As journalists, we are well versed in being told how much better one product is than another, despite being virtually a clone of its competitors. Graphics cards are especially guilty of this, with most cards floating around being copies of the reference designs that ATI and nVidia showcase at launch, with nothing but a sticker to differentiate them.
In this particular scenario, we have three laptops all based on the same Clevo chassis. However, all three companies have done different things to make their laptops stand out, from bundles and pricing, to unique etchings and overclocking features. It is worth noting, that all of these laptops are fully configurable, so if you want a slightly different specification then this is easily done and can make a dramatic difference to pricing. Some companies may want a lot more for upgrades than others.
The chassis is designed as being a desktop replacement, with gamers in mind due to its onboard GeForce GO 7800 GTX graphics. This is almost identical to the desktop part, with a complete 24 pipeline architecture and all the other features such as Pixel Shader 3.0. The clock speeds are slightly lower, but that is to be expected considering the size of the cooler on the desktop part.
Weighing in at 3.8kg, this is not something youâ€™ll want to be carrying around every day â€“ but if you happen to partake in LAN gaming events, it will be a welcome reduction in weight compared to even an SFF machine and considerably more convenient to carry.
Dimensions are also on the large side, but not without reason. Underneath the lid we find a large X-Glass (to quote Rockâ€™s moniker) 17in screen. This is a beautiful affair, with the choice of running at 1,680 x 1,050 or the slightly more expensive but lavish 1,920 x 1,200. With this much working space, it feels like running a twin display setup. The viewing angle is excellent, improved by its glass-like front making it perfect for watching films. There is even a built-in 1.3 megapixel camera.
The large size also allows for what is close to a full sized keyboard and plenty of space to rest your wrists on. RSI is a very serious issue with laptop designs - this particular chassis slopes down avoiding any sharp edges that can irritate wrist tendons, making it perfect for those with hearts good enough for 72 hour stints of gaming.