If the PB286NB can be singled out for praise, it must be for its sharp LCD display. The VGA-compatible resolution of 640 X 480 maps 16-color applications to 16 shades of gray. A 256-color video mode will map to 32 shades of gray, giving you a clear view of even your most advanced graphics applications.
Expandability must also play a role in a well-designed mobile system. Packard Bell has built into the PB286NB the capabilities for attaching external options like a mouse, a keypad, an external keyboard, an external monitor, and an external floppy drive. The traditional parallel and serial ports and the usual external bus connector (for connecting an external chassis that can hold two AT-class interface cards) round out the expansion options.
All of the ports are concealed behind hinged television-style doors that pop open at the press of a finger. Although I like the look and operation of this design, I have reservations about its stability. Small hinges and quick-release doors don't hold up on the road too well. Sliding covers made of high-quality plastics and possessing fewer parts tend to hold up much better.
Written by Peter Scisco