Road warrior companion from NEC

Road warrior companion from NEC

NEC hit the New Zealand PC market recently with the latest offerings in its Versa notebook line; and with the P570 it has produced a solid performer for business travellers.

Such business-friendly features include a numeric keypad and built-in webcam for videoconferencing, various security features and an optional port replicator to take your desktop environment with you.

Combined with an Eco mode to preserve battery life, discrete graphics with a 15.4 inch widescreen for optimised presentation viewing, and a 1GB turbo memory module, the office road warrior is well catered for.

Although affordable with a $2549 recommended retail price, it’s only moderately portable at 2.6 kg and the battery life is somewhat restricted when Eco mode isn’t used.

Running Vista Business, the P570 allows for high speed fixed and wireless networking with an integrated Gigabit LAN and 802.11 wifi supporting either a, b and g standards, or a, g and the latest n (depending on the model). There’s also a 56K modem.

As well as a fingerprint scanner and hard drive/BIOS password functions, there’s a cable slot to attach anti-theft devices.

There are also useful email and internet start buttons.

The P570 is fully equipped connectivity-wise, with Bluetooth, infrared and four USB ports, along with firwire, S-video and VGA ports, and a four in one card reader (SD/MS/XD and MMC formats) and PC card.

Based on Intel’s dual core Centrino processors (in this case the 1.5GHz T5250), the supplied model was equipped with a fairly standard 120GB hard drive and 1GB of DDR RAM.

Users can get more powerful processors in more highly spec-ed models – up to the T7700 2.40GHz – and up to a 200GB hard drive.

There’s the option to increase the physical memory to a maximum 4GB by taking advantage of the second slot.

With NVidia’s GeForce 8400M chipset, 128MB of dedicated video RAM and Direct X 10 support, NEC has ensured sufficient graphics grunt to view image and video-heavy business presentations. The TurboCache also allows a further 255MB of shared system memory to be accessed.

The screen offers a wide viewing angle, but isn’t vibrant. However, the 1280 x 800 resolution did present plenty of workspace.

The battery is six cell (a nine cell is optional), and playing a DVD with power-saving options switched off netted about an hour and 50 minutes of life. However, the Eco mode boosts battery life to up to 3.5 hours by halving the processor’s frequency and decreasing screen luminosity.

The optical drive is dual layer DVD+/-R.

The supplied model wasn’t too clogged with bundled software – it was loaded with Internet Explorer 7, Adobe Reader 8, Adobe Flash Player, Shockwave, RealPlayer, McAfee VirusScan, Roxio Easy Media Creator 9, and trial versions of CyberLink Power Cinema 5 and McAfee’s personal firewall.

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