by January 3, 2005 0 comments
ACi Emerald C
+ Price
Graphics performance

SCORE

OVERALL

69%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
68 60 80

One of only two notebooks we got that had a Celeron processor. However, its 1.5 GHz CPU, along with 256 MB RAM and a 40 GB hard drive, proved a good match in performance to the other units. Its weight is well distributed over its chassis.It scored decently well (25.4) in the productivity area, and performed a little better (31.8) in the MCCW tests. It didn’t do well on the gaming front (94 fps, 117 3DMarks). Battery life was a regular-Joe, 2 hrs and 13 mins. The speaker area is large and it has a microphone built-in. The keyboard is also laid out along the center of the base rather than being crushed into its upper half. Commonly useful ports such as the USB, IrDA and PS/2 ports are placed along the rear, making connecting devices to them a tad tougher. Also, it has just two USB ports. 

RQS# E66 or SMS 130166 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
ACi Commando W130
+ Ruggedness 
Price, weight

SCORE

OVERALL

48%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
44 65 31

This is a bulky one, aimed for the defense sector. We wonder why it came for the shootout. The keys are very small and quite unusable, given the unit’s thickness. Things such as the DVD combo drive are placed on the docking base, rather than on the main unit. Many commonly used keys such as Page Up, Page Down and Delete keys are mixed up and re-arranged. Keys and the touchpad’s clicker buttons are rubberized and not very responsive. But, this was the only unit to have a separate LED for indicating LAN connectivity on its panel. Performance wise, it did quite badly compared to ACi’s Emerald C. It scored just 24.5 and 26.4 in BW and MCCW tests, respectively. It was poor gaming wise (87 3DMarks and 89 fps in 3D Mark and Quake). Good battery life (little over 3 hrs), but this was with the docking station connected. RQS# E67 or SMS 130167 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
BenQ Joybook 5100


+
Business productivity performance 
Graphics and gaming performance

SCORE

OVERALL

72%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
73 70 72
Best Features

Joybook is slim. The keyboard has transparent keys that disappointingly didn’t light up. It has a 3-in-1 SD card reader, 3 USB ports and an IrDA port. Add to this two programmable buttons and two fixed buttons (for launching your browser and e-mail client). This one had all the ports and buttons where they could be reached intuitively rather than by having to look for it, one of the reasons it topped our feature charts. 

It’s perhaps not meant for gaming (106.7 fps in Quake and 94 3DMarks). But, it comes in the top 10% of the productivity and multimedia areas. It scores 27.4 in BW and 34.4 in MCCW. Its battery lasts for almost three hours and it has an irresistible 3-yr warranty. BenQ was adjudged the winner in this comparison on the basis of its consistently top scores in both features and performance.RQS# E68 or SMS 130168 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Connoi NBCL-154


+
Mind-blowing graphics and gaming 
Rather big and heavy

SCORE

OVERALL

66%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
64 70 64

It certainly is big in more than one way. It has the widest footprint of all 22 notebooks we reviewed in the shootout. And it performs stunningly on the OpenGL and DirectX gaming front. Why? It’s powered by the ATi Mobility Radeon 9700 AGP graphics, with 256 MB shared video RAM. This is why its score of 2849 3DMarks and 230.2 fps in Quake are far ahead of competition. BW and MCCW scores were 24.6 and 31.3, respectively. Battery performance lasted a little over two hours. These scores are consistent with the median performers of the set and it’s this consistency across the board makes it a good buy if you want a mix of everything. The keyboard has big keys and a lazy layout. The touchpad has a clearly marked scroll area and large clicker buttons. There is a 3-in-1 SD slot in front and a wireless on-off button. The 3 USB ports and an S-Video out give it good connectivity. And well, the DVD combo drive is on the left side. RQS# E69 or SMS 130169 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Dell Inspiron PP075


