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The WinBook XL and XL2 Update

An update to my reviews of the WinBook XL and XL2. (February 22, 1999)

This is an update to my WinBook reviews. You can read the previous articles for more details on the former WinBook I've reviewed, the XL2 First Glance and the Full Review. Unfortunately, the Mining Company no longer archives my other WinBook reviews so the XL and XLi reviews are not available for reading. But I will try to get those up on this site sometime in the future. The new notebooks that WinBook sent me are the same models but with newer processors.

The first one was the update of their XL. What was different about this one and the other one I reviewed was it had the mobile AMD K6-2 processor. They are currently selling this unit for $1399 and it comes very well equipped. It was also PC Magazine's Editor's Choice for value notebooks. This was a very good unit and everything is basically the same from former XL models, all-in-one design (hard disk, floppy, CD and battery all internal), built-in modem and a very well-built design. The AMD CPU performed great although it was a little lower than same speed PIIs, but it outperformed the Pentium MMX by a noticeable margin. Unfortunately, I was didn't get around to running my battery tests but according to several other magazine reviews, it gets 3-4 hours. This is much better than previous generation K6 notebooks which tended to be on the power hungry side. For more on the specs of the WinBook XL, check out their site. You will also find some of their other value-line notebooks there. I agree with PC Mag's choice, WinBook makes some very good value notebooks that are rich in features without costing too much.

The second notebook was an XL2 with the new Pentium II 366 CPU. If you read my What's New page, these CPUs are not only faster in clock speed, but have integrated L2 cache memory which is not only faster but due to the on-chip design, more conservative on power. If you remember, the 300 XL2 I reviewed in December got about 3 and a half hours, well... the new XL2, with a 366 processor clocked in about the same time, but the performance numbers are almost 10% higher. Other than that, this model is pretty much the same as the 300 PII version. But I still think it's the best all-in-one notebook out there, it's the thinnest and lightest one that has dual-pointing devices and both DVD and LS-120 drives. Like I said, for more details on the specifics, check out the Full Review article I did on the XL2.

The following are the benchmarks I got on these 2 WinBooks but I only ran the ZD Bench 99 versions as the 98 ones don't run well on Windows 98. I included the XL2 PII 300 numbers I ran so you can compare and you can also use these as references points with the scores that PC Mag and Computer Shopper get.

             WS99 GWM99 DWM99 CPU32 FPU99
             ----------------------------
XL2 PII 300  16.5  99   2020   741   1540

XL K6-2 300  11.5  39.2 5360   496    994

XL2 PII 366  17.8  115  2230   933   1950 
WS99: Business Winstone 99, GWM99: Business Graphics WinMark 99, DWM99: Business Disk WinMark 99, CPU32: CPUMark32-99, FPU: FPU WinMark-99

If you are interested in any of the WinBook products, you can call them at 1-800-254-7806 or visit their website at www.winbook.com. If you have any questions for me, please post them to my Message Board.

Stay tuned because I will be reviewing a Celeron notebook very soon!

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