Maybe it’s the revamped Centrino platform, maybe it’s the power-saving features like backlit LED screens, but we’re definitely seeing a jump in performance and battery life.
Take this skinny 13.3in Dell, which would have beat all the rivals in PCMark05. In fact, it even beats Dell’s thumping Inspiron 1720 desktop replacement.
That’s no small feat for a system Dell claims is the world’s thinnest 13.3in notebook. Promoted as the “lightweight road warrior”, it features Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 2.4GHz, 2GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS, 160GB HDD u7200, and classy touches like slot-loading DVD, HDMI and the backlit LED screen we mentioned earlier.
In our opinion, notebooks this size are perhaps the perfect portable — not too small, nor as expensive as ultraportables, but still considerably lighter than 15.4in and even 14.1in systems. In this case we’re talking about a 1.79kg starting weight.
Lining the Dell up side-by-side with a business-focused 13.3in Fujitsu S Series model, makes for an interesting comparison. While the size/weight and battery life are on par, performance is completely different.
The Dell hammers its rival, scoring a PCMark05 score of 5,408 vs 3,552 for the Fujitsu. If business features aren’t a priority, then you know which way to go.
In 3DMark06 the Dell managed 1,437; not a huge score, but at least you know you have Vista covered. In our DVD rundown battery test, the Dell lasted two hours, 18 minutes.
One final note: just because it’s the “world’s thinnest” notebook, doesn’t mean others aren’t also thin. Take the Fujitsu, which is 22.4-31.5mm high, versus 22.1-33.8mm high for the Dell. Side-by-side, the Fujitsu is actually a tiny bit smaller where the battery sits.