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Packard Bell Easynote Butterfly review

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.

Specifications

13.3 in 1,366×768 display, 1.9kg, 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500, 4.00GB RAM, 250GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

http://www.pcworld.co.uk

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 1,366×768 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 ****
Processor Intel Core 2 Solo SU3500
Processor clock speed 1.4GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 4GB
Size 30x325x235mm
Weight 1.9kg
Sound Realtek High Definition Audio
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption idle 22W
Power consumption active 31W

Display

Viewable size 13.3 in
Native resolution 1,366×768
Graphics Processor Intel GMA 4500M HD
Graphics/video ports HDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory 64MB

Storage

Total storage capacity 250GB
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth no
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11a/n
PC Card slots none
Modem No
Supported memory cards SDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro/Duo, xD
Other ports none

Miscellaneous

Carrying case No
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Adobe Photoshop Elements 6, Microsoft Works 9 SE
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB or customer carry in
Price £600
Details www.packardbell.co.uk
Supplier http://www.pcworld.co.uk