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Clevo Laptop 2003/11/22

Posted by Dave in Reviews.

Last month we got our Clevo laptop built by Priceless (the Railway Arches on Commerce St). We do not like the trend to larger laptops; what’s the point? Laptops are supposed to be small! The PLESS27D, at 14.1 inches diagonal screen size is plenty for us. A Big hard drive is not very important — in fact a very large one just takes ages to format and clean up. It is useful for bussing movies, pictures and music files, but that’s all really. Laptops seems to be getting bigger, but doing less — the Clevo offers everything, floppy drive, PCMCIA slots, even mouse and printer ports. We did not feel the need to burn DVDs, our stuff is small enough for flash drives, and cheap blank CDs. DVD burning just seemed a little extravagant; the jump in cost just didn’t seem all that worthwhile.

I loaded the BIOS stuff, flash upgraded it, and loaded Windows 2000. So far it is working like a wee dream! The video in and out is great, and the Infrared works (although it’s line-of-sight). It’s a great size, and pretty light — super fast and problem free. It doesn’t get very hot, and the battery seems very good. We are delighted with it.

Our Clevo laptop Spec (October 2003):

  • Intel Pentium 4 Celeron at 2.4 GHz Clock speed.
  • SIS650 chipset,
  • Fujitsu 60GB 5400 rpm IDE Hard Disc Drive
  • 1GB (two 200-pin SODIMM Sockets 512MB) DDR laptop memory
  • 2.5 floppy drive
  • 25 pin parallel port
  • external 15 pin CRT monitor port
  • ps/2
  • IrDA infrared port
  • carry case
  • VGA out
  • S-video in
  • PCMCIA type 2 cardbus compliant supports ZV port (Texas Instruments 1394 cardbus controller)
  • IEEE 1394 Firewire port
  • S-vido out port
  • Line out Jack
  • Mic in Jack
  • Integrated wireless LAN 802.11 b/g
  • RJ45 LAN Jack Realtek 10/100 Ethernet LAN
  • RJ-11 Modem Jack OCI/VEN Modem 56kbps V90
  • Volume Control wheel
  • BIOS Utility & Driver CD
  • 12 months return to base warranty
  • Integrated touchpad
  • Built in loudspeakers
  • built in condenser mic
  • CTRL key bottom left position
  • 2 USB type 2
  • Rechargeable 8 cell Lithium Ion battery pack 3.5 hrs
  • AC Mains universal auto-switching 90W (100V-240V) adapter/ charger with UK power cord
  • Full duplex 16 bit stereo waveable sound
  • 3.2 kg
  • 308.0 mm wide
  • 254.0 mm deep
  • 37.5 mm high
  • 14.1 inch diag TFT 1024 x 768 XGA display
  • no OS
  • CD-RW/ DVD R

It really is a sturdy laptop packed with features. The basic model is just £639, with our specified beef-ups, it came to £864, which is pretty good. We checked and comparable specifications on-line cost at least double that for branded laptops.

The only drawback is that there are so many features to check! We have taken ages trying everything out, printing, connecting cameras, recording with the mic and listening to music. The sound card could be better, it must be said. It is quiet and tinny — although everything is fine with headphones or powered loudspeakers. Sound-wise it is not a patch on our Toshiba Satellite, but then again, we do not listen to music on a laptop, so it’s no big deal really. We can watch a full DVD movie on battery alone (but the sync tends to drift over time). We like the idea that we can play DVD movies through the laptop onto the TV . Handy when there’s no DVD player around on holiday etc.


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