Suitable for use as a portable business laptop or entertainment centre, the Evesham is an adaptable machine.

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The 17in widescreen 1,680x1,050 display makes it perfect for watching films or top-end HD (high-definition) video, providing a high level of contrast and sharp detail. However, the high gloss of the screen could cause trouble when viewing at certain angles - particularly if you're likely to be using the laptop by a window. As the Evesham features such a crisp display, a TV tuner would have been a welcome addition, making for a more complete entertainment experience.

The C720DC's 2GB DDR2 RAM should be more than ample for running Windows Vista. Furthermore, the combination of the powerful 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 chip with the high-performing nVidia GeForce Go 7950 GTX will make it the perfect machine for avid gamers.

Our MobileMark 2002 tests showed that, at just 91 minutes, the battery life was unexceptional. In terms of connections, the Evesham has a FireWire dock and four USB ports, and the wide variety of supported formats means it has a lot to offer when burning to disc. It also provides complete Wi-Fi support for 802.11 a, b and g networks.

A smart silver finish gives the Evesham a sophisticated, attractive appearance, and it feels durable and convenient in use. The handy LCD displays include a front-mounted clock, while there are buttons to control volume and CD/DVD playback. There are also three buttons at the back of the keyboard for quick access to some apps.

The Evesham is one of the heavier models we tested this issue, but it doesn't come close to the heft of the Acer Aspire 9813WKMi. The case itself is actually reasonably petite, which will appeal to the business users who may not be interested in the laptop's strong gaming and multimedia credentials.

Click here to read our review of Windows Vista, and here for more advice on selecting a Vista laptop.

Click here to read about Evesham's change in ownership.

Evesham C720DC: Specs

  • 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 processor
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 120GB hard drive
  • 17in 1,440x900 TFT display
  • 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics card
  • 8x/8x/8x/2.4x/4x/4x/3x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM) 24x/24x/16x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) drive
  • 802.11a/b/g
  • 1-year return-to-base warranty
  • 397x294x44mm
  • 3.8kg
  • 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 processor
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2GB DDR RAM
  • 120GB hard drive
  • 17in 1,440x900 TFT display
  • 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics card
  • 8x/8x/8x/2.4x/4x/4x/3x (DVD-ROM/-R/+R/+R DL/-RW/+RW/-RAM) 24x/24x/16x (CD-ROM/-R/-RW) drive
  • 802.11a/b/g
  • 1-year return-to-base warranty
  • 397x294x44mm
  • 3.8kg

OUR VERDICT

The Evesham C720DC offers the portability of a laptop while still being able to perform as a desktop replacement and multimedia centre. It's also extremely good as a games machine, offering high-calibre graphics and a large crisp display. It's just a shame that this laptop doesn’t come with a TV tuner.

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