capsule review

WinBook X610

At a Glance
  • WinBook X610

    PCWorld Rating

    Although it’s lightweight, the X610 suffers from a short battery life of less than two hours.

WinBook X610
Photograph: Rick Rizner, Chris Manners

Subpar battery life detracts from this otherwise nice 3.4-pound ultraportable with an integrated DVD burner. The WinBook X610 lasted just 1.8 hours on one charge, a poor showing for a $1399 machine with a 12-inch screen. Speed was fine--equipped with a 1.6-GHz Pentium M processor and 512MB of RAM, the WinBook X610 earned a WorldBench 5 score of 71.

Overall, the X610 is an easy notebook to use. I found typing on the small keyboard a breeze except for its lack of dedicated <Page Up> and <Page Down> keys; these actions require combining the <Fn> key with an arrow key, a big minus. A handful of nice extras supplement the X610's basic notebook ports: a FireWire port and an SD memory card reader that also takes Memory Sticks. A Wi-Fi switch is another welcome touch.

Expandability, however, is not the X610's strong suit. I found the mylar-sheathed 80GB hard drive easy enough to replace, despite having to detach it from a delicate ribbon cable. But increasing memory yourself without taking the unit back to the shop probably would not be worth the trouble. With 256MB built in, the X610 has only one user-accessible memory chip, a 256MB SODIMM roughly secured by two small screws I nearly lost in the open case. The memory compartment extends unusually far inside the case, so if you drop a screw, you'll have to shake the notebook to get the screw out. You would have to discard this SODIMM before installing a 512MB chip for a maximum of 768MB.

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Although it’s lightweight, the X610 suffers from a short battery life of less than two hours.

    Pros

    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Short battery life
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