The Averatec 3270 is a lightweight full-featured notebook with a competitive feature set and decent screen. At 4.5 pounds it's easy to take with you. However, smaller and lighter isn't always better. The keyboard on the 3270 is designed for the smaller footprint and feels a bit cramped. If you're someone who plans on doing a lot of writing with your notebook this probably isn't the computer for you.

It's the typical cruel irony of smaller notebooks. While they're great for hauling around campus your fingers might be sore from taking copious notes. If Averatec could manage to squeeze a more comfortable keyboard into this package that would be very impressive. However, at this price that's asking a lot.

In the sub-$1000 marketplace it's all about bang for buck. Consumers want web, email, office and DVD functionality without a lot of fuss. It's even better in a lightweight package that can easily be taken on that big vacation. You know, the one where you plan to take a bunch of digital pictures and use the notebook computer as the photo bank so you don't run out of flash memory at the church in old town where you shouldn't be taking pictures in the first place. Oh, wait' maybe that's just me.

Anyway, the point is, this notebook beckons to be taken on the road. It's not a gaming machine or a media creation powerhouse. This machine is really a digital sidekick. It's a solid performer for everyday computing tasks and it won't break the bank. Our unit handled all of the above tasks with aplomb. Our only other gripe besides the cramped keyboard is sometimes the fan seems to get a bit loud. We noticed this when just the screensaver was running and nothing else.

The 3270 we tested featured a mobile AMD Sempron CPU with 512MB of memory and a 60-gig hard disk. It ran quietly and felt cool to the touch. With 3 USB 2.0 ports, a DVD dual format burner and media card reader there are plenty of I/O options. And last but not least, it all comes in an attractive case that looks a lot more expensive than it is.

Averatec is a subsidiary of the South Korean company TriGem. They only entered the US market last year and sold about a 1/4 million notebooks in 2004. The company is ramping up activity in Europe and hopes it's slim design and full featured notebooks will meet the expectations it creates with its aggressive marketing campaign. For the 3270 we'd say Averatec has done just that.

Visit Averatec for more information and all the specs on the 3270 series and other notebooks.