For mobility, power, cost and battery-life the Dell Inspiron 640m is a nice little package that shouldn't be overlooked. Our worst-case scenario battery tests (playing a DVD) lasted for 156mins, which is one of the best results out of all the notebooks we've looked at recently.
It's comfortable to use and has plenty of grunt for such a light, compact unit. At 2.5kg (without PSU) it sports an Intel T2400 (1.83GHz) Core Duo CPU and 1GB of DDR2 (667MHz) RAM, which powered it to a score of 89 in our PC WorldBench 5 test, an impressive score for a small notebook around this price point. It managed a score of 5023 in 3DMark 2001 SE, which is good by comparison, but will only work well for low end 3D graphics.
A minimised version of the standard Inspiron chassis has been used and is as sturdy as the larger models, except for the screen. Not only does the top bezel click and bend where the chassis meets the 14.1in (1280x800) screen, but the image is only clear when viewed from a finite, straight-on angle.
The Inspiron has S-Video and VGA outputs as well as 4x USB 2.0 ports Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g and FireWire for almost all your connectivity needs. Our model only came with a combo CD RW/DVD ROM drive but DVD-RW drives are available through Dell's customisation page on its Web site.
Verdict: While the battery life is ideal for watching movies on the go, the screen is not. However, if you're not interested in a pristine image as you are in being able to multitask several power hungry applications while away from a power source, then the Dell Inspiron 640m is a worthwhile purchase.
Phone: 1800 099 380
Specifications: Intel 1.83GHz Core Duo T2400 CPU, 1GB DDR2 RAM (667MHz), Intel 945GM Chipset, 14.1in screen (1280x800), Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g, 5-in-1 card reader ((MS, MS-Pro, SD, MMC, xD), 10/100 Ethernet, CD Burner/DVD ROM Combo drive, 60GB (7200rpm) HDD, FireWire, 4 x USB 2.0, S-Video out, VGA out, weight 2.8kg (with PSU) and 2.5kg (without PSU), 3 year on-site warranty (pick up and return).