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  1. #1
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    Default Packard Bell Easynote MZ35 - Need advice (Belgium)

    Hi guys. Currently our local Carrefour HyperMarket is offering a Packard Bell Easynote MZ35 laptop for about €499. I've been thinking about getting a second hand laptop for a few months now, as an addition to my desktop PC. Now I'm wondering if perhaps it would be better to spend that few extra euros and buy one that is new and has about the same performance. I would like to know your opinion on this model of laptop. If there are better deals out there, I'm willing to go with one of those. I've read some negetive comments on Packard Bell, which honestly surprise me a bit. My first desktop was a Packard Bell Pentium 120MHz and as a complete stranger to PCs, I loved it! But of course, that doesn't say anything.

    I believe these are the specs, but I'm not entirely sure. In any case, it's comparable. Below I've answered the questions from the sticky.

    Thanks!

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget? Arround €500

    2) What size notebook would you prefer? 15" - 16" screen is acceptable.

    3) Please select your country's flag as a post icon and tell us what country are you buying this in. Belgium (no flag present).

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like? No, as long as it's decent.

    5) What tasks will you be performing with the notebook? Downloading, backup, older games, desktop companion, digital photos.

    6) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places or leaving it on your desk? Mainly on the desk, but being able to take it somewhere would be nice.

    7) Will you be playing games on it; if so, which games? Yes. Mainly older ones, I would be happy if I could run Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (2002 shooter) and maybe slighly newer games at acceptable settings. I think the Eeasynote has shared memory. Not sure what to do here, better buy a second hand with dedicated memory or will my games be playable?

    8) How many hours of battery life do you need? Standard.

    9) Do you mind buying online without seeing the notebook in person? That's a bit tricky, I would prefer to see it but it's not absolutely necessary.

    10) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista), Mac OS, Linux, etc. Definitely Windows XP, everything else comes in handy.

    Screen Specifics

    11) Would you prefer standard or widescreen? Standard.

    12) From the choices below, what screen resolutions would you prefer? 1024x768.

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? Preferably matte, but the Easynote seems to have glossy. I have no experience with glossy.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you? As long as I don't find it ugly, I'm satisfied.

    15) When are you buying this laptop and how long do you want this laptop to last? Hopefully it'll still be around in 10 years.

    Notebook Components

    16) How much hard drive space do you want; 40GB to 200GB? Minimum 80GB.

    17) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD-ROM, DVD-CD/RW or DVD-RW drive? Would certainly be nice, as I write a lot of discs! CD- and DVD-writable.
    Last edited by TomMe; 15th August 2007 at 12:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Packard Bell Easynote MZ35 - Need advice (Belgium)

    Woow..i don't think so it can support Win98SE though Radeon x200 can as other components need Win98SE driver that might be hard to obtain.
    What are you doing with Win98?

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    Default Re: Packard Bell Easynote MZ35 - Need advice (Belgium)

    Quote Originally Posted by skywalker View Post
    Woow..i don't think so it can support Win98SE though Radeon x200 can as other components need Win98SE driver that might be hard to obtain.
    Okay, let's forget about Win98SE altogether (edited my initial post accordingly). I would have used it for older games and software that don't work under XP, but there seem to be a lot of workarounds available for this (DOSBox, Virtual PC,..).

    The Radeon X200M seems to be a decent integrated GPU these days, so I'm really tempted to go with this laptop. I don't really need a lot of eye candy when I play games, that's where my desktop 7900GS comes in. But I'd like them to play smoothly. What do you guys think I'll be able to achieve in terms of games with a 1.66GHz Celeron M 420 in combination with a 256MB X200M? I remember Medal of Honor ran fine on my P3 850 with a GeForce 2MX, so hopefully I'm not expecting too much here?

    The folder says it's 256MB, can I assume this means it has 128MB dedicated memory (according to the GPU guide)?
    Last edited by TomMe; 15th August 2007 at 12:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Packard Bell Easynote MZ35 - Need advice (Belgium)

    Bump.. Anyone?

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    Default Re: Packard Bell Easynote MZ35 - Need advice (Belgium)

    Did you see this review?

    It might help in answering your questions. Check whether this notebook has all the functionality you need.

