Now a days it seems smaller is the way to go. Release of gadgets such as the iPod Nano, smaller media cards such as SD Micro, credit card size cameras – the list is endless. Notebooks are not any different. When it comes to brand Averatec is not that well known compared to Sony, Dell or Toshiba. When it came to buying my first notebook, I bought a notebook from a company who was not well known for their notebooks and the MSI-1029 turned out to be a great value notebook. So the name brand doesn’t really matter to me much anymore. Despite the numerous complaints about Averatec notebooks I decided to give it a go since there were also numerous positive compliments regarding some of their notebooks.
Averatec AV1050 Reviewed Specs:
- Processor - Intel Pentium M ULV 733 (1.1GHz)
- Graphics Card - Integrated Intel Extreme Graphics 2
- Main Memory - 2x 512mb DDR 400
- Display - 10.6″ WXGA with AveraBrite ( glossy screen )
- PC Cards Slot - 1x Type II PC Card
- Card Reader - MS Pro/MS/MMC/SD 4-in-1 card reader
- Hard Disk Drive - Western Digital 60gb 5400 rpm
- Optical Drive - DVD/CD-RW Combo
- LAN/Modem - Built-in 10/100Mbps Ethernet LAN and modem Module
- Wireless – Built in Intel 2200 802.11b/g Wireless LAN
- I/O Ports - 1 x Serial, 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x IEEE 1394, 1 x Microphone, 1 x Headphone, 1 x VGA, 1 x Modem Port, 1 x Ethernet Port
- Audio - AC’97 2.2, SoundBlaster Compatible
- Hot Key(s) - Media Player launcher key
- Battery Pack - Li-ion 6 cells battery (2000mAh)
- Dimensions - 10.5″W x 8.0″D x 1.4″H
- Weight - 3.6 Lbs
Reasons for buying
My reasons for buying the Averatec 1000 series was mainly because I was in the market to buy something really small and light to bring to school. The 14″ and 12″ group was still too big for me. My reason? Because I have 5 classes each day on Tuesdays and Thursdays which means I have to carry 5 textbooks to school each day. So 10″ screen and below was the way to go.
After searching around I narrowed my choices to 4 notebooks. The Toshiba Libretto u105, Sony TX650, Fujitsu P7120 and the Averatec AV1050. The Toshiba Libretto u105 was a really tempting choice since it was almost around the price of the AV1050 but one problem was that there was no touchpad on the notebook. The Sony TX650, “wow”, that is all I can say, (in a good way) however I did not want to dish out $2,000+ on a non gaming notebook. Lastly, the Fujitsu P7120 – it was black, and what a beauty, but when you compare its specs to the AV1050 I’d rather take the risk of a lesser brand and dish out around $400 less. I know everyone is going to say something about Fujitsu is great and all but, the specs they offer at the price they sell the P7120 at, it doesn’t seem worth it to me. If the Fujitsu would go against the Sony then yeah it would actually seem worth it to buy the Fujitsu over the Sony.
WXGA Averabrite Screen Glossy.
This notebook can be found almost anywhere at your local Best Buy, local Costco and a lot of online retailers. I used pricegrabber.com to look for the lowest prices online. This turned out to be Pagecomputers.com which happened to be the cheapest price of all the other sites. I placed my order and waited for four days on the fifth day I received an email saying that this notebook was on backorder and they have automatically cancelled my order. After waiting around half hour four times for customer service and arguing with them they wouldn’t give me the lower end model which is cheaper. So I just called up my credit card company to retrieve my funds. I don’t ever want to shop there ever again anymore, I recommend others avoid PageComputers.com.
Looking at my daily emails Buy.com said I haven’t shopped with them for a while and I was offered a $15 off coupon. Since I remembered Buy.com had the Averatec 1000 notebook for sale, I ordered the notebook from them. I chose budget shipping which is supposed to arrive in 7-9 business days, instead I got my notebook in 3 business days. I definitely would recommend Buy.com!
The bottom of the laptop is made of aluminum metal which creates a sturdy base for the notebook. However, having the metal can be disadvantageous because it seems to be hotter on the metal part compared to a typical plastic bottom
The Averatec AV1050 on the lid is mainly burgundy with some white. I wish there was a white or black option though. The inside is all white, the bottom is silver and pretty much everywhere else that isn’t burgundy or silver is white. The lid on top is easily smudged by fingerprints. Notice how the size of the notebook compares to a CD in the picture below.
