Quaddra XT Pro - PC Pro (Mar '04)
Verdict: The Quaddra XT Pro provides the benefits of a 3.2GHz Pentium 4 Processor while doubling the battery life of a desktop-based notebook, but it’s big and expensive.
The Quaddra XT Pro is a big machine with a big processor and an attractive finish that is suitable for home and office use. It’s heavy at 3.2kg, but this also means it’s tough.
At its core is a Mobile 3.2GHz Pentium 4 chip, aided by 512MB of PC2700 memory. Rockdirect doesn’t compromise on hard disk capacity either, with 80GB of storage on offer.
With these core components in place, the Quaddra flew through our benchmarks, achieving 1.42 overall, with its Media Creation score of 1.78 particularly noteworthy - that’s 50 per cent faster than the Nexus 8020 (see above) and also quicker than the Athlon 64 notebook we saw from Evesham last month (see issue112, p60).
The Quaddra is no slough when it comes to gaming either, with its 128MB Mobility Radeon 9600 Graphics chip earning it 9,435 in 3D Mark2001 SE (XGA, 32-bit colour depth). This means it can handle today’s games with relative ease, although in six months it will likely struggle with new DirectX 9 releases.
We had no complaints about the screen either: the 15in TFT shines at its native 1,400 x 1,050 resolution. Its size lends itself to DVD playback and, while there were occasional artefacts on the screen, it’s good enough to keep you entertained on the train. The keyboard has a good feel to it too.
A dual-format DVD writer from Sony sits on the right of the well-featured exterior, with a memory card reader on the left; this can read CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick and SD cards. One downside is the lack of a floppy drive, but an external drive is available should you wish.
Connecting to the outside world will be easy, as Modem and Gigabit Ethernet ports are provided, as is an 802.11g wireless card. The latter is particularly impressive, although you can’t stay wireless for long compared to Centrino machines. That said, nearly three hours under light use is around twice the amount we’d expect if a normal Pentium 4 processor was fitted inside this notebook.
There are only two USB 2 ports, which could be limiting, although the Quaddra redeems itself with a FireWire port. We should also mention the built-in VGA camera, which sits above the screen, but images are as craggy as you’d expect from such a small lens.
The Quaddra is a well-stocked desktop replacement, especially considering its three year, collect-and-return warranty. The only problem is that you may pay for the privilege.
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