AJP D410EV review
AJP has a good reputation at PC Pro for its desktop-replacement notebooks, and the D410EV is a decent performer with plenty of features. Those with a variety of media cards will be pleased, as CompactFlash, Microdrive, SmartMedia, Memory Stick and SD/MMC media are all supported.
For permanent backup, the D410EV has a dual-layer DVD writer. The 60GB Hitachi Travelstar 80GN should be more than enough storage for most.
At the heart of the D410EV lies a 3GHz Pentium 4 530. As this is a desktop processor, power conservation isn’t a strong point; the AJP came second from bottom in our intensive battery test. It lasted just an hour before needing to be plugged in, while the DVD playback test yielded the same result. Under light use, expect about an hour-and-a-half before running out of power.
Scoring 1.53 in our application benchmarks placed the AJP in the middle of the pack, despite 512MB of RAM. However, if you’re looking for a PC to play games on, this is a good choice. The ATi Mobility Radeon 9700 powered the D410EV to third place in our 3D tests, and is overclockable to boot (see p117).
The 15.1in, 1,400 x 1,050 TFT wasn’t the sharpest or most evenly lit, but was at least bright, if a little too reflective. It houses a low-resolution webcam and microphone. At the front are some tinny but loud speakers, along with mini-FireWire. At the back, you’ll find a full complement of legacy ports, as well as a useful S-Video output and a gigabit Ethernet socket.
It was disappointing to see just two USB 2 ports – Asus offers four with its A3521N-LH. We weren’t too enamoured by the overall design of the chassis either. A weight of 3.5kg means you’ll think twice before taking it out. Plus, the fans are built into the base, so they have to work extra hard to expel hot air. As a result, they produced an annoying whine and, while running our intensive 3D tests, we measured 39.5dBA. At least it only registered 33ûC underneath.
The software bundle isn’t very exciting, but the security suite is welcome. However, the single year of return-to-base warranty (with two further years of labour-only cover) compares unfavourably to the collect-and-return warranties of other companies at this price.
The D410EV isn’t a bad system, but we were underwhelmed by the warranty offered by AJP. Application performance was also lacklustre and, although 3D performance was good, the Evesham offers better performance in both areas for the same price. If you don’t like widescreen TFTs, the Rock is more pricey but slightly faster and has a better warranty.