capsule review

Sharp M4000 WideNote

At a Glance
  • Sharp M4000 WideNote

    PCWorld Rating

    A poorly executed keyboard hurts this light widescreen notebook.

Sharp M4000 WideNote
Artwork: Rick Rizner, Chris Manners

The Sharp M4000 WideNote delivers two must-haves for most notebook shoppers: light weight and great battery life. The main drawback with this model, however, is that its keyboard feels so flimsy.

The 3.7-pound (without power adapter) silver-tone unit is equipped with a powerful 7800-mAh battery that lasted more than 5 hours in our tests. I also liked this small portable's vivid 13.3-inch wide screen, 80GB hard drive, integrated combination optical drive, and 512MB of upgradable system memory. Although no speed demon, the M4000 is peppy enough for mainstream applications: Our 1.73-GHz Pentium M 740 review unit posted a WorldBench 5 score of 72, a tad behind the average of 76 earned by other notebooks running on the same processor.

The worst part of this package is the keyboard, which seems poorly made. The keys feel wiggly and cheap, with a slightly rattly keystroke. The mouse buttons are uncomfortably small, and the layout suffers from what some touch typists will consider a fatal flaw: PgUp and PgDn are not dedicated keys, requiring instead a combination keystroke that pairs the Fn key with the up and down arrow keys. Ultimately, for $1799 I would want more.

Despite its long battery life and easy-to-tote size, the M4000 WideNote disappoints with its poorly executed keyboard.

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    A poorly executed keyboard hurts this light widescreen notebook.

    Pros

    • Lightweight, nice widescreen

    Cons

    • Flimsily constructed
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