The main attraction of this notebook is its price. At Rs 79,990 this was the second cheapest notebook in the shootout. It’s good for those who are on a budget, but still need a notebook.
In terms of price and features this notebook was similar to the Acer TravelMate 506 DX.
However, it scored better in performance, making its way as the winner in this category.
ACI Performer II
|Notebook. Rs 79,990
Specs: PII/400 MHz; 32 MB RAM; 12.1” HPA; 4.8 GB HDD; 24x CD-ROM drive.
Pros: Good buy for its price.
Cons: Comes with only 32 MB RAM.
Bundled software: Notebook driver CD, modem drivers, utility disk.
71B, Mittal Court
To give this price advantage, the notebook sacrifices on certain components. It was the only notebook in the shootout to come with a PII processor. Similarly, it only has 32 MB of RAM, and 2 MB of VRAM for its NeoMagic graphics card. It uses an older 12.1" HPA type of screen as against the TFT ones in most notebooks today. Therefore, the display wasn’t as sharp as the others in the shootout. Similarly, it comes with NiMH batteries, whereas most others are shipped with Lithium ion. The FDD and CD drive are both built-in the notebook.
The notebook’s performance is suitable for running most productivity applications. It gives a maximum screen resolution of 1,024x768 at 16-bit color depth, which is good. It lacks a built-in modem but has two PCMCIA slots. We received an Apollo Fax/Modem card with it for Internet connectivity. It also has a USB port. An IR port is provided for infra-printing or doing data transfers with other IR devices like PDAs. Interestingly, this notebook shipped with Win 95 preinstalled, while most others came with either Win 98 or Windows 2000.
The Performer gave an average score of 11.4 Winmarks in Business Winstone 99, which will increase significantly by adding another 32 MB of RAM. It has an expansion slot to add more RAM. The notebook gave ample backup time of 2:53 hours and took about two hours to recharge completely, which is good. It has onboard sound, and an external volume-control dial for convenience. The sound quality is fine, and doesn’t get distorted at full volume.
The notebook weighs around 5.5 kgs with the bag and other accessories, which is the same as most other notebooks. It comes with a one-year warranty for the notebook and six months for the battery. The bundled drivers’ CD contains the requisite drivers for various operating systems. The drivers for the modem card are on a separate CD.