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-- by Jonathan Blackwood
It's deja vu all over again. WinBook's new LM P133 looks suspiciously like Dell's Latitude LM series of modular multimedia notebooks. Of course, both machines are built by Compal of Taiwan, though to slightly different specifications. The WinBook LM P133 even uses the same blazing NeoMagic NM2070 video controller as the Dell Latitude LM P133ST that's on our WinList of recommended products.
The WinBook LM P133 comes stocked with 16MB of EDO RAM; 256KB of level 2 cache; a 12.1-inch active-matrix display; a 1GB hard drive; a lithium ion battery; and a modular bay that accepts the 6X CD-ROM drive, an optional second lithium ion battery or a floppy drive. There's a full complement of ports, including serial, parallel, external VGA, port replicator, IrDA, PS/2, microphone jack and external speaker/headphone jack. Sound Blaster-compatible 16-bit stereo sound is built in, as are twin speakers and a microphone. The twin PCMCIA slots on the left side accept a single Type III or two Type II cards. One Type II card-a Creative Labs 28.8Kb-per-second Modem Blaster-is included in the package.
Battery life is exceptional.
In our WinLab battery rundown test with constant disk access and power management disabled, the LM P133 averaged just over 2 hours of service.
The notebook measures 2 by 11.8 by 8.9 inches and weighs 6.9 pounds. The 87-key keyboard has Windows 95-specific keys, with 19.1mm spacing and 3mm travel. Because the Ctrl key is located at the extreme bottom left, the layout is especially comfortable for Word and Excel users; tactile response is also good. The trackpad and two activator buttons are in the center front, with a wrist rest on each side.
Performance was quite good, although a bit disappointing in comparison to the Latitude LM P133ST. Our Wintune benchmarks showed average scores of 245MIPS, video throughput of 8.77Mpixels per second and uncached disk throughput of an abysmal 0.72MB per second. Average times to execute our application macros were 18.7 seconds for Word and 16 seconds for Excel. These times are 2 seconds and 1 second, respectively, slower than the Dell.
The faster performance of the Dell gives it the edge on our WinList.