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Packard Bell EasyNote Butterfly Touch review

Ardjuna Seghers



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A common complaint with the Apple iPad is that, while it has plenty of potential for entertainment and browsing, for productivity it is somewhat lacking. Aside from its limited hardware and software, one of the main reasons is the absence of a hardware keyboard. So what if you want the best of both worlds: the flexibility of a tablet combined with the convenience and productive potential of a proper laptop? In the Packard Bell Butterfly Touch, we may have the answer to just that question.

This 11.6in mobile machine is essentially an ultra-portable laptop with a swivel touchscreen, which can be folded down over the keyboard to turn it into a tablet. It's by no means a new form-factor or a unique implementation, but what makes the Butterfly Touch special is that, with a retail price of just £499, it joins Acer's similar Aspire models in making convertible laptops affordable.

Judging by the hardware, it shouldn't be too much of a slouch either. Its low-voltage, 1.2GHz Intel Celeron SU2300 is a little less powerful than we'd ideally like, but at least it's a dual-core processor so it shouldn't get bogged down like a single-core chip might. It's backed up by a full 4GB of RAM and a relatively generous 320GB hard drive, not to mention Gigabit Ethernet and Wireless-N Wi-Fi. We weren't really expecting Bluetooth at this price point, and the Intel integrated graphics won't please gamers, but overall there's little reason for complaint.

To maintain its slim (for a convertible) profile and relatively low 1.6kg weight, the Butterfly Touch omits an integrated optical drive, and Packard Bell (PB) doesn't provide an external one. Again this is quite common and external drives are both cheap and plentiful, so it's a tolerable compromise.

With the lid closed, the Butterfly Touch looks much like any other laptop, save that you can see the chromed hinge in its central position. Unfortunately the lid is glossy as usual, so fingerprints, dust and smears will be your constant enemies.

Opening the machine up reveals a more interesting and attractive interior. PB has gone for a highly reflective glossy black bezel, which some will find annoying, but it looks good and contrasts well with the patterned matt black finish that's employed elsewhere.

Build quality is excellent, with not a hint of flex or creak, and the swivel hinge action is both smooth and secure. Neither has PB skimped on connectivity, with three USB ports, VGA and HDMI video outputs, microphone and headphone jacks, Gigabit Ethernet and a multi-format card reader all included. There's nothing outstanding in that collection, but for the money the Butterfly Touch has everything you need.

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May 18, 2010, 5:15 pm

This is almost identical to the Acer 1825PT / 1825PTZ (unsurprisingly, since Acer own Packard Bell), and very similar to the Asus T101MT.

From what I can tell, the Asus is the most underpowered and the cheapest; the Acers are about £100 more than the Packard Bell but higher 'specced. Which would you recommend?


May 18, 2010, 5:31 pm

Um, what does 800Mhz mean in that table?..


May 18, 2010, 6:35 pm

It's the front side bus (FSB) frequency. It's a technical detail that's not worth worrying about.


May 18, 2010, 6:37 pm

This looks great, I bought a TX2 about a year ago and its a similar sort of thing, but this has the advantage of being cheaper, running cooler and having longer battery life. I have been very happy with the TX2 so I would say this is a winner.

The tablet function doesnt offer that much in real usability, but with a convertable you dont lose anything either. And you can play Crayon World Deluxe which is awesome, and I used it for drawing Economic diagrams in one note while in lectures as well which was the main reason for buying it.


May 18, 2010, 6:52 pm


The Asus T101MT is a netbook, not a laptop at all. Thus it's a very different beast from the Butterfly Touch reviewed here. It has a weak Atom CPU, half the RAM, a less powerful battery, lower screen resolution, etc.

As to the Acers, if you're not planning to run anything that will severely tax the PB's Celeron there's no reason to pay £100 more, especially since you then miss out on the included copy of Adobe Elements 8 too.


Sorry, that's the FSB. Core CPU speed is 1.2GHz.


May 18, 2010, 8:21 pm

This is in a different league to the T101MT. Very nearly went for this but stumped up for the HP tm2. Got a SU4100 dual core CULV with ati 4550 dedicated graphics (512MB), wacom touch screen/ pen and a bundled external drive with the same keyboard ( and sadly touchpad) as the envy 13. I feel like a stolen it at £700 considering I can modern warefare two on it. It's quite interesting playing that with a pen! I recommend anyone in the market checks one out as an alternative. The touchsmart software isn't bad either.


May 18, 2010, 8:47 pm

Apologies if this a dummies question but with these tablets can the screen orientation change?

