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Just above the keyboard is a set of quick access buttons for email and web browsing. There is also one that enables and disables the internal Wi-Fi antenna and another that disables the touchpad. The last one gives you access to the Power 4 Gear software which gives you quick access to a range of power profiles.
The keyboard is standard, and is pleasant to type on. However, I was bothered that the Ctrl key has been moved to create space for the Fn key that all laptops seem to have. After having seen quite a few laptops with odd shaped touch pads I was happy to see that the Z71A has stuck with a normal square one. It’s also quite large in size which makes it easier to use.
At 2.9KG and measuring 357 x 276 x 35 mm (W x D x H) this is not a small machine and you wouldn’t want to lug around on it for too long. It is however not quite as heavy as some of the consumer notebooks we have reviewed in the past.
The Z71A wasn’t playing ball with MobileMark 2002, so instead of running the full and more exhausting test I had to make do with the reader test. This is a very light load battery test compared to the full benchmark suite that MobileMark 2002 offers, so a battery life of 266 minutes isn’t as good as it sounds. However, if you only do light office work on the Z71A you should be able to get over four hours of battery life out of it.
An overall SYSMark 2002 score of 203 is about what I expected from this type of configuration. The integrated graphics had a definite impact on performance and you can clearly see this in both SYSMark and PCMark. This shouldn’t have too much of an impact on everyday tasks, but don’t expect the Z71A to be a performance monster.
Considering that AJP is only asking for £793 inc VAT (plus delivery) I think the Z71A is a pretty decent machine. You can of course get something better for about £150 more, but equally if you’re on a limited budget you can do far worse.
The AHP Z71A is the first sub £800 Sonoma notebook to arrive at TrustedReviews. It might not have all the latest features, but it’s not without merits. Considering its low price this should prove to be a good choice for anyone that needs a mobile workhorse.