Soundx S7300 is a light and fast notebook

Soundx S7300 is a light and fast notebook

BY JOHN BREEDEN II | GCN STAFF

The Sceptre Soundx S7300 is one of the first of a multitude of lighter, faster notebooks for business travelers.

Counting the battery and docking port, the metallic blue, 700-MHz Pentium III SpeedStep unit with 64M of synchronous dynamic RAM weighs only 5.5 pounds despite a 13.3-inch LCD. It incorporates a 10/100-Mbps Ethernet port and a 56-Kbps internal modem, and it measures less than an inch thick, closed, without the docking port.
Some Sceptre notebooks I have tested were on the bulky side. This one will fit easily into almost any computer case.





Box Score
Soundx S7300

LIGHT, FAST PRESENTATION NOTEBOOK


Sceptre Technologies Inc.;

City of Industry, Calif.;

tel. 800-788-2878

http://www.sceptre.com
Price: $1,999


+ Light and powerful

+ Has FireWire port

- No floppy drive



On the Ziff-Davis Business Winstone benchmark suite, the S7300 performed about 125 percent faster than a baseline 233-MHz Pentium MMX desktop system. That's impressive for a notebook.

Triple spindle

The detachable Ultra Base docking port can accommodate an optional, $299 DVD module, or the user can hook up DVD via cable, treating the notebook like a triple-spindle device. Minus the base, a user could carry the extra drive around and still have a double-spindle unit.

The standard 6.03G hard drive is a bit small. Sceptre sells other drives that hold up to 30G.
In the GCN Lab's torture tests, the lithium-ion battery lasted an hour and a half'longer than most we have tested, though we recently revised our straight-drain testing methodology to take note of power-saving functions.

The $199 Ultra Base is a mixed bag. It's light plastic, and you get the standard mix of extra ports, including a FireWire port. The DVD-ROM drive did perform better when docked than when attached by cable.

My test unit, however, lacked a floppy drive, making it unsuitable for use on the road. I was surprised that the docking station had no floppy drive, either. There is a place for one, but you must buy it separately.

As a lightweight presentation system, the Soundx S7300 has everything that's necessary. Loaded up with graphics presentations and, say, Adobe Photoshop, it will hit the RAM ceiling pretty quickly, but otherwise the system is a joy to use.

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