Packard Bell EasyNote Butterfly
All-day battery and then some
Review Over the past two years Acer has bought the eMachines, Gateway and Packard Bell. Dividing the buying public into a number of categories that it can target with specific brands, Packard Bell covers the ‘Trends & Lifestyle’ group in Europe, and the EasyNote Butterfly s laptop is part of the plan.
Light on power consumption: Packard Bell's EasyNote Butterfly s
You might hope that the EasyNote Butterfly s gets its name in some way from the fold out butterfly keyboard on the legendary IBM ThinkPad 701, but no, it’s more to do with hype rather than invention.
Let Acer explain: ‘In Mandarin Chinese the word for butterfly has become a symbol for long life. Which better name for a product that, thanks to a combination of new technologies, has one full working day of battery life?’ And there we were, thinking that Acer had this facet of laptop performance nailed with the Timeline name.
Continuing this theme, nausea creeps in: ‘Often associated with the human soul, the image of a butterfly suggests the sense of lightness. The new EasyNote Butterfly by Packard Bell is definitely light, 500g less than a standard notebook and less than one inch thick.’ In truth, the Butterfly s isn’t especially thin or light, as it’s fairly typical for a notebook with a 13.3in screen. Dispensing with a DVD writer and supplying it as an external USB drive that weighs 350g has kept the notebook’s weight down to 1.87kg.
The desire for long battery life has been addressed in the time-honoured way by using Intel hardware throughout. The combination of an Intel Core 2 Solo U3500 1.40GHz CPU, Intel GS45+ICH9-M chipset and Intel 5100 AGN wireless gets the most from the 5600mAh battery. During our testing we observed a remarkable figure of five hours and 27 minutes running continuous loops of PCMark05. That is five and a half hours of continuous use so you can double the figure to 11 hours of regular day-to-day use.
IBM ThinkPad Butterfly: the lepidopteran epithet is associated with the keyboard design rather than lightness
However, there’s not a lot of processing power from a low voltage single core processor and neither can you expect too much from Intel GM45 graphics with 64MB of DDR2 memory. Packard Bell has installed 4GB of dual channel Samsung PC3-8500/DDR3-1066 RAM that runs at 800MHz and the 250GB Toshiba hard drive is a 5400rpm model rather than a faster 7200rpm unit – evidently, this laptop is built for comfort rather than speed.
Core2 Solo single core
Core2 Solo single core
Ahh the butrerfly
"The butterfly is the symbol for long life".
"The average life span for an adult butterfly is just 20 to 40 days. The minimum life span of a butterfly is as little as 3 or 4 days.The maximum life span of a butterfly is 6 months." - Source AnimalCorner (other sites quote longest species as 1 year)
So if they think a lifespan of 6 months is good going, then you have to question their build quality.
this is typical PB
True, the styling is pretty bland, but I think this is an important lesson that PB have learned the hard way. Fancy stuff breaks. Either physically, or compatability as time marches on. They've tried many little 'special features' over the years (fingerprint scanners, USB docking stations, fancy optical drive covers, swivel webcams in the lid...) all of which proven to be a failiure to one degree or another.
Having worked the lines for PB tech support, I can tell you with unerring certainty that the biggest cause for issues was Norton Internet Security. Badly designed, unintuitive, and provides all the protection of a wet tissue in a car crash.
Even after the trial version has expired and you uninstall it, the firewall configuration is retained, so anything that's blocked, continues to be.
NIS pretty much encapsulates the lack of thought behind the software bundle offered here (and that package hasn't changed since I worked there, many years ago!)
Microsoft Works is an oxymoron, they'd have been better off with OpenOffice - and I'm not a fan of Open Office at all.
For Media playback, what about the K-lite Codec pack. A freeware bundle that covers every major video format you can think of, and includes the best media player I have ever found, Media Player Classic. It's simple, responsive (the pause in VLC works like an 80s VHS player - what's with that?), intuitive, and replete with RELEVANT features.
The driving force behind all this crapware that gets loaded onto the machines is bundles of cash handed over from their peddlers. Symantec pay a fortune to have their turd put on your laptop in the factory, which is the only way they can distribute it these days.
PB need to drop the politics and hire a seasoned sysadmin to carefully craft a well thought out and RELIABLE software bundle
Long-life butterfly ?
"The butterfly is the symbol for long life". How in the heck did that happen ? Wouldn't a turtle or a parrot be more appropriate ?
Gaaah, glossy screens
The photo on the last page sums up why I would never buy one of these laptops. What is with the manufacturers current obsession in using screens that are absolutely unworkable in daily use?