GCN Lab review
THE MPC E-155C is a convertible tablet PC that barely meets our ultraportable requirements. At exactly 5 pounds, it's the heaviest in the review. If it weighed one ounce more, it would have been disqualified.
However, it does have some nice features. The screen swivel lets you turn the display in either direction for a full 360-degree rotation. The buttons and indicator lights are nicely displayed for use in tablet mode. All the ports except for power and a modem port are replicated on both sides, allowing equal access in laptop or tablet mode. The pen garage is secure. Pressing the pen in makes it pop out so you can grab it.
MAIN STORY: Portability meets performance
In addition to all the standard laptop ports, we were pleased to see a smartcard slot and a mini printer port. The printer port is unique in this review, and we found the speakers loud and full for a laptop. The keyboard is a good size, and the smaller function keys are not too small for large fingers ' a problem with many small laptops. The touchpad is noticeably off-center to the left, and although we found it a bit odd, this placement didn't significantly hinder usage.
The MPC scored 313.7 in our benchmark test, which is good for an ultra-low-voltage processor backed by 2G of memory. The E-155C we tested had an eight-cell battery, which is one of the main reasons it's so heavy. Even so, it only lasted 2 hours, 37 minutes in our test. This is an average laptop score, but it's less than we expected from an ultraportable.
The $1,973 price is higher than we would have liked considering its weight. But if you also consider it is a convertible tablet, it's not a bad value.
The E-155C from MPC is more a business-class tablet than an ultraportable laptop. However, if you want a convertible that can print without taking up a USB port and you aren't constantly on the go, this one might meet your needs.MPC Computers, (208) 893-1316, www.mpccorp.com
John Breeden II directs the GCN Lab.
Greg Crowe is a former GCN staff writer who covered mobile technology.