Eurocom Laptop Proves Size Matters


Oct 2, 2004
I own the same model, but different branded name. I pretty much agree with this review. I was led to believe the battery life would last up to 6 hours, but not so. After running 10% drain tests, the best I could do was 4 hours with no radio, lowest brightness setting (there is one more setting that has no light and only reflective). Half bright settings with radio and light use got me a little over 3 hours. I was a little disappointed, but like the review said, 3+ hours is still useable. Surprisingly, I didn't notice much of a difference with the radio on or off. I only gained by having light at lowest setting.

I also purchased the extended battery. It adds almost a pound of weight and sticks out past the back. It's about the size of 3 standard batteries fused together. I didn't mind the sticking out and in fact, it gave me something to grab while holding the notebook in my hand. My unscientific tests gave me about 7 hours of battery life with half bright, radios on, and normal use. I figured about 9 hours with low light, radios off, and light use, such as typing a document, but this test was probably the least definite of all the tests I ran, mainly due to the tests taking up so much time and and my busy schedule.

I absolutely love the lightweight. This thing is easily carried and handled in one hand. I have no problems holding my baby daughter and reading things off the screen while holding it.

While the casing is suppose to be tough and rugged, it is flexible. You have to be careful when holding it with a disk in the drive as with enough pressure, you can pop the disk out. You'll hear it whining before it pops out though. I did it just to test it. You just can't put a ton of pressure on the bottom while holding it with one hand.

The keyboard is also flexible, almost giving it a cheap feel. You will see the board slightly buckle when you type. It hasn't been a problem though and so far seems like only a mental barrier. I could swear the keys themselves are made of the magnesium alloy, too.

I wasn't sure if the biometrics were log on security only or password management, too. It does both and also has a data security vault, all accomplished through software. It also has the TPM platform, but honestly, I don't know how that works and why you'd use it at this point.

As for the Core Solo 1.2 CPU, I was a little hesitant about its performance. I opted for the max RAM at 1.5GB and I have been very happy with the speed. It isn't going to be a powerhouse, but it does office work, surfing, and even some Photoshop 7 work just fine. I always disable the extra default WXP transitions and the machine is snappy and responsive.

Using Photoshop 7, I was wondering how the graphics would perform. It does a decent job. Just don't expect to be playing serious games or intensive video processing. The 128MB integrated does its job for road warrior use. I see that the latest models now have 224ish MB integrated, at least from the vendor I purchased through.

I love the fact that it has extra bells and whistles. Besides the biometrics, it has a switch for shutting off the touchpad if you use a mouse. It has a switch for the radios, too. It has BlueTooth 2.0. It comes with Cyberlink Power DVD. It has 3 USB 2.0 (2 on the right and 1 on the left) and 1 4-pin firewire on the left side. It also came with a very thin neoprene slip case. It's not top quality, but better than nothing.

With installed drivers, you can use the touchpad for scrolling and other effects, but I haven't been able to get that to work. I will have to call tech support on that.

The screen is not widescreen. I didn't mind that at all. In fact, I was looking for 4:3 screen as widescreens with small size often mean more vertical scrolling. While not glossy like Sony's, it is bright at max setting and crisp enough for text reading. There is bleeding on the edges, but it's only a problem when the screen is black. I noticed that colors with my photos are a little undersaturated, but not a major problem for how I use the laptop. There is definitely more physical screen real estate than the Sony TX series. While the resolutions are similar, other than aspect ratio, I found that I'd have to enlargen the text and icons with the tiny Sony TX screen whereas with this, I can see things fine without the modifications.

The speaker is cheap and hard to hear at max volume unless you are in a quiet room. With a good headphone, the sound is good but not great. It's passable.

FYI, I have 100GB HDD, but that shouldn't make much of a difference as rotational speed will matter more.

Overall, this laptop is great for the price. With the max 1.5 GB RAM, 100GB HDD, extra large capacity battery, it cost the same as comparible 2.8lbs laptops at their basic configurations from better known vendors. It is extremely portable. The size was a tad bigger than expected, but since the screen isn't too tiny and the laptop is phenomenally light, I can easily overlook this point. I do wish the battery would have been at least 5 hours, but oh well. This was about as perfect an ultraportable as I'd been able to find. I was very interested in the Sony TX or SZ series, but the TX was too expensive for modest specs and the SZ was great (bought one for a family member), but on the border of being a tad heavy for one-handed use. The lower weight does make that jump to the next level in my opinion.
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