2.5 star rating

Everex StepNote XT5000T Review

Pros: Low price; Bright screen; Decent graphics
Cons: Low-res screen; Truncated keyboard layout; Mediocre performance
The Verdict: This Everex isn't a powerhouse, but it offers a big screen on a budget.



The Everex StepNote XT5000T is designed for budget-conscious buyers who want a big screen and not much more. You don't get top-shelf components or a lot of multimedia extras, but considering it costs $899 in a sea of $2,000-and-up fish, some might be eager to overlook its faults.  
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The black-on-black lid (with a chrome accent strip) gives this machine a rather generic look, and the one-third silver/two-thirds black keyboard deck is not the pinnacle of ergonomics. In fact, the keyboard layout is unacceptable for a machine this size. While the letter keys are full-sized and comfortable, some ancillary keys-including oft-used Enter, Shift, and the period key-are shrunken to accommodate a dedicated number pad (that you'll probably never use). Also, the plastic chrome mouse buttons felt cheap and were very loud.
Another cost-saver comes in the LCD panel: The 17-inch widescreen is bright enough, but the resolution (1440 x 900 pixels) is low for this class. Still, text in applications was crisp and legible, and DVD playback looked fine. Since there is no high-def optical drive option (a dual-layer multi-format DVD burner is standard), you probably won't miss the HD screen. On the plus side, the deck-mounted speakers delivered decent sound quality, and you get a 100GB hard drive.
The XT5000T's selection of ports is fairly basic; a 4-in-1 memory card reader, three USB ports, FireWire, an ExpressCard slot, and S-video and DVI-I connectors for outputting the video signal to a TV or bigger LCD. Everex also includes four application-launch keys below the screen and a volume dial on the front edge. Aside from the features found in Windows Vista Home Premium, the only software included is CyberLink's DVD Suite.
As for performance, the 1.66-GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 CPU is fine for typical chores but couldn't keep pace with the Intel Core 2 Duo machines here, posting a score of 3,411 on PCMark05, the lowest of the group. The 256MB Nvidia GeForce Go 7600 GPU is good enough for casual gamers and plenty powerful for Vista's Aero interface, but the machine posted a merely okay score of 7,009 on 3DMark03. F.E.A.R. scores were good, but not great, at 41 fps on autodetect. Wireless throughput was slightly below average for this class at 10.9 Mbps at 15 feet, and 7.1 Mbps at 50 feet, as was the XT5000T's battery life of 1 hour and 18 minutes.
All told, the StepNote XT5000T doesn't have the flash or power of the other entries here. But considering you can get two-or three or four-of them for the money you'd spend on one of the others, buyers with modest needs and budgets might not mind.
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Tags: Everex StepNote XT5000T, Everex, desktop replacements, notebooks, reviews, laptops

Technical Specifications
Everex StepNote XT5000T

Operating SystemMS Windows Vista Home Premium
The amount of memory our reviewed configuration comes with.
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The maximum amount of memory this notebook supports.
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RAM Upgradable to
Amount of data your storage drive can hold.
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Hard Drive Size
The rotation speed of a mechanical hard drive.
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Hard Drive Speed
Your notebook display is the primary viewing device for your laptop computer.
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Display Size
The number of pxiels (wxh) displayed on your screen at once.
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Native Resolution
An optical drive allows you to play or record to DVDs, CDs, or Blu-ray discs.
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Optical Drive
DVDRW Dual Layer
The speed of the optical drive.
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Optical Drive Speed
Graphics chips are responsible for processing all images sent to your computer’s display.
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Graphics Card
Nvidia GeForce Go 7600
The amount of memory available for graphics processing.
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Video Memory
Wi-Fi connects you to a router or hotspot for wireless Internet access.
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Ports allow you to connect to external devices such as monitors, printers, MP3 players, and hard drivse.
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Ports (excluding USB)
DVI; Ethernet; Firewire; Headphone; Microphone; Modem; S-Video
USB ports allow you to connect many external devices, from MP3 players to external hard drives.
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USB Ports
Card readers allow you to plug memory and expansion cards directly into a notebook.
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Card Slots
4-1 card reader; ExpressCard
Warranty/SupportOne-year parts and labor/one-year toll-free 24/7
Size15.7 x 11.8 x 1.6
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