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Packard Bell Dot U review

A slim, sleek and affordable ultra-portable that thinks it's a netbook

The real feature that marks the Packard Bell Dot U out as a laptop instead of a netbook is the processor. While most netbooks go for a basic low-cost Intel Atom processor, which provides simple office performance in return for prolonged battery life, the Dot U has an Intel Pentium U5400 CPU running at 1.2GHz.

We found the Packard Bell Dot U provided roughly double the performance of most modern netbooks, with enough power to run office applications smoothly and even managing light multitasking. This is helped considerably by the 3074MB of memory, compared to the 1024MB you usually find in netbooks.

Unfortunately, the Dot U has no room for a dedicated graphics card in its slender chassis, which means you'll have to make do with bog-standard integrated graphics. Don't buy this machine if you want to play games, or run anything but the most basic multimedia tasks.

Light photo editing with Photoshop Elements was fine, but editing video is a jerky affair, and even playing high-definition films is above the Dot U's capabilities.

Packard bell dot u review silver body

Compared to similar ultra-portables at this price point, the Dot U's performance is standard. The Dell M101z is less capable of multitasking but performed better graphically. For another £150 or so, you can bag a Samsung Q330, which has a Core i3 processor that provides improved performance, although you also get a bulkier and heavier chassis too.

The Packard Bell Dot U is, of course, built for life on the road, and the use of low-voltage components means that battery life is much better than the average laptop's, stretching to 284 minutes between charges.

This doesn't compare favourably to many netbooks, though, with the likes of the Samsung N230 claiming 628 minutes of life from a single charge. The Packard Bell Dot U is also outdone by ultra-portables such as the Fujitsu Lifebook P770, which manages 427 minutes, and the Dell M101z, which survives for 346 minutes.

Still, almost five hours of charge gives you plenty of time away from the mains, enough for fairly long distance trips.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNetbook
Hard Drive Capacity250 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product Familydot dot u
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor ModelU5400
ColourRed
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NamePackard Bell
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Processor TypePentium
Screen Size29.5 cm (11.6")
Number of Cells6-cell
Standard Memory3 GB
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM55 Express
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Memory StandardDDR3-1066/PC3-8500
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Seriesdot u
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelDOTU-U543G25nrk
Product NameDOTU-U543G25nrk Netbook
Product Linedot
Manufacturer Part NumberLX.BK002.003
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Marketing Information

Two flashy options on the cover and on the palm rest. Cashmere Red and Silk Silver. let you express the colour that suits you best. The cover features a unique wave pattern that enhances visual richness and adds a soft, warm touch. The matte finish prevents fingerprint smudging and protects the cover from scratches. Smaller than a magazine and just as easy to carry, the dot u is less than 1 inch thin, making it easy to grip, maneuver and store. A comfortable palm rest features rounded edges and smooth comfort for the hands and a full size keyboard enables accurate typing. The renowned multi gesture touchpad is perfect for scrolling, rotating images, zooming and browsing, all with mouse less, fingertip convenience.

Package Contents
  • DOTU-U543G25nrk Netbook
  • Standard Battery
  • AC Adapter