Nice article, though I'm now curious as to how high end laptops compare to each other, and what comsumers should be looking for in a high end laptop company. How do Dell, Alienware, Ferrari, and some of the others compare?
I find it funny that these machines are still called laptops because only somebody with Nomex pants could stand to put them on their lap for more than a few moments. I betcha there's even a warning in their owners' manual about not using the computer on your lap. I've seen it in other manufacturers' manuals for much smaller and cooler notebooks; Eurocom and M-Tech probably have (or should have) it in there too.
I know that Toms' does not review very many laptops, but one thing that is pretty much universal in laptop reviews is a battery life test, generally using BAPCO's or some other battery benchmark. I'd be interested in the battery life (or lack thereof) that these machines get. The batteries are large 12-cell, 98 watt-hour batteries, but I'd wager that the system needs something like 130-150 watts or more at idle and will eat up a battery in 45 minutes or less just sitting there.
Nice review, and I'm glad you guys got these units in, but I must pick on some missing details.
Noise - you show pictures of the thing with 4 fans in it yet make no mention of how loud the systems are at load or idle.
Heat - as with the noise, how hot do these things get. Will it work sitting flat on a table or do I need to prop the rear up for the fans to work properly. A little better scrutiny here would have gone a long way.
GPU - do they run at stock speed or are they underclocked for thermal efficiency. My particular laptop had an underclocked GPU because the miserable fans wouldn't cool properly. I have since fixed it.
This is the same unit as the Aviator EQ7 sold by Hypersonic. They let you configure with upto 3 hard drives, blu-ray burner, and custom paint jobs.
I've heard a lot of no-no's regarding laptops with desktop CPU's inside, but since you recommend both models here, I find it hard to disagree. I use a HP zd7000 with a desktop P4 inside, runs hot and loud, but it's never missed a beat in 3 years.
I have a bad taste in my mouth.
It's hard for me to imagine notebooks with good descrete video-cards anymore. I remember some good ones, but now almost all notebooks just use integrater GPUs.
I hope Acer (for example) can make ANOTHER 5500 series with a high-end video card stuffed in a lightweight notebook. - overheats and short battery life, but it's got muscle
I hope things change.
Also: From what little I know, desktop CPUs inside notebooks don't matter quat! Since (Intel) makes the Core2 as performance per watt.
It's late and I didn't read the whole review. Just my 2 cents.
laptops will never replace desktops, as price goes down and performance goes up for laptops, its pretty much ten fold on desktops, but i do agee on having the options for ppl who want powerful notebooks
At work, I use a Dell Precision M90 as a Desktop Replacement and have had no issues and see no performance loss in the work I do. The way I see it, it's more expensive than a Desktop, but also offers more flexibility to a person who travels a lot.
The Precision M90 I have is a Core Duo (Yonah 2.16GHz) with 2 GB DDR2 667, 80 GB 7200 RPM HD, 17" WS (1920x1200), NVIDIA Quadro FX 1500M and it does quite well compared to my Desktop (see sig). Although it did cost 60% more than my desktop.
I think in the near future, laptops will no longer be called laptops, they will just be known as a Desktop Computer.
Sorry, but while this is an impressive "laptop", wait until you have to lug one of these through an airport. Throw in the weight of the bag, power supply, a few CDs or DVDs, maybe an extra battery--and you're approaching 20 lbs. In fact, try lugging a 10 lb laptop through security and the never-ending walkways of an airport like O'Hare (to get to your plane at gate 472) with the same set of accessories...
Let's see, unless you're in first class, you couldn't use these either of these laptops on a plane. (Even if you could fit it on the tray, you're probably approaching the weight limit of it). Throw in the weight, the heat from 4 cooling fans, the absurd size, the absurd cost, and I just have to ask WHY???
You need to keep in mind that the vast majority of people looking at gaming laptops are not going to be taking them everywhere they go. People generally know what they are getting into when they buy this type of laptop. The majority of the time it will remain on a desk and only be moved for LAN parties. I have used an Inspiron 9300 which was no joy to lug around everywhere for the week that I borrowed it, but I also knew this and didn't take it when I could afford not to have it. The majority of people I have seen that travel a lot have bought the smaller and lighter 14.1'' and 12'' screen laptops, which can still pack quite a punch as demonstrated by the XPS M1210.
The new Dell 1520s seem to pack a punch to with a 160GB 7200 RPM drive, 2 GB DDR2 667MHz, Core 2 Duo (Santa Rosa refresh), and an NVIDIA 8600GT. Yea, that's right, an 8600GT. And it's a 15,4". I do like the Dell 1720, now that they have added the numeric keypad, as well as the option for dual hard drives, but I am not quite sure. I would expect it to be the same size and weight as my Dell Precision M90, which isn't too much fun carrying around, then again, I don't move it that much. Besides, with all the junk food I eat, I could use the work out :tongue:
Bottom line, majority of the people that purchase laptops know what they're asking for. To me, these (weight and size issues) are minor things. Just think about packing a mid tower ATX case, keyboard, mouse, speakers, and a LCD screen whenever you want to go to a LAN party or somewhere for work purposes.