I never played with these things or dabbled in windows on a tablet. It looks tempting if the screen can accomodate scrolling documents like web pages to compensate its size.


May 19, 2010, 12:03 am

Yes to both of your questions hank


May 19, 2010, 1:58 am

@Andy. I took delivery of my TM2 last week and I think it's a fantastic machine. I had been planning on buying a Lenovo X201T but the HP is £800 cheaper and has a better graphics card.

It takes a little bit of frigging about to get the digitiser to be pressure sensitive and still get the multi-touch to work but once you do you've got a great laptop, a digital sketchbook and an occasional gaming machine. Once again I'm going to big up Sketch Book Pro as an excellent drawing tool, especially for a tablet.

Nicholas Pires

May 20, 2010, 3:02 pm

I bought the Acer 1825PTZ in Singapore last week and brought it back with me. Excellent device it has to be said. Got it bundled with an external slimline dvd-rw and wireless mouse which is handy. My question is though seeing at the screen is capacitive and not resistive like the older 1820PTZ is there a special stylus that can be used with this if I intend on using Photoshop or SketchBook Pro??


May 20, 2010, 5:41 pm

@Nicholas - It looks like the Acer doesn't use a digitiser at all, is this correct? If so you'd have to use a conductive stylus like this ( http://tenonedesign.com/stylus... ) or you could make one with a little bit of conductive foam and some wire. These won't be pressure sensitive but at least they'll be more precise than using a finger.


May 20, 2010, 7:12 pm


As Vivid said, styli made for use with capacitive screens are available.


That's correct, unlike the HP TM2 there's no digitizer in these models (i.e. no pressure sensitivity). It's the only reason I haven't already bought one, but of course this is only a consideration for digital artists/designers.

Nicholas Pires

May 20, 2010, 8:11 pm

I had the option of getting the TM2 when I was in Singapore the guy was trying to flog them to me with an extra battery but the price difference I didn't think it was worth it. I am an artist/designer had I known about the lack of a digitizer I might have reconsidered but I did manage to haggle the price down more then buy an extra 2gb stick of ddr3 ram to bring it up to 4gb. Even with that it still came to under the £599 they are asking for the 1825PTZ in the UK. I came across the Pogo and Dagi stylus (which is supposed to be better) but was hoping there'd be something which maybe sensed the pressure in the pen but for capacitive screens maybe that's asking for too much! Quick look for the 1820PTZ that's got a resistive screen :S


May 20, 2010, 8:14 pm


Go on, buy a TM2; you know that you want to. Though the rumoured i3/i5 version might be worth waiting for.


May 20, 2010, 9:11 pm

@Nicholas Pires:

You could always try selling the souped-up Acer to buy a TM2... UK specs have gone up considerably recently.


I DO want to.

And that IS what I'm waiting for :)

- well, that and a miraculous source of adequate money :P

Nicholas Pires

May 20, 2010, 11:50 pm

I think I'll keep my Acer! I did have this little dilemma when I was looking at the TM2 but when I compared it to the Acer or this Packard Bell it doesn't look as nice (IMO) it is a lot bigger and heavier 1.75kg vs 2.2kg + extra battery weight and the fact you'd need 2 batteries to get the same endurance as what the Acer has with it's normal 6 cell put me off.

I guess I can live without the pressure sensitivity if I can get a decent stylus for the tablet as in photoshop most of the time you'd be adjusting the size of your brush and drawing rather than worrying about how hard your pressing.

The Acer/PB even seems to have a better res screen (1366x768 vs 1280x800). On another point though does the Acer/PB take standard 2.5" laptop hard drives as when I opened mine up to put the extra ram in I noticed the hdd but I swear it looked smaller than a 2.5" drive. I couldn't find any extra info online to say what kind of drive it takes. The next best bet machine is probably to hope Acer make Core i3, i5 variants of the 1825. If they did though it'd most likely be in the TimelineX range and that'd bump up the price and make it similar cost to the TM2.

So for what it is the I think the Acer/PB is a pretty good balance for performance to the weight etc when you look at other convertibles in this area.


May 21, 2010, 2:48 am

For those in the UK we have what has to be the best value model of the tm2 the 1010ea. It even comes with a matching DVD drive (with lightscribe) and a very nice sleeve.


May 22, 2010, 12:21 am

Any ideas where I can buy one of these in the UK? Google keeps coming up empty... :(


May 24, 2010, 1:38 pm


What are you comparing it against? As far as I'm aware the US offers a better spec for a lower price, and the DVD drive and sleeve are also included.


Try the supplier listed above, Comet.

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