The Belinea b.book 2 (£595 inc. VAT) is a laptop aimed at mobile professionals, which can be seen in the conservative stark black design. Matching peripherals such as speakers, carry cases and flash drives are also available.
Batterylife – at 191 minutes – and warranty are strong, but limited power and features restrict business use. The chassis is resilient, but its 2.8kg weight suits short journeys rather than long-term travel.
Belinea's bulky notebook
The near full-size keyboard is comfortable to use. The keys aren’t as firmly fixed as we’d like and bounce slightly, but not enough to hinder usability. A quick-launch key allows instant access to your preferred web browser, but there is no such key for launching email software.
The 15.4-inch screen has no glossy Super-TFT coating – this prevents reflections and ensures optimum visibility at all times. As a result, colour and contrast are reduced, but business users will appreciate the trade-off when working outside or in bright offices.
Not the punchiest performer
Despite its Intel Core 2 Duo processor, the use of just 1024MB of memory leads to poor performance. Basic office tasks such as word processing and data calculations run with speed, but don’t expect to use the Belinea for complex business multi-tasking.
3D performance via the integrated Intel graphics chip is also low, but provides power for multimedia presentations and basic photo editing. There is no integrated camera for mobile video conferencing, but this ensures privacy when working in secure environments.
The 160GB hard drive provides ample storage for data. Unlike corporate rivals, there is no fingerprint scanner for biometric data protection, but standard password defence can be added via the Windows Vista operating system.
Some useful software
All the software you’ll need to get started is included. Microsoft Works provides basic office tools, while tools for antivirus protection, DVD playback and burning your own CDs and DVDs are also included.
Where the Belinea really stands out is its warranty protection. Three-years of cover is provided as standard, with all parts and labour costs included. Collection and return costs are covered for the first year, although you’ll need to pay all delivery fees for the following years.
The Belinea b.book 2 is a mixed bag for business users. While its battery life and warranty are impressive, the limited power and lack of extra features may well leave some feeling short-changed.