First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Pioneer DreamBook Light 822 (Core 2 Duo)
- Great overall performance, Suprising gaming capabilities
- Screen not very sturdy
The Pioneer Dreambook Light 822 is a great all-purpose notebook that will satisfy a wide variety of users.
Price$ 2,499.00 (AUD)
Buy now (Selling at 4 stores)
Pioneer's Dreambook Light 822 is a great all around machine. It performed strongly in most of our tests, with its ATI graphics card proving more than adequate for the occasional game. It will suit those after a multi purpose unit that can handle a bit of everything, although do note, it only has Microsoft Windows XP, rather than the newer Windows Vista, which comes on some notebooks these days.
With a 2.16GHz T7400 Core 2 Duo processor with 1GB of DDR2 RAM, the Dreambook Light 822 is a relatively powerful system and will handle day to day desktop tasks with ease. Its score of 101 in World Bench 5 is indicative of this. We tested multiple applications on the machine, and were more than pleased with how well they ran.
However what really impressed us was the unit's gaming performance. While its 256MB ATI Radeon X1600 graphics processor isn't the fastest on the market, it is a huge step up from an onboard GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), and it managed to score 16688 in 3DMark 01 and 1950 in 3DMark 06, indicating that it will be suitable for most games that aren't hugely demanding. We managed to not only play most slightly older games with no issues, but even new, graphically intensive titles also ran if we turned the settings down a little.
Furthering the gaming and entertainment potential of the unit, its widescreen 14.1" display is high quality and has a native resolution of 1280 x 800. However, it has below-par vertical and horizontal viewing angles, with the picture becoming glary when looked at from the top or sides. On a whole, the image was sharp and clear with great colour reproduction and had little in the way of ghosting.
It has all the standard connectivity options, including gigabit LAN and 802.11a/b/g WiFi. Bluetooth is also an optional inclusion. There are both DVI-D and VGA connections for external monitors, as well as four USB 2.0 ports. In terms of storage, there is an 80GB internal hard drive, and should that get filled you can back up your content using the included DVD-DL writer.
Aesthetically, the Dreambook Light 822 is fairly uninspired, but by no means ugly. It's silver and black colour scheme and fairly minimalist set of controls (there are just three unobtrusive short cut keys above the keyboard) have a no-nonsense feel to them that some may like. The keyboard is relatively well spaced out, and was comfortable to type with. However we were a little concerned by how much warping the screen exhibited when flexed. We'd advise keeping the Dreambook Light 822 in some sort of protective case when carrying it around, as it isn't the sturdiest unit on the market.
In our battery tests it performed adequately, lasting 216 minutes in MobileMark 2005's productivity test. This test runs a series of basic desktop tasks to simulate day-to-day activities, and is a good test of the machine's overall battery life. 216 minutes is a slightly stronger than the usual result for a machine of these specifications, indicating the machine should prove adequate for the occasional bout of work on the road.
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