Sadly the battery life was less than impressive on the Voyager C550 turning in a time a minute short of two hours in MobileMark 2005 - not what I expected to see from a brand new Centrino Duo notebook. Although this might improve slightly on production models - this was a pre-production sample and it wasn’t set up entirely as well as it should’ve been. The DVD playback test in MobileMark 2005 showed equally poor battery life at 113 minutes, that’s seven minutes short of two hours, so forget about watching even the normal version of a Lord of the Rings movie on the Voyager C550.
In terms of 3D performance the X1600 chipset is more than capable of producing playable frame rates in the latest games, albeit some won’t be able to do this at the full screen resolution. The Voyager C550 managed 66.35fps in Far Cry at 1,024 x 768 which is very playable.
Where Evesham does beat Acer slightly is on the warranty as you get no less than three years warranty with the Voyager C550, although this is UK only and the last year is return to base instead of on-site. The price is of course a lot lower as well, with Evesham asking only £1,249 for the Voyager C550, some £500 less than the Acer. Saying that, you do get less for your money as well, not only in terms of features, but the Voyager C550 just isn’t as well designed as the Acer. Still, if you can’t afford the Acer the Voyager C550 isn’t a bad laptop by any means.
It’s impressive to see a Centrino Duo machine this quick from a UK system integrator but the Evesham Voyager C550 falls short in more ways than one, with most disappointing aspect being the poor battery life. That said, it does sport a decent specification and a very attractive price.
Due to some supply issues with the 1,680x1,050 panels from Asus, initial models of the Voyager C550 will ship with 1,280x800 panels. Consequently Evesham has reduced the price on these models to £1,199.00 inc VAT.