This review appears in the January 2007 issue of PC Advisor, available now in all good newsagents.

When we reviewed the Matrix 1425's big brother, the Matrix 1500 power laptop, we were impressed by how much power had been put under the hood, considering its price. The 1425 is cut from the same cloth, with a very decent WorldBench score of 101 and a price tag that keeps it firmly in budget territory.

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Unfortunately, most of the investment seems to have gone into the 2GHz Intel Core Duo T2500 processor. The remaining specifications are largely underwhelming – we were disappointed by the 80GB hard drive and 128MB of memory provided for the graphics card, and a 14.1in screen is downright mean, even on a budget laptop.

However, there are a few nice points that go some way to making up for these shortcomings. Firstly, the screen, though small, is of very good quality, and provides clear, sharp images. The use of built-in Intel High Definition Audio means sounds are rendered well, and we felt that build quality was good. The unit looks a bit dull, but it feels extremely robust.

Battery life is decent, and the ACi managed almost three hours in our MobileMark tests. It also has a nifty power-management feature called Power4 Gear+, a button that allows you to toggle between various power-saving modes. Seven different settings allow you to achieve the best balance of power conservation and performance for the task you are performing. Wireless support is good; the Matrix can connect to 802.11a, b and g-based networks. There’s also a built-in 1.3Mp (megapixel) webcam for video sharing.

ACi Matrix 1425: Specs

  • 2GHz Intel Core Duo T2500
  • Windows XP Home SP2
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 80GB hard drive
  • 14.1in WXGA (1,280x800) widescreen ColorShine screen
  • 128MB GeForce Go 7300 graphics card
  • 8x (DVD-ROM) 24x/24x/24x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) drive
  • supports 802.11a/b/g
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • 334x251x25mm
  • 2.5kg
  • 2GHz Intel Core Duo T2500
  • Windows XP Home SP2
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 80GB hard drive
  • 14.1in WXGA (1,280x800) widescreen ColorShine screen
  • 128MB GeForce Go 7300 graphics card
  • 8x (DVD-ROM) 24x/24x/24x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) drive
  • supports 802.11a/b/g
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • 334x251x25mm
  • 2.5kg

OUR VERDICT

The Matrix 1425 is clearly built for speed, with a top-notch processor backed by 1GB of DDR2 RAM. Some of its other specs are disappointing, but it’s well built and has some nice extra features. Power4 Gear+ is a particularly good idea.

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