Everex StepNote SA2053T
At a Glance
Everex StepNote SA2053T Notebook
If pricier ultraportables are out of reach and you can tolerate short battery life, this notebook is a super choice.
The Everex StepNote SA2053T has hideous battery life, but at $899 (as of 6/6/07), it costs half as much as most ultraportables. It also looks good and handles e-mail and Web applications just fine.
The SA2053T, currently available only at Best Buy, lacks bundled software. It does come with two batteries, a three-cell that lasted all of 70 minutes on one charge and a bonus six-cell that we did not test. (Everex estimates 2 hours for the three-cell and 3 hours for the six-cell.) Including the lighter battery, the weight is 3.8 pounds. Even adding the 1-pound power adapter, the total weight of the machine is still less than 5 pounds.
Black and silver with a case that's smartly beveled in front, the SA2053T looks more expensive than it is. It sports a reasonably bright 12.1-inch wide screen, a good keyboard, and remarkably robust stereo speakers for a small laptop; in fact, it's not a half-bad CD player. It's generously equipped overall, including such niceties as a DVD burner, an ExpressCard slot, and a 100GB hard drive.
Despite the unit's poor battery life, our WorldBench 6 Beta 2 tests indicate that its speed should be adequate for everyday tasks such as word processing and Web surfing. Equipped with a 1.73-GHz Core Duo T2080 processor, 1GB of RAM, and integrated graphics, the SA2053T performed sluggishly in our graphics and multitasking tests and earned an overall WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 54--just above average among currently tested ultraportables.
If you don't have the dough for a brand-name ultraportable from Dell or Lenovo, take a look at the SA2053T. Just remember to pack the power adapter for when your battery runs out.