UMID mbook BZ reviewed: better design but CPU shortcomings

Jan 25, 2010
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UMID's mbook BZ (aka the mbook M2) promised to address the complaints MID-lovers had about the first-gen mbook M1, and that's exactly the challenge Jenn over at Pocketables has set it in her hands-on review.  The touchscreen clamshell now gets an optical mouse, standardized ports and a hinge that opens wider than before; problem is, the specifications haven't been boosted as well.

Physically the mbook BZ is a far better machine, with a more usable screen angle, the same decent keyboard (though you obviously wouldn't want to peck out a novel on it) and high quality plastics.  The screen is good, and there's a handy little capacitive touchstrip above the keyboard which loads up a shortcut menu to brightness, resolution and other controls.

Unfortunately where the UMID mbook M1 generally showed up with a 1.33GHz Atom processor, the mbook BZ is making its debut with a slower 1.2GHz Atom Z515, together with just 512MB of RAM and a 32GB SSD.  Benchmarks are understandably low, but Jenn reckons side-by-side the two MIDs feel pretty much on a par; meanwhile the low power draw pays dividends with battery performance, being capable of over five hours of WiFi browsing, YouTube videos, downloading and emailing.  Whether that's sufficient for $549 is up to the MID-lovers.


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