Umax is a brand more commonly associated with scanners, but it has diversified by introducing a new range of notebooks. Here we look at the bottom-of-the-range ActionBook 340T, which sports a stylish two tone blue and grey case.
At its heart is an AMD K6-2 400MHz processor, matched with 64Mb RAM, a 4.8Gb hard drive and a 12.1" screen. Unfortunately the screen uses HPA technology - inferior to TFT - resulting in patchy areas, and it left us squinting to read small text.
Aside from this failing, we were impressed with the specification for the money. You get a built-in 24x CD-ROM drive and floppy drive, so there's no swapping between the two. A 56K modem sits in a slot on the motherboard, leaving both Type II PC Card slots free.
The 340T has a few other nifty features too: all audio connections and the infra-red port are located on the front, just where you want them, and two USB ports provide good connectivity.
After testing the ActionBook's performance, we were disappointed with the Sysmark 98 result. Scoring just 90, the 340T came out slower than a Pentium II 233MHz, and this is a 400MHz machine with 64Mb RAM. Although it boasts 3D graphics, don't exepct to be playing Quake when you find a quiet moment.
The 340T's Trident graphics chipset is not a great performer, scoring a measly 1149 in 3D Mark 99 Max. It has only 4Mb RAM, taken from the system RAM, reducing it to 60Mb, a reason why even Umax doesn't recommend the 32Mb version of the 340.
One thing we did like was the large springy keyboard, which was extremely easy to type on, and the trackpad mouse was nicely responsive. Overall build quality was good, but the 340T is not the smallest or lightest laptop for the size of the 12.1" screen.
Umax states a battery life of 2 - 2.5 hours, but since there's no software provided besides Windows 98, you'll have to while away the hours playing solitaire.