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Also, the 40GB hard disk is a little small. Now, some of you are probably reading this and thinking that I usually think that 40GB is perfectly fine in an ultra-portable notebook, and it is, if the manufacturer has had to choose a 1.8in drive due to chassis constraints. However, JVC has managed to fit a 2.5in drive into the Mini Note and these days I would expect to see something a little larger. Of course some users will never come close to filling 40GB, but given that the Mini Note makes a pretty good mobile video player, you could easily fill that up with a collection of DiVX movies.
Besides Windows XP Professional, JVC also bundles Pinnacle Studio 9 SE, B’s Recorder Gold Basic, and most importantly, Norton AntiVirus 2004.
Of course the big question with a small notebook like this is whether you can really use it to work on all day, every day. Well I’m happy to say that the answer is yes. I took the Mini Note with me to Las Vegas when I attended the Consumer Electronics Show and I used it to write up all my articles while I was there. I used it for word processing, email, web browsing and Photoshop image editing, and it did a great job. As I mentioned, the modest amount of memory meant that it struggled a bit when I had Photoshop, Word, Excel and multiple browser windows open, but that’s to be expected.
The integrated WiFi obviously makes mobile working great when you find a hotspot, but I would have liked to have seen Bluetooth as well. That way you’d be able to get online via your mobile phone if you were desperate to pick up your email.
Performance is nothing to write home about, and the SYSmark score isn’t going to break any records. Likewise, the PCMark score was hardly inspiring and the Mini Note refused to run the Graphics segment of the test at all. But ultimately this machine isn’t about performance, it’s about being small, light, unobtrusive and desirable – and on those counts it scores highly.
JVC has pitched the price of the Mini Note pretty much where I would expect it to be. You can pick one up on the street for under £1,500 including VAT, which isn’t bad considering the size, weight and features.
JVC has done a good job with the Mini Note and created a small and light machine that lends itself well to mobile entertainment. Unfortunately, some users may find the keyboard too small to cope with and the screen resolution slightly limiting. The bulky clip-on battery also spoils the overall look of the machine. However, if you’re looking for a slim and light mobile computer, that doubles as a widescreen portable DVD player, the Mini Note will fit the bill.