    My own view of these budget notebooks is that they are OK for home use on a desk or table. However, the extra stresses arising from travel or use as a "laptop" could start to cause problems after a couple of years.

    John

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    Default Re: Packard Bell Easynote MZ35 - Need advice (Belgium)

    Quote Originally Posted by John Ratsey View Post
    Did you see this review?
    I did indeed, but apparantly I skipped the part about games there. Thanks.

    I wouldn't go traveling with it, perhaps take it to a friend to swap some files etc. I treat all my things with care, so unless it breaks down by itself it should have a decent life span. I'm curious though, what distinguishes a laptop that's suited for travel from one that isn't? Price? Or does it depend on the model/series?

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    Default Re: Packard Bell Easynote MZ35 - Need advice (Belgium)

    Perhaps it is a false assumption that the more expensive notebooks will use stronger and more durable materials (sometime metal reinforcement or chassis) and are better fixed together. This does apply at the top end of the market, but in the middle sector quality is more subjective.

    However, at the bottom end one has to assume that economies have been made somewhere in order to keep the cost down. Some of those economies are immediately obvious such a using an AMD CPU, ATI chipset or Atheros wireless card instead of the Intel equivalents. These cost savings can still provide a very good notebook. Materials and assembly must also be areas where there can be compromises which reduce cost. That said, whereas 5 or 10 years ago there were quite a few notebooks which would be falling apart after 2 or 3 years of use, the worst of the problems have been rectified.

    John

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    Default Re: Packard Bell Easynote MZ35 - Need advice (Belgium)

    I certainly don't see AMD or ATI as "economy" compared to Intel, but I see your point. In any case, the cheapest laptops I've come across use Intel CPUs.

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    Default Re: Packard Bell Easynote MZ35 - Need advice (Belgium)

    Well I'd take the Vostro 1000 at minimum configuration over HP's C500T any day. The 1000 uses an AMD Sempron Processor and the C500 uses an Intel Celeron processor, but perhaps that's just personal taste.

    The Intel Processors are certainly better then the AMD processors at the moment (at least in so for as the dual core chips go) but for the average user who is going to have access to an electrical outlet most of the time and who isn't doing anything to demanding on their notebook then an AMD processor is going to be more then sufficient. I know that with my dv6000z I have not had a single complaint and, in fact, the battery life of the notebook is much better then I would have expected after spending time on NBR and reading about how inefficient the AMD chips are at power management :P

    Looking at the specs of the notebook you're asking about then I'll say that I don't care for the Celeron processor as it is a very dated processor. I am a very big fan of the newer dual core processors that allow for multi-tasking much easier (though this involves the way I like to use my system, at present I have my browser and email client running...once I get off vacation I'll be adding a word processor and occassionally Power Point to the mix :P Plus with Open Note...). I DO like the fact that it has 1 GB of RAM coupled with Vista Basic. This is something that HP can't seem to figure out with their precious C500 and it's a terrible fault. As a basic word processing/web browsing notebook it should hold up well enough as long as you don't strain the processor by trying to run too many different programs all at once. If it's got a lot of bloatware on it then you might have to nuke much of it in order to get the system to boot in a timely manner.

    It'll have trouble evening running games that are a couple years old, thouigh it should hold up well enough for running older applications. Putting Windows XP on it might be a good move as 1 GB of RAM, while a minimum in the Vista realm, is a very attractive amount to have for XP.

    I like the fact that it doesn't have an Intel IGP in it, though with that Celeron processor you'll still be limited in what you can do. Still, I bet I could get Neverwinter Nights to run smoothly on it and that would make me happy

    I can't really speak as to whether it is overpriced or not, being an ignorant American and all and not having much knowledge of the European markets but for a basic notebook I would rate it more highly then HP's C500 and slightly below Dell's Vostro 1000

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    Default Re: Packard Bell Easynote MZ35 - Need advice (Belgium)

    I think I'm going to look into it a little deeper before making a decision. I went to see the Easynote in real life, it looks okay. The screen feels a bit flimsy. At this point I'm most concerned with the quality of the DVD-writer and lack of slots. If I need to spend the extra cash for a new writer (if that's possible at all), perhaps I might be better off with a better model altogether.

    Thanks for your input guys, it has definitely gained me some insights.

 

 

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