I appreciate providers making something like these awesome computers shown, these are a waste of money, these are not and ill say it again ARE NOT! made for portability! I live in San Francisco, and take the bus, and ride my skateboard sometimes, having something like this in my bag brings down my ability to get around. Of course I don't ride my skateboard with my laptop 99% of the time, but I am walking a lot downtown and buying other stuff and carrying just a 6lbs Compal Hel-80 is heavy enough in my bag including a small digital camera PDA, water bottle a book and other stuff you would normally find in a bag, and maybe a spare battery...Your shoulders start to hurt!
The only solution that would make me buy one of these is too get rid of my desktop, not my trusty 6lbs 'real' Laptop. But for what reason would someone do this? I got a 22" LCD screen and Raid 5 with an extra backup HD, DVD-RW, CD-RW drives, and the list goes on.
Also It may be a great spacesaver, but then why not add an extra 5 or 10 pounds to it say a 22" screen or something since you can carry 15lbs with one hand why not 30lbs with two hands?
Last words, as I said these are awesome examples, but they are not practicle in a portable setting, unless you got someone to carry it for you. Wink
See my previous post and Eurasian's post. Most people buy these with the knowledge that they can't easily take them places. They probably should change the title to exclude the portability. These laptops are mostly used as desktop replacements and for LAN parties. It is easier to take one of those laptops to a party than it is to take your entire desktop setup. One neat package plus maybe a mouse instead of a tower, monitor, keyboard, mouse and a few other peripherals. It makes more sense to some people than it does to others (no offense intended to anyone).
if u travel a lot it makes sense, but otherwise desktops will always remain number 1. think about it workstations, gaming, media centers. much cheaper much better, there isnt a laptop that can pull quad core with hd 2900xt 4gb ram under 2k. and if u buy the same specs desktops will be much cheaper
bigger screen size, better sound system. there is no reason for the majority to buy a laptop, considering they wont evern be truly upgradable.
there will be a market for gaming laptops, but its never really going to domin jus because desktops hav every adtanve, u want easy portability?
I'm no expert on notebooks, but seeing as they use virtually the same hardware (minus the processor), couldn't you swap the processors and RAM about?
BTW, to anyone who says who the hell would lug one of these around, read the article, they do say that they are portable workstations, not laptops/notebooks etc :roll: . They are for people like traveling architects, designers etc, not road warriors. I'd sure as hell take one anyway
Great article though, would be even better with the battery test (wink wink, nudge nudge)
Good review. The people who go Why waste money on a laptop replacement are the ones that sit at home playing game. The people who love the Laptop Replacements are the ones that Love Lan partys and see the people they are fighting with. Let think about this do I take my 17 Inch Pro Star or 15.4 Inch laptop to a lan party vs a Desktop that 50lb and keyboard mouse Monitor and Other junk like wires and such total Pounds That take 2 hours to setup vs a laptop that 15lb to 20lb with a external mouse keyboard a few seconds to connect. Huge differnce.
I change to laptops due to the fact I can go anywhere and play anything thing on a laptop. Like driving to Texas that was cool. I use the car to supply power and listen to muisc and play games other then online games. Note I was not driving at the time.
What make me mad is why dont they they have wireless internet useing a intergraded cell phone connection. So anywhere you are at you can be online or find directions.
You can go they do have this tech. But the problem is Why in the hell do I want some thing hanging out my computer to be connected and a Cell phone.
I have one similar to these. I lug it around a ton. Sure it's heavy. I even have to lug two computers through airports. My work laptop, and my personal laptop. I can't put my work programs on my own computer and I can't put games and such on my work computer. I use a roll away computer bag to carry my work laptop and a back pack to carry my personal laptop. I just raise the handle and drape my backpack handle around it and let it support the full weight of both of them. It's a pain in the back side, but when I'm gone more than I'm home, I have little choice other than not gaming. Since I find most hotels boring (Lousy TV and expensive movies.) and have still read almost all the books of interest in Barnes & Noble, I need something else to keep me occupied in the evenings.
So they work for me. They give me something to do and let me stay up with my gaming pals online. They are great for LAN parties too. I have one similar to these from Falcon being made as we speak to replace my present Alienware. It's expensive as hell, but I don't feel it's a waste of money, I use the crap out of them. I figure I have over 3000+ hours of runtime and fun on my present laptop. So that works out to about a buck an hour. Better than a movie or sporting event cost/hour wise.
Everyone needs one expensive hobby, this just happens to be mine.
Do you mean something like an air card? For about $80 bucks a month you can get unlimited data. I have no idea if they would allow gaming on these things, but the data transfer rates are like basic DSL. (Around 1.5 Mbs) I also have no idea about latency values.
My nephew uses one for his business. He loves it, and his wife will be online while they drive down the interstate. He says they never loose connection on it.