, the rest are dual
cores with an average 512 MB of RAM and 75 GB HDD. The Toshiba Tecra A5 that
features here with an MRP of Rs. 62,000 is one of the dual cores, but has 1 GB
of memory.

Clearly, these notebooks are not meant for the performance shy. Look at these
notebooks if you want number crunching performance, at low prices. You will not
get promises of high style or advanced features like TPM chips with any of
these, but you can be sure that your work will be done quickly. Let’s now take
a look at what you can expect from them performance wise.

Performance
The average performance of a notebook in this category is 74.2 that’s ten
points clear of the average in the budget category. This is the result of better
technical design, higher CPU and RAM as well as better battery life. The systems
here have 512 MB RAM and 60-75 GB HDD. The graphics systems are also
considerably better, each with atleast 256 MB video memory. 

The two that don’t toe this line are the MSI 271 and the HP 6310 having 64
and 128 MB video memory respectively. However that doesn’t seem to impede them
too much as they do quite well in both 3D Mark as well as MCCW. The MSI 511
walks away with impressive 3D Mark and MCCW scores of 3992 and 50.1 respectively
while the MSI 271 has the longest lasting battery: 3 hours and 25 minutes.

In the same way, two notebooks here the Gigabyte N211U and the MSI S271 are
here instead of in the Ultra Portables category because it is priced well below
(by Rs. 19K) the cheapest priced notebook in the Ultra Portables category.

The results
Again we pick for you one best buy and one recommended buy in this category. But
this time, we place less weightage on the price.

Samsung R65

+
Good features, performance and price 
None

Quick
Specs
Specs:
Centrino Duo (T2300 @ 1.6 GHz), 512 MB, 68 GB, Nvidia GeForce Go 7400/256 MB, 15” XGA screen, Bluetooth with EDR, Docking port, 5-in-1 card reader, Slim model 

Price: Rs. 65,990, 1 year international warranty

Contact: Samsung India Electronics Pvt Ltd. Delhi. Tel: 41511234.
v.mittal@samsung.com 

The Samsung R65 has the one of the best features in this category and a price tag that is 3K lower than the class average. The R65 comes with only a track-pad which is not a minus, but it has a scroll feature as well as a button to lock it to protect against accidental clicks. It also has a COM and an IR port, both legacy ports that are fast fading from use with the advent of Bluetooth and memory cards. It does have both of those too, along with a PCMCIA II slot. The only thing we did miss then was a Smart Card reader. 

Like its Q35 cousin in the Ultra Portables category in this shootout, the R65 features an ‘AVNow’ button. Using this, you
can power on the notebook into a media center environment and use it to browse photographs, listen to music and watch videos. The
AVNow environment is a ‘lite XP’, as evident from the screen that says “Windows is now shutting down” when you subsequently power it off. However, the form factor is comfortably lap-sized and it weighs 2 Kgs. But for all that the thickness of the model is commendable making it an ultra thin unit. The R65 finishes only 2nd best
performance wise in its category, though it stands first with 4525 3D Marks and 47.4 MCC Winstones. A battery time of 02 :27 lets it down.

BOTTOM LINE: It has our ‘Editor’s Choice’ award and that we agree should be enough to make you buy an R65

 

Lenovo 3000 V100

+
Best Features and performance
2 Kg weight,price

Quick
Specs
Specs: Centrino Duo (T2500 @ 2.0 GHz), 1 GB RAM, 90 GB HDD, Intel GMA950/128 MB, 12” Wide screen, Bluetooth, docking port, DVD Dual Layer writer, motion sensor drive protection

Price: Rs. 95,500, 1 year warranty

Contact: Lenovo, Bangalore. Tel: 22063000. pc@in.lenovo.com

Looking for the best
performance and features and don’t mind paying 30K extra for it? Then
this Lenovo 3000 V100 is for you. It comes in an ultra-portable form
factor, weighing 0.5 Kg more than other ultra portables we have seen here.
Like the R65, the 3000 is also a dual core, but has 1 GB of RAM. Its
graphics is a standard Intel 950GMA with 128 MB video memory, but that
does not seem to handicap it too much.

