by August 14, 2006 0 comments



Price Range: Rs. 82,000 to Rs. 1,28,000, Average MRP: Rs. 99,700

Brands:
HP, Lenovo, Samsung

These are thin and small form factor notebooks that are meant for the top
management of your company. These are not necessarily feature or power packed
and if they come with oomph on that front, that may not be by design. That said,
the models we got this time and got classified here are all dual cores, with 512
MB or 1 GB RAM and 50 to 60 GB of hard disk space. While we expected features
like biometrics and other forms of security and data protection to be common and
available on these models, we found only the Lenovo X60 have it all. None of
them came with a SmartCard and the Q35 from Samsung did not feature any of them.
The lightest of them (by physical weight) would be the HP NC2400, at just 1
kilo. The Q35 is not as slim as the others but fits into the Ultra Portables as
it weighs only 1.5 Kgs.

MCCW performance was good across the three notebooks, with an average score
of 44.2 indicating good technical design. Battery times varied from a normal 3
hours to a mind blowing 7 hours 15 minutes! They did not too well in our 3D Mark
benchmark given that they came with a standard Intel 915 or 950 graphics system
with 128 MB video memory. If you compare the 3D Mark scores of these notebooks
with that of similar graphics models in other categories, you’ll find the
scores to be on par. For instance, the Intex 029CD in the Budget category has a
similar score; as do the HP NX6320 and LG T1 in the Feature Rich class.

Since there are just three notebooks in this category, we have only one
winner here. And before we move on to see which one that is, let’s compare a
few Lab notes.

Lab notes
The Samsung Q35 model we received had a dual language keyboard, with Russian
characters over the QWERTY pad. The layout of the spacebar row of keys were also
slightly altered, putting the Fn key at the left end where usually is the Ctrl
key. The Left Ctrl key is a little wider and the Tilde (~) key is right next to
the spacebar. Also, the Windows key is on the right side of the spacebar and
there is no context menu key. This can make life a little confusing for someone
who uses these keys a lot or a few hours of frustration when getting used to it.

The function keys on the Q35 are a little wider than that on the HP 2400 but
soft keys that users of other notebooks are used to are either missing or in the
‘wrong’ places. For instance the key we use to send video a projector (FN-F5
on most notebooks) is not there. Instead, the Q35’s FN-F5 will turn off your
LCD screen! Similarly, the PgUp/Home and PgDn/End keys are around the four
cursor keys — no complaints against that, but the sizes are so small that
unless you have slim fingers you could hit the wrong button easily and move away
to a different place suddenly. On a positive note, the Samsung has an AVNow
button like the R65 in the Mid Range category, to open a media center to browse
photos, movies and music without fully turning on the system.

On the HP NC2400, we found a volume control ‘area’ where u can just drag
a fingertip across a graded bar and have it change volume. Sadly, the bar didn’t
light up as we tried it out a few times. The other ‘buttons’ on the 2400 for
one button projection like its other cousins in other categories, wireless
on/off and HP Info Center are similar touch spots on the panel.

The HP Info Center is an application suite that manages motion sensor for the
hard disk, setup various bundled software, configure the fingerprint reader and
view system information. There is a lot of space wasted under the keyboard and
the notebook could have done with a track-pad there as the track-point is a very
sensitive one to start with.

 

Lenovo X60

+
Best features and good price
No optical drive

The Lenovo X60 is an
ultra portable notebook and is billed to be one of the thinnest notebooks
on the planet. And, it is. What is surprising is that inspite of weighing
just 1.5 Kg and being so slim, it packs so many features and power
performance in it. The ThinkVantage software suite is of course a part of
this ThinkPad and as you know this software helps you manage various
aspects of your system, like security, protection against data theft,
configures the APS system to protect your hard disk better and use the
Access Connections to connect to wireless systems.

Being an ‘ultra portable’
this notebook stands out from the rest on one aspect — the form factor.
The X60 is a square notebook (meaning it has an XGA screen) with a
12″ diagonal screen size and not a rectangular one like other ultra
portables. This means you have more screen space and you’re not cramped
for hand space when working with the keyboard either. It is also a
Centrino Duo with 512 MB of RAM and a 60 GB hard disk. The ThinkPad comes
with both a track-pad and a track-point. It features biometric security,
as it comes with a fingerprint reader and a

TPM chip to authenticate
and authorize access to your data. A PCMCIA II, SD/Memory card reader and
an IR port round out the connectivity options along with Gigabit Ethernet
and 56 Kbps V.92 modem ports. We also liked the fact that Lenovo now
includes both the Windows and the context menu keys on their models. And
oh yes, it does not feature an optical drive.

Performance wise, the X60
does quite well. It tops the charts for this category with 1339 3D Marks
and 46.6 MCC Winstones. It also clocked 4 hours and 10 minutes on the
battery which is impressively second to the Samsung Q35’s 7 hours and 16
minutes.

BOTTOM LINE: It
packs in the right amount of features, performance and style to covet the
Editor’s Choice in this category. We rate it an excellent steal for the
price tag.

 

Model   Key specs   Contact
HP NC2400

Features: 70.0 Performance: 65.3
Price: 64.5
Overall: 200
Rs.1,27,143

Centrino Duo (T2400)
1.8 GHz,512 MB,55 GB
HDD, Intel 945GM/128
MB,12”WXGA,1 Kg,
03:03 battery time
+
Lightest in the category,one touch projection
Costliest in the category, low on performance and battery time
Deepak
Jagtiani,
Hewlett-Packard
India Sales Pvt Ltd,
Gurgaon, Tel: +91-
9899599119, deepak.jagtiani@hp.com 
Samsung Q35

Features: 61.4
Performance: 100  
Price: 100 
Overall: 261
Rs.81,990

Centrino Duo (T2300)
1.6 GHz,512 MB,50 GB
HDD, Intel 945GM/128
MB,12”WXGA,1.5 Kg,
07:16 battery time
+
Best performance and
price in the category,best
battery life in this
shootout
Low on
features like
drive protection,TPM,
etc present in the others
in the category
Vineet
Mittal, Samsung
India Electronics Pvt
Ltd.New Delhi.
Tel: 41511234. v.mittal@samsung.com

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