In a marketplace of conformity in the laptop market - with few notable exceptions - the Packard Bell EasyNote RS65 dares to be a little different.
Not so much in its features list, which is fairly routine, but in its exterior styling with a few touches lift it above the crowd. First there's the Packard Bell EasyNote RS65's keyboard which uses flat-topped satin-finished keys with Bauhaus Futura font. We found this is a great keyboard to type on, an important aspect for any laptop.
Then there's the round, crackly textured trackpad and left/right click buttons that fall easily under one's thumb. Combine this with the clear, if glossy 13.3in screen, and we have all the hallmarks of a thoughtfully crafted notebook.
All closed up, the Packard Bell EasyNote RS65 doesn't disappoint either, with a round-cornered lid finished in a hex-detailed bronze pattern. Only the inside screen bezel, flimsy-looking shiny black plastic trim, lets the premium look down. The lid is fixed to an unusual full-width brushed metal tube which serves as the main screen hinge.
Between the Packard Bell EasyNote RS65's hinge and keyboard is a clever touch-sensitive volume control, with red backlit dots following your finger as you slide volume left to right.
Where many modern laptops are still sporting only VGA video outputs, the Packard Bell EasyNote RS65 includes not just DVI but HDMI digital video too. Three USB 2.0 ports are distributed one to the left side and two to the right. Stereo speakers, built-in mic and bezel-mounted webcam make webchats a breeze.
Inside is a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 processor, supported with 4GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive, a combination that ought to keep the RS65 nimble for any task. In fact, our WorldBench 6 benchmark test reported an impressive score of 85 points. All the more remarkable, then, that in use this Packard Bell remained effectively silent, with no audible fans to distract. Or that in our MobileMark 2007 battery test we recorded a lifespan of over four hours in the Productivity test.
The Packard Bell EasyNote RS65 can even make a stab at 3D gaming thanks to its dedicated ATI HD 3470 graphics card. We measured just 12fps in the taxing FEAR test at Maximum quality settings, but lower the resolution and such games can become playable.