NEC Versa P8210 is a powerful all-rounder

NEC Versa P8210 is a powerful all-rounder

As NEC's first release with a Core 2 Duo CPU, we were interested to see how it performed. The layout and design of the Versa looks quite different to many other notebooks, but is comfortable to use. The keys are nicely spaced and the touchpad has plenty of room to move around. The 15.4-inch (1280 x 800) screen has reasonable contrast, but would benefit from being a little brighter.

The Versa P8210 performed so well that it ranked among the upper echelons of the notebooks we've tested in the past months thanks to the Intel 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo T5600 CPU and 1GB of DDR2 533MHz RAM. The installed Radeon X1600 is still considered a good value midrange card so we weren't surprised by the reasonable results from our tests. It should be able to play even the latest games, though it's not recommended users try this with full detail settings for a playable frame rate.

In the MobileMark productivity test, the Versa battery lasted 129 minutes. Although the time is short, the productivity score indicates it performed better during the test.

The shorter battery life was more noticeable in our DVD run-down test, which lasted a mere 68 minutes, not enough to watch feature length films. This may be in part due to the added drain of the built-in subwoofer, though the sound quality didn't seem drastically improved by it. There's plenty of storage with a 100GB (5400rpm SATA) hard drive and plenty of connectivity options. There's also a 4-in-1 media card reader that enables users to store and view photos with this unit.

VERDICT: The battery life wasn't quite as good as similar models, but performance tests showed this notebook will cover almost everyone's needs, from Internet and word processing to gaming.

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