+
DVD Rewriter 
Keyboard layout 

SCORE

OVERALL

63%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
67 66 55

Think small, silver-gray, amazingly light-that’s the Dell Inspiron PP075 for you. The keyboard layout, however, could do with some rearrangement-the keys are all over the place. The notebook has a few ports and slots: 2
USB, FireWire, S-Video and an SD card. This was also a unique unit we received, sporting a DVD Re-writer drive. The Inspiron PP075 topped the BW and MCCW charts with scores of 32.3 and 41.1. OpenGL and DirectX gaming were average at 105.5 fps and 117 3Dmarks respectively. Battery life was a short 1:30
mins. RQS# E70 or SMS 130170 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Edge CL51


+
Great pricing 
Recovery options

SCORE

OVERALL

69%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
63 67 81

Sporting flat, rather square-shaped and Spartan looks, the Edge appears bemusingly benign when you first look at it. At a very earthly price of Rs 52,000, with a three year all-India warranty, this is not a lot when you look at what it offers in terms of features and performance, it scores only slightly above average across our three axes. In fact, the only area it did better than the rest was its pricing. But you don’t want to buy a notebook just because its light on your pocket, do you?

It shares a useful feature with the Ingram Micro model also in this comparison-the numeric pad. We did not see this in any of the other models. If you saw the support for SD cards listed in our features table and wondering where it is, look inside the PCMCIA slot! Plus, you get 3 USB ports, FireWire and IrDA. The Edge was also one of the few we saw that came with a hardware WiFi switch, which gives you better security, especially when on the move.
RQS# E71 or SMS 130171 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Fujitsu LBS-2020
+ Good on features 
Performance, Battery life

SCORE

OVERALL

57%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
65 48 59

The only thing that this Fujitsu notebook has going for it is its elegant looks. Though it came with an ATi Mobility Radeon 9200 AGP card and was powered by an AthlonXP 1600 M processor, it performed rather poorly in our graphics test. To top all that, it gives a meager one and a half hours of battery time. If you want to know how much it costs, grab a chair-Rs 80,000 with a simple 1 year warranty. On a positive note, it has an LCD status panel, 4 programmable buttons and WiFi 802.11g. Plus, it has a large and comfortable keyboard, though a little re-arranged in places. So a notebook good in features, but could do with better performance and price. RQS# E72 or SMS 130172 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
HP-Compaq nx9040


+
Accompanying software 
Performance

SCORE

OVERALL

65%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
67 59 69

An average product, which scores mainly because of its 3 years global warranty. Even price is rather high at Rs 80,000 compared to what some others have to offer. Besides that, it has five pre-programmed buttons that let you check your mail, browse the Web, search, lock the computer and find help. Plus, it was the only notebook to come with a built-in floppy drive. It also has an IrDA port on its front panel. It turned out to be a consistently below-average performer on all our tests. Decent list of accompanying software though: Win XP Pro (with SP1), a full CD of critical security updates from Microsoft, Norton AV 2004 and 4 recovery CDs. RQS# E73 or SMS 130173 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Hyundai M-Life 362C


+
Pricing 
Performance

SCORE

OVERALL

63%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
58 58 78

If you’re all that bothered about owning a red notebook and cannot afford the Acer Ferrari, then at a price tag of a mere Rs 54,000, this is your best option. It has a red top, silvery-gray interiors, shared numeric pad and easy to use keys. It has 3 pre-programmed buttons (Internet, e-mail and wireless)-but they’re on the front side, a rather strange place to put them. Performance and features wise it’s average. RQS# E74 or SMS 130174 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Hyundai M-Life 350C


+
Battery life
Raw performance

SCORE

OVERALL

66%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
58 55 90
Best price

Powered by a lowly Celeron M processor (although 1.5 GHz), the 350C performs worse than the 350C. Of course, this is expected. Where it gains massively from the 350C is simply the pricing, but this is a direct result of the lower processor. Otherwise, both notebooks from Hyundai have almost identical specs and performance. And, no, this notebook is black. It is priced at a mere Rs 45,000, with a 1 year warranty. A good choice for someone with access to other computers and simply needs something to carry along on short trips or simply stay in touch with their office and e-mail. RQS# E75 or SMS 130175 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Ingram Micro-Vesta


