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MPC TransPort V2000 review: MPC TransPort V2000

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The Good Top-speed CPU; excellent software packages available.

The Bad Short battery life; runs hot; loud fan; heavy; huge AC adapter; one-year warranty.

The Bottom Line The TransPort V2000 comes with a fast CPU, but the notebook disappoints in both performance and battery life.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.2 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 6
  • Performance 6
  • Battery 5
  • Support 7

Review Sections

Review summary

MPC's attempt to make the TransPort V2000 a fast value system failed because of configuration mismatches. The top-speed, 3.06GHz Pentium 4 processor is stuck with just 512MB of RAM, and that in turn is hobbled by a memory-hogging graphics subsystem and a slow, 4,200rpm hard drive. And talk about hitting the ground groaning: the Transport V2000 failed to complete the MobileMark2002 performance and battery life benchmarks. You'd groan, too, if you had to haul around a 9.4-pound notebook. The Alienware Area 51m or the Eurocom D470W Impressa offer a lot more bang for your buck.

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The full-size keyboard's wide keys make for trouble-free typing.

Despite the TransPort V2000's name, its size and weight are ill-suited for travel. Measuring 12.9-by-11.2-by-1.8 inches, the elegant, silver-and-blue case is bigger than the Toshiba Satellite Pro 6100's but slightly smaller than the Dell Inspiron 5150's. The system weight starts at 8 pounds but jumps to a hefty 9.4 when you add the huge AC adapter.

Because you can get the TransPort V2000 with a 3.06GHz Pentium 4 desktop processor, keeping the system cool is important. Above the keyboard on the left, an inlet draws in cool air; hot air exits out of the notebook's left side. However, even with its loud fans running full blast, the TransPort V2000 still has several hot spots, including one next to the touchpad.


/sc/30076673-2-200-DT2.gif" width="200" height="150" border="0" /> /sc/30076673-2-200-DT4.gif" width="200" height="150" border="0" />
The textured touchpad makes cursor control easy. Four programmable buttons above the keyboard let you launch applications quickly and easily.

The keyboard's translucent keys have good action. The textured touchpad makes cursor control a snap, but we wish it had a scrolling button. A power button; four programmable, quick-launch application buttons; and six LED status lights sit above the keyboard on the right. The TransPort V2000 uses a Realtek audio chip, but not Realtek's first-rate suite of audio applications. The front-firing speakers sound hollow. A convenient thumbwheel volume control is located on the front edge.

The TransPort V2000 includes plenty of ports and slots. You get four USB 2.0, FireWire, S-Video, and VGA ports, along with parallel and PS/2. For communications, you get an IrDA port, a 56Kbps modem, and an Ethernet port. In front, there are microphone and headphone jacks; the latter doubles as an S/PDIF audio connector for connecting a high-end amplifier or speaker set. The system has a Type II PC Card slot but no Flash card reader, an increasingly common feature on this class of notebook.
/sc/30076673-2-200-DT3.gif" width="200" height="150" border="0" />
The fixed optical bay on the right side can hold a CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, or DVD/CD-RW combo drive.

You can customize just about everything on the TransPort V2000, including the processor (2GHz Celeron or 2.4GHz to 3.06GHz Pentium 4), the memory (128MB to 1GB), the optical drive (CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, or DVD/CD-RW), and the hard drive (20GB to 80GB). The TransPort V2000 features a 15-inch, 1,204x768 (XGA) screen powered by an integrated SIS M650 graphics accelerator, which borrows up to 64MB of main memory. For $69, you can add an integrated 802.11b wireless mini-PCI card. If you want cutting-edge technologies, such as a DVD burner or faster 802.11g wireless networking, you'll need to look elsewhere.

We wouldn't recommend the configuration of our test unit. The 3.06GHz Pentium 4 desktop processor was poorly matched with only 512MB of 266MHz memory and a 4,200rpm, 40GB hard drive. The system did, however, include a DVD/CD-RW combo drive.

MPC offers plenty of software options for the TransPort V2000. You get Windows XP Home Edition, but you can upgrade to XP Professional or 2000. Office 2000 or Office XP are free, but you can upgrade to the professional edition for $199--or save $99 with Microsoft Works Suite 2003. MPC bundles Nero Express for burning CDs, along with a 90-day free trial of Norton AntiVirus 2003.
Mobile application performance
A notebook must last at least 90 minutes in order to complete the MobileMark2002 performance and battery life benchmark. Unfortunately, the MPC TransPort V2000 timed out in less than 90 minutes and failed to post a result (therefore, we have no results chart). Because this system needs a constant stream of power, it clearly belongs on your desk and not in your suitcase.

