(Pocket-lint) - Packard Bell is renowned for its affordable laptop ranges, but it’s rare that they excite. Recently, however, it seems that more time and effort has been spent on the design side of things, and the EasyNote TJ65 is a great example of this.

This 15.6-inch machine is highly affordable, without sacrificing style or quality, and it’s one of the most attractive entry-level systems we’ve seen recently. The patterned lid is attractive without being a magnet for fingerprints, and the matte plastics inside the chassis are built to a very high standard. Silver plastics contrast nicely, and help the TJ65 to stand out from its rivals.

The 15.6-inch screen features the now default 1366 x 768-pixel resolution that we’ve come to expect from budget laptops, with crisp and detailed results. It features a reflective Super-TFT coating, which can be intrusive when used on the road, but it’s fine indoors, and colour reproduction is excellent. The 16:9 aspect ratio is perfectly suited to movie playback, and also offers more than enough space to view a couple of windows simultaneously.

The wide screen creates loads of space for a good-sized keyboard, and it offers a surprisingly good typing experience. The flat keys could offer more definition but, that aside, it’s easy to type at speed, and all of the keys are firmly attached. They’re also responsive, and the overall feel is one of quality – belying the budget price tag. The touchpad is responsive and precise, but the thin strip that serves as the touchpad buttons is infuriating – sitting flush with the chassis and proving fiddly to operate.

The price has been kept down by the inclusion of a budget 2GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core T6400 processor. It’s backed by 4GB of memory, and actually does a reasonable job of multi-tasking, although we found it was quite slow to start and shut down. Costs are also kept down by the provision of an integrated graphics card – an integrated Intel 4500M chip. Battery life, at around 4 hours, is enough for the daily commute, but you’ll need to pack a charger if you want to use it at work as well. There’s a 250GB hard drive in place, offering enough space for lots of office files, photographs, music and movie collections.

There’s a reasonable number of ports provided on this machine, with the HDMI a nice surprise at this price. Four USB ports offer good connectivity – with two on each side of the chassis. There’s also VGA that lets you hook-up an older display or projector, with a flash memory card reader sitting on the left-hand corner of the machine. Most of the right-hand side is taken up by the DVD rewriter. Networking features come in the form of 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet. There are no ports on the rear of the chassis, as the screen folds down over it when open.


We’re very impressed by the Packard Bell EasyNote TJ65. Sure, there are more powerful options, but if just need a machine to edit documents or browse the internet on, and put quality and style ahead of processor specifications, then this may be the machine for you.

Writing by Andrew Tiney.