The keyboard is really nice for a 10.6″ screen notebook once you get the hang of it. Despite the 92% size of normal size keyboards ( according to other review sites ) I am starting to get used to typing the same as I type on my natural keyboard. I still have some mistypes such as pressing a letter next to the intended letter, but it gets better as I use it more often. I enjoy using this keyboard, it provides good feedback. The touchpad, however, is another story, it is not easy to use. The speaker is located north of the keyboard as you can see in the picture below. The lights located on the bottom right of the keyboard are indicator lights for Wi-Fi, Caps Lock, Number Lock, Scroll Lock, battery and hdd light.
Like almost every other notebook out there, the speakers aren’t great. The volume is good when you’re in a room with almost no noise. You can make the sound a lot better sounding by tweaking the sound with the sound program provided. My sound settings are tweaked to underwater. To me underwater makes the sound more fluid. In a place with a moderate of noise, while watching a movie you can still hear the movie sounds, but you’ll have to rely on the subtitles more. I would definitely recommend getting a pair of headphones or earphones for overall use.
The AV1050 comes with a glossy widescreen, which I must say, is rather beautiful for a cheap notebook.
With WiFi turned on and doing normal web browsing I get an average of three hours and forty two minutes of battery life from this notebook. A weird thing, however, is when I turn off the WiFi it doesn’t show any improvement in battery life at all. The past notebooks I have owned turning off wifi would give me a boost of around 10-20 minutes more.
Battery charger compared to the size of a CD.
The AV1050 comes with an Intel 2200b/g WiFi card. I really didn’t like the fact that it came with the Intel 2200 wireless card, the 2915 would’ve been a lot better. The WiFi signal is not as great, probably due to the 2200b/g card. In areas with a 2915 a/b/g card where I get a full bar wireless connection, the 2200 would only get a half bar wireless connection. The results were based on my friend’s Asus W3v tested with my AV1050 when I was in school.
The fan is really quiet, nothing noticeable to me even in a quiet environment. There is barely any noise from the fan loud enough to make someone in class turn to see what it is, the only time someone turns around is to look at my notebook and ask if I have any movies to watch! On the picture below it shows that there is one vent on the bottom.
Shown with battery
Shown without battery
This notebook is no performer. ULV processors are meant to be used for just web surfing, word processing, or any non CPU intensive usage. I recommend upgrading to 1GB of RAM. Don’t expect to game with this notebook, but I have tried playing Warcraft III on the notebook and it wasn’t that bad. You can play older generation games, just don’t expect to play games like Battlefield 2 with the integrated video. Three test were given for this notebook, PCMark04, PCmark05 and HDTune. Test scores are more accurate on PCMark04 because it ran 44 test while PCMark05 only ran 11 test.
PCMark04 ( registered version ) – 2001, Cpu score 2134, Memory Score 2089, Graphics score 560 and HDD Score 2320
PCMark05 ( non registered version ) – 1240
Operating System and Software
The AV1050 came bundled with Windows XP Professional, which was great. There was not too much bloatware installed on the notebook either, I just had to delete a couple of programs that to me were pretty useless. It didn’t come with a backup Windows XP Professional CD. To restore the system you’ll restart and go to DOS and run the Bios program that restores the system to when it was first turned on.
Left Side of Notebook:
Picture on top with input cover closed. Picture on the bottom inputs cover opened.
- PCMCIA, Ethernet port, Modem port, IEEE 1394 port and DVD/CD-RW Drive. Sorry for the blurry picture no matter how many shots I took it comes out blurry.
Right Side of notebook:
- MS Pro/MS/MMC/SD reader, Microphone jack, Headphone jack, 2x USB 2.0 ports and 1x VGA port.
Averatec AV1050 compared to Dell e1705.
- 4200 rpm hard drive
- Bad wifi signals probably due to Intel card
- Heavier than other 10.6″ notebooks, weight could of been better
- Burgundy color only lid option, other colors available would of been great
- No Bluetooth
- No S-Video ( thought that would be actually normal for a notebook to have )
- Cheap and affordable
- 80gb hard drive
- Windows XP Professional
- Battery life
- Multimedia Card Reader
- Bright and sharp screen
There were a lot of mixed thoughts in regards to buying an Averatec brand notebook. I am a fan now and I would recommend this notebook to anybody that is looking for a small notebook and who doesn’t want to spend a lot. This notebook is definetly a great cheap alternative to the Fujitsu and Sony ultraportable notebooks. Hopefully Averatec in the not so distant future will make further improvements to their 10″ notebooks.