Everybody, who hasn’t already got one, wants a decent laptop.
Everybody, who hasn’t already got one, wants a decent laptop. And with prices ever plummeting you can now get one without breaking the bank. For the undiscerning user, Optima is providing the Centoris W259.
With a 1.7GHz Pentium M CPU and 512MB of RAM under the bonnet, this 15.4 inch widescreen notebook proved more than capable of handling your day to day computing tasks. In our benchmarks it returned an acceptable PCMark04 score of 2859. However, at this price don’t expect to be playing the latest games. It uses the old Intel 855GME chipset with integrated Intel graphics and won’t run 3DMark05. It could just about muster enough oomph to play Doom3 at the lowest settings, but it’s clear that this notebook isn’t about games.
The 1280 x 800 screen does an acceptable, but not outstanding, job of handling fast moving objects and subtle colour shades. Still, the desktop is clear and undemanding users won’t have any gripes about usability. Connectivity and features aren’t skimped upon. 802.11b/g wireless, FireWire, S-Video out ports are all included. There’s also a very useful dual layer 8x DVD burner and a three-format memory card reader (MMC, SD and Memory Stick Pro).
The huge 80GB hard disk is also a boon though the slow 4200rpm rating hits performance. There’s even a wireless Microsoft optical mini-mouse and a carry case. Software highlights include Microsoft Works 8 and an OEM suite of CyberLink applications including PowerDVD, Power Director, Power Producer and MediaShow.
The Centoris W259 doesn’t look cheap and weighs in at a modest 2.9kg – light enough to carry around, but not all day. It’s also sturdy enough to survive everyday knocks, but don’t flog it. The W259 is also thankfully quiet and doesn’t run too hot – something that will please those wary of laptop ‘sweaty lap syndrome’.
Overall, the old adage, ‘you get what you pay for’ comes into effect. There are compromises, particularly in performance, but for the money this is a well-featured machine. The Targa XTender (see A List) is still our value laptop of choice, but if you don’t need the 3D graphics, this is a good alternative.
This Review appeared in the September, 2005 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine