Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Twinhead Elfio 14B
- Excellent value, lightweight
- Relatively poor integrated graphics
This great-value laptop is highly mobile, but it's much better at general tasks (word processing and browsing the Web) than it is at games.
Price$ 1,538.90 (AUD)
This value-orientated model from Twinhead would be ideal for students and mobile professionals alike.
The Efio 14B uses first-generation Centrino technology: an 855PM chipset with integrated graphics--although it does use Intel's newer Pentium M 725 (1.6GHz) Dothan processor. Wireless networking (802.11b/g) is also included.
Twinhead has equipped this particular model with 512MB of DDR SDRAM in addition to a 40GB Fujitsu 4200rpm hard drive.
The CD-R/RW/DVD-ROM combination drive is fixed into the machine's silver plastic casing, which holds up pretty well (that said, we would have liked a bit more strength behind the display to protect it).
The Efio 14B's black keyboard isn't too bad for typing and overall the machine is pretty well built considering its price tag. We also liked the fact that the touch pad (mouse control) does both vertical and horizontal scrolling.
The front fascia is where the headphone and microphone ports are found, in addition to a volume control and three-in-one card reader (Memory Stick, SD and MultiMediaCard).
The Efio 14B's has no ports on the rear spine of the machine. Instead, the VGA-out (external monitor), Ethernet and 56Kbps modem ports are found on the left-hand side along with a PC Card slot supporting one type I/II PC Card. This leaves the right-hand side to incorporate the DVD drive and three USB 2.0 ports.
At 2.5kg, this is a fairly sleek machine that should be right at home on the road. Put to the test, we were able to achieve a worst-case scenario battery life of 70 minutes. Our PC WorldBench 5 productivity benchmark returned a respectable score of 73 while 3DMark 2001 really highlighted the low-powered integrated graphics, with a result of just 2438.
Twinhead ships the Efio 14B with a one-year warranty and includes Nero 6 for burning CDs and Power DVD 5 for watching DVDs. It would have been nice if a S-Video TV-out port was included, considering the small 14" screen, but it's hard to complain at this price point.
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