capsule review

EMachines M6807

At a Glance
  • eMachines M6807

EMachines M6807
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

This home portable takes off like a rocket thanks to some powerful fuel: AMD's new 1.8-GHz Mobile Athlon 64 3000+, the first 64-bit processor for notebooks. With 512MB of RAM, our M6807 posted a PC WorldBench 4 score of 128, a scant 3 points faster than the average score of 125 earned by 1.6-GHz Pentium M-equipped notebooks we've tested. Battery life was less impressive. The M6807 lasted just 2 hours and 49 minutes, compared with the 4 to 6 hours that we've seen from other, similarly equipped notebooks.

The M6807 is a tad heavy at 7.9 pounds for the notebook alone, but it's laden with features for a notebook priced at under $1650. Highlights include a 15.4-inch widescreen (1280 by 800) display, 802.11g Wi-Fi, four USB 2.0 ports, and a fixed dual-format DVD burner. You get two side-by-side memory card slots: one for SD, Memory Stick or Memory Stick Pro cards, and a second that accepts CompactFlash cards. Most of the connections, which include FireWire and TV-out ports, are on the rear or on the left side.

The keyboard is solid and steady, and three programmable shortcut buttons are available for e-mail and other applications. The notebook has an array of prominent status lights--from the power button's blue backlight to icons in a translucent panel beneath the mouse buttons to large LEDs for power and battery on the front edge of the notebook. (A combination keystroke disables them all when you want to watch a DVD movie.) The M6807's front-mounted stereo speakers were not particularly loud, and the bass was very flat, but you do get a convenient set of volume buttons atop the keyboard, including a mute function.

The touchpad is extra-wide to accommodate a handy "scroll zone"; its default of requiring only one tap for opening files and programs is irritating, however. The M6807 can hold a maximum of 768MB of DDR333 RAM. That's a bit short of the 1GB or 2GB most notebooks can handle, but it should be enough for most users. A single RAM slot located in a bottom compartment is accessible; 256MB of RAM is built in to the motherboard. The hard drive is held in place by one small bottom screw and can be pulled out of the front of the notebook.

A great value for home and small business users, the EMachines M6807 stuffs a wide screen and oodles of features into a well-priced--and very fast--notebook.

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • eMachines M6807

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