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I first looked at the Mobeus from MV back in November 2004 - it was in fact the launch product from the company and it proved to be an impressive little machine at an attractive price. Things have moved on a little since then, so I figured it was worth revisiting the Mobeus and seeing what you're getting for your money in today's climate.
The market for thin and light notebooks seems to be growing all the time, and every time I look a new machine appears that redefines the genre. Only last week I looked at the Sony VAIO VGN-T2XP, which completely won me over, but there are a lot of mobile users out there who want something light and portable, but don't have over £1,500 to spend. This is where the Mobeus comes in - it may not instil the same kudos when you take it out of your bag, but it is small, light, well featured and won't break the bank.
Let's get a few things straight first. the Mobeus doesn't really fall into the ultra-portable category, with a weight of 2.1kg and dimensions of 290 x 230 x 38mm (WxDxH), but it's certainly small and light enough to be carried around with you all day without you getting back ache. And to be fair, the super svelte Sony T2XP isn't really what the Mobeus is competing against, it's more akin to the Sony S range, like the VAIO S1VP I reviewed last year, which weighed in at 1.89kg.
Finished in matt silver and black, the Mobeus is reasonably pleasing to the eye, but it doesn't have the WOW factor that, say, a Sony or Apple notebook might have. The lid is secured with a single, central catch and once lifted, a rather staid interior is revealed. Inside everything is black, with the exception of the power button, the "P" button (more on this later) and the two touchpad buttons. things aren't helped by the fact that the default MV wallpaper is also black, but once you change it to something a little less sombre, the Mobeus brightens up a bit.
The screen is a 12.1in widescreen affair, with a native resolution of 1,280 x 800. This is a pretty decent amount of desktop real estate considering the size of the machine, and I found that I could work quite happily on the Mobeus running multiple applications without any trouble. In fact, most 4:3 aspect ratio thin and light notebooks sport a 1,024 x 768 native resolution, so you are getting considerably more desktop area with a widescreen solution like this. The screen also has a Crystal Bright coating, which is just like the X-Black finish offered by Sony or the X-Glass coating offered by Rock. This high contrast coating makes colours look superbly life like and vivid, which really shows through when watching movies, and with a widescreen display the Mobeus makes a nice little mobile movie player.
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