by Kevin O’Brien
Getac, a company usually known for super-rugged notebooks, has finally entered the business notebook space with a new thin and light 13.3″ model. The Getac 9213offers slick looks with a brushed metal finish, great keyboard for comfortable typing, and a glossy 13.3″ display. Starting price is $1,799, which puts it near the top-end in its market segment, including other notebooks like the Apple MacBook Air, Lenovo ThinkPad X301 and Toshiba Portege A605. Does the Getac 9213 have what it takes to command such a high price? Read our full review to find out.
Our Getac 9213 Specifications:
- OS: Windows Vista Business (SP1)
- Screen: 1280 x 800 WXGA (Glossy finish)
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400 (1.40GHz, 800MHz FSB, 3MB Cache)
- Memory: 3GB DDR2 RAM (2GB x 1GB)
- Storage: 160GB Fujitsu 5400rpm HDD
- Optical Drive: DVD+/-RW
- Wireless: Intel 5300AGN, Bluetooth 2.1
- Graphics: Intel X4500M Integrated
- Built-in web camera
- Battery: 6-cell 11.1 58Wh
- Dimensions: (LxWxH) 12.64 x 8.98 x 0.79- 1.14″
- Weight: 3lbs 9.6oz
- Starting Price: $1,799
Build and Design
The Getac 9213 has a very thin and sleek design, a big shift from what we normally think of when the brand comes to mind. Trading the thick metal cladding for a brushed aluminum finish with glossy plastic trim the 9213 gives users a very professional and modern look. Inside, the palmrest area shares the same black brushed aluminum finish with dark silver tracing the keyboard and media buttons below the screen. The keys are matte black, with bright white lettering that contrasts perfectly making the letters pop out as if they were backlit. One odd element to the design is the mirror surface touchpad and power buttons, and the very reflective glossy black touchpad which really stand out on this notebook. Looking back I can’t think of any other notebook with mirror-like buttons.
Build quality might not be up to the same standards as Getac B300–which you can stand on top of–but it is very good when you compare it to similar business-grade notebooks. The brushed metal lid has some flex, but being so thin it still does an excellent job of protecting the screen from damage under pressure. The screen hinges operate with a smooth motion, with no freeplay when stationary. You can open the lid with one hand where some notebooks might require one to hold the screen and another to hold the keyboard down. The palmrest and keyboard offer excellent support, with barely a hint of flex under extreme pressure. The brushed metal surfaces hold up well to day-to-day abuse, hiding fingerprints and mild scratches very well. Compare this against some notebooks with highly polished surfaces that start to look beat up in a matter of days.
Screen and Speakers
The WXGA panel on the Getac 9213 is above average with bright colors and excellent contrast thanks to the glossy surface. While the glossy surface does trade some visibility in high brightness situations (outdoors under sunlight or indoors under strong lights), it is nowhere near as bad as all glass displays found on some notebooks. Viewing angles are above average with a broad viewing sweet spot, expanding 30 degrees forward and back before colors start to shift or invert. Horizontal viewing angles expand out to roughly 70 degrees, and after that depending on the conditions reflections off the screen start to overpower the display. Viewing brightness is excellent, making it easy to view the display even in bright office lighting. Outdoor viewing would be possible if you found some shade to limit glare from the sun. The backlight was pretty even across the panel when viewing an all black screen, with very mild bleed around the edges at full brightness.
The speakers were average compared to other business notebooks, working well for VOIP applications but not so great for music and video. Bass and midrange are lacking, making the music sound dull. Peak volume levels were okay for a small room, but could get easily overpowered with moderate noise levels. Headphones should be considered your best friend on trips and other situations where you want the best audio quality.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard easily ranks as one of the nicer features of this notebook. It is very comfortable to type on with excellent support and great tactile feedback from the keys. Keys have very little wiggle and offer just the right amount of spring for fast typing. Key shape is similar to most Chiclet style keyboards, but with a standard design without an inner bezel. There is very little cup to the top of each key, which does take a bit to get used it.
The layout is also slightly different than most keyboards, having a European style Enter key, which instead of extending out above the Shift key, is more above the arrow keys. Until you adapt to this layout you end up hitting the / button instead. Since this keyboard had no international symbols my only conclusion is this is what they are using for the US-market. Outside of the weird layout this keyboard ranks right up there with my ThinkPad keyboard.
The 9213 offers a large glossy Synaptics touchpad, with a very subtle bumpy surface. The texture allows for quick movements without sticking or binding, even with a sweaty hand. Sensitivity is excellent with no lag present during our testing. Normally I am not a huge fan of glossy touchpad surfaces, but the coating Getac uses is just slick enough to still allow normal movement. The touchpad buttons are of average size with a fingerprint scanner located in the middle. Feedback is minimal with a short throw when pressed. The buttons give off very little noise when activated, sounding like a very soft muted click.
Ports and Features
Port selection is good for a 13.3″ notebook, offering three USB ports, LAN, analog and digital audio ports, VGA, and a side-mounted docking connector. HDMI would have been appreciated, but for its intended market where projectors are used frequently, VGA rules the world still. Expansion slots include an ExpressCard/34 slot and SDHC multi-card reader.
