Of course MV has realised that the target market is likely to want to use the Ixius for multimedia purposes as well as gaming, so, like the Mobeus, the Ixius can be used to watch movies or listen to music without booting into Windows. On the front of the case you’ll find an array of media controls, as well as an LCD display to make controlling your audio playback simple without even opening the lid.
In an attempt to throw everything but the kitchen sink into the Ixius, there’s even a webcam mounted just above the screen, in case you want to partake in some video conferencing when you’re not gaming. Software is limited to Windows XP Home, Ability Office and Panda Anti-Virus, but that’s enough to get you started out of the box. Rounding off the package is a standard one year, parts and labour warranty.
Of course with a feature set like this, made up of cutting edge, powerful components, you’re probably already thinking that the Ixius won’t come cheap, and you’d be right. However, at £1878.83 including VAT, it’s not as scarily expensive as it could have been.
So, is it worth the money? Well that depends on what you want to use the Ixius for. If you plan to use the Ixius purely to play the latest games, anytime and anywhere, it will fulfill your needs perfectly, although then the price does seem steep. But if you want the Ixius to be an all encompassing personal computing solution the price seems reasonable, but the machine doesn’t quite hit the mark.
Although MV has crammed a massive amount of features into the Ixius, some of the basics have been overlooked. The screen resolution is disappointingly low considering its physical size, the keyboard layout doesn’t quite work and the machine gets too hot for comfortable prolonged use. It’s the latter point that I found most alarming, since while typing this review I felt like I was resting my forearms on a radiator - it wasn't scalding or anything, but very warm. The heat problem is also borne out by the fact that overclocking the graphics chipset actually causes a decrease in performance, indicating that the machine as a whole gets too hot when this is done. Although, to be fair to MV, it doesn't guarentee any overclocking performance.
So, the Ixius isn’t perfect, but it’s still the most capable mobile gaming platform that I’ve ever seen. It’s worth remembering that this is the first gaming notebook that MV has launched, and only the second notebook that it has ever launched, and with that in mind MV has done very well. I have no doubt that MV will refine the Ixius and that many of the points I’ve raised will be addressed, but as it stands, the Ixius is a good machine, but it could have been even better.
MV has created a blisteringly fast gaming notebook that will happily play pretty much anything you throw at it. There are some issues with the ergonomics and chassis cooling, but this is an early sample and hopefully MV will address these points. Ultimately, the Ixius is what it is – a high-powered gaming PC that you can take with you anywhere, and if that’s what you’re looking for, you won’t be disappointed.