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Packard Bell dot s2 review

Verdict

Not the best battery life, but the dot S2 boasts good ergonomics, a great screen and includes valuable extras

Review Date: 10 Aug 2010

Reviewed By: Sasha Muller

Price when reviewed: £238 (£280 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
6 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
2 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

Packard Bell's dot s2 might not have some of the big-brand cachet of some of its rivals, but it makes a striking entrance. Glossy white contrasts with a gorgeous silver interior, and little details such as the glowing blue power button and stylish font on the keys show an attention to detail that eludes much of the competition.

Look past that chiselled exterior, however, and there are a few weaknesses. There's a little flex in the chassis and some noticeable give in the wristrest, for example. It makes amends with a generous specification, including a 250GB hard disk, 802.11n and Bluetooth, plus its memory card reader supports more formats than rivals.

Packard Bell dot s2

There's even a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 included, and Packard Bell throws in a neat little USB device. Its XSync cable allows you to drag and drop files directly to the dot s2 from your main PC, and vice versa.

Such features would be useless if the dot s2 didn't get the ergonomic basics right, but it puts on a great show. The striking white of the keyboard is matched with a good feel and a comfortable layout - and, while the keyboard is good, the display is fantastic.

In fact, the dot s2 has one of the best displays we've seen on any netbook, with rich, realistic colours, plenty of brightness and impressive contrast. Even the speakers manage to put in a good performance.

Packard Bell dot s2 - rear view

Battery life is a little behind the very best, but the 4,400mAh battery still managed 7hrs 34mins of light use before expiring.

It's a great little netbook at a good price, and especially so when you consider extras such as the nifty XSync. The Asus Eee PC 1001P may be cheaper, and the Toshiba NB305 more refined, but Packard Bell's dot s2 is a worthy contender nonetheless.

Author: Sasha Muller

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User comments

Dodgy keyboard

Bought one three months ago. Performance less than I expected even for a netbook. Now the top has fallen off one of the keys. We will see if I get a replacement!

By pr00se on 12 Aug 2010

I thought I should clarify that this netbook is neither slower nor faster than any other 1.66GHz Atom-powered portable - low performance goes with the territory.

Keep us posted on the warranty issues, though. It's always interesting to see how companies respond to warranty claims.

Email me at sasha@pcpro.co.uk if you experience any problems.

By SashaMuller on 12 Aug 2010

Few errors

I've recently opted for one of these and thusfar am very happy. But there's no Bluetooth and wireless isn't 'n' compatible, only 'g'. Also it should be noted that the machine comes with bugger-all in the way of detailed documentation.

By iamaweasel on 17 Aug 2010

Few errors

I've recently opted for one of these and thusfar am very happy. But there's no Bluetooth and wireless isn't 'n' compatible, only 'g'. Also it should be noted that the machine comes with bugger-all in the way of detailed documentation.

By iamaweasel on 17 Aug 2010

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