capsule review

IBuyPower Battalion 101S

At a Glance
  • IBuyPower Battallion 101S

IBuyPower Batallion 101S
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

Liberace would have loved the IBuyPower Battalion 101S's spangled case decked out in glittery "reflective Orion blue." (Other case color options include "metallic silver," "reflective green," "reflective sunburst yellow," "reflective magma red," and "reflective pink.") But beneath the glamorous exterior, the Battalion is a conventional notebook, with a nice 15.4-inch wide-aspect screen and a full set of connections, including three USB ports and a three-in-one memory card reader.

The optical drive, located on the right side, has an oversized eject button, which makes it easy to pop discs quickly in and out. Our review model came with 802.11g Wi-Fi, including its own on/off button. The comfortable keyboard features Internet and e-mail shortcut buttons, and you can use either of two methods to scroll pages--via a scroll "zone" provided as part of the extra-wide touchpad or via a scroll rocker between the buttons.

The Battalion is a bit slower than the average 1.6-GHz Pentium M notebook we've tested. It earned a PC WorldBench 4 score of 118 in our speed tests-4 points lower than the average for similarly configured systems.

The hard drive and the memory slots share the same huge compartment as the notebook's cooling fans and wireless network adapter, beneath a panel attached by 11 small screws.

The Battalion's battery life was just 1.8 hours on one charge. And the stereo speakers are weak for such a big notebook--too bad, because the big display makes a nice screen for watching movies. The notebook's lid must be manually secured. Documentation is limited to a single printed reference, but it covers the basics well.

It takes a certain style sensibility to appreciate this model's glitter case. Let your inner Liberace decide.

IBuyPower Battalion 101S

PC WorldBench 4 score of 118, 3.2-GHz Pentium 4, 512MB of DDR333 SDRAM, Windows XP Professional, 15.4-inch screen, 60GB hard drive, 8X DVD-ROM and 24X/12X/24X CD-RW combo drive, built-in V.92 modem and 10/100 ethernet, touchpad pointing device, 9.8 pounds (including AC adapter and phone cord). One-year parts and labor warranty; free, 12-hour daily tech support.

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • IBuyPower Battallion 101S

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