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Packard Bell EasyNote TS11 review

Verdict

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

Review Date: 28 Mar 2011

Reviewed By: Sasha Muller

Price when reviewed: £608 (£730 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
6 stars out of 6

Performance
5 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

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.

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User comments

Screen let down

An i7 processor with a screen only fit for an ultra portable. Why do only Apple see fit to supply a screen with sufficient resolution.

In 2011 a 1366 x 768 screen should merit a serious performance downgrade rather than being let of with "par for the course". It is a serious impediment to actually using the laptop for work.

By tirons1 on 28 Mar 2011

@ tirons1

I feel the reason being is down to it's price tag.

By Duggie on 28 Mar 2011

Sick of Gloss Black

Why do the manufacturers think Gloss Black is a good finish for something you carry around in your hand?! It looks really cheap, scratches easily and is almost always caked in hand prints. Move on guys, please!

By mpdouglas on 28 Mar 2011

@Duggie

Surely an i5 and a decent screen would trump an i7 for everything but gaming.

The extra cost of a proper screen is only ~£100. Once you have used one you would never willingly go back.

By tirons1 on 28 Mar 2011

@tirons1

Hell, frequently when buying Dell Latitudes, the upograde from a crappy 1366x768 to 1600x900 is only £30 or so and it's not much more on the new E{X}520s (where X is either 5 or 6)to go from 1366x768 to 1920x1080.

By nichomach0 on 29 Mar 2011

I'm not sure the screen resolution is such a big deal. For many people, 1600*900 on a 15" screen would be too small to work with for any length of time, let alone 1920*1080. Also, in my experience business laptops get used more on desks than elsewhere and most companies these days also buy monitors to go with them, giving you the best of both worlds - a high-res ergonomically appropriate screen for use in the office and a usable screen for use out and about.

By simon_fletcher on 30 Mar 2011

Buy

Where can you buy this laptop?

By cathalobrien on 30 Mar 2011

buy it from John Lewis:
http://www.johnlewis.com/231155387/Product.aspx

By DavidBayon on 30 Mar 2011

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