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Packard Bell EasyNote TX (TX86-GO-045UK) review

Kat Orphanides
29 Oct 2010
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Packard Bell EasyNote TX (TX86-GO-045UK)
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
600
inc VAT

The EasyNote TX is great value at £600, but the EasyNote TM is even better value at £50 less.

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Specifications

15.6 in 1,366x768 display, 2.5kg, 2.27GHz Intel Core i5 430M, 3.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Packard Bell’s EasyNote TX arrived in the labs as a £700 laptop, but it now costs just £600 thanks to a discount from PC World; the offer lasts until 25th November 2010.

£600 is a great price for a laptop with a Core i5 430M, but we still found it a little odd that there's only a 320GB hard disk and 3GB rather than 4GB of memory. At least Packard Bell has installed a 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium, which means that you can add (and take advantage of) more RAM later.

The TX doesn't quite carry off the brushed-metal effect of its inner and outer chassis, which ends up looking dull rather than sleek. However, we couldn’t fault its solid build quality. The flat, well separated keys on the keyboard try to carry on the metal effect, but their silver plastic looked rather cheap. They were comfortable to type on, though, and the keyboard includes a full numeric keypad and dedicated cursor keys.

Packard Bell EasyNote TX (TX86-GO-045UK)

The large touchpad is positioned beneath the main keyboard, limiting space on the left-hand side of the wrist rest. We liked the way the entire pad lights up when your finger crosses either button; this can be disabled if it's not to your taste. The touchpad and its buttons are built into the same surface, and the whole thing moves when you press the buttons. This, along with quite poor tap sensitivity means it took us a while to get used to it.

The display, although glossy, is bright and evenly lit, with deep blacks and good contrast even at low brightness settings. The built in speakers are underpowered, with a non-existent bass and a slightly muddy quality that makes it hard to appreciate complex tunes, but they'll do the trick for the odd spot of internet radio. The laptop doesn't have a great variety of ports, but we appreciated having four USB ports in addition to the usual VGA, HDMI, microphone in and stereo out ports.

The TX's performance in our benchmarks was good, particularly when you compare it to other laptops at around £600, with an Overall score of 86. As it lacks a dedicated graphics chip, its inability to run our 3D game tests comes as no surprise. Battery life a little above average for a general purpose laptop, lasting 3 hours and 51 minutes in our light usage test.

The pre-installed Photoshop Elements 8 is a valuable piece of software, and would make the TX a great deal if it weren't for the cheaper EasyNote TM. This may have a slightly slower processor, but it has a larger hard disk, an extra GB of RAM and costs £50 less. For this reason, it misses out on an award.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorIntel Core i5 430M
Processor clock speed2.27GHz
Memory3.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size22x378x259mm
Weight2.5kg
SoundConexant High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size15.6 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorIntel HD Graphics
Graphics/video portsVGA, HDMI
Graphics Memory128MB

Storage

Total storage capacity320GB
Optical drive modelMatshita UJ892AS
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Bluetoothno
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSD, SDHC, Memory Stick PRO, MMC, xD
Other portsnone

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionburn own restore disc
Software includedAdobe Photoshop Elements 8, Microsoft Works 9, Nero 9
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

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

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