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Portability and performance

BS Reporter 

When it comes to laptops, each model packs in diverse sets of functionalities. Cutting across the bewildering number of options in the market, here are some latest value-for-money laptop options that compliment user’s computing needs.

MSI Wind U270MSI WIND U270
Price: Rs 22,999

If you want a small and light portable computer, check out the Wind U270. It’s ideal for those looking for a unit that can be packed for out-of-office days.

(MSI) is a Taiwan-based computer hardware that has a reputation for making some decent gaming notebooks. But the MSI Wind U270 is an entry-level netbook, sports a 12.1-inch LED backlit display, runs on AMD’s 1.6 GHz E350 dual-core processor, with a 1.3 megapixel webcam for those interested in video applications and a 4GB RAM alongside a 320 GB drive. The comes pre-loaded with Windows 7 Home Premium.

There’s no compromise on connectivity since U270 packs in 2 USB 2.0 ports, an USB 3.0 port, HDMI output, Ethernet and weighs just about 1.3 kg. While the integrated Radeon HD 6310 Discrete Class graphics card is nothing to boast about, it will allow playing games. However, you will have to live with low details and a mediocre resolution. Since long battery runtimes is what a is expected to deliver, the integrated video card helps in maximising U270’s battery to about six hours (normal web browsing and light video usage). The Wind U270 also comes with MSI’s i-Charger that promises to drive more power through USB slots that in turn charge devices up to three times faster.

HP Pavillion dv6HP PAVILLION DV6
Price: Rs 46,000

The device is perfect for those who don’t want to compromise on a notebook’s processing speeds, graphics and sound output. Road warriors may have to look elsewhere.

When you buy this 15.6-inch display with a brushed aluminum look and feel laptop, get ready to be wowed by what the 2nd generation Intel Core i7 processor does to the notebook. You will love how HP dv6 breezes through basic computing tasks like email and web surfing. It even takes on video editing and high-definition (HD) content capably. However, this improved processor isn’t the secret of the dv6’s success. More the memory of your laptop, faster it handles day-to-day tasks and runs demanding programmes. Our review unit packed in an 8GB of RAM (hard drive of 500 GB) and the result was a fast machine capable of running demanding programmes, such as video and photo editing and games. The increased RAM and dedicated ATi Mobility Radeon HD 5470 produce a satisfying graphical performance. This, however, directly affects dv6’s battery performance that barely stretches to three hours on video and web browsing usage.

Like most of HP’s laptops, the dv6 has a chiclet-style keyboard, with widely spaced keys that are easy to operate. Another noticeable feature is dv6’s sound quality that can be credited to the in-built Beats Audio, a mixture of software and hardware that results in clear undistorted sounds even when turned up.

Price: Rs 65,000

A combination of durability, high performance and optimum speeds underneath a good looking notebook should make it endearing for business users.

The Dell Latitude E-5520 gets the design right, though it is no Apple Macbook. It has a spill resistant keyboard, a scratch resistant underside and metal plated hinges, all of which should make it easier for the professional user to maintain the E-5520. A 15.6-inch high definition LED screen atop a backlit keyboard that’s optimised to work in dim light looks impressive.

Further, Intel 2nd generation Core i5 processor (available in Core i3 and Core i7 configurations too) on our review unit with 2GB RAM, 500 GB drive did not disappoint when it ran capably for five hours. If you want to sacrifice some capacity for data security, then a 320 GB encrypted hard drive option is also available. A freefall sensor is built in to motherboard. Average tasks such as data processing, multiple web browsers and video streaming did not stump E-5520’s performance. The notebook comes with either Windows 7 or Vista Basic Home/Premium/Business editions. A 2-megapixel webcam, microphone array and inclusion of HDMI pave way for those video conferences. Weighing about 2.9 kg, this could be a chore for users to lug about.

Price: Rs 71,920

Perfect for consumers who want a full-fledged ThinkPad class of notebook that won’t weigh them down. And if you are due for a PC upgrade at work, you might want to talk your way to choose this machine.

Billed as Lenovo’s answer to Apple Macbook Air, the ThinkPad X1, the quality and durability of new X1 offers many of the same hallmarks of previous generation ThinkPads. At 13.3 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches and weighing 1.3 kg, the ThinkPad X1 is thin and light as compared to many notebooks in the category. There’s also a spill-resistant keyboard and Lenovo’s matte-black rubberised paint finish that resists scratches and fingerprint smudges.

We reviewed the Intel Core i5 dual-core processor, with Intel integrated HD 3000 graphics and 4GB DDR3 and were not disappointed with the performance. But the Gorilla glass LCD display played an important role in X1’s overall impression — the display gives great colours and crisp text even in bright light conditions. Like other ThinkPads, the X1 features both a TrackPoint pointing stick and a touchpad. And while audio is mostly an afterthought on most business notebooks, the ThinkPad X1 features Dolby Home Theater audio that renders a surprisingly loud sound. The X1 ships with two batteries from the factory, the internal chassis battery and an external slice battery. The prime negative for many may be perhaps the lack of an optical drive.

First Published: Mon, August 29 2011. 00:53 IST