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4 Hot Multimedia Notebooks Reviewed

MobileMark 2007 Testing

Test results are written to a log file every 10 seconds. In addition, MobileMark constantly keeps tabs on two performance values during execution of the Office Productivity test: it calculates an overall performance value and an average response time for the completion of all activities that occur during this test. The overall performance value builds upon the average response time measured, but is expressed in relation to a standard reference system outfitted with average components whose value is set at 100 points.

Because the Vista version of MobileMark 2007 doesn’t yet support wireless browsing, we were unable to conduct that test here. BAPco expects to remedy this omission in the relatively near future, so we should be able to begin reporting those results once the test becomes available. The following charts provide results for the productivity, read and search (reader) and DVD playback (DVD) tests.

As you’d expect from a mammoth unit like the HP HDX, battery life is not a feature on which this PC expects to be judged. Size and heft prevent it from wandering too far from a wall socket anyway. That’s a good thing because the HDX couldn’t even complete the productivity test (which is why its results are reported as zero, where the battery died after about 100 minutes). Not surprisingly, the HDX also posts the worst results for the read and search test, though it does manage to edge the Sony VAIO out by eight minutes on the DVD playback test.

Except at the productivity test, the lighter, lower-powered MSI PR200 dominates the MobileMark results, as you’d probably expect it to. It’s the only unit to achieve what we’d call respectable battery life on the read and search test (320 minutes or 5:20) whereas all the other machines tested between just over two hours (HP: 123 minutes) and under 2:40 (2:39 for the Qosmio, 2:38 for the Sony). On the productivity test, however, the Qosmio led the pack with 142 minutes to the MSI’s 133.

To us, the battery life numbers for these machines suggest two observations. First, you won’t want to travel with any of these machines cross-country or try to get a full day’s work from battery power without an extra battery (or a heavier duty model and a spare). Second, the HP HDX obviously includes a battery more to deal with short and occasional power glitches than to try to provide serious un-tethered working capacity. It’s really a notebook, but it’s not really portable or even truly luggable.