capsule review

Polywell PolyNote 3015AW

At a Glance
  • Polywell PolyNote 3015AW

Polywell PolyNote 3015AW
Artwork: Rick Rizner, John Goddard

An all-black laptop, the Polywell PolyNote 3015AW would look elegant anywhere, from the living room to the boardroom. But if all you need is a workhorse, it can be that, too. Equipped with a 2-GHz Pentium M 755 processor and 1GB of RAM, the PolyNote set a new speed record in our performance tests by corralling a WorldBench 5 score of 98--that's 8 points higher than its closest competitor, the Dell Inspiron 8600c.

The 3015AW offers a big, firm keyboard and a generous number of USB ports--four in all. A four-in-one memory card reader lets you share data with your SD Card- or Memory Stick-equipped PDA or digital camera. Five one-touch buttons on the keyboard add several useful options: The touchpad lock button, for example, freezes your cursor so you don't accidentally reposition it while typing. You might be able to squeeze even more battery time out of the 3015AW than the 3 hours we got in our tests by playing around with the Power4 Gear+ button; it toggles among seven preset battery-saving power modes ranging from e-mail to music.

The 3015AW has an accessible hard drive, and memory slots for later upgrades. You can swap the removable right-side DVD burner for a second hard drive of up to 80GB or for a second battery. A third bay option, the included weight-saver module, drops this wide-screen's 7.6-pound weight (including the AC adapter) to a more comfortable 6.3 pounds.

Unfortunately, despite dedicated audio buttons and four stereo speakers, the 3015AW makes a poor music machine. Audio is not very loud or rich-sounding. Also, the lack of a volume control in stand-alone CD player mode is especially odd.

This wide-screen notebook looks polished, has lots of convenient shortcut buttons, and it's fast enough to handle any computing chore.

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • Polywell PolyNote 3015AW

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