The design of the Tecra M9 is not unlike many other business notebooks; very basic and professional looking. The display cover and keyboard are a simple matte silver color, with no sleek sloping curves, just mildly rounded edges all around. The rest of the notebook is black plastic, leading to a design that would blend in with most Thinkpads or Latitudes around the office.
The build quality of the laptop does not feel up to par with most other business grade laptops in the same price range. The palmrest and keyboard exhibit a lot of flex, which is pretty uncommon for this class of notebook. The display lid feels fairly cheap with its thin plastic, but it did prevent ripples from showing on the screen from all but hard presses to the cover. The bottom of the notebook features a Swiss cheese style of cutouts, which has to be the most I have ever seen on a notebook to date. I would have to imagine that they are for heat dispersion, but as you will read on the notebook does get very warm under average stress.
The display on this notebook is a matte texture, like many business notebooks. The texture seems to go overboard in comparison though, as this screen has a high level of “sparkle” that gives the screen a dirty look. Colors look average, but with the excessive matte texture most intense colors appear to be washed out.
Viewing angles are limited causing most dark or midrange colors to wash out or completely disappear moving vertically above or below normal viewing angles. Horizontal viewing angles are a bit better, but still phases out much sooner than other notebooks in this class. Some may call this a privacy feature, but it just looks like a lower quality LCD used in a expensive notebook. Brightness levels are ok, but at times I wished I could go two or three notches above its max setting. The screen easy starts to wash out in a bright office setting, and would probably be hard to read in a well lit conference room.
The speakers included with this notebook are average for built-in speakers on business notebooks, and below average compared to most consumer machines. Bass and midrange were lacking, but upper frequency tones came through clearly. Volume levels were acceptable, but for anything over the standard Windows notification chimes, I would recommend wearing headphones for greater listening pleasure.
The headphone jack passed very clean audio, and had no hiss present. It would be perfect for hooking up to a stereo, or attaching a pair of headphones for watching a movie on a longer duration flight.
* Comfortable keyboard and pointing stick
* Beer resistant keyboard (?)
* Clean sound from the headphone jack
* Pointing stick doesn’t drift
* 3-year warranty standard
* Super hot exhaust
* Flexing palm rest and keyboard
* Sparkly screen with poor viewing angles
Our review system had the following specifications:
* Windows Vista Business (32-bit)
* Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7500 (2.20GHz, 4MB L2, 800MHz FSB)
* Mobile Intel P965 Express Chipset
* Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN (802.11a/g/n)
* 1GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM (maximum capacity 4GB)
* 120GB Fujitsu MHW2120BH
* 8x DVD (+/-R double layer) drive
* 14.1″ diagonal widescreen TFT LCD display at 1440×900 (WXGA+, Matte)
* 128MB NVIDIA Quadro NVS 130M
* Bluetooth version 2.0 plus Enhanced Data Rate (EDR)
* Type II PC-Card Slot
* 5-in-1 media card reader
* VGA out
* Mic/Headphone connectors
* IEEE-1394 (FireWire)
* Three USB 2.0 ports
* Serial Legacy Port
* Dimensions (WxDxH Front/H Rear): 13.2″ x 11.1″ x 1.43″
* Weight: 5lbs 4oz w/standard battery
* 75W (15V x 5A) 100-240V AC adapter (15oz)
* 5100mAh Lithium Ion battery
* 3-Year Standard Limited Warranty
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