+
Performance 
Heavy

SCORE

OVERALL

67%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
63 72 63

Vesta was one of our winners last time and we expected similar results from it again. But, alas, though it was one of the better performers of the lot, it lost out just a bit on the features. It is not that the quality of the notebook has gone down; it’s that it could not match up to the extra features offered by some of the other notebooks. Also, its bulk gave it a bit of a setback. At about 4.7 Kgs with the bag and adapter, it is a bit too heavy. Plus, it comes with only 1 year warranty, while most of the top runners are now giving 3 years. This could just play follow up. RQS# E76 or SMS 130176 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
LG LS50


+
Looks, Battery 
Performance

SCORE

OVERALL

63%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
64 63 63

The poorer cousin of the LM50 sacrifices on some HDD space and graphics and gains some weight to bring the price down to Rs 95,000. But the price still does not come down enough to justify the purchase of the machine. The performance and feature loss is immense as compared to the price. The feature score is almost equivalent to the average score of the machines in the shootout and so is the performance score. Its scores actually got a boost because of its good battery. It lasted more than 2:30 mins in our tests. Thus, it is recommended if you are looking for a slim, smart machine and can sacrifice a bit on performance. RQS# E77 or SMS 130177 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
LG LM50


+
Best performance 
Price

SCORE

OVERALL

70%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
71 79 56
Best performance

Though the most expensive of the lot, the LM50 packs a lot of punch in the notebook for its size. The notebook was undoubtedly the best performer of the lot. But surprisingly it scored the highest only in Quake, mainly because of the Mobility Radeon 9600 that it comes bundled with. In the other tests the notebook performed consistently in the top runners. 

This consistent performance pushed it through to being the best performer of the lot. It was also the second best in our feature review. The only major thing missing on the machine was a hardware switch for WiFi that is more of a given in most notebooks of its caliber. If it was priced a bit less, it could have been the winner. RQS# E78 or SMS 130178 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Millenium-M3c


+
Price 
Battery 

SCORE

OVERALL

63%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
60 64 66

One of the BTO brands that surfaced in last year’s shootout, it has come a long way from carelessly forgetting to put in the wireless card last time. It performed well above average in performance benchmarks but not in the race of battery tests. It clocked just 1:43 mins, which was more than a lot of notebooks, but still not enough to take it to the top. It also has one of the lowest scores in features only because it has too few connectivity options. Only 2 USB ports limit the possibilities of what can be done with the notebook. At most you would be able to use a mouse and an IRDA device in these ports and you would be stranded if you wanted to connect to the Internet using your Reliance CDMA phone. All said and done it is still some good value for money at about Rs 56,000. RQS# E79 or SMS 130179 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Samsung P28


+
Office productivity performance 
Battery life 

SCORE

OVERALL

67%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
66 70 65

This looks a little bigger than the lifestyle X05/X10 notebooks by Samsung. It is more like a desktop replacement. Powered by a 1.7 GHz Pentium M processor, 512 MB of RAM and 80 GB of HDD, it’s quite a powerhouse. The only reason it loses out from the winners in this category is because of its backup time. It clocks about 2 hrs as compared to a lot more by the others. But it steals the roost in hardcore performance by scoring the most in MCCW and being among the top in BW. This is because of the Mobility Radeon IGP 9000 graphics that it supports. With truckloads of RAM, it could afford to spare 128 MB for the graphics memory. But, sadly the graphics are still not DirectX 9 compliant, which pulls it back in the 3D Mark 2003 score. RQS# E80 or SMS 130180 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Sony VAIO B (5B5P)


+
802.11g wireless connection 
Performance

SCORE

OVERALL

58%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
57 59 58

This desktop-replacement notebook is the one we found most apt for the kind of audience we are addressing in this shootout. The VAIO B is also the cheapest of all VAIOs available in India. The configuration we had is priced at about Rs 83,000. Besides the immaculate looks and connectivity options and a lot of style value, the VAIO B had little on offer. Unlike other VAIOs, its battery backup was only about 2 hrs. The performance is because of a little slower processor than some of the better performing machines. But, this was among the few notebooks to come with a 802.11g wireless connection. So a good choice for the executive who wants to be associated with the VAIO, but does not want to pay the premium associated with it. RQS# E81 or SMS 130181 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Sony VAIO T (4CAP)


