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Packard Bell Dot S2 - 10.1in Netbook review

Ardjuna Seghers



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Packard Bell Dot S2 - 10.1in Netbook
  • Packard Bell Dot S2 - 10.1in Netbook
  • Packard Bell Dot S2 - 10.1in Netbook
  • Packard Bell Dot S2 - 10.1in Netbook
  • Packard Bell Dot S2 - 10.1in Netbook
  • Packard Bell Dot S2 - 10.1in Netbook
  • Packard Bell Dot S2 - 10.1in Netbook
  • Packard Bell Dot S2 - 10.1in Netbook
  • Packard Bell Dot S2 - 10.1in Netbook
  • Packard Bell Dot S2 - 10.1in Netbook
  • Packard Bell Dot S2 - 10.1in Netbook


Our Score:



  • Great keyboard
  • Comes with neat accessories


  • Poor viewing angles
  • Drab design
  • No HDMI output

Key Features

  • 1GB RAM
  • 250GB hard drive
  • 10.1-inch 1,024 x 600 pixel display
  • Intel Atom N450 CPU
  • 4400mAh battery
  • Manufacturer: Packard Bell
  • Review Price: free/subscription

In the previous generation netbook race Acer’s entrants, such as the Acer Aspire One, sold like hotcakes. When the company purchased the Packard Bell brand, it reproduced its successful design under the new brand and called its effort the Dot S. Now Intel has released its new Pine Trail platform, we're looking at its successor, the Packard Bell Dot S2. But given it’s the practically the same basic chassis that Acer sells, why should you buy the Dot S2 over Acer's own model?

For one thing, PB totally spoils you when it comes to extras. First off you get a very attractive slip case, made from strong neoprene with Velcro fastening. It’s one of the better bundled netbook cases we've come across. Then there’s the innovative power supply. Not only is it conveniently built into the power socket, it also features an unusual rotating removable plug that will make the PSU fit in any orientation you prefer – genius!

Last but not least there's a device that looks a little like a memory stick with a cable plugged into it called XSync. Its main function is synchronisation between the Dot S2 and your main PC or laptop, though of course it’s compatible with any two computers you care to hook up to it. As soon as you insert the XSync dongle its software launches automatically, giving you the choice between 'Folder or Outlook Sync', or the ability to act as a 'PC Bridge' which allows you to copy files directly from one machine to the other. It’s a great inclusion for any netbook, which is after all likely to be a secondary computer, though some may find using webmail and the likes of Dropbox will achieve the same effect with far less fuss.

On to the Dot S2 itself, when closed it looks much like any other netbook. The subtle silver wave pattern on our white model’s glossy lid is attractive, though it fails to hide fingerprints, and the tapered edges make it look relatively slim. It will also be available in 'Cherry' Red and 'NightSky' Black.

Unfortunately the interior is less appealing than the previous Dot S, thanks mainly to the battery bulge around the hinges and the silver finish that clashes somewhat with the otherwise white machine. On the other hand the netbook does have a few stylish touches, such as the power button to the left of the hinge which features a blue-backlit spiral pattern.

Many will also appreciate the screen’s matte bezel, though the 1,024 x 600 display itself is unfortunately glossy. Mind you, it’s a fairly good example of its kind. It does suffer from the usual poor viewing angles and contrast shift, but aside from this it's very bright, colours are vivid, and text is sharp and readable

As with the Asus Eee PC 1005PE it's a shame you're stuck with a lower 'sub-HD resolution' for the screen. But if you're willing to spend a little more then the likes of the the SonyVAIO Mini W and the Dell Mini 10 - to name just a couple - are available with 1,366 x 768 screens. Moreover, while desirable, many may find the Dot S2's resolution more readable on a small display such as this.


February 22, 2010, 5:42 am

Does the Xsync support Windows' Easy Transfer or are you forced to use the (usually rubbish) third-party bundled software?


February 22, 2010, 12:33 pm

Hate these combined power transformers/plugs. They are much to bulky to be hanging out of an outlet. You sometimes can't plug anything in alongside them (because of their size) when they are plugged into a double outlet, and when you use them in less physically secure sockets (like a two pin european type one) the whole bulk thing can be pretty precarious (especially if used alongside a travel adaptor). Much prefer the size/weight to be sitting on the floor in the form of a power brick and have just the plug hanging off the socket.

The rotating thing in this netbooks power supply is quite clever though.


February 22, 2010, 6:23 pm

When I first saw the image I figured they had thrown in world-compatible replacement plugs. Now THAT would be nice. In fact since they've got a replaceable plug already it seems silly not to do it.


February 22, 2010, 10:58 pm


It uses a third-party application which installs flawlessly off the stick without any effort on your part. It works well and offers an attractive interface.


I know what you're saying and agree where previous combo plugs are concerned. But with this new system you can always orient the power brick so that you can plug something in next to it - I tried it in a double outlet with another (non-moddable) power brick.


I'm guessing they will sell compatible plugs for every socket type of any country where Acer/PB sells netbooks...

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