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Packard Bell dot m/a review

Is bringing multitouch trackpads to netbooks a worthy gesture?

Our Verdict

A great netbook with a fantastic screen and impressive performance, despite a few flaws, such as the multi-touch pad

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768

View full specification

For

  • Good mobility
  • Great connectivity
  • Great screen

Against

  • Multitouch trackpad doesn't really work

Packard Bell is no newcomer to the netbook game, having released models more than two years ago. Its latest device is the 11.6-inch dot m/a which features an AMD processor and also boasts a 3G module.

AMD processors are quite rare in the netbook market but performance is good and we found that running office applications, and even basic media programs, wasn't an issue. This is especially impressive considering the netbook is running the infamously resource intensive Windows Vista Basic.

The 160GB of hard drive storage provided is fairly standard these days, and will provide more than enough space for you to store your work files and folders.

The 11.6-inch screen-size is becoming increasingly popular, but is still relatively rare. It is bright enough, and exceptionally detailed thanks to the 1366 x 768 pixel resolution, making viewing photos and videos a pleasure. The glossy Super-TFT screen coating enhances contrast, but proves distracting in bright light, however.

The keyboard is large and provides a good typing action, but employs a new layout whereby keys are independently built into the board. This leaves a space underneath the keys where dust and dirt can easily build up – which could eventually hinder the action.

Multi-touch pad

The touchpad is large and boasts multitouch functionality. While great in theory, in reality it is twitchy and features no sensitivity settings that we could find – a frustrating experience is the result.

The machine's portability is good. The plastics the chassis is built from are durable, and at 1.3kg this netbook won't be a pain to carry around – the 235 minutes battery life is also strong and provides good usability on the road.

Connectivity is good, with 802.11g Wi-Fi and a 3G module enabling high-speed web browsing whenever in range of a mobile phone mast. Finally, three USB ports and a VGA out round off the specification.

The Packard Bell dot m/a is a very nice machine. Performance is great, and user functionality is also good – with the 11.6- inch screen particularly impressing. This is a very impressive consumer netbook.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNetbook
Hard Drive Capacity160 GB
Processor ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
BluetoothNo
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Finger Print ReaderNo
WebcamYes
Product Familydot dot m/a
Operating System Architecture32-bit
Processor ModelL110
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows Vista Home Premium
Brand NamePackard Bell
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Processor TypeAthlon 64
Screen Size29.5 cm (11.6")
Number of Cells3-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory2 GB
Cache512 KB
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Total Memory Slots1
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR2-667/PC2-5300
Height26.4 mm
Width286 mm
Depth203 mm
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product Seriesdot m/a
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelDOTMA-112G16i
Product Namedot DOTMA-112G16i Netbook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product Linedot
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberLU.BCC0X.007
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Marketing Information

A full range of incredible notebooks offering diverse solutions to meet everybody's needs. With an unmistakable look and feel, strong attention to detail, elegance and style, Packard Bell products fit your needs and reflect your personality.

Maximum Memory2 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • dot DOTMA-112G16i Netbook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter