MV Mobeus 13-inch £799
30th Jun 2006 | 23:00
Affordable and ultraportable with plenty of style to spare
The MV Mobeus 13" stands out from the other machines by virtue of being the most portable. Measuring 317x221x36mm and weighing in at 2.2kg, you'll be able to take this machine on your daily travels without too much trouble. With a simple uncluttered design, light colours, and a Super-TFT widescreen, the Mobeus 13" is targeted at the home user or student markets.
Styling is simple: the chassis of the laptop is dominated by silver and white, with a contrasting metallic black clamshell. The 13-inch screen is anchored to the chassis by a hinge running the width of the machine, giving the Mobeus a sturdy feel and preventing the display from unwanted movement.
The MV has a 16:9 aspect ratio display, which is bright and sharp. With a resolution of 1,280 x 768 pixels (WXGA), there's enough room to view a couple of documents simultaneously. An Intel 945GM graphics adapter helped the MV to a 3DMark 2003 score of 1,077. This rules out 3D gaming, but doesn't affect its ability to play DVDs or to run everyday applications.
The screen also creates enough width in the chassis for almost full-sized keys, although those on the edge of the keyboard are quite cramped, making it easy to clip the wrong one. Typing at speed is possible, though the keys would benefit from having a longer travel.
The Mobeus 13" also heats up quickly - the palm-rest gets uncomfortably warm, making typing for prolonged periods on the MV unpleasant. An Intel Core Duo T2300 processor running at 1.66GHz is at the heart of the Mobeus, and you'll find 512MB of DDR2 memory. There's also a 100GB hard drive running at 5400rpm, which helps the laptop to a MobileMark 2005 score of 201.
Keep on running
This is similar to the Evesham Voyager C545 and Mesh Discovery D2300 and, while a little below par, is enough to run most applications without any sign of lag. Battery life is reasonable at 223 minutes.
Connectivity is a strong point, and users can connect to wireless and fixed networks through 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet adapters. There are three USB 2.0 ports and, for external storage, you'll find a 4-in-1 card reader and a dual-format DVD rewriter. There's also an S-Video and VGA-out to connect to a television, monitor or projector.
There's a lot to like about the MV Mobeus 13". It performs strongly, is stylish and well built, and is small and light. A slightly cramped keyboard compromises usability, however, and the heat generated within the chassis is frustrating. Philip Barker, Michael Browne