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ECS I-Buddie 4 Desknote Review

By: Cameron Johnson | Standard Laptops in Laptops | Posted: Oct 19, 2002 4:00 am



Supports Northwood/Willamette CPUs from 1.4 - 2.8Ghz (Socket 478) 400Mhz FSB


SiS 650 & SiS 961, 4X AGP bus interface, supports host bus at 400MHz


Supports PC2100/2700 128/256/512/1024MB DDR-SDRAM


AMI Mobile PC Bios; PnP, ACPI, DMI


15.0" XGA+ TFT LCD


Built-in SiS 315 graphic core and AGP 4X supported


256bit 3D graphics engine up to 143MHz 3D engine clock speed


Video bridge supported by SiS 301LV, TV-out function provided


Dual full-duplex Direct Sound Channels


Built-in two high quality stereo speakers with chamber and mic


8 x DVD-ROM, 24 x CD-ROM, CD-RW and combo drive options available


Onboard full duplex 10/100 Base-T Ethernet


56K / V.90 Conexant PCI software data/fax modem


Built-in SIR transceiver module, IrDA 1.3 standard compliant up to 4.0Mbps


Incorporated with one 1394 port supporting power, transfer rate up to 400Mbps


Incorporates with four USB 2.0 ports, transfer rate up to 480Mbps


The Desknote gets its name because it is a cross between a Desktop PC and a Notebook. While having the look of a Notebook PC it has some rather odd differences between a normal notebook, these being;


- No Built-in Battery


- Uses Desktop CPU


- Uses Desktop Memory


The lack of built-in battery direct from the factory means that you aren't able to take it out of the shop and onto the road like you would a normal laptop. However, ECS does sell accessories for this unit, which includes a 19v Li-Ion external battery, so portability isn't totally out of the question.


The major differences between a normal notebook and a laptop is the use of desktop components. Laptop designed mobile CPU's and SO-DIMM memory is very expensive, almost twice the cost of desktop components. ECS decided to eliminate as much cost as possible and add in a desktop CPU and memory capabilities. With using standard CPU and memory types, the Desknote can be customised to a multitude of performance/price levels - and often for a cost comparable to a similar specification desktop. This particular model, the I-Buddie 4 can handle any socket 478 400Mhz FSB Pentium 4 and Celeron chips.


The Hardware built into the system is designed around everything you would need for a laptop and desktop PC, so there is no need for add-ons that will cost you a fortune. Designed with a 15" TFT XGA monitor, you can get up to 1024x768 resolutions with excellent quality, while the graphics chip isn't the best in the world, it does beat the Intel I845G graphics controller and is just above VIA's ProSavage DDR offerings, so the choice of chipset was well chosen in my opinion.


The Hard Drive supplied with the unit is a standard 2.5" laptop 20GB hard drive running 4200 RPM @ ATA-100 specifications (adding a 3.5" one would have made the unit even more bulky).


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