Front: Activity lights, Simcard slot, SDHC multicard slot
Rear: Battery, heat vent
Left: Kensington lock slot, VGA, docking connector, LAN, two USB, Audio jacks, wireless on/off
Right: ExpressCard/34, optical drive, one USB, AC power
System performance was lower than expected, but most of that revolves around the processor choice than anything else. Our 9213 came with a 1.4GHz Intel SU9400 Core 2 Duo, which is designed for low power consumption over high performance. In most of our tests the 9213 performed similarly to the Lenovo ThinkPad X301and Toshiba Portege A605which both offered the same processor. The X301 gained a small lead in PCMark05, but that increase can be explained by the SSD, whereas our 9213 has a 2.5″ 5400rpm hard drive. For day-to-day use typing documents, surfing the web, or watching streaming video the notebook was up to the task with no discernable lag. In our HD video tests the notebook easily played 720p and 1080p video without any hint of lag or drop in framerate. While playing 720P video the processor stayed at roughly 30% load, and under 1080P video it was at just over 50%.
wPrime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
Notebook / CPUwPrime 32M timeDell Studio XPS 13 (Core 2 Duo P8600 @ 2.4GHz)31.951 secondsApple MacBook Pro 13 (Core 2 Duo P8400 @ 2.26GHz)34.209 secondsToshiba Satellite U405 (Core 2 Duo T8100 @ 2.1GHz)37.500 secondsHP Pavilion dv3510nr (Core 2 Duo P7350 @ 2.0GHz)
38.656 secondsDell Inspiron 13 (Pentium Dual Core T2390 @ 1.86GHz) 44.664 secondsGetac 9213 (Core 2 Duo SU9400 @ 1.4GHz)54.785 secondsApple MacBook Air (Intel Core 2 Duo P7500 @ 1.6GHz)68.173 seconds
PCMark05 measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
NotebookPCMark05 ScoreDell Studio XPS 13 (2.4GHz Intel P8600, Nvidia 9500M GE 256MB)5,450 PCMarksHP Pavilion dv3510nr (2.0GHz Intel P7350, Nvidia 9300M GS 512MB)4,920 PCMarksLenovo ThinkPad X301 (1.6GHz Intel SU9400, Intel 4500MHD)4,457 PCMarksToshiba Satellite U405 (2.1GHz Intel T8100, Intel X3100)4,145 PCMarksApple MacBook Pro 13 (2.26GHz Intel P8400, Nvidia 9400M)4,136 PCMarksDell Inspiron 13 (1.86GHz Intel T2390, Intel X3100)3,727 PCMarksGetac 9213 (1.4GHz Intel SU9400, Intel X4500M)3,367 PCMarksApple MacBook Air (1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7500, Intel X3100)2,478 PCMarks
3DMark06 graphics comparison against notebooks @ 1280 x 800 resolution (higher scores mean better performance):
Notebook3DMark06 ScoreDell Studio XPS 13 (2.4GHz Intel P8600, Nvidia 9500M GE 256MB, Hybrid SLI)3,542 3DMarksApple MacBook Pro 13 (2.26GHz Intel P8400, Nvidia 9400M)2,139 3DMarksDell Studio XPS 13 (2.4GHz Intel P8600, Nvidia 9500M GE 256MB, Integrated)2,090 3DMarksHP Pavilion dv3510nr (2.0GHz Intel P7350, Nvidia 9300M GS 512MB)1,865 3DMarksLenovo ThinkPad X301 (1.6GHz Intel SU9400, Intel 4500MHD)712 3DMarksGetac 9213 (1.4GHz Intel SU9400, Intel X4500M)652 3DMarksToshiba Satellite U405 (2.1GHz Intel T8100, Intel X3100)539 3DMarks Apple MacBook Air (1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7500, Intel X3100)502 3DMarksDell Inspiron 13 (1.86GHz Intel T2390, Intel X3100)470 3DMarks
HDTune for the built-in hard drive:
Heat and Noise
Heat was slightly above average for a business portable, with the notebook warming up after being on for a long time. The left side of the palmrest was warm to the touch, as well as the left side of the keyboard. Fan noise was minimal, but this have been part of the reason why the notebook was running warmer than average. Without as much air flowing through the notebook, heat wasn’t able to dissipate and it built up over time. Nothing about the notebook was hot, just slightly warmer than average. The external temperatures listed below are shown in degrees Fahrenheit.
The Getac 9213 was designed with battery life in mind, with integrated graphics and a lower voltage Intel SU9400 Core 2 Duo processor. During our tests power consumption was slightly higher than expected, staying between 9 to 11 watts while running. With notebook set to the Balanced profile, brightness at 70% and wireless active it stayed running for 4 hours and 49 minutes. While it might not be as long as the T400 with extended battery that reached nearly 10 hours, it is still very good.
Overall the Getac 9213 proved to be a competent and well designed business notebook. It looks excellent, moving away from the big and bulky look of previous rugged models like the B300. While it might not hold up to being tossed around a room or stepped on, it still feels very well built and should hold up well in a business environment. Our battery life test showed pretty good results, but given the low voltage processor and integrated graphics we think it could have done better. The current selling price is a bit steep, starting at $1,799, towards the upper end of the business portable market.
- Excellent looks
- Very good build quality
- Great keyboard
- Somewhat expensive
- Odd Enter key shape
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