This one came with the wireless networking that many schools are toying with. Only Office software is missing - so if you're thrifty you'd want to try Sun's free StarOffice (or try the 50Mb download from www.openoffice.org).
One could rejoice that this laptop is plainly named "Notebook", but the out-of-the-box experience depends on how good you are with PCs, drivers and software updates. Instructions tell you to install a driver disc but nothing about installing the DVD or CD-writing software. Nor that you ought to then download a version that works properly with Windows XP.
For sure, several hours later we were flying and from here there was little to fault. This 2GHz machine flew over day-to-day surfing and working. Video capture and editing through its FireWire port, which are always a challenge, were entirely feasible. The speakers, battery and screen were very capable, so if you're keen on movies and music, you're well served.
This well-featured Notebook will suit those who do make the most of computers. All the better if they could remove the start-up hold-ups. Call me old fashioned, but I expect a machine more ready to go.
Student Desktops Notebook
Intel Pentium 4 2GHz; 256Mb memory; 30Gb hard disk; DVDCDRW; modem; LAN; D-Link Wireless LAN; Microsoft Windows XP Home; 12-month collect and return warranty pound;869 ex VAT.
Tel: 08707 442 456
www.sdit.co.uk (also www.studentdesktops.com)
Fitness for purpose ***
Ease of use **
Value for money ****