Having dealt with all the cosmetic changes, it’s now time to talk technology. There are currently two Q210 models on sale whose only core difference is the processor. We’re looking at the more expensive option, the NP-Q210-AS02UK, which retails from between £675 and £715 inc. VAT depending on where you look. A cheaper model, the NP-Q210-FSS0UK, uses an older 2.0GHz T5750 Core 2 Duo and has list prices ranging from £575 to £615.
Our sample, however, features a new Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 CPU that runs at 2.26GHz with a 1,066MHz front side bus, up from 800MHz on previous generation machines, and with 3MB L2 Cache. It’s also part of a new range of medium voltage processors that feature a 25W TDP (Thermal Design Power) instead of the typical 35W. This is a potentially great development for smaller notebooks like the Q210, since it allows for superior battery life and thermal output without taking a significant hit on performance – for a full list of the new processors see: Intel Centrino 2 Mobile Platform Detailed.
Indeed, we found the Q210 did run quite cool. At idle the system registered a running temperature of 43 degrees Celsius, rising to a maximum of 60C during a prolonged stress test. These are quite acceptable levels and the Q210 remains comfortably cool on your lap, even when performing relatively taxing tasks.
You won’t be disappointed by the overall feature set, either. System memory totals an ample 3GBs and there’s a large 320GB 5400rpm SATA hard drive, more than enough for sizable music and video collections. There’s also the usual 8x DVD+/-RW optical drive, though LightScribe label burning is a nice added bonus. For graphics there’s an nVidia 9200M GS with 256MB of dedicated memory that’s just about good enough for casual gaming, but nothing more.
Network connectivity is strong. You get Gigabit Ethernet and there’s a still a standard modem for those that need it, but the highlight is the Wireless-N capable Intel Wi-Fi module. Though it has taken a while to come to fruition you can now expect to see all new Centrino 2 branded laptops to be Wireless-N compliant. Rounding things off is Bluetooth 2.0+ EDR for easy connectivity between other mobile devices.