A smart, well-made laptop, with a generous software bundle and useful features. Below average battery life is its only weakness.
15.6 in 1,366×768 display, 2.6kg, 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6500, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium
The TR87 is the first of Packard Bell’s new range that we’ve seen, and first impressions are very favourable.
The piano-black lid opens to reveal a smart, matt-black interior with a dark silver keyboard. A silver speaker grille slopes upward from above the keyboard to support the screen, and a chrome strip runs around the edge of the case and lid. The keyboard has flat keys in a standard layout, and they have a light action and plenty of feedback.
There’s a small strip between the keyboard and speakers with touch-sensitive buttons that control power and the wireless connection and also allow you to disable the touchpad. One button launches a backup wizard, and two more handle volume. We were impressed by other small touches, such as the sliding cover for the webcam, and the button placed conveniently on the top edge of the case that ejects DVDs from the slot-loading drive.
Graphics are powered by an integrated Intel chipset, which managed just 5.9fps in our Call of Duty 4 benchmark. This isn’t good enough to satisfy gamers, but it will handle HD video, and the HDMI output lets you connect a larger external screen. The 1,366×768 display has an LED backlight and is bright and colours are vivid. If you want to watch movies you’ll need to connect external speakers, as the TR87’s aren’t loud enough to fill even a small room.
There are plenty of expansion ports, including S/PDIF for audio, an eSATA port for external storage and four USB ports. There’s a 320GB hard disk and Draft-N WiFi, but unfortunately no Bluetooth and no ExpressCard slot. The TR87 has the best software bundle we’ve seen for a while and includes Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 as well as DVD playback and burning software.
The EasyNote was the fastest in its category, beating other laptops with the same processor thanks to its DDR3 memory. Considering its great software package, and excellent build quality and looks, this laptop is great value. The battery life of under three hours means it’s not suitable for travellers, but otherwise it’s an excellent choice.
|Processor||Intel Core 2 Duo T6500|
|Processor clock speed||2.1GHz|
|Memory slots free||0|
|Sound||VIA HD Audio|
|Power consumption standby||1W|
|Power consumption idle||17W|
|Power consumption active||33W|
|Viewable size||15.6 in|
|Graphics Processor||Intel GMA 4500M HD|
|Graphics/video ports||VGA, HDMI|
|Total storage capacity||320GB|
|Optical drive model||Matshita UJ867AS|
|Optical drive type||DVD+/-RW +/-DL DVD-RAM|
Ports and Expansion
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Wireless networking support||802.11a/n|
|PC Card slots||none|
|Supported memory cards||SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD|
|Other ports||eSATA (shared with USB socket), minijack audio output/S/PDIF (shared), minijack microphone input|
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium|
|Operating system restore option||backup and recovery software|
|Software included||Cyberlink PowerDVD 8, Microsoft Works 9 SE, Nero 8, Adobe Photoshop Elements 6|
|Warranty||one year collect and return|