+
Battery Life, portability 
Bad Keyboard

SCORE

OVERALL

62%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
64 72 46

The tiniest notebook, including a DVD combo drive. Bigger than the Zenith Presidio, it still looks smaller. It performs well to compete with the others in its category. Powered by an Intel Pentium M 1.1 GHz processor, it scores below average in the office productivity apps. It has a good 512 MB RAM and it moves far ahead with the backup time of almost 4 hrs with the battery supplied. Though it fails drastically in the keyboard placement, both due to its size and less number of keys. For instance the Home, PgUp/PgDn, and End keys must be accessed using the Fn key. Also, the IRDA port was found missing in all the VAIOs. Recommended for the style freaks and those who don’t mind spending more than a lakh for extreme portability. RQS# E82 or SMS 130182 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Sony VAIO S (6D9P)


+
Battery Life, WXGA screen 
Price

SCORE

OVERALL

62%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
62 70 50

Lying somewhere in between the B and T is the VAIO S. An average performer, it boosts up its ratings with the help of a huge score of over 3 hrs in the Battery Mark. This performance is backed by a WXGA 1280×800 screen and 802.11g WiFi connect. But the notebook still does not have a proper keypad. It is similar to the VAIO T and some of the regularly used keys have been combined with the Fn Key. One of the biggest turn-offs of this beautiful machine was its placement of the optical drive. It is placed in front of the machine and when you insert a CD, it causes a lot of vibrations in the touchpad. Thus, big on style and above average performance. RQS# E83 or SMS 130183 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Wipro Little Genius


+
5 USB ports, 5-in-one card reader 
Average performance

SCORE

OVERALL

57%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
64 45 63

Unlike most in the shootout, this is an all black notebook with a matt finish. An average performer, it scored 1 point more than the average scores in both BW and MCCW. Has many extra programmable keys, but no function to turn WiFi on or off. The notebook did not come with an IRDA port but had the maximum number of 5 USB ports. Its 5-in-one card reader enhances its capabilities. But the battery test was a problem, as BatteryMark didn’t run on it and kept crashing. We therefore could not test its battery life. RQS# E84 or SMS 130184 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Zenith-Presidio (Z3000)


+
Portablility 
Battery Life

SCORE

OVERALL

60%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
71 53 55

The smallest in the shootout, this one did not come with an optical drive, may be due to its size. The best about it is still its price (about Rs 70,000). But the price and size don’t hamper its performance. Powered by a 1.6 GHz Intel Pentium M processor, it gave average or just above average scores in BW and MCCW. But, its battery life disappoints (barely 1 hour), may be due to the powerful processor. It had similar specs as the Presidio, except that the processor was clocked at 1.1 GHz. RQS# E85or SMS 130185 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Zenith-Director – Z8081


+
Price
Warranty, performance

SCORE

OVERALL

61%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
60 56 68

This is the younger cousin of Z8050, and for the price-conscious buyers. So don’t expect great performance, as it gave an average score in BW and MCCW, below average graphics, and low backup time (78 mins). It has all the basic features, but also lacks some such as a hardware key to switch WiFi on or off, and a memory-card reader. Besides that, it comes with 1 year warranty. Zenith seems to be losing its edge in the low-cost notebooks market because a lot of BTO players have started giving it competition. With low costs and better machines they are giving Zenith a good run for its money . RQS# E86 or SMS 130186 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************
Zenith-Strategist – Z8050


+
15.5″ screen 
Battery backup

SCORE

OVERALL

61%

FEATURES PERFORMANCE PRICE
63 58 62

The strategist is the biggest of all, in terms of the screen size with WXGA resolution. Two additional features are a SD card reader and a built-in microphone though the notebook is average in other areas. It gave average performance scores (BW-26.5, MCCW 34.8) and a below average battery mark result (90 mins). It’s attractively priced at Rs 60,500 and 1-yr warranty. Overall, an average notebook, which weighs heavy at almost 4.7 Kgs with the carry bag and adapter. RQS# E87 or SMS 130187 to 9811800601

*********************************************************************************************

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.