If you're in the market for a desktop replacement model for under a grand, you won't do much better than the AJP 8317. Well-constructed, good-looking and with all the features you'd want - as long as you're not into gaming - this notebook is a cracker.

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One of the most striking things about the 8317 is the touchpad. It's flush with the rest of the chassis, so there are no little ridges for crumbs and other detritus to collect in. The keyboard is a good size and even has a numeric keypad. As it's a 17in widescreen model there's plenty of room for this and it doesn't cramp up the other keys.

The display is good but, as we've already mentioned, the graphics chip isn't much cop; it'll certainly struggle with the latest 3D games. If you just want to watch movies - and the aspect ratio is perfect for this - the 64MB ATI Radeon Xpress 200M will cope without a problem.

Overall performance is adequate, as a score of 81 in WorldBench 5 would suggest, but we think if AJP had opted for twice the memory then the Mobile Athlon 64 3400+ processor might have propelled the 8317 to an even higher score.

Storage is provided by an 80GB hard drive; backup by a dual-layer DVD writer. Connectivity options are plentiful: four USB 2.0 ports, a mini-FireWire port and VGA and S-Video outputs. And the Azalia speaker system pushes audio quality well beyond what you'd get from the average notebook.

AJP 8317: Specs

  • 2GHz AMD Mobile Athlon 64 3400+ processor
  • Windows XP Home
  • 512MB DDR RAM
  • 80GB hard drive
  • 17in 1,440x900 TFT display
  • 64MB Radeon Xpress 200M onboard graphics controller
  • 24x/24x/16x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) 8x/8x/8x/2.4x/4x/4x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/ -RW/+RW) drive
  • 802.11b/g facilities
  • 393x280x33mm
  • 3.5kg
  • 1-year collect-and-return, 2-year labour-only warranty
  • 2GHz AMD Mobile Athlon 64 3400+ processor
  • Windows XP Home
  • 512MB DDR RAM
  • 80GB hard drive
  • 17in 1,440x900 TFT display
  • 64MB Radeon Xpress 200M onboard graphics controller
  • 24x/24x/16x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) 8x/8x/8x/2.4x/4x/4x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/ -RW/+RW) drive
  • 802.11b/g facilities
  • 393x280x33mm
  • 3.5kg
  • 1-year collect-and-return, 2-year labour-only warranty

OUR VERDICT

There are a lot of good features on the 8317 and it only comes to £939, even if there isn't much in the way of software. The best thing about this notebook, however, is the styling - AJP has certainly got the design right.

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