capsule review

Micro Express NP3716A

At a Glance
  • Micro Express NP3716A

A relatively light case and a built-in Webcam set the $1799 Micro Express NP3716A apart from the gaggle of wide-screen notebooks now available. The 6.9-pound (without its power adapter) NP3716A makes taking a big screen on the road a pleasant proposition--assuming that you have enough room to open the lid on an airplane tray table. The Webcam, centered in the screen lid, showed images typical of a low-end CMOS unit: They're fairly sharp, but suffer from some ghosting when displaying movement.

If jet-setting with a Webcam-equipped wide-screen does not top your wish list, you can find better wide-screen notebooks for the money. The $1650 EMachines M6809, for example, easily trumps the NP3716A's combination DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive and SD slot with a multiformat DVD writer and a six-in-one card reader. Both notebooks are upgradable, offer 802.11g Wi-Fi, have good keyboards, and perform similarly; the 1.6-GHz Pentium M-equipped NP3716A did outpace the M6809 with a PC WorldBench 4 score of 134, second-fastest among the notebooks we've tested. Both lasted approximately 3 hours on one battery charge in our tests. Finally, the NP3716A boasts two sets of built-in speakers--a highly unusual feature--but even together, they sounded tinnier than most notebooks with only one set.

Aside from its built-in Webcam and relatively light weight, the NP3716A is an undistinguished wide-screen notebook

Micro Express NP3716A


PC WorldBench 4 score of 134, 1.6-GHz/600-MHz Pentium M, 1GB of DDR333 SDRAM, Windows XP Home, 15.4-inch screen, 60GB hard drive, 8X DVD-ROM and 24X/10X/24X CD-RW combination drive, built-in modem and 10/100 ethernet, touchpad pointing device, 7.7 pounds (including AC adapter). Two-year parts and labor warranty; free, unlimited 24-hour toll-free tech support.
$1799
800/989-9900
www.microexpress.net

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • Micro Express NP3716A

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