The Packard Bell Dot S2 is a stylish and highly portable 10.1-inch netbook with some unique features.
Available in a choice of red, black and white, the compact 1.2kg chassis looks great. With its gun-metal interior, black keyboard and subtle blue lighting effects, this is one of the best-looking netbooks we've seen.
While the chassis measures just 26mm at its thickest point, its large battery protrudes from the base and adds 11mm to its depth. However, this does little to negatively impact on the machine's portability and the large battery provides a fantastic 463-minutes of power.
The keyboard employs large keys raised above the chassis. Usability is excellent and even larger-handed typists will feel at home. The subtly textured touchpad is equally usable.
The bright and vibrant 10.1-inch Super- TFT screen is also a joy to use. Images are rendered sharply and vividly, ensuring photos and videos look great, with impressive brightness and contrast levels.
While Intel's latest Atom N450 processor has been used, performance is as limited as you would expect from a netbook. Basic multi-tasking is possible, however.
Somewhat surprisingly, considering this limited performance, Adobe's Photoshop Elements image editing software is pre-installed. While it is a nice touch and lets you touch up your home photos on the move, it is inevitably quite slow to respond when editing large photos.
An XSync USB-to-USB cable is also included. This lets you connect the Dot S2 to another laptop or desktop PC and transfer files, synchronise folders and even synchronise Microsoft Outlook data between devices. That is also a nice touch, but you'll either use it all the time or not at all.
Offering fantastic mobility, a stylish design and great usability, the Dot S2 is one of the best second-generation netbooks we've seen so far.
Add its unique features and low price and you've got a great mini-laptop that easily stands out from the already bustling crowd.
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