LG Haier R450

The oddly named 'Haier' targets budget users with its end user price tag of US $680. Is it the notebook for you?

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LG Haier R450 The plain looks match its budget price tag
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  September 8, 2010

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Key Specs

Card reader: Y
Display adapter: SiS Mirage 3
Display screen: 15.4-inch
Internal storage: 160GB SATA
Memory: 2GB DDR2

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Retailing for US $680 LG’s interestingly-named Haier R450 is designed for budget buyers in need of a portable notebook.

Being a budget machine the R450 doesn’t boast particularly attractive looks though its matte black finish and piano black-lid may appeal to some. Studying the LG further you’ll find only two shortcut buttons; to disable or enable the LG’s WiFi and trackpad. The LG offers two USB ports and an e-SATA port along its right border but LG hasn’t labeled these on the top surface around the keyboard, so you’ll have to fish around or look at the ports directly to figure out which port is which.

In terms of components the Haier R450 packs an Intel T4400 2.2GHz dual-core CPU and this relies on a SiS 672 chipset. The chipset packs integrated graphics in the form of SiS’ own Mirage 3 and it has 256MB of memory. There’s also 2GB of RAM fitted as standard. These core components fit the machine’s budget positioning.
   
Running our PCMark Vantage benchmark on the R450, it returned scores of 2115, 607, 1401, 920, 2929, 2886, 2082 and 2573 in the PCMark, Memories, TV & Movies, Gaming, Music, Communication, Productivity and Hard Drive test suites. While these are fairly basic figures compared to some of the notebooks we’ve tested recently, the LG undercuts all those machines in terms of cost by huge margins. In real world use the LG is a perfectly usable everyday notebook. While it isn’t the quickest off the mark around its Windows Vista Home Basic operating system, it isn’t sluggish or off-putting. You can have multiple web browser windows open, work on your e-mails and documents and even edit photographs without the machine slowing to a crawl.

The LG’s 15.4” LCD runs at a native resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels and while this means the screen is able to display 720p content without downscaling, the machine struggled to play any HD content smoothly. This is a bit of a shame considering HD content is all the rage these days. Games too are out of the question on this machine solely because the SiS Mirage 3 is a basic GPU. Both Street Fighter IV and World in Conflict refused to run, making the R450 an application and multimedia exclusive machine. Still, given the budget price tag this isn't a shock.

The notebook’s battery gave the machine two hours and 49 minutes of life and while this isn’t massively impressive, it is quite reasonable.

The notebook packs a 160GB hard drive and a dual-layer DVD writer, so storage wise the LG isn’t a letdown. Despite its budget positioning there are also a number of useful extras such as 802.11N WiFi and a webcam for video conferring. The notebook also packs a memory card reader, so you won't need to invest in a standalone one.

For: Aggressively priced notebook, good extras considering the price, decent for everyday applications and multimedia needs.
Against: Struggles to run HD content, won’t bowl you over with its looks.
Verdict: Given its price point the R450 is excellent value-for-money considering you get a very usable everyday notebook that leaves slightly cheaper netbooks in the dust.

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