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Packard Bell NX69 review

Tom Morgan
27 Sep 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
700
inc VAT

It’s portable, powerful and looks great. If you can look past a few minor touchpad issues, the NX69 is a great mid-range laptop

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Specifications

14 in 1,366x768 display, 2.3kg, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

We’re used to Packard Bell laptops having a little extra design flair over the competition – it is Acer’s style brand, after all – but it’s rare that we see something that stands out for more than just its good looks. The EasyNote NX69 has done just that with its slim chassis and attractive design, but still includes plenty of high performance hardware inside.

Packard Bell NX69 right

With a 14in screen and weighing 2.3kg, the NX69 is surprisingly portable, but an Intel Core i5-2410M processor running at 2.3GHz means there’s no shortage of power when you need it. Thanks to Hyper Threading Windows sees four processor cores, while Turbo Boost means the CPU can overclock itself to 2.9GHz when under load. A healthy 4GB of RAM will also help when running multiple applications. Our multimedia benchmark still proved taxing, but an overall score of 54 is about what we would expect from a mid-range laptop.

Unsurprisingly, there’s no room for a dedicated graphics card in the slim chassis, so Packard Bell has used Intel’s integrated HD 3000 chip to provide the 3D muscle. It’s more than capable of playing high definition video on the 1,366x768 laptop screen, or in 1080p on an external display, but it isn’t well-suited to playing today’s demanding games. Our Dirt 3 test brought it to its knees with an unplayable 12fps at 720p; you’ll have to sacrifice anti-aliasing and detail settings to get a playable frame rate. On the plus side, the lack of dedicated graphics means battery life doesn’t suffer; in our light-use test, the NX69 managed a stellar eight hours away from the mains. As long as you stick to light tasks, it should be able to last an entire working day between charges.

Packard Bell NX69 keyboard

Once we sat down to use the NX69, we were instantly impressed with the superb screen. It might use a cheaper TN panel rather than IPS, but the incredibly vivid colours looked fantastic. The maximum resolution is big enough to keep two browser windows open side-by-side, and everything looked incredibly sharp. There were some downsides: limited viewing angles meant we had to sit in an exact position for colours to look their best, and the glossy screen finish reflects even the smallest amount of light.