By Staff writer
Ultra portable, ultra affordable
CONTACT +9714 393 8111
Ultra portable laptops are an excellent tool for business professionals who are constantly on the move, as they offer all the features of a standard notebook in a light, easy-to-haul frame.
Due to their small size and thus more compact internal components, most notebooks in this category retail for premium prices, which might make them too expensive for some users.
However, Touchmate’s Mini Wonder TM-1280NB isn’t one of them.
$1639 buys you a 1.2GHz processor, 512Mbytes of RAM, 80Gbytes of hard disk space, a 10.6” LCD screen and a very manageable weight of just 1.4kg.
These specifications mean the Touchmate compares very well to the contenders featured in our June 2006 ultra portable grouptest.
In fact, the only notebook to match the Mini Wonder’s weight – Fujitsu Siemens LifeBook P7120 – is $600 more expensive and offers only a 60Gbyte hard drive. There were two cheaper notebooks in this same round up, though both weighed noticeably more than the Mini Wonder.
In terms of performance, our PCMark 2005 tests returned scores of 1917, 1874 and 2356 in the CPU, memory and hard drive benchmarks respectively.
By comparison, the LifeBook P7120 scored 1924, 1894 and 2090.
Considering the Fujitsu was powered by the same processor but the more modern Intel 915GM chipset, the Mini Wonder’s scores are surprisingly strong.
This means the notebook has more than enough get-up and-go to tackle all of today’s applications.
With a tested battery life of three hours and six minutes, the TM-1280NB will also make a good long-distance traveling companion.
The MiniWonder is equipped with a built-in MMC/SD/MS/xD memory card reader and while this is a useful inclusion, we would have rather had a biometric finger print scanner instead.
This would have offered business buyers more security and hence peace of mind if they carry sensitive data on their notebooks.
If security is a concern then, it might be worth their shelling out for a USB attached fingerprint device to enhance the Touchmate’s capabilities.
The notebook is easy to work with on a day-to-day basis, as at its native 1280 x 768 pixels the 10.6” LCD is bright and clear.
Off axis viewing is fairly decent too so if you’ve got something to share with your colleagues, you won’t have to resort to passing the notebook around.
The keyboard is very responsive and the keys are well-sized too so you won’t find yourself hitting two keys at the same time by mistake.
The only issue we had with the Touchmate was with its touchpad. It can be unresponsive at times and things get worse if you have fingers that perspire.