MV Mobeus 13 review

Price when reviewed

MV’s compact Mobeus 13 is all about big power in a small box. Squeezing in a 1.83GHz Core Duo T2400, it’s the fastest notebook here, reaching 0.91 overall in our 2D application tests. It’s also the lightest at 2.2kg.

MV Mobeus 13 review

Given its size, it’s surprising that MV didn’t trade off power in return for longer battery life. As it stands, we saw 3hrs 21mins under light use, which is around the group average. The Mobeus also runs fairly hot, especially underneath, so it isn’t ideal for working on your lap. However, a silent mode button restricts the CPU to 1GHz to reduce heat (but we found it didn’t increase battery life).

The 13in widescreen display is a marvel. It’s brighter than most and, since it’s small, the 1,280 x 768 pixels make it look sharp. It’s a glossy screen, however, so you’ll have to contend with reflections when you’re mobile and can’t control ambient lighting. Screen protection isn’t great, so you’ll need to take care with the Mobeus when out on the road, but build quality is otherwise good.

You’d expect the keyboard to be cramped, but the main keys have almost the same spacing as larger machines. Some keys are narrow, though, like the apostrophe key, which can lead to typos. The board is a bit bouncy towards the left and lacks the quality feel of some of the others, but the touchpad is fairly comfortable to use.

For such a compact machine, the Mobeus doesn’t skimp on features. There’s a dual-layer DVD burner, Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi. Three USB ports and a mini-FireWire are scattered round the sides, along with a memory card reader and a Type II PC Card slot. Considering the price, hard disk capacity is somewhat stingy at 60GB.

There’s a three-year warranty, albeit covering only labour costs after year one. Like the HP, the MV has a quick-start multimedia mode, this time using a Linux-based system. But it lacks the remote control, media buttons and decent speakers to really make it useful.

Ultimately, MV’s Mobeus 13 is a compact powerhouse, with plenty of features for the price. It isn’t stylish, but it’s good value, especially if you need a more portable notebook than the Labs Winner.

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