While we quite liked last month's Core 2 Duo-equipped Hi-Grade UltiNote, we were slightly disappointed by its speed. But we've now managed to get our hands on a model that will demonstrate the power of Intel's new processor family.
The Matrix 1500 from ACI uses the Core 2 Duo T7200. It's been teamed up with 2GB of DDR RAM – twice the amount you'd generally expect to get in a laptop at this price – and a 100GB hard drive.
A WorldBench 5 score of 120 might be some distance off the record score we've seen for desktop PCs, but in terms of laptops, it's a good eight points clear of anything else. This is impressive work considering the price – normally you'd pay through the nose for the latest chips and fastest performance.
The 15.4in screen stretches to a resolution of only 1,280x800, but the image is clear and crisp, and the colours are deep and true. A 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics card processes the visuals, and though it does a solid job, it is by no means outstanding.
The Matrix 1500 features Wi-Fi capabilities galore: it can connect to 802.11a, b and g wireless networks. A dual-layer DVD writer handles backup duties and will do a job for you if you wish to burn home movies to disc.
The battery life of 139 minutes isn't exactly superb, but it's about what you'd expect for a laptop of this size. There's not much in the way of software, but there is a two-year collect-and-return warranty.