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Packard Bell Easynote Butterfly review

Alan Lu
13 Oct 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
600
inc VAT

Packard Bell's Butterfly is a good ultra-portable with a bundled DVD drive, but Acer's TravelMate Timeline 8371 is even better.

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Specifications

13.3 in 1,366x768 display, 1.9kg, 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500, 4.00GB RAM, 250GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

Although the Butterfly has a curvier case with rounded edges and chrome accents, it's essentially a rebranded variant of Acer's TravelMate Timeline 8371, which is no surprise since Acer now owns Packard Bell.

The Butterfly has a single core 1.4GHz Core 2 Solo SU3500 processor. It's fine for everyday tasks and fared well in our image-editing test, but not as quick as dual-core processors for video encoding or working in several applications simultaneously. It managed an overall score of 30 in our benchmarks.

As expected, the integrated Intel graphics chip isn't up to playing the latest games. A version of the laptop available elsewhere in Europe can switch between the Intel chip and a more powerful dedicated ATI graphics chip, but this is sadly unavailable in Britain.

The Butterfly just squeezes into the ultra-portable category, weighing 1.9kg, and it lasted an excellent six hours and 14 minutes in our light-usage battery test. There's no built-in DVD drive, but Packard Bell supplies a USB model.

The 13.3in 1,366x768 screen has a glossy finish. Colours look vivid and the display is nice and bright. Images are noticeably grainy, though, and colour accuracy can suffer unless you're sitting directly in front of the screen.

We're not usually fans of pivoting touchpad buttons, since they don't tend to give as much feedback as two separate buttons. The Butterfly's single button is an exception and feels responsive enough, although its glossy texture means that it's a little slippery. The keyboard is pretty good, with decent-sized keys. They're quite springy, however, so this keyboard takes a while to get used to. The 250GB hard disk isn't bad for the price, and should provide enough storage space for most.

The Butterfly is a good ultra-portable laptop but it just misses out on an award. Acer's Timeline costs just £77 more and has a more powerful dual-core processor and better battery life, so it's the better choice unless you need a DVD drive.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Solo SU3500
Processor clock speed1.4GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size30x325x235mm
Weight1.9kg
SoundRealtek High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption idle22W
Power consumption active31W

Display

Viewable size13.3 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA 4500M HD
Graphics/video portsHDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory64MB

Storage

Total storage capacity250GB
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothno
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11a/n
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, xD
Other portsnone

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedAdobe Photoshop Elements 6, Microsoft Works 9 SE
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB or customer carry in
Price£600
Detailswww.packardbell.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.pcworld.co.uk