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Tom's Holiday Buyer's Guide 2008, Part 1

Eurocom L390T LCD Desktop

http://www.eurocom.com
$1,500
By: Chris Angelini

We recently published a roundup of high-end gaming laptops, for which whitebox vendor Eurocom submitted its first Centrino 2 design powered by a Core 2 Extreme and a GeForce 9800M GT GPU. It wasn’t even close to the top of our performance benchmarks, since two of the competitors boasted SLI. But the laptop still served up what we considered to be remarkable performance given its small size and modest spec sheet.

As a result, we were curious when the company offered up its L390T Uno, which is basically a Centrino 2-based platform in a desktop form factor. While it’s certainly not a gaming machine, we were expecting this thing to be a speed demon in productivity applications, since it mixes the best of desktop and mobile technologies.

Eurocom offers the Uno with a long list of compatible mobile processors, but it chose to build our test mule with a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 CPU operating on a 1,066 MHz front side bus and 3 MB of Smart Cache. The 45 nm chip is perfect for this sort of application. It only dissipates 35 W of power, yet is still muscular enough to slice through modern applications running on Microsoft’s resource hog of an operating system. To that end, Eurocom armed the pictured sample with 4 GB of DDR2-800 memory. But it’s worth noting that the chipset will take up to 8 GB—a configuration Eurocom sells. While you can also buy the Uno with 2 GB, stick to at least 4 GB.

Despite its size, the Uno actually accommodates two 2.5” hard drives. Ours came with a 500 GB 5,400 RPM model, but there are also 7,200 RPM drives in Eurocom’s list, as well as a number of different SSDs. Some of the little system’s other options include Turbo Memory, an internal TV tuner, external storage, a Blu-ray drive, wireless networking, and biometric security.

Two of the things you cannot change about the L390T are its display and graphics processor. Defined by its form factor, the system is tied to a 19” LCD panel with a maximum resolution of 1440x900. Driving the screen is Intel’s integrated GMA X4500 engine, a DirectX 10 core that, as we recently saw from our GeForce 9300 review won’t do much for enthusiastic gamers.

Nevertheless, at $1,500 we can’t help but think that the Uno makes for a great space-saving workstation in a dorm room or home office. It’s basically a notebook with a 19” screen, after all.

  • ravenware
    Dell 3008WFP Ultrasharp 30"

    , we can’t think of any computer user who wouldn’t be thrilled to get one.

    Gamers. The 8ms response time is a little on the slow side.
    Reply
  • Portall
    Nope. You won't see difference between 8 and 4ms :)
    Reply
  • V3NOM
    well you can... CRT vs LCD is quite clear.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    I play on the prior year's model (3007) all the time without any problems. Don't pass up gaming on a 30" display without at least trying it for yourself!
    Reply
  • Dual-link DVI does NOT need two seperate cables. HDMI's video component IS DVI. I'm amazed this slipped through and into the article:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Visual_Interface
    Reply
  • radnor
    Well, you will actually. If you ever seen them side by side you will notice the difference. 5ms seems to be the sweet spot.
    Reply
  • LazyGarfield
    Interesting article! I´m still looking for the two beautiful women but cant find them :P
    Reply
  • Just a word of warning to anyone purchasing this monitor and wanting to watch Blu-Ray titles on it. If you use DVI as your input it can not display Blu-Ray titles above 1920 x 1080. Now I know this is the native res on the monitor. But HDCP will fail if the monitor's resolution is set any higher than this. This is due to a design flaw in the monitor's chipset. This wouldn't be a problem if all it meant was you had to reset the resolution when you want to watch a movie, but the problem is, 1920 x 1080 is not the same aspect ratio as 2560 x 1600. So your picture is vertically stretched. I know this because I bought one and spent hours in forums and on the phone with Dell before finding this out. I returned the monitor, because at $2000, there's no excuse for buggy HDCP support over DVI.
    Reply
  • what happened to the really cute girl you guys had last year ?
    Reply
  • xsamitt
    I think I'd take the 30 inch dell if it was free......Guess I won't be having one now for sure.lol.
    8 mills is just to slow.And Leigon thanks for the heads up.

    I do hope the new items to come are more interesting than this first round.
    Reply