Packard Bell EasyNote TS11 review

28 Mar 2011

Quad-core Sandy Bridge power, solid battery life and a low price make this a bargain – at least for now

Price when reviewed: 
730(£729 inc VAT)
5

Packard Bell’s EasyNote TS11 might not rival Apple's Macbook Pros for svelte style, but it leaves them for dust in the value for money stakes. Packing a quad-core Sandy Bridge CPU for just £729, it delivers serious processing power on the cheap.

Our first sight of the TS11 was tinged with a strong sense of déjà vu. It’s clearly based on the same chassis as the Acer Aspire 5750G, which was the first Sandy Bridge laptop to arrive in the PC Pro Labs. Despite a slightly jazzier appearance, the TS11 doesn’t exactly look like a speed demon, with its ubiquitous gloss-black lid and a black interior broken up only by a silver patterned wristrest. It isn’t an ugly look, but it’s also far from stylish.

Packard Bell EasyNote TS11

Instead, this laptop is all about performance. The 2GHz Core i7-2630QM processor mercilessly ripped through our new benchmarks, and an overall score of 0.84 puts it right up with the fastest laptops money can currently buy. Unlike a few of Apple’s sleek offerings, that performance doesn’t make the Packard Bell uncomfortably warm on the lap: its CPU idled at 45°C and, after more than five hours at maximum load, peaked at a manageable 85°C. The hottest point on the chassis itself was right next to the exhaust port, which peaked at 53°C.

Admittedly, there’s no dedicated graphics chipset belching out heat, as the TS11 makes use of the HD Graphics 3000 chip built into the processor. But the gaming performance of these chips is getting better with each new generation: the TS11 dispatched our Low quality Crysis test at a playable average of 32fps. Bumping up the quality to Medium slowed the action to a juddery crawl, so don’t expect to play the latest titles in all their glory, but there’s plenty of power here for casual gaming.

Details

Price ex VAT £608
Price inc VAT £730
Overall rating 5
Features & Design 4
Value for Money 6
Performance 5

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 384 x 257 x 38mm (WDH)
Weight 2.450kg
Travelling weight 3.0kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i7-2630QM
Motherboard chipset Intel HM65
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Memory type DDR3
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 2

Screen and video

Screen size 15.6in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics 3000
Graphics card RAM N/A
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 640GB
Hard disk usable capacity 596GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Optical disc technology DVD writer
Battery capacity 4,400mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support no
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support no

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 2
FireWire ports 0
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader yes
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad
Audio chipset Realtek HD Audio
Speaker location Above keyboard
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 0.3mp
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no
Carry case no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 5hr 12min
Battery life, heavy use 48min
3D performance (crysis) low settings 32fps
3D performance setting Low

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
OS family Windows 7
Recovery method Recovery partition
Software supplied N/A