For configuration,
management and recovery, the V100 comes with the Lenovo Care product suit
that lets you do everything from setting up your connectivity and security
to protecting your data against theft or modification by malware, to
recovering any data that was lost. The notebook’s APS (Active Protection
System) is a continuously learning motion sensor that guards your hard
drive against jerky movement by parking its head safely. The one thing
missing in this notebook for a Lenovo is the ever-present ThinkLight!
Otherwise, it has a Web cam, an 5-in-1 SD/Memory card reader and wireless.

We did miss Bluetooth
though — that would have been a great addition to the notebook at this
price.

It scored the highest in
performance for this category and let’s see what went into that. It
started off low with 1382 3D Marks (low because the chart topper here is
4525 from the category winner, the R65) and then bested the MCCW sheets
with a 55.4. Then they must have put in a power plant into the notebook,
because its battery time is 3 hours and 30 minutes, the best in the
category.

BOTTOM LINE: For
its combination of features and performance, the Lenovo 3000 V100 is well
worth the price tag, though it leaves one’s arms smarting at the 2 Kg
weight for an “ultra portable” billing.

 

The rest of the mid-range notebooks…

Model   Key specs   Contact
Gigabyte
N211U

Features: 62.1 Performance: 79.4 
Price: 100  
Overall: 445 
Rs. 60,999

Centrino
(Pentium M)
1.7 GHz,512 MB,60 GB
HDD, Intel 915GM/256
MB,12″XGA,1 Kg,
03:03 battery time
+
Lowest price in the
category, extremely light
weight
Very low on features
compared to the other
models in this category,
no lid lock
Gigabyte
Technology
(India) Ltd.Mumbai.
Tel: 26526696.
sales@gigabyte.in 
Gigabyte W511N

Features: 74.1
Performance: 90.1 
Price: 87.1
Overall: 490
Rs. 69,999

Centrino Duo
(T2300) 1.6 GHz,256 MB,75 GB,
Nvidia GeForce Go 7400/256 MB,15″WXGA, 2 Kg,
02:04 battery time
+
Good overall
performance despite the
low RAM,dual layer
writer
Low battery time
Gigabyte
Technology
(India) Ltd.Mumbai.
Tel: 26526696. sales@gigabyte.in 
HP NX6310

Features: 62.0
Performance: 63.7
Price: 66.7
Overall: 380
Rs.91,414

Centrino Duo
(T2400)
1.8 GHz,512 MB,75 GB
HDD, Intel GMA950/128
MB,15″XGA,2 Kg,
01:17 battery time
+
Motion sensor
protection for hard disk
Expensive
Hewlett-Packard
India
Sales Pvt Ltd,Gurgaon,
Tel: +91-9899599119, deepak.jagtiani@hp.com 
MSI S271

Features: 73.3
Performance: 90.9
Price: 96.8
Overall: 499
Rs. Rs.63,000

Turion64 X2
1.6 GHz,512
MB,60 GB,ATI Radeon
Xpress 200M/64 MB,12″
WXGA,1.5 Kg,
03:25 battery time
+
Low price for a dual
core 64-bit, excellent battery
life,Dual layer writer,
Slim form factor
– Low on other features
Micro-star
International,
New Delhi.
Tel: 41758809. marketing@msi-india.com 
Toshiba Tecra
A5

Features:  94.9 
Performance: 80.5 
Price: 98.4 
Overall: 544
Rs.62,000

Centrino
(Pentium M)
1.8 GHz,512 MB,60 GB,
Intel 915GM/128 MB,15″
WXGA,2 Kg,
02:54 battery time
+
Very good
performance, excellent on
features, low price
– Looks bulky
Toshiba
India Pvt Ltd,
Delhi.
Tel: 23318422.
rohini.walia@toshiba-india.com

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