capsule review

Micro Express NP5760

At a Glance
  • Micro Express NP5760

    PCWorld Rating

    This pricey gaming notebook's scorching performance is undermined by poor design in certain areas.

On the heavy side but extremely fast, the Micro Express NP5760 pairs the hottest performance turned in by any review unit in our roundup with a 17-inch screen that matches the detail of most 21-inch flat screens. These talents offset a frustratingly designed optical drive, a ponderous 9.2-pound weight, and a fleeting 1.8-hour battery life to justify the NP5760's $2499 (as of April 11, 2007) price

Bundled with Windows Vista Home Premium and equipped with the fastest processor in this roundup--a 2.33-GHz Core 2 Duo T7600 chip--the Micro Express not surprisingly earned the best WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of the bunch, an 82. It easily took the gaming crown, too, clocking in at more than 80 frames per second in all four of our tests, including Far Cry (at 1024 by 768 resolution, without antialiasing) at a smooth, lickety-split 100 fps. This desktop replacement also has a built-in TV tuner, a built-in 1.3-megapixel Webcam, keyboard media buttons, and a Windows Media Center remote control. All you need to complete its entertainment features is a good external set of surround-sound speakers.

The NP5760's slimming wedge shape and its attractive tritone case with tan accents make it look lighter than it is: just shy of 10 pounds not including the 1.9-pound power adapter. Though far from the heaviest desktop replacement on the market, it wins that dubious distinction in the group of seven 17-inch-screen units we tested for our June 2007 issue's laptop roundup. But it's chock-full of ports and connections, including a shared slot that takes seven different types of memory cards and even a serial port. Though the keyboard design isn't perfect--we disliked brushing up against the media buttons mounted on the wrist rest and having to combine keystrokes to page up or down--it has some nice features, including a dedicated number pad and application quick-launch buttons, and overall we found that typing on it was easy.

The left-side dual-format DVD burner seems to have been placed as close as possible to the front of the notebook for convenience, but instead it gets in the way. We couldn't pick up the unit or grab the left corner (as we could on other notebooks) without accidentally pressing the eject button and causing the tray to pop out with its still-spinning contents. (The manual also describes the inaccessible optical drive bay as modular and capable of holding a second battery or hard drive.) Still, the Micro Express NP5760 is a powerful notebook capable of any work or entertainment task you can put your mind to. Just watch where you grab the case.

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    This pricey gaming notebook's scorching performance is undermined by poor design in certain areas.

    Pros

    • Great gaming notebook
    • High-resolution screen

    Cons

    • Poor design
    • Pricey
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