Traditionally, choosing a laptop has been about compromise.
- HDMI, lightweightHDMI, lightweight, battery life battery life
- Lacks FireWire, screen contrast
There's nothing flash about the LG E300, but it's a light, solid notebook with some good connectivity and a good price.
Price$ 1,499.00 (AUD)
Beyond its speckled, glossy finish the LG E300 is nothing particularly flashy, but it's a solid little notebook that balances weight, size, performance and connectivity quite well within its value price tag.
LG has opted to abandon the Intel Centrino platform for this notebook, choosing instead to bundle an Atheros wireless card with the Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 2GHz CPU (800MHz front side bus and 2MB L2 cache) and an ATI RS600 chipset. It also includes 1GB of DDR2 RAM for good measure. An ATI Radeon Xpress 1250 graphics chip handles the graphics, but it's not a high end graphics solution, so don't expect to play any of the latest games.
One thing this notebook does offer is an HDMI port. HDMI ports are becoming more and more popular, but are still relatively rare among the vast number of notebooks available, so this is a nice touch. HDMI is a digital output that allows you to throughput a digital video and/or audio signal to an HDMI compatible device. Such devices typically include TVs (particularly large modern LCD or plasma TVs) and home theatre systems. In this regard you could use your E300 as a DVD player or jukebox quite easily.
It's already quite a light notebook, weighing just 2.04kg, but a modular optical drive allows you to further reduce the weight of this machine by removing the drive altogether. The 13.3in screen offers a nice balance between the overly small 12in notebooks and the considerably chunkier 14.1in notebooks. The native resolution is 1280x800 and the brightness levels are fairly good, but contrast levels are lacking and the viewing angle isn't great. However, staring at the screen for extended periods of time is reasonably comfortable.
Built into the top of the screen is a 1.3-megapixel camera, so you'll be able to get some video calls going with this machine. A DVD re-writer drive is installed and you've got 120GB worth of storage to play with. This should be plenty for the average photo and music collection. There is also a 5-in-1 media card reader supporting xD, SD, MMC, MS and MS Pro cards, making it easy to get your photos from the camera to the PC.
In our benchmarks we saw typical results. We weren't able to run WorldBench 6 through no fault of the E300, but we did get expected results from the MP3 encoding tests and a fairly nice result from the battery test. Encoding 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files took 87sec using iTunes, then 138sec using Cdex (which uses just one of the two cores). In our DVD rundown battery test the LG E300 lasted a solid 108 minutes, this is an above average result. This is a worst-case scenario test and the battery should last longer under normal circumstances.
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