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Averatec 2575 review: Averatec 2575

Since we reviewed the Averatec 2371 last year, the company has taken its laptops in a whole new direction. Gone are the cheap-looking plastic cases and rock-bottom prices; in their place, the company offers a new minimalist design and slightly higher--though still competitive--prices. The new ultraportable in the company's lineup, the Averatec 2575, cuts a sleeker profile and offers improved performance for just a few hundred dollars more than its predecessor. That's not to say it's a total home run: the 2575's AMD processor doesn't match the performance offered by more expensive ultraportables, such as the Lenovo 3000 V200, and we wish it had a lengthier battery life. But for the money, the ultraportable Averatec 2575 offers an attractive display and a decent feature set in a well-designed package.

7.0

Averatec 2575

Pricing Not Available

The Good

Attractive, sleek design; reasonable price; sharp screen resolution; comfortable keyboard and recessed touch pad.

The Bad

AMD processor can't match the performance of Core 2 Duo-based competition; disappointing battery life; heavy for its size; glossy screen finish results in reflections.

The Bottom Line

Though its performance is merely adequate, the ultraportable Averatec 2575 offers an attractive design and a decent feature set at a reasonable price.

Price $1,099
Processor 2.2GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-64
Memory 2GB of 667MHz
Hard drive 250GB at 5,400rpm
Chipset ATI RS690T
Graphics ATI Xpress 1270
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
Dimensions (wide x deep x thick) 11.9x9.0x1.2 inches
Screen size (diagonal) 12.1 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter 4.0 / 4.9 pounds
Category Ultraportable

At 1.2 inches thick, the Averatec 2575 is slimmer than other bulky 12.1-inch systems, such as the Lenovo 3000 V200. In addition, the Averatec's glossy black lid and matte-black interior make it look even lighter than its 4-pound weight. Though that heft places it squarely on the line that divides ultraportables from thin-and-lights, we thought it sufficiently lightweight for frequent travel. (If you absolutely need something lighter than 4 pounds, check out our list of top ultraportable laptops.)

While many laptops in this category manage to squeeze in a 13.3-inch display, Averatec sticks with a traditional 12.1-inch screen. Fortunately the screen's sharp 1,280x800 native resolution provides a decent amount of real estate so you can keep two windows open side-by-side without feeling too cramped. We were less pleased with the screen's glossy finish, which proved quite reflective when sitting next to our office window.

The keyboard on the Averatec 2575, though not full size, was comfortable enough to type this review. We appreciate the recessed touch pad, which makes it less likely that you'll accidentally graze the pad while typing (a legitimate risk in the limited real estate of an ultraportable). While similar systems work in a fingerprint reader or quick-launch buttons, Averatec keeps the keyboard deck pretty minimal, including just an on/off button for the wireless radio.

  Averatec 2575 Average for ultraportable category
Video VGA-out, Webcam VGA-out
Audio Stereo speakers, headphone/microphone jacks Headphone/microphone jacks
Data Three USB 2.0, multiformat memory card reader Two USB 2.0, mini-FireWire, SD or multiformat memory card reader
Expansion ExpressCard PC Card or ExpressCard
Networking Ethernet, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi Modem, Ethernet, 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi
Optical drive DVD burner None, or DVD burner

The Averatec 2575's larger size means it can squeeze in a DVD burner and one more USB port than your typical ultraportable; otherwise, Averatec offers an average selection of ports and connections.

On CNET Labs' benchmarks, the Averatec 2575 suffered at the hands of its AMD Turion 64 X2 processor, which couldn't keep up with Core 2 Duo-based systems such as the Lenovo 3000 V200 and the Asus U6S. However, it did perform better than a $2,009 Fujitsu LifeBook P8010 built on Intel's small-form-factor Core 2 Duo SL7100 processor; the Averatec also bested a $1,000 MSI PR210 based on AMD's super-budget Athlon 64 X2 processor. In real-world terms, the differences are not that stark, and we stand by our usual advice: for common Web surfing, office applications, and basic multitasking, any modern dual-core laptop will perform at an acceptable level, with little, if any, stuttering or slowdown.

We were disappointed in the Averatec 2575's four-cell battery, which petered out after 92 minutes during our DVD playback test. Our drain test is especially grueling, so you can expect to see longer life during typical Windows use. Still, we'd prefer to see at least two--and preferably three or four--hours from a lightweight laptop that's designed for mobile use. (The company does plan to offer an optional 8-cell battery to provide a bit more juice, though the larger battery will likely add to the laptop's weight.)

Averatec includes an industry-standard one-year, parts-and-labor warranty with the system. Support is accessible through a 24-7 toll-free phone line ("excluding holidays"), an online knowledge base, and driver downloads. Also available on the Web site are PDF versions of Averatec's thorough user manuals, which include clear, detailed illustrations of each laptop's ports and features.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
ASUS U6S
952 
Averatec 2575
1,227 
MSI PR210
1,746 

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
ASUS U6S
255 
Averatec 2575
301 
MSI PR210
456 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
ASUS U6S
196 
Averatec 2575
206 
MSI PR210
297 

DVD battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
MSI PR210
190 
ASUS U6S
116 
Averatec 2575
92 

Find out more about how we test laptops.

System configurations:

Averatec 2575
Windows Vista Home Premium; 2.2GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-64 Mobile; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 256MB ATI Xpress 1270; 250GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

Lenovo 3000 V200
Windows Vista Business Edition; 2.0GHz Intel Core Duo T7300; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel 965GM Express; 120GB Hitachi 5,400rpm

MSI PR210
Windows Vista Home Premium; 1.7GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TK-53; 900MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; 128MB ATI Radeon Xpress 1270; 120GB Western Digital 5,400rpm

Asus U6S
Windows Vista Business Edition; 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7500; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 128MB Nvidia GeForce 8400M G; 160GB Seagate 5,400rpm

Fujitsu LifeBook P8010
Windows Vista Business edition; 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SL7100; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz;Intel 965GM Express; 12GB Toshiba 5400rpm

7.0

Averatec 2575

Pricing Not Available

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 6Performance 7Battery 6Support 7