The Bottom Line
- Bright And Colorful Display
- ExpressCard Slot
- Half The Average RAM And Hard Drive Size
- Older ATI Graphics Processor
- Price Is A Bit Too High
- Intel Core i5-430M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 2GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 250GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 17-inch WXGA+ (1440x900) Display With 2.0 Megapixel Webcam
- ATI Radeon HD 4570 Graphics With 512MB Memory
- v.92 56Kbps Modem, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless
- 3 USB 2.0, eSATA, HDMI, VGA, ExpressCard/34, 7-in-1 Card Reader
- 15.6" x 11.1" x 1.6" @ 6.8 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium
Guide Review - Polywell PolyNote 714AH 17-inch Desktop Replacement Laptop PC
Jul 19 2010 - For being a value 17-inch laptop, the PolyNote 714AH bucks the trend of using the popular Intel Core i3 processors and instead uses a slightly more powerful Core i5-430M dual core processor. This gives it a slight edge over other value 17-inch laptops. The problem is that Polywell ships the system with only 2GB of DDR3 memory when most laptops including budget models ship with 4GB. This will limit the systems ability to multitask without slowing down from virtual memory use.
Storage is another issue with the PolyNote 714AH. The system comes with a 250GB hard drive that is roughly half the size of a typical 17-inch laptop. This includes value based laptops that cost several hundred less. A dual layer DVD burner also comes with the system to handle playback and recording of CDs and DVDs.
One really nice aspect of the PolyNote 714AH is the display. While the laptop uses a glossy coating that is prone to glare and reflections, the display itself is seems to offer a higher level of brightness and color than laptops in the same price range. Viewing angles also seem to be a bit above average. The 1440x900 resolution is a bit lower than 1600x900 that many use but this has to do more with the 16:10 aspect ratio of the 17-inch display versus newer 17.3-inch panels.
While the display is quite nice, the graphics for the PolyNote 714AH are a bit underwhelming. It uses an older ATI Radeon Mobility HD 4570 graphics processor with 512MB of memory. This means that the system is going to fall short of the 1440x900 native resolution support in some games. It also lacks support for newer Direct X 11 graphics effects. Once again, many value laptops in this same range can offer newer and higher level of graphics.
Rather than using a larger nine cell battery pack, the PolyNote 714AH uses a six cell battery pack that keeps the size and weight of the laptop down. The downside to this is that the system has mediocre battery life. In my DVD playback tests, the system was able to run for just over two hours before going into standby mode. More traditional usage will probably extend the running time to just under three hours. This falls a bit short of the averages for 17-inch laptops particularly in this price range.
Another bright spot for the PolyNote 714AH is its peripheral support. Most companies have dropped the ExpressCard slot for space and to save a bit on production costs. Polywell has kept a smaller ExpressCard/34 slot that allows for easier upgrade potential for items such as cellular or WWAN network adapters.
The big problem though is the price. At $1000, the PolyNote 714AH just isn't as much of a value laptop as offerings from other companies. The features fall behind similarly priced laptops or you can find a similarly equipped model for less.