MicronPC's $2,100 Transport XT is a two-spindle (hard drive and DVD-ROM drive) notebook with a bright, 14.1-inch TFT display. Its generous features and 6.1-pound weight strike a balance between a lightweight portable and a heavier, more full-featured desktop replacement. An optional port replicator (or mini-dock) makes the latter a viable possibility for an additional $199.
The TransPort performed well with Microsoft Office applications and while playing DVDs. A removable CD-RW is an attractive $110 option that is available when configuring the system. We were, however, less than impressed by its 3D performance, despite its S3 Savage IX graphics chipset.We found the keyboard fairly comfortable, and the Synaptics touch pad easy to customize and use. We particularly liked the quick keys that start Internet Explorer, e-mail, and a user-assign program.
Hot swapping the DVD-ROM drive was simple using Samsung's SwapBay utility. We liked the LED indicator on the Li-ion battery, too, which let us check the charge with the battery removed. Connectivity options available for the Transport include the usual VGA, serial, parallel, and infrared ports. In general, the TransPort appears sturdily built and durable.
Overall, the TransPort XT is a solid notebook with good features, though its $2,000+ price seems on the high side. Nonetheless, it has the power and features to meet the needs of mainstream business travelers, and it roosts well when united with its mini dock.
MicronPC TransPort XTRating: 89
Manufacturer: MicronPC; 888-224-4247; www.micronpc.com
Configuration: 850MHz Mobile Pentium III processor with SpeedStep; 128 MB of 100-MHz SDRAM; 20GB hard drive; a Samsung 8x DVD-ROM drive; 56K V.90 modem; an external floppy; Windows 2000/Office XP Small Business Edition; Ethernet and TV-out connectors; two PS/2 connections (keyboard and mouse); two USB ports; midi/game and audio input/outputs
Pros: Lightweight; offers good features; bright display; full-sized keyboard; good software bundle
Cons: Pricey; poor 3D performance; shrill speakers