To measure mobile application performance and battery life, CNET Labs uses BAPCo's MobileMark2002. MobileMark measures both application performance and battery life concurrently using a number of popular applications (Microsoft Word 2002, Microsoft Excel 2002, Microsoft PowerPoint 2002, Microsoft Outlook 2002, Netscape Communicator 6.0, WinZip Computing WinZip 8.0, McAfee VirusScan 5.13, Adobe Photoshop 6.0.1, and Macromedia Flash 5.0).

SysMark2002 performance
The TransPort V2000 finished last in maximum performance tests. Although the system sports the same 3.06GHz Pentium 4 processor as its peers, its graphics memory architecture adversely affected performance. The TransPort V2000 uses a SIS 650 graphics adapter, which borrows 64MB of system memory. Although the system can still run office and multimedia apps relatively well, the inherent architecture bottlenecks, prevent the 3.06GHz processor from flexing its performance muscle.

Maximum application performance  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo SysMark2002 rating  
SysMark2002 Internet content creation  
SysMark2002 office productivity  
Hypersonic Aviator ZX7
279 
402 
194 
Eurocom D470W
244 
364 
164 
MPC TransPort V2000
216 
338 
138 

To measure maximum notebook application performance, CNET Labs uses BAPCo's SysMark2002, an industry-standard benchmark. Using off-the-shelf applications, SysMark measures a desktop's performance using office-productivity applications (such as Microsoft Office and McAfee VirusScan) and Internet-content-creation applications (such as Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Dreamweaver).

3D graphics performance
The TransPort V2000 uses the SIS 650, which borrows 64MB of main memory. Not surprisingly, it posted dismal scores in our graphics test. If you play a lot of games, you'll want to skip the TransPort V2000.


3D graphics performance  (Longer bars indicate faster performance)
Futuremark's 3DMark2001 SE  
Hypersonic Aviator ZX7
6,886 
Eurocom D470W
6,807 
MPC TransPort V2000
1,053 

To measure 3D graphics performance, CNET Labs uses Futuremark's 3DMark2001 SE. We use 3DMark to measure desktop-replacement notebook performance with the DirectX 8.1 interface at the 32-bit color setting at a resolution of 1,024x768.

Find out more about how we test notebooks.

System configurations:

Eurocom D470W Impressa
Windows XP Professional; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4; 1024MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 64MB; Fujitsu MHS2030AT 30GB 4,200rpm

Hypersonic Aviator ZX7
Windows XP Professional; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4; 1024MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 64MB; Hitachi 7k60 60GB 7,200rpm

MPC TransPort V2000
Windows XP Professional; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4; 448MB DDR SDRAM 266MHz; SIS 650 64MB (shared); IBM Travelstar 40GN 40GB 4,200rpm
A notebook must last at least 90 minutes in order to complete the MobileMark2002 performance and battery life benchmark. Unfortunately, the MPC TransPort V2000 timed out in less than 90 minutes and failed to post a result (therefore, we have no results chart). The system's top-speed 3.06GHz Pentium 4 desktop processor is a big drain on the large 14.8V, 6,000mAh battery. In informal tests, the TransPort V2000 ran for 1 hour, 42 minutes while continuously playing an Internet radio station via the notebook's Wi-Fi data radio.

To measure mobile application performance and battery life, CNET Labs uses BAPCo's MobileMark2002. MobileMark measures both application performance and battery life concurrently using a number of popular applications (Microsoft Word 2002, Microsoft Excel 2002, Microsoft PowerPoint 2002, Microsoft Outlook 2002, Netscape Communicator 6.0, WinZip Computing WinZip 8.0, McAfee VirusScan 5.13, Adobe Photoshop 6.0.1, and Macromedia Flash 5.0).

Find out more about how we test notebooks.

System configurations:

Eurocom D470W Impressa
Windows XP Professional; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4; 1024MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 64MB; Fujitsu MHS2030AT 30GB 4,200rpm

Hypersonic Aviator ZX7
Windows XP Professional; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4; 1024MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 64MB; Hitachi 7k60 60GB 7,200rpm

MPC TransPort V2000
Windows XP Professional; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4; 448MB DDR SDRAM 266MHz; SIS 650 64MB (shared); IBM Travelstar 40GN 40GB 4,200rpm The TransPort V2000 comes with a basic one-year warranty, but MPC offers an astounding variety of upgrade options. An extra $179 upgrades the policy to onsite service, and $329 lengthens the period to a more realistic three years. If you want priority access to a technician, it'll cost an extra $70, while another $35 pays for recycling when your machine dies.

In addition to a 24-hour help line and e-mail support, MPC offers Web-based resources. An extensive knowledge base involves a somewhat cumbersome question-and-answer format, however, and like the knowledge base, the software downloads section doesn't let you filter the search to just notebooks or the model under consideration. The TransPort V2000 may lack a printed manual, but it comes with an excellent hyperlinked online book that covers the basics well.

To find out more about how this product's warranty really stacks up and what you should look for in terms of service and support, take a look at CNET's hardware warranty explainer.

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