Novatech X50MV Pro Gaming Notebook - Novatech X50MV Pro

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

On the upside, the touchpad is very large and has a pleasant matte surface. But on the other hand it's not the most responsive and its surface shows finger-grease very easily. Its two buttons feature the same surface and are just the slightest bit stiff, though once you get past that they provide positive response.

Shortcut keys in a small piano-black panel above the keyboard are incredibly responsive, although this is one of the areas of the notebook where build quality is worst with noticeable flex when pressurised.

Speaking of worst, the X50MV's 1.5W speakers qualify for an award in this category. They're underpowered and tinny, making most male voice work and song lyrics sound like they're being produced by nasally afflicted twelve-year olds. That they're facing down probably doesn't help much either and given this is an area we've seen much improvement over the last year, this is something that severely hampers the M50V's credentials.

Fortunately, when we get to the high resolution 1,680 x 1,050 screen it's a different story. Indeed, this is among the better screens you'll find in a 15.4in notebook. Greyscale performance was far stronger than on most, with only the subtlest whites getting lost even on the lowest brightness setting. This lent films and games a level of dark detail one often ends up missing on a notebook.

Continuing the strong performance, colour gradients displayed absolutely no banding whatsoever and light bleed was so minimal as to be almost unnoticeable. Colours were vibrant without being over-saturated and text appeared razor-sharp.

Best of all, all this screen goodness can be enjoyed with friends or loved ones, thanks to some fairly decent viewing angles. They're not perfect, mind you, but then we've yet to find a notebook screen whose viewing angles are. To be honest, the display's only real failing is one it has in common with almost every consumer laptop on the planet; a distracting degree of reflectivity.

So can you make use of this wonderful screen for some serious gaming? Having previously mentioned the graphics card to be a bit underpowered, let's put that into a real world context: In Call of Duty 4 the 9600GT did deliver a playable 30FPS average (with 20FPS minimum) at the screen's native 1,680 x 1,050 resolution with details set to medium and no anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering. In other words, most modern games will run if you're willing to make compromises. Just don't even bother trying to play Crysis.

whybother

December 5, 2008, 1:28 am

I think that a very important point was missed in this review - novatech will sell you any of their machines without windows allowing you to buy and install XP seperatly without waisting money on a vista licence.

TechVegan

December 5, 2008, 3:54 pm

@whybother: That's a very good point, and something I meant to mention in the review but just plain forgot to do :S


Thanks for bringing it up!





On a seperate note, as a long-time Vista-hater myself I must admit that after using it for a while I do find many things annoying going back to XP (like the way it selects file extensions when you change a file's name)

Dave 11

January 15, 2009, 3:16 pm

@Ardjuna Would the graphics on the next model up, the X70 MV, Nvidia GeForce 9800M GTS 512MB DDR3 Graphics, make the gaming performance much better, I am struggling to find the best gaming laptop for about �, any ideas would be very grateful, I have looked at the HP HDX16-1005EA 16in Blu-ray Notebook but is out of stock at Comet and Laskys who have the best price.





Dave






Andy Vandervell

January 15, 2009, 3:27 pm

The 9800M GTS is significantly better and should give you real gaming performance.

Mitchell

February 17, 2009, 12:13 am

@Ardjuna, you say that 'The 9800M GTS is significantly better and should give you real gaming performance.' Which is installed in the Novatech X70MV, but the X70MV has the Intel P8400 Core 2 Duo Mobile running at 2.26Ghz where as the X50MV Pro has a Intel Core 2 Duo 9500 running at 2.53Ghz. Would the difference in processor make a significant difference? because if I were to spend more on the X70MV for the Graphics card, im downgrading the processor. Is it worth it? Any help would greatly appreciated!! Thanks!

TechVegan

April 28, 2009, 5:51 pm

@Mitchell:


Damn the lack of auto-comment notification! Sorry for the late reply Mitchell. If it's still of any help, the simple rule when it comes to gaming is: video card over processor anytime. As a real-world example, I can still run must games perfectly on my PC at home which uses an outdated AMD Athlon 64 X2 3500 only because it's paired with a relatively modern and powerful GeForce 8800GT. Almost any game will run on a Core2Duo at 2.0GHz or above as long as it has a decent graphics chip to back it. In the above scenario (in terms of gaming, anyway), the small CPU clock-speed jump will make hardly any difference compared to a better video card, so the 'downgrade' is more than worth it!

TechVegan

April 28, 2009, 5:56 pm

@Mitchell:


PS The comment you refer to was by my colleague Andy, not me :)

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