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Lap up the right one

Priyanka Joshi  |  Mumbai 

HCL Leaptop T39

HCL Leaptop T39
With the specific aim to keep the machine’s surface temperature in check, HCL’s Leaptop series 39 hits a six. And the credit goes to its compliance with energy Star 4.0 category-A certification. The Leaptop Series 39 comes with a promise to consume less than 1.7W of energy in sleep mode and below 1W in stand-by mode. All these go a long way in keeping the machine quite and relatively cooler. Then again, it is powered by the Intel Core 2 Duo processor — with Centrino 2 – that boosts speed, further reduces power requirements and helps extend the battery life.

HCL Leaptop T39, which we reviewed, seems inspired by the Lenovo Ideapad laptops. Weighing 2.5 kg, it has multimedia features such as dual layer DVD drive and a 14-inch display. However, it fails in delivering a decent sound output. Maybe that’s why the company is offering free ear-gear with the T39.

Since HCL is bundling Ubuntu 8.10 as the operating system, this leaves fewer reasons to stick to Microsoft Windows. Boot time with the T39 running Windows Vista was 56 seconds during review and with Ubuntu 8.10, it was 50 seconds. The T39 also seemed faster when opening or switching between applications with the Ubuntu 8.10. It also comes with a 4 GB DDR2 RAM and 320 GB hard disk drive. Starting at Rs 39,900 for the Centrino models and Rs 42,990 for the Centrino2 range, the HCL Leaptop Series 39 models are available at all HCL DigiLife stores and other retail outlets. 

  • Extended battery life


  • Does not heat up after longer usage Cons
  • Heavier and hence difficult to carry around


  • Poor multimedia functionality

    Dell AdamoDell Adamo
    Dell Adamo is the latest to claim its position amongst the coveted ‘svelte devices of 2009’ after Apple MacBook and HP’s Voodoo. But it manages to pip the MacBook Air by offering up to 4 GB RAM, whereas the MacBook has just 2GB regardless of the version. Equipped with a 13.4-inch LED, Adamo offers 3 USB ports in addition to an Ethernet port that is missing from the MacBook Air. What is missing on Adamo is an optical disc drive, leaving users to pick up an external unit (at an extra cost, of course).

    Microsoft’s bulky Vista OS was handled with aplomb and that’s what makes this a decent performer to boot. Adamo with 4GB RAM will lighten your pocket by Rs 150,000 (Pearl colour) and the 2GB RAM machine is priced at Rs 120,000 (in Onyx and Pearl colours). These price tags ensure that Adamo will remain a luxury purchase for most lovers.


  • A stunning design and looks


  • Colour options 
  • Lacks a CD drive


  • Expensive for the features it offers

    Lenovo IdeapadLenovo Ideapad
    The Lenovo Ideapad Y650 is quite unlike Lenovo’s usual line-up. This one’s cute looking (from the previous chunky ones) and remarkably thin. It seems to borrow its looks from Apple MacBook, but to give Lenovo some credit, the Y650 is one neat multimedia notebook. It is a 16-inch beauty and although it lacks a Blu-ray player and 1080p screen option, it does make an impact with the gesture-enabled touch pad. By using a smaller keyboard in order to make more room available for a massive multi-touch touchpad, the keyboard on the Y650 is roughly the same size as the keyboard you expect to find on a 14-inch or 13-inch laptop. It’s not exactly a drawback since you get good-size palm rests and synaptics-based touchpad.

    Noticeably, the performance of Lenovo IdeaPad Y650, powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 processor and NVIDIA GeForce G 105M discrete graphics card, comes across as slightly less impressive than other multimedia notebooks like the Dell Studio XPS 16. It posted a measly 2.5 hours of battery life during our test, which was a big disappointment. There are features like Veriface facial recognition technology, which captures the image of the user’s face with the integrated webcam and uses it instead of a password to login. Cool, but nothing unique. There is also a touch slider at the top that summons functions like Easy Capture, Ready Connect, Veriface and OneKey.

    At Rs 103,990 (inclusive of all taxes), it may be out of reach for many, but yet promises to steal some spotlight from Apple MacBook in 2009.


  • Fairly light and thin for a 16-inch model


  • Extremely attractive enclosure Cons
  • Mediocre screen resolution (same as the 15-inch and 14-inch models)


  • Dodgy battery life
  • First Published: Mon, April 27 2009. 00:40 IST