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Everex StepNote XT5000T

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At a Glance
  • Everex StepNote XT5000T

A laptop with a 17-inch wide screen for only $899 seems too good to be true--and in this case, it just might be. Though the Everex StepNote XT5000T has decent features and would make a nice computer for the kids, it lacks speed and keyboard comfort.

This consumer notebook, found only at, is well designed in many respects. The big screen's 1440-by-900-pixel resolution is comfortable both for everyday work and for DVD movie watching. A volume dial and stylishly scooped speakers, which produce better-than-average stereo sound, are also nice features for a sub-$1000 Windows Vista Home Premium entertainment laptop.

Budget shoppers will be happy with the feature set, which includes a dual-layer DVD burner and a DVI-I digital flat-panel port. A shared memory card slot, an ExpressCard slot, and three USB ports handle expansion needs. There's even room inside the laptop to add another hard drive.

Equipped with a 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 7600 graphics card, the XT5000T proved to be a surprisingly good gaming notebook according to our benchmarking tests. Its lowest average frame rates in Far Cry and Doom 3 were around 36 fps at 1024 by 768 with antialiasing turned on. With the smoothing feature switched off, the XT500T managed over 50 fps in both shooters. The 7.5-pound weight (not including the power adapter) is light relative to other currently tested desktop replacements.

You will need that power adapter, however. The battery gave out after 1 hour, 38 minutes in our tests. And performance in our benchmarking tests was undistinguished: Powered by a 1.6-GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-50 processor and 1GB of RAM, the XT5000T earned a WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 41, placing it in the lower third of currently tested desktop replacement laptops.

Finally, the keyboard has two problems that will frustrate touch typists: a very small right Shift key and an Enter key that's L-shaped rather than rectangular. Both are hard to press without looking down at your hands.

If you're looking for an inexpensive desktop companion for playing games or doing light work at the house or in the office, the XT5000T might be just the ticket. Those with more heavy-duty needs should opt for a laptop with a faster processor.

Carla Thornton

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At a Glance
  • If you're a two-finger typist on a budget dreaming of a laptop with a 17-inch screen, check this one out.


    • Tempting price
    • Can hold two hard drives


    • Problematic keyboard
    • Sluggish speed
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