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-- by James E. Powell
Beatles aficionados will remember the song on Abbey Road called "I Want You (She's So Heavy)." At more than 10 pounds (including power cord and transformer), the 133MHz Pentium-based Micro Express NP8133A notebook reminded me of that song. It has a lot to offer but you pay the price in weight and short battery life.
My test machine came equipped with 256KB of level 2 SRAM cache, flash ROM, 16MB of EDO RAM (expandable to 40MB) and a Toshiba 6X CD-ROM drive. It also had 16-bit stereo sound (with speakers built into the palm rest), a built-in microphone and a touchpad.
The 12.1-inch TFT active-matrix screen handles a maximum of 800x600 pixels at 256 colors. For video chores, it has a Trident 9385 controller with 2MB of VGA RAM and a 32-bit PCI local bus.
Two Type III PC Card slots (backward-compatible with Types I and II) are on the notebook's left side, but one is taken by a 28.8Kbps fax modem card.
On the right side of the notebook are the floppy drive, access to the removable 1.3GB Maxtor 2.5-inch hard drive, a power button and the fan. On the back you'll find the power connector, IRDA serial port and a connector for an optional proprietary docking.
The nickel metal hydride battery lasted a paltry 72 minutes in my real-use tests. Recharge time is approximately 2.5 hours.
The system performs well for its class, measuring 244MIPS on our processor benchmarks and scoring an uncached disk throughput of 10.67MB per second. It completed our Word macro in an average of 20 seconds and our Excel macro in 18.
Copyright © 1997 CMP Media Inc.