A good used Laptop buy
Jul 31, 2002
Review by Andrew F
Rated a Very Helpful Review
User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Quality of Tech Support:
Pros:Fast, versatile, reliable
Cons:Heavy, cheap-looking plastics
The Bottom Line: A very basic, no-frills laptop with great performance and reliability, just plan on leaving it home a lot.
I owned a Micron Transport Trek2 AGP (some Trek2s had different video cards) for about a year in 1999, and traded it in favor of something lighter weight. Mine was the Pentium II 300 "PE" model, but with the small 12.1" TFT screen, and 64MB of ram, which I upgraded to 128MB barely a week after I bought it. My system came preloaded with Windows NT4, which I upgraded to Windows 2000 a few months before I sold it.
Recommend this product?
I won't discuss the operating systems here except to say that Windows NT4 and 2000 both performed flawlessly on this laptop, as did a second partition on my hard drive on which I ran Windows 98. All three Microsoft OSs behaved exactly as they would on any other laptop with stable hardware and well-written drivers, which means that the system rarely crashed (only Win98), was fast, and did everything it was supposed to do.
What I will focus on is the hardware, which I found pretty uch typical for a "second tier" PC laptop brand. By second tier I mean Dell, Gateway, Micron and similar brands. First tier is IBM, Toshiba, Apple and perhaps NEC, while third tier would be Sager, Prostar, Winbook and the like. The Micron was less polished a design than the typical IBM or Toshiba, though built to a level of quality that surpassed the cheap, no-name brands. The only real let down for me was the plastics, which while rugged and well-made, were shiny and cheap-looking. Also, the doors for the PC card slots and battery were a bit flimsy.
This machine uses a touchpad. It is about the same as any other touchpad, and was another reason I sold the PC (I like the eraserhead). Touchpad fans will find nothing to complain about here, as this one is pretty much as good as any, with nice large buttons that click positively and crisply.
The screen on my laptop was outstanding for what it was. The picture was bright, clear, and evenly illuminated, and when dimmed to save battery it was still pleasant to look-at. Color was also well-saturated and vibrant, with perhaps the best flesh-tones I've seen on a laptop LCD. As stated above, mine was the 12.1" panel at 800x600 resolution (the cheap screen), most Trek2s had the 14.1" panel at 1024x768 resolution. The 12" looks a bit lost with the thick plastic bezel surrounding it, but not nearly as bad as many 12" screens on even larger laptops (Apple's Wallstreet comes to mind).
The keyboard was a pretty generic Taiwan unit, but had nice key action and seemed durable enough. Very little flex and well-applied key labels made sure that the keyboard still looked new when I sold the unit. Most laptop keyboards show some wear after a year of hard use, including my current "First Tier" Toshiba Portege, though the key action on Toshiba is better.
Like most latops, the sound is incredible when using external speakers, and dismal with the built-ins. Other features also did exactly what they were supposed to do. IR worked perfectly (except under NT4, which isn't supported). The CD ROM is fast and quiet, and the laptop's temperature control works as supposed to, turning on the fan briefly when there is a high CPU load, and shutting it off when doing less intensive things.
Battery life was roughly 2 hours on each LiIon cell, about average for a 1998/9 model, and recharging took about the same amount of time.
What I liked about it is that the floppy drive, CD drive and hard drive are all removeable. Micron offered a DVD as an option for the CD bay, and a Zip drive, LS120 and auxiliary battery as options for the floppy bay, making this a VERY versatile laptop.
Of course, all that versatility came at a very HEAVY price (pun intended). This thing weighs more than 8lbs. Add the AC adapter and a carrying case and it becomes a serious drag to carry this laptop around.
In short, if you are looking for a solid laptop to run even a modern OS like Windows XP (have a lot of RAM for this), the Transport Trek2 with PII 300 processor is more than up to the task. It will work reliably, have ample power for everything you want to do and not crash. Just don't plan on carrying it everywhere or on impressing anyone except yourself, for saving all that money over a new one.
Amount Paid (US$): 1600 (1999)
Operating System: Windows
Processor: Intel Pentium II
Processor speed: 201-300
Screen Size: 12
Internal Storage: CD-ROM
Hard Drive (GB): Under 4
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