Pioneer DreamBook Slim 400AE

The Pioneer 400AE packs in a lot of muscle for its sub-$2000 price, however, you are going to need a bit of muscle to carry it. Weighing in at a hefty 3.6kgs, the 400AE will provide a good supplement to that expensive gym pass you rarely use.

The 100GB of storage space and an ATI Radeon X700 256MB PCI Express card place this notebook well towards the upper echelon of the performance market, delivering a score of 10507 in 3DMark 2001SE). Using the Intel 915PM Sonoma chipset with an Intel Pentium M 2.13GHz CPU, it scored 95 in WorldBench 5, proving itself as a solid all rounder.

All of the port locations are well placed with two USB ports on the left-hand side along (another two at the back) with a VGA and S-Video for outputting to another monitor. On the front are the sound card ports which make them easily accessible, however, having your headphone jack sticking out the front can be mildly annoying when it is resting on your lap. On the right hand side is the DVD burner, Type II PMCIA slot and a 3-in-1 media card reader that supports MS, SD and MMC. Pioneer has made navigation easier with a reasonably large 7x5cm mouse pad area that is very responsive. It has also added multimedia keys and a third four-point mouse button (similar to a D-pad) that allows faster navigation to key points of your screen or applications.

The major gripe users will find with the 400AE lies with the display. A 15in SXGA display with its 4:3 aspect ratio, disappointing colour and viewing range. This is a major drawback despite its powerful performance for its price.

Verdict: A very strong performing notebook at a great price, however the display is not spectacular and this should be considered before buying.

Specifications: Intel Pentium M 2.13GHz; Intel 915PM Sonoma chipset; 512MB DDR 2 RAM; 15in SXGA display; ATI Radeon X700 256MB PCI Express Graphics; 100GB hard disk; 802.11g Wi-Fi; 4 x USB 2.0; infrared; 10/100/100 Ethernet; 3-in-1 media reader MS/SD/MMC; Bluetooth; 3.6 kg. URL: www.pioneercomputers.com.au

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Damien Donnelly

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?