The size means that the keyboard is spread out over a good area with a separate number keypad as you’d find on a regular keyboard. The arrow keys are also set slightly lower than the rest of the main keyboard. The trackpad has markings for the scroll area on the right and the mouse buttons and centre directional control sit below this. Most distinctive is the line of buttons with an LED clock set in between them at the bottom.
Four USB ports are present along with a 4-pin Firewire port and a single PC Card slot. You get line out and microphone socket, perfect for VOiP or headset gaming and integrated Wi-Fi. You can use Gigabit Ethernet for a wired connection or even, heaven forfend, a modem.
You can hook up to a larger monitor via DVI, which is great to see included, or to a TV via the S-Video out.
Specs wise, this is pretty no compromise machine. The CPU is a dual-core T2500, running at 2GHz, with 2MB of Level 2 cache. One GB of RAM is already supplied, which is a decent amount.
Notebook hard disks do tend to be smaller and slower than their desktop counterparts, but the 100GB drive included here spins at 7,200rpm so it shouldn’t be too much of a performance bottleneck. Portable storage is catered for by a Sony DVD-Rewriter, which can burn discs at up to 8-speed.
This Evesham Voyager C720DC notebook will give you as much resolution as you have any right to expect from a machine like this with a WUXGA display, or 1,920 x 1,200. This is a fantastic resolution to work with enabling you to have two A4 documents side by side at 100 per cent zoom and plenty of Windows on display at the same time. It’s the same resolution as Dell’s 24in screen but in a smaller 17in diagonal size that might be too much for those with less than perfect eyesight. If you wish you can drop down to a 1,680 x 1,050 resolution screen and save about £100 in the process. It’s easy to miss but there’s even a camera built into the chassis at the top, so you can video conference easily without cables.
Let’s look at the performance. Firstly with a dual-core T2500 processor you essentially have two 2GHz processors for the price of one. Dual-core aware applications are going to becoming the norm pretty soon and there are a fair few games that gain a performance boost right now. Even unoptimised, Windows is noticeably more responsive with dual-core.