capsule review

Sys Technology MobileElite

At a Glance
  • Sys Technology Mobile Elite M2000

Sys Technology MobileElite
Photograph: Rick Rizner

The stylish and lightweight Sys Technology MobileElite travels easily; and thanks to a Linux-based DVD and CD player application, it (in theory) doubles as a stand-alone entertainment unit.

According to Sys Technology, the Power Cinema Launch button--which sits next to the standard power button--lets you watch DVDs, listen to CDs, or view a slide show of your digital photographs on the notebook's 12.1-inch wide-aspect screen without booting into Windows. Unfortunately, the button on our test unit was not set up to launch the necessary application, which runs on Linux within a hidden disk partition, so we couldn't test this feature.

Where work is concerned, the 4.6-pound, black-and-silver portable is well-equipped, with a multiformat DVD burner, a four-in-one card reader, a FireWire port, and a TV-out port. A plastic placeholder protects the one PC Card slot. You get three USB ports: one on either side of the case, and a third tucked away on the bottom for attaching a mouse or keyboard. The small keyboard feels slightly confining, but all the keys are large enough and well enough laid out to permit touch typing. A <Delete> key is located conveniently in the upper right corner. We did stumble over the horizontally arranged <Page Up> and <Page Down> keys. (The standard vertical arrangement is much more intuitive.)

In our performance tests, the MobileElite turned in a WorldBench 5 score of 88, a good showing for a laptop equipped with a 2-GHz Pentium M 755 processor and 512MB of RAM. (The fastest laptop with this processor we've seen earned a mark of 92.) The Sys notebook performed below average for ultraportables in battery tests, lasting 3.2 hours on one battery charge.

Though the MobileElite's two memory slots and hard drive share the same large, easy-to-access bottom compartment--permitting painless upgrades--we have a few reservations about this laptop's design. We found the system status panel, which runs down the right side of the keyboard, less than useful. Rather than having LEDs light below corresponding printed icons to denote the system task, Sys arranges for the icons to flash so briefly that it's hard to tell which task is active.

We also experienced a few false starts before getting the optical drive to work. The eject button lies across a seam on the beveled left side of the laptop, and you must carefully press the bottom part of the button below the seam to activate the drive tray.

The 4.6-pound MobileElite looks good, performs very nicely, and moonlights as a stand-alone DVD player.

Sys Technology MobileElite


WorldBench 5 score of 88, 2-GHz Pentium M 755, 512MB of DDR333 SDRAM, Windows XP Home, 12-inch screen, 60GB hard drive, DVD+-RW drive, built-in V.92 modem and 10/100 ethernet, 802.11g, touchpad pointing device, 5.6-pound weight (including AC adapter and phone cord). One-year parts and labor warranty, continuous 24-hour toll-free support.
$1495
714/821-3900
www.sys.com

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • Sys Technology Mobile Elite M2000

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