This is the very first Neo laptop I’ve reviewed here so the Edge Z3265 gave a lasting impression about the Filipino company’s future in the PC-making business. Check out the review of the Neo Edge Z3265 after the jump.
Neo is a local company who’s a little young in the PC business but they’ve made a mark for offering really affordable laptop alternatives to the market. The Neo Edge Z3265 does not seem to fit into that grand scheme of things.
First, the Edge series represents the thin and light category for Neo. The Edge Z3265 is 13.3″, an under an inch (23mm) thin and is lightweight (1.45kg) for its size. the slightly curved edge also gives an impression that it’s thinner than it actually is. The lid is smooth and shiny; same goes with the screen — that gives you a nice crisp and bright display but gets a lot of glare outdoors.
Like many other laptops in its class, you get a really good real estate, a full keyboard with a rounded, square-type keys (similar to the ones we’ve seen on MSI and Acer notebooks). The trackpad is great to use and despite the fact that the left and right clickers are not separated, it’s easy to use and I rarely miss the mark. The right side of the trackpad also has a small area dedicated for auto-scrolling.
The unit is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo (SU7300) running at 1.3GHz with 2GB DDR3 RAM and Intel GMA4500. The dual core processor makes up for the low clockspeed and performs quite well actually. Results from Windows Experience Index gives a score of 3.4 based on the gaming graphics performance. The SU7300 CPU got a sub-score of 3.9 which is close to a dual core AMD Neo X2 1.6GHz at 4.1 (an Intel Pentium SU4100 1.3GHz gets a sub-score of 4.0).
For connectivity, the Edge did not disappoint — it’s got both Gigabit LAN and WiFi Draft-N as well as Bluetooth 2.1. There are 3 USB 2.0 ports and the HDMI port easily allows you to hook up the laptop to an LCD TV to play HD-quality movies straight from the 320GB HDD.
The Edge Z3265 also comes with a built-in 3G modem (Huawei EM770, HSDPA 7.2Mbps/HSUPA 5.76Mbps) found inside a screwed-in compartment at the bottom. This is the same built-in modem used by Asus in their EeePC 904GO.
The only disappointing feature of this unit is the short battery life of the 3-cell Li-Polymer battery (2800mAh). Running BatteryBar only gives it somewhere between 2.5 hours to 3 hours of battery life. I was actually expecting somewhere in the 4 to 5 hours but maybe, with a 6-cell battery, this will eventually improve (but based on the layout of the battery at the bottom, I don’t think there’s an upgrade).
Lastly, as I mentioned in the introduction of this review, the price of the Neo Edge Z3265 veered away from the usual range we’ve expected from the company. Suggested retail price is Php49,999 which is similar with other name-brands in the same category (e.g. Lenovo U350, Asus UX30, Acer Aspire Timeline 3810T). The advantage of the built-in 3G modem is somewhat overshadowed by the not-so-great battery life.
Update: Neo gave me an updated specs. They’re running a promo until January 31, 2010. The Edge Z3265 now comes with an external 6-cell battery that should bump the life to 12 hours. There’s also an additional Samsung optical disk drive that go with it. The upgrades finally resolved our concerns earlier. I just wish they’d make them a permanent offer rather than a promo.