NEC Versa P570 review

Price when reviewed

We saw NEC’s Versa S970 last month (web ID: 137097), and this time it’s the turn of the more business-focused 15.4in Versa P570. Straight away, you’ll see that the P570 shares its smaller sibling’s dubious sense of style, with acres of silvery-grey plastic punctuated only by the occasional strip of black.

NEC Versa P570 review

Its utilitarian looks hide a multitude of strengths, though. On paper, its core components are better than any other laptop here, and the partnership of an Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 processor, 2GB of memory and a 160GB hard disk earned the P570 a score of 1.28 in our benchmarks, the fastest of all the models here. The Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS graphics are welcome, too.

Just like the Asus V1S, the P570’s matte display boasts a 1,680 x 1,050 resolution, which makes working with multiple applications far easier. It’s a shame the image quality is so mediocre, though. Its brightness is limited, and narrow vertical viewing angles only serve to compound the problem.

The 15.4in chassis leaves room to squeeze in a dedicated numeric keypad. To make room for that numeric keypad, however, NEC has had to shrink the right-hand Shift, Ctrl and Enter keys, a choice that compromises a fine-feeling keyboard. There are no such complaints with the trackpad, however, which is precise and responsive.

While we can overlook the lack of style, the build quality is more of a concern. The P570’s base isn’t lightweight, and feels up to withstanding the odd knock or two, but the lid doesn’t offer much in the way of protection. Even the light grip required to change the screen angle distorted the image on the panel.

As a business laptop, the NEC has a few things going for it. For the asking price, performance is superb and the fingerprint reader and TPM 1.2 chip have the security side of things well covered. But the mediocre screen, keyboard and battery life rule out a recommendation.

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