Feeds
60%
Packard Bell dot m/a

Packard Bell dot m/a netbook

A realistic rival for Intel's Atom

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

The entry-level dot m/a comes with a 2200mAh battery which, while small and light, stores no more energy than the standard battery in last year's original 8.9in Acer Aspire One so you can probably guess the next bit: the battery performance is abysmal.

Running a standard-definition H.264 video at full screen using VLC with the Wi-Fi radio on, and the screen brightness and volume turned up to the max, we recorded 68 minutes of runtime. That's not a typo. Sixty-eight minutes. One hour and eight minutes. 4080 seconds.

Packard Bell dot m/a

Looks great - but shame about the battery life...

Switch the power option to Save, cross your fingers and think low-power thoughts, and you should be able to eke out around 100 minutes of life. The problem is, in Power Save mode the system has trouble even scrolling smoothly, so it's not something we'd recommend you use unless you're only planning on some light word processing with a dimmed screen.

The basic dot m/a's limp battery renders it nearly useless for day-to-day use. An optional six-cell 5200mAh battery is available from Packard Bell, but it will set you back £120. Packard Bell isn't releasing recommended retail prices for its dot series, but at the time of writing one well known British supermarket has the machine we tested on sale for £300 and the 320GB version for £380 with a 4400mAh six-cell battery.

Assuming that 4400mAh battery provides twice the life of the unit in our test machine, you are still only looking at between three and three-and-a-half hours of serious use on a full charge which is still far from the six-cell netbook class average.

Verdict

In its basic form, the dot m/a is let down badly by its farcically poor battery life but if you can lay hands on one with the six-cell battery for a reasonable price then you will have a very nice machine and one that represents decent value for money. A 10.1in screen Samsung netbook like the NC10 or N110 will set you back between £300 and £350, and neither has the hi-res screen or 2GB of memory of the m/a. ®

More Netbook Reviews...


Dell
Latitude 2100

Samsung
N110

Toshiba
NB200

Acer
Aspire One D250

Application security programs and practises

60%
Packard Bell dot m/a

Packard Bell dot m/a netbook

A fine machine with 2GB of memory, a high-res screen, a fast CPU and Vista Premium, all let down by the hopeless, standard-fit, three-cell battery.
Price: Around £300 RRP

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.