The touchpad looks like something borrowed from an HP laptop as it has a separate scroll section that I have so far only come across on HP models. This is quite handy and much easier to use than special scroll zones and centre buttons seen on other laptops.
There is a set of quick launch buttons next to the power button, just above the keyboard that gives you instant access to your web browser, email, Windows search and Media Player. eMachines has also added play/pause, stop, forward and reverse functions to some of the function keys when they are pressed in conjunction with the Fn key. This allows you to control Windows Media Player from the keyboard easily.
In terms of software eMachines supplies a copy of Microsoft Works 7.0 and Microsoft Money 2003. Not a huge bundle, but still enough to get you going.
The battery life was better than expected at 3 hours and 27 minutes, which is more than acceptable. The M5116 also performed reasonably well in all the benchmarks, but due to the Celeron processor it will never be a performance machine. It does however score extra brownie points when it comes to cost, as it’s very affordable at £899 inc VAT. It might not be the cheapest laptop around, but the solid build quality and the reasonable feature set makes it a good choice for anyone that doesn’t want to spend a fortune on a laptop. Oh, did I mention that it has blue LEDs?
Dixons is currently selling the M5116 with a USB floppy drive, a carrying bag and a Lexmark printer bundle, still at £899 inc VAT, which makes it a fairly attractive package.
The eMachines M5116 is a well built laptop with enough grunt for everyday tasks and you don’t have to re-mortgage your house to be able to afford one.