The keyboard action is pretty good, and amazingly each key feels completely separated from the next. Unfortunately, the keboard does exhibit a propensity to rattle while typing at speed, which is both distracting and a little disconcerting. Despite the rattles, I didn’t experience any issues as far as keyboard build quality goes during the time I had the Mobeus.
MV has chosen to go with a touchpad for pointer manipulation, and although many notebook vendors use touchpads, I much prefer a good trackpoint. That said, a good touchpad can still provide simple and accurate pointer manipulation, but unfortunately the touchpad on the Mobeus was not the best I’ve seen. Although there were moments when the touchpad worked flawlessly, there were also moments when it would shoot the pointer off in a random direction, or times when I was editing a Word document and suddenly the touchpad would highlight a block of text nowhere near where I was typing.
The touchpad is also positioned a little too close to the Spacebar, and I often found the cursor being repositioned when I was typing at speed. I know that the chassis is small, but there is enough room to lower the touchpad just a bit – alternatively, sinking it into the wrist rest slightly might be enough to avoid this problem. Below the touchpad are two silver buttons, which respond well with a reassuringly loud click, but there is no scroll lock button on offer.
Above the keyboard you’ll find only two buttons. The first is a large silver power button which glows blue (surprise, surprise) when switched on. The second button is smaller, with a “P” label – this will activate the CyberLink PowerCinema environment. From here you can playback movies without having to start up Windows, saving you a lot of time and a decent amount of battery life in the process. You can also playback music from the hard drive, or even from memory cards. This is a pretty good feature, especially if you’re trying to while away a long train journey.
Inside the Mobeus is an Intel Pentium M CPU running at 1.6GHz, along with 512MB of 333MHz DDR memory and a 40GB hard disk. Although this is a Centrino branded machine, MV hasn’t stuck a Centrino badge on it, and I have to say it looks better for it. Now if MV could just lose the CyberLink badge as well, the Mobeus would look pretty sleek and stylish when open.
Of course to achieve Centrino branding, a notebook needs an Intel wireless adapter to go with the Pentium M chip, and MV has gone for the Intel Pro/Wireless 2200BG, which supports both 802.11b and 802.11g standards. You also get a Realtek 10/100 Ethernet adapter, but Bluetooth is, unfortunately, conspicuous by its absence. Personally, I would like to see Bluetooth in a notebook that’s aimed at the true mobile worker.
With dimensions of 290 x 230 x 38mm (WxDxH) and a weight of 2.1kg, the Mobeus is quite a bit larger and heavier than the Fujitsu-Siemens P7010, but almost identical to the Toshiba Portégé A100.