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(Pocket-lint) - Averatec has always impressed us on the style stakes. Sure, the white plastic has never been as slick or as strong as Apple’s and the ultraportable nature of the notebooks, never quite as portable as a Sony but Averatec notebooks have always had one thing in their favour: their price.

The Averatec 4360 is another case in point, at less than a grand it’s one of the more expensive machines the company produces but you’ll find a favourable feature-set and a performance that suddenly puts Averatec in a different league.

Weighing in at 2.1kg and sorting a 13.3-inch widescreen Super-TFT panel, this notebook is very much in line with Sony’s S series of machines, and is aimed at those who need to have everything with them, including an internal DVD rewriter, without the bulk of a large screen. The widescreen panel comes with the now familiar glossy screen, which has many opinions split and you’ll either find it too reflective or not. we feel the slight shine to screen is a small price to pay for such stunning image quality.

Powered by the Intel Core Duo T2400 (1.83GHz), which is a mid-range chip, there is plenty of power to be had and means you can easily run more than one application at a time. We’d like to have seen more than the basic 512MB of memory but you can always upgrade at a later date. The 80GB hard drive is fairly standard too, but unless you’re thinking of carrying large media files around with you, you’ll find it satisfactory.

The 4360 uses a chassis also found on other Averatec models, although a black keyboard, metallic-black clamshell and silver chassis creates an individual look for the 4360. Being widescreen, you’ll find a keyboard with plenty of space. The keys are well placed, and it’s easy to type at speed, although the keyboard and palm rest flex under pressure. The rest of the machine feels well constructed, so will stand up to life on the go with ease.

With mobility in mind, we managed to get a little over three hours from the standard battery, which isn’t that impressive but it’ll get you to the office in the morning and through a meeting or two. Wireless networks can be configured using an 802.11a/b/g adapter, and Gigabit Ethernet allows access to fixed networks. Connectivity is enhanced by the inclusion of a 3-in-1-card reader, as well as S-Video and VGA-out sockets.

When it comes to graphics, you’ll find the standard integrated solution from Intel, so this is very much a work tool rather than a home machine.

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The Averatec 4360 is something of a departure for the company. No longer is it trying to fill the budget end of the market and as a result, we have a machine that is impressive in it’s build and its specification. Battery life isn’t as long as we’d like from a machine as portable as this but it’s a sacrifice you’ll be willing to accept for dual-core power in a lightweight notebook.

Writing by Mike Browne. Originally published on 31 July 2006.