NEC Computers Australia Versa P8210 1810DR

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NEC Computers Australia Versa P8210 1810DR
  • NEC Computers Australia Versa P8210 1810DR
  • NEC Computers Australia Versa P8210 1810DR
  • NEC Computers Australia Versa P8210 1810DR
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Good performance, Graphics capabilities

Cons

  • Battery life

Bottom Line

The NEC Versa P8210 is an interesting notebook sitting on the fence between productivity and gaming.

Would you buy this?

The NEC Versa P8210 is an all-round notebook with strong overall performance. It will satiate those looking for a unit that can comfortably perform office productivity, digital media and, thanks to the 512MB of ATI graphics, play the occasional game or two.

The NEC Versa P8210 is a 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo T2400 notebook with a 15.4in LCD display driven by ATI graphics. The notebook comes standard with 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 100GB hard disk and a DVD RW drive. Wireless networking (802.11a/b/g) is included in addition to wired networking via Ethernet and Modem ports.

The World Bench 5 score of 84 was slightly higher than other laptops we have tested with similar specifications and consistent with what we would expect from a T2400 machine. The Versa P8210 relies on an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 512MB of memory. The system exhibited strong performance under both 3DMark 2001 and 3DMark 2006 with respectable scores of 13087 for the former and 1254 for the latter. These are not the highest scores in these tests for notebooks that we have seen, however they indicate that the system is more than adequate to play most modern high-end games at low to medium settings.

Under MobileMark 2005 the DVD Playback test returned a result of 93 minutes of DVD play on a fully charged battery. The MobileMark 2005 Productivity Test clocked in at 121 minutes with a performance rating of 222 MobileMarks. These are reasonable results for a notebook of this size, although DVD playback at 93 minutes is a limit for watching movies without external power.

The top of the Versa notebook clamshell is a glossy silver lid emblazoned with a glowing NEC logo. This is juxtaposed with a matt black base complete with a one inch silver sub-woofer. The same contrasting colours continue on the interior of the Versa with a piano black bezel around the display and a matte silver base chassis. There are no hard edges to be seen anywhere with rounded curves dominating the aesthetic. Even the touchpad is oval in shape encased in a metallic ring, the bottom of which acts as left and right mouse buttons. The design is certainly not your stock standard notebook although it is by no means over the top. The review team had mixed reactions: the best advice we can give is to examine the photos and make your own decision.

The unit runs quietly for the most part with periods of fan noise only during excessive processing loads. Even then, the fan noise wasn't excessive. Side vents on the system exhaust internal heat, but the system does not get hot enough to be uncomfortable.

There are four USB slots, an SD card reader, Ethernet and modem slots, Firewire, Express Card, Infrared and sound via headphone jacks, speakers and SPDIF. The Express Card slot also doubles as a storage space for the included remote control.

We loved the fact that we could connect a monitor to this notebook via DVI-I. The more popular 15-pin D-sub was sacrificed to achieve this, although a D-Sub monitor can still be attached to the notebook using the included adapter.

We also quite liked the oval touchpad and found it to be very responsive, although there were intermittent periods where the side scroll refused to work properly. We spoke to NEC about this issue and they told us that it was not a known problem. NEC recommended running the installation CD to replace the existing drivers. This repaired the problem.

The neon blue on/off button and operation lights on the front are a nice touch and the keyboard is a good size and comfortable to use. Having the sound jacks on the front panel was also a slightly odd design choice but certainly nothing that would detract from our overall impression. The WXGA SSV display is 15.4 inches and rather reflective. The images it produces are attractive and bright with rich colours, good contrast ratio and a small dot pitch.

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

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