RM Mobile One review
RM’s Mobile One is specifically designed for schools. The company’s claim that it brings “compact into the classroom” is perhaps arguable with more slimline laptops on test, but its toughened steel chassis, reinforced screen and splash-proof keyboard certainly make it a robust contender. It’s been drop-tested to military standards, which means it should be safe even in the warzone of an average classroom.
With its silver and black plastic construction the Mobile One isn’t much of a looker, but when it comes to school-friendly features it comes up trumps, with a user replaceable keyboard and the option of 3G connectivity for use on field trips. The machine supplied for testing included a detachable solar panel too.
But all of this makes the Mobile One a large machine: 1.5in at its thickest point, and weighing in at a substantial 3.3kg. It’s more a desktop replacement than a truly mobile computer, yet it doesn’t have the performance that this may suggest. While the specification can be customised to meet the needs of a school, our review unit came with a 1.86GHz Pentium P6900 processor and a miserly 1GB of RAM. Not surprisingly, it didn’t feel particularly spritely, scoring 0.33 in the PC Pro benchmarks.
The 15.6in screen runs at a resolution of 1,366 x 768, which feels low for a laptop of this size, and while the image is reasonably bright, colours lack punch and contrast. The keyboard and trackpad feel quite low quality too. The trackpad is small with clicky buttons, and both use rather cheap-feeling plastics – but they feel robust enough to take a lot of use.
The Mobile One includes an eight-cell lithium-ion battery that RM claims offers up to seven hours of usage, although in our tests it only managed 5hrs 41mins.
Overall, the RM Mobile One doesn’t offer great performance, ergonomics or value, and we’d recommend an improved specification if you choose to buy. All the same, there will be some schools that will find its sheer durability appealing.
|Dimensions||365 x 273 x 38.2mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Pentium P6900|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,366|
|Resolution screen vertical||768|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD Graphics 3000|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|