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

Eurocom L390T LCD Desktop
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.