Sharp PC-AR50

WHAT'S HOT: Because it has only one internal media bay, the Sharp PC-AR50 measures a relatively thin 1.3 inches tall and weighs only 5.9 pounds, not including the AC adapter. You can hot-swap the floppy drive and the 8X/4X/24X CD-RW drive you get at this price, or you can put a second battery in the bay.

The PC-AR50 also provides two USB ports (on the left and the back), as well as an IEEE 1394 (FireWire) port for high-speed downloads from digital camcorders and other digital equipment. If you need to see more on a notebook screen, you'll like the PC-AR50's 14.1-inch display, which offers a higher-than-average resolution of 1400 by 1050 pixels.

WHAT'S NOT: Only one thin print manual comes with the PC-AR50, and you get no electronic documentation--which is always useful for looking up information on the road. To attach the floppy drive externally, you must shell out another US$49 for a housing with a built-in parallel port cable.

WHAT ELSE: Overall the PC-AR50 is an attractive notebook, but nothing makes it stand out, and its price of $2499 is only about average. It features an attractive case, silver and dark blue, with user-upgradable memory and storage. The keyboard is soft and quiet, with five dedicated shortcut buttons that are rather strangely labeled with archaic-looking Roman numerals, but useful all the same.

The PC-AR50 offers clear, medium-volume stereo speakers, but it lacks the audio controls that some notebooks have for easy music-CD playback. In terms of performance it lags behind the average Pentium III-850 laptop by a slim 6 percent, a difference you probably won't notice. Battery life also just skirts the average, at 2 hours, 44 minutes.

UPSHOT: Although the PC-AR50 would make a fine laptop for digital editors, it can't match its competition in the notebook price wars. For instance, the Toshiba Satellite 2805-S603 also reviewed this month offers a lot more--including a 15-inch screen, a combination DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive, and a 30GB hard drive--for $100 less.

Sharp PC-AR50

PC WorldBench 2000 score of 135, Pentium III-850/700 CPU, 128MB of RAM, 256KB L2 cache, Windows Millennium Edition, 14.1-inch active-matrix screen, ATI Rage P/M Mobility graphics chip with 8MB of SGRAM, 20GB hard drive, 8X/4X/24X CD-RW drive, built-in V.90 modem and ethernet connection, touchpad pointing device, 6.6 pounds (including AC adapter and phone cord). One-year parts and labor warranty; free unlimited 24-hour toll-free tech support.$US2499;

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.

Carla Thornton

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?