Since the Voyager 64 and M:855 share the same Mobility Radeon 9600 graphics chipset the scores are close in 3DMark 2001SE. The Voyager 64 even slightly edges out the M:855, 10,044 to 9,951 at 1024 x 768 with no anti-aliasing, but with an error margin of 100, little can be read into first and second place here.
Both machines also scored equally well on Mobile Mark 2002, with each notebook lasting just a whisker under three hours, but bear in mind that intensive game play will bring these times down dramatically.
But in our final head to head using SYSmark 2002, the M:855 was again a clear winner banking an overall score of 299 verses 214, with Office Productivity and Internet Content Creation coming in at 222 and 403 respectively against the Voyager 64’s 162 and 283. Once again, these are the highest scores we have seen for any laptop in TrustedReviews.
So how does all of this translate in a real gaming experience? The answer is incredibly well. I found I could run just about anything at 1,280 x 1,024 without the slightest jerk, and even the Unreal Tournament 2004 demo couldn’t trouble the Voodoo when the action got hectic.
The 15in TFT screen also keeps up with the action well. There can be the occasional jerk in gaming environments, but nothing that will spoil the experience or break up the action. On a side note, the 1,400 x 1,050 native resolution in Windows is outstanding.
Back in gaming world, you’ll also be pleased to hear that the keyboard can stand up to a hammering, because Voodoo uses its own design with reinforced keys and throws in a colour coded Logitech optical mouse because, as we all know, a touchpad in these situations isn’t going to cut it.
If I do have one complaint, it’s that the speakers in the M:855 don’t seem any better than those on a standard laptop and the resulting sound is particularly tinny. But once you plug in some headphones, or link to external speakers you’re in for an acoustic treat.
However, when I finally managed to pull myself away from death, carnage and lap records, I did get hit by the reality that this is a very expensive machine. By comparison, you can spec up an Evesham Voyager 64 to similar standards and save nearly £400, though I’ll admit features like the hard drive, keyboard and memory are top quality.
So the question is not whether this is a great laptop, it clearly is. The question is how much do you want this laptop and are you prepared to pay through the nose for it? You can cut some costs, and I said I would come back to it because removing that cool Voodoo Tattoo will save you an incredible £150, but otherwise there’s not that much else that can go. But let’s look at the positive, the M:855 shows what can be done when quality components are used throughout and for any serious mobile gamer it’s the best you can get. Do you have pockets deep enough to fuel your desire for mobile gaming? That’s the £1,834.81 question.
It may not be the cheapest laptop on the market right now, but it is certainly the fastest and it’s an absolute pleasure for any hardcore gamer prepared to splash the cash. Did I mention you get a free T-shirt?
Voodoo sells direct from its website in US Dollars, Canadian Dollars and Euros. All prices quoted in this review represent the Euro price at the current (at time of writing) GBP exchange rate.