Dell Inspiron 1300
Dell's Inspiron 1300 isn't pretty, but we were impressed by its sturdiness, speed and battery life. It's good value, but its warranty is short.
At 3kg, Dell's Inspiron 1300 is a little heavier than the other notebooks in the group. It feels sturdy, though, and is just about light enough for use on the move. The large keyboard feels spacious, but the keys have little travel and lack tactile feedback. This makes typing a chore for anything more than short periods. The touch pad buttons feel soft and indistinct.
Like PC Nextday's Zoostorm, the Inspiron has a 15.4" widescreen display with a resolution of 1,280x800 pixels, which is great for working on large spreadsheets or photos. We noticed some slight banding in the darker areas of our greyscale transition test, and the display isn't as bright as we would have liked, but it's adequate for most tasks.
The Inspiron has an ExpressCard/54 slot, but few cards are currently available to fit it. We would have preferred a memory card reader, CardBus slot or FireWire port.
The Inspiron is one of two notebooks here to use a Pentium M processor. This one runs at 1.7GHz and, aided by 512MB of RAM, it sped through our benchmarks. Its score of 76 overall was second only to the dual-core Zoostorm.
The Inspiron's integrated graphics chip couldn't compete with the Zoostorm's dedicated 3D graphics. Like most notebooks here, it couldn't complete our Doom 3 test. Its battery lasted just under three hours in our test. This is impressive, but not quite as good as Hi-Grade's Notino.