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Packard Bell Dot S (DOT-S-018) review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £249
inc VAT

If you can live with the poor speakers, excellent battery life makes the cheap Dot S perfect for the frequent traveller.

While the new Packard Bell Dot S we were sent for review was a stylish shade of red, it’s the black edition that’s currently got the best price. The black version is still great to look at with a neat patterned lid adding a bit of class to the mini laptop.

Typing on any netbook can be challenging for larger hands, but we found the Dot S to be very capable. The black Chiclet-style keys have a straightforward layout, although some of the punctuation keys are half-sized to make the most-used keys easier to type on. The keys are grouped quite tightly, which led to a few initial spelling mistakes. The touchpad buttons are right on the edge of the chassis, which we found slightly too far away from the keyboard to be comfortable. The touchpad itself is reasonably sized and was quick to respond to input.

Packard Bell Dot S

The 10.1in LED-backlit screen has a glossy coating which picked up a lot of reflections. The standard 1,024×600 resolution is cramped and means a lot of vertical scrolling when viewing websites, but images were sharp. Colours were mostly accurate and contrast was even, but brightness was average. Viewing angles were decent, with little colour shifting at anything other than extreme angles. The screen tilts right back, but the hinges weren’t particularly stiff.

Although video was acceptable, audio was mediocre. The downward facing speakers were quiet, but sound quality was poor. High-end notes were masked by a thick mid-range: every music track we played sounded muddy.

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Basic Specifications

ProcessorIntel Atom N450
Processor clock speed1.66GHz
Memory slots2
Memory slots free1
Maximum memory2GB
SoundRealtek HD Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad


Viewable size10.1 in
Native resolution1,024×600
Graphics ProcessorIntel HD Graphics
Graphics/video portsVGA
Graphics Memory64MB


Total storage capacity250GB
Optical drive typenone

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Wired network ports10/100
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slotsnone
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC
Other portsminijack audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying caseYes
Operating systemWindows 7 Starter 32-bit
Operating system restore optionburn own restore disc
Software includedAdobe Photoshop Elements, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter edition
Optional extrasNone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

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