A Closer Look
The Dot M/A should come in a nice retail package with plenty of documentation; Packard Bell is known in Belgium for providing a ton of extra’s to help you get the most out of your new system, especially if you’re new to PCs in general. Our test sample came in a white cardboard box with the bare essentials:
We got to charge the 6-cell battery so we’re happy, allowing us to test this netbook at home and on the road.
This almost 12” netbook is quite compact, while it won’t match the Macbook Air in thinness, it’s sufficiently small to be carried around in a small backpack.
Connectors wise the configuration hasn’t changed much over time, we get one USB, LAN part and power connection at the left side:
At the right side we find 5-in-1 card reader, audio in/out, two more USB ports, Kensington lock, and one D-SUB VGA out;
Opening the LED reveals a QWERTY keyboard, touchpad with one larger dual function mouse button, activity LEDs at the top right, function LEDs bottom left. (Belgium final retail version ships with AZERTY)
The touchpad did quite ok, but an external mouse works much more comfortable, especially with the dual action mouse button on the touchpad which worked average at best; a separate left/right might be less appealing aesthetically but so much easier in use.
The maximum angle the screen opens up is sufficient for most purposes:
At the top ridge of the screen you’ll find a webcam with ok quality (youtube)
and integrated microphone.
The keys on the keyboard are quite flat and compact to fit all of them in the design, but with the extra width by using 11.6” screen, there’s enough spacing to not feel too cramped when typing for an extended period of time.
The functional LEDs at the bottom left reveal on/off switches for Bluetooth, 3G and Wireless.
A look at the innards next ->