Thursday, December 15, 2005

Averatec 3715-EH1 Notebook review

Averatec packs many features into its systems, giving customers the best bang for their buck. The company's latest product, the Averatec 3715-EH1, offers an AMD-based, travel-friendly laptop with decent amenities at a reasonable price.

Measuring 10.8 x 8.8 x 1.3 in., the 4.2-pound notebook sports a 12.1-inch antiglare screen and a comfortable, full-size keyboard with touchpad. Reminiscent of the Apple iBook, the 3715 is enclosed in a silver and white case, but lacks the glossy finish most iBooks feature. A convenient switch is on hand to toggle the integrated Wi-Fi on and off.

An AMD Sempron 3000+ processor powers the notebook, along with 512 MB of memory and an 80-GB hard drive. A DVD-RW drive and integrated Wi-Fi add to the rich hardware set of the 3715. In addition to three USB 2.0 ports located on the right side for easy access, Averatec also threw in a Firewire port and a 4-in-1 memory card reader to please multimedia enthusiasts.

Although the hardware is on pace with competitors, the software bundle included with the 3715 leaves much to be desired. Running on Microsoft Relevant Products/Services from Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, the 3715 lacks productivity applications and strong multimedia software.

Hardware features and stylish looks aside, the notebook isn't worth much without adequate performance. Running BAPCo MobileMark 2005 on Averatec's notebook produced an unspectacular battery life of 149 minutes, on par with the comparably priced, albeit larger, $999 HP Compaq Presario V2000Z and holding its own against the more expensive Dell Inspiron 700m's 150 minutes of juice.

Additionally, the Averatec garnered a performance score of only 152, far lower than the 200+ scores of the Dell but comparable to the 160 score of the Turion-based HP. Although both battery life and performance are typical of sub-$1,000 notebooks, power users will find the 3715 lacking. With that said, however, the notebook easily handles all your basic tasks, such as Web browsing and word processing.

Perfect for those on a budget, the $899 Averatec offers a load of hardware features in a sleek, attractive, and highly portable casing. But power users looking for an ultraportable notebook who can manage to spend a few hundred dollars more will find better options, such as the Dell Inspiron 700m.

Averatec 3715-EH1 specifications

Specs: AMD Sempron 3000+ processor; 512 MB of memory; 80-GB hard drive; DVD-RW; 12.1-inch XGA-TFT display; Wi-Fi.

Pros: Decent price; nicely designed case; portable; integrated DVD burner.

Cons: Subpar performance and battery life.

Verdict: The affordable, travel-friendly Averatec 3715 offers a sleek white design and handles basic tasks well. It is perfect for those on a budget, but it can't compare in power and performance to slightly pricier laptops.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Customer Review [via-circuit city]:
I bought this computer about 4 years ago when it was Sotec..since then they changed the name. I sell insurance in HOT Florida an COLD Colorado and basically keep the lap top in the car under extreme weather conditions ... i use it to navigate to homes...well. after all the abuse i gave it, it finally started gyrating on the screen( i abused this workhorse of a computer) ..HANDS DOWN this is the BEST computer for this category (or any laptop category) for the power, durability and price you will find ANYWHERE. Did you know that the Tourag has the same engine that the Porche Cheyenne has...but why is the cheyenne more expensive? Well you know.

If you want to gloat and say you own a Sony, go ahead and spend another $1000. I'll invest my money in this laptop and save $1000.

24/7 support...They still take my calls with questions even 4-5 years after the initial purchase. unbelievable.

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