Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
NEC Versa E6210
- Leather-clad lid
- Viewing angle on screen, soft speakers
The NEC Versa E6210 looks nice and is a good size for those on the road. The battery life didn't impress us, but will be fine for the casual user, as will the performance of this machine.
Price$ 1,799.00 (AUD)
Following the example set by the Asus leather range (Asus S6F Leather), the NEC Versa E6210 1604DR comes with a classy, leather covered lid, adding a touch of style to this light and portable notebook. Overall it performed as we would expect in our tests, providing a fairly smooth experience in Windows Vista Home Premium and reasonable, but not outstanding battery-life.
The Versa E6210 is one of the first Vista notebooks to get run through WorldBench 6, the latest version of our benchmarking software. As with WorldBench 5, version 6 runs a batch of applications from multi-tasking to music and video encoding, as well as a collection of graphical and rendering tasks. Keep in mind that scores cannot be compared between the two versions.
In WorldBench 6 the NEC Versa E6210 scored 65, a reasonable score for a system built using an Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 1.66GHz CPU, 1GB of DDR2 533MHz RAM and a GeForce Go 7300 graphics card. This GeForce graphics card is not a high-end gaming card by a long shot, but will handle some older games reasonably well, as is shown by its score of 8185 in 3DMark 2001 SE.
We also ran our own MP3 encoding test to see how the CPU handled a reasonably demanding activity. Using CDEX, a free encoding application, we encoded 53 minutes of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files. This took the NEC Versa E6210 two minutes and 48 seconds, which is consistent with other machines of similar specifications. Overall these tests indicate that the system will deal with general day-to-day tasks, but is not up for any heavy duty work.
To test the battery life we use a worst-case scenario test, where we loop a DVD movie without a power source. This test uses the speakers and the optical drive as well as the CPU, RAM and other core components, and is one of the fastest ways to drain the battery. The NEC Versa E6210 was able to play the DVD for one hour and 26 minutes, just short of the length of an average feature film. Although this isn't necessarily a bad result, a smaller notebook like this is best for people on the road and thus benefits more from increased battery life.
As for the quality of the DVD playback, again we weren't overly impressed. The14.1in (1280 x 800) screen has a fairly narrow viewing angle, making it difficult to see clearly if you aren't directly in front, and the speakers are quite soft even at maximum volume. The E6210 does offer some other multimedia functionality though, with a dual layer DVD re-writer, a 1.3 megapixel camera built into the LCD bezel and a four-in-one media card reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS-Pro) to facilitate the transfer of digital media to the notebook.
It also has a VGA output along with an S-Video out port, so connecting to either a monitor or TV is easy. A gigabit Ethernet port sits next to a 56k modem port for wired networking, and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g takes care of wireless networking. There are a total of four USB ports and one FireWire port, as well as a headphone and microphone port.
A 100GB (5400rpm) hard drive offers plenty of space for the casual user to store music, movies and photos as well as having the usual swath of applications, such as Microsoft Office or maybe some games.
The keyboard is nicely spaced and is comfortable to type on. We had some issues with the touchpad on our review model, which was a little unresponsive, occasionally sticking in one spot. When using a USB mouse we had no such problems and we are still working to find the source of the issue.
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