Feeds
60%
Packard Bell dot m/a

Packard Bell dot m/a netbook

A realistic rival for Intel's Atom

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Take a quick shufti around the m/a's exterior and you will find much the netbook norm: three USB ports, VGA, 10/100Mb/s Ethernet, 3.5mm audio-in and -out sockets, and a Kensington lock slot. The five-in-one card reader allows you to slide SD cards in until nearly flush - a nice touch, as is the external Wi-Fi switch. The m/a also a below average 0.3Mp webcam and a built-in microphone.

Packard Bell dot m/a

The logo panel on the lid is handy for getting the machine open

The underside of the machine is home to three easily removable panels that cover the wireless card, a 3G module (if one was installed), the hard drive and the memory slot. It looks as though there's only one memory module, so 2GB is quite likely your lot.

Unlike the majority of netbooks, the dot m/a is available with a selection of HDD options. Our entry-level test machine came with a 160GB 5400rpm Sata drive, but Packard Bell will also sell you one with either a 250 or a 320GB drive. There is no SSD option.

The most basic m/a doesn't come with Bluetooth - standard on the 320GB machine. Wi-Fi connectivity is the usual 802.11b/g across the range. The display is a high gloss LED-backlit panel with a 16:9 resolution of 1366 x 768. It's bright, crisp, colourful and generally pleasant to look at.

Below the rather fine screen sits a rather fine keyboard - in fact, one of the best that we have encountered on a netbook. The flat-topped keys are not only a little larger than is usual on machines of this size but also have a generous amount of space between them which helps minimise typos. The key action is very positive if a little short and there is very little base flex.

Packard Bell dot m/a

A nice, large, responsive touchpad and button bar

The 65 x 37mm touchpad is both large enough and sufficiently responsive to provide a complaint-free user experience while also supporting pinch-to-zoom multi-touch. The one-piece chrome click bar below the pad has a firm action and can be used continuously for long periods of time without setting your teeth on edge. You can't really ask for more from a netbook.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.