Dixons Emachine M5118 laptop

  masbro 17:58 27 May 04
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Does anyone have any knowledge or experience of this new laptop from Dixons? VERY cheap - £699 - but is it any good?

  Diodorus Siculus 19:58 27 May 04

or click here for a comment but not very illuminative.

  andrew-216448 08:16 28 May 04

click here: click here. this is a review of a similar model ( m116 ).

  nick666 21:40 08 Jun 04

I bought one a few weeks ago - has been great:

Battery life is better than expected, watched a dvd and still had an hour left! When not using the dvd I can get around 4 hours - the wireless lan seems to make very little difference (it's a low powered mini pci one).

The wide screen format is also great for dvd's. Resolution of 1024x800 isn't huge but at this price you can't expect more.

Sound quality from the speakers is rubbish but that to be expected from most laptops. However, the volumn for dvd via headphones could be higher, but it is fine as long as you are not on a really noisy train.

Graphics seem ok, but don't play games so don't really know.

Only has 256mb ram, while this is ok an upgrade is worth while - i'm trying to find out what it can be upgraded to - the 5116 will accept an addional 512mb makeing a very nice 768. However, it may only be accept 256mb - will post again when i know. Memory is pretty cheap - about £50 for 256, £80 for 512.

HD of 40gb is fine unless you have loads of video / audio - can upgrade the harddrive to 80Gb with a standard 2.5inch drive - dabs sell them.

Connections are a bit thin on the ground, 3 usb2, 1 pcmcia, lan, modem, second monitor and sound.

If you are planning on using the second monitor the resolution difference might be a pain.

Wireless lan is great - connect to my access point with no problem, nice strong signal from the end of the garden.

The fan is quite noisy but doesn't run too often - only really notice when it stops.

Keyboard is nice to use (a big plus) and the track pad is responsive.

Anyone who is thinking of using linux will be pleased to know i have set it up with dual boot mandrake 10 and win xp. Just don't let mandrake do the partitioning (it killed my machine and i had to use the xp rescue disk). The wireless lan, touchpad, monitor resoltion, sound all work well under linux, and the machine feels just a little faster. Some work is required to get the power saving option to work but it is possible.

Conclusion:

Overall I'm very happy with this machine - was looking at systems around 1 £1K mark and this did everything those did. Was looking at Centrions - however, this has the wireless lan and great battery live anyway! Due to the celeron chip, cheap graphics and small ram it's not gonna be great if you are playing games, doing lots of graphics etc, but otherwise its great.

Nick

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