Although most of us would like to join the computer generation by purchasing a high powered notebook or desktop PC the reality is that a large proportion of the population are unable to afford such a luxury.
In such a situation many of us are forced to turn towards more cost effective computing options. The Proline W763S notebook fits this description perfectly by offering a comprehensive start up package at a reasonable price. (Also check out our review of the entry-level Asus K50IJ)
In terms of its inner workings the W763S features an Intel Celeron M900 Processor which clocks in at 2.2 GHz. This is complemented by 1 GB of DDR2 RAM, a 160 GB hard drive and an integrated Intel UMA graphics solution.
Although this may seem impressive the W763S is arguably behind the times in terms of processing power. Although 1 GB of RAM might have seemed acceptable two or three years ago it simply doesn’t make the cut today.
Such a poor offering in the memory department will undoubtedly see some users wondering why their PC is struggling under relatively low computing loads despite its 2.2 GHz Celeron processor.
The W763S also includes a number of minor features which contribute to the overall package. These include a DVD-RW optical drive, 802.11 b/g wireless support, three USB 2.0 ports, a single external CRT port, a single S/PDIF output jack and a webcam. Pretty much what one might expect from such a machine.
We were suprised however to find that the W763S does not include an SD card reader.
It also incorporates a 15.6” HD LCD screen which features a maximum resolution of 1366 by 768. Although this is not particularly impressive, it is more than adequate for the average notebook user.
Windows 7 Starter Edition is also preinstalled on the device.
Physically speaking the W763S appears rather shoddy overall and could have been improved on in a number of ways. The silver bevelleling which surrounds the screen and keyboard is rough on some edges and does not fit seamlessly with the notebook’s primary body. In addition, the plastic used feels cheap which gives the notebook a flimsy feel overall.
Despite this the W763S sets itself apart with its keyboard design. Reminiscent of Apple’s MacBook Pro range, it features raised and separated white keys which also incorporate a number of additional controls such as contrast and volume for ease of use. It also features a full numerical keypad, which is a nice addition for a laptop situated in this price range.
The trackpad is clearly distinguished from the rest of the notebook''s body and functions well in the absence of a USB mouse.
The W763S incorporates a 90 W, 6 Cell Lithium battery pack which provides for roughly 130 minutes of regular usage. Although this is by no means impressive in terms of overall notebook standards it is more than adequate for the average user.
Overall we can’t help but feel as though Proline chose to focus on a few select features as opposed to the overall package while designing the W763S.
At such a low price point it may be easy for a consumer to simply install an additional RAM module into the device. Despite this we can't help but wonder why this should be necessary given some of the other options currently available at a similar price.
This, in conjunction with the poor build quality of the device suggests to us that users may want to take some time to consider other options before choosing the W763S.
The Proline W763S is currently available from Computer Corporation for R3999 (012 346 6720).