The review unit that we were sent by Evesham was a pre-production machine, so the optical drive didn’t fit snugly in the chassis, nor did it have a UK keyboard layout. These issues aside, the keyboard is reasonably comfortable to type on, but it doesn’t come anywhere close to the big brand names. The touchpad is fairly large, but the buttons could be better, as they are recessed which makes it awkward to get to them.
The speakers are reasonable, but even with the inclusion of a subwoofer there is a noticable lack of bass, but this is not unusual with laptops. That said, considering the awfull integrated speakers often found in notebook computers, the X5 can at least boast above average audio capabilities. As far as software goes Evesham supplies Microsoft Works for office duties, a copy of Pinnacle Studio 9 SE and some CD/DVD writing software, again from Pinnacle.
This brings us to the benchmarks, which are not quite as good as expected – in fact the AJP M6000N beat the Evesham by 20 points in SYSmark 2002. The PCMark 2004 numbers show a similar result with the Voyager X5 trailing behind the AJP M6000N in most of the tests. Where the Voyager X5 takes the lead is in the 3D benchmarks where it beats the AJP in all of the tests, although not by a huge margin. It’s a shame that I could only muster two hours and 42 minutes battery life from the Voyager X5, as the AJP outshines it by an hour and 42 minutes.
What saves the Voyager X5 is its price, as Evesham is only asking for £1,349 inc VAT. That is over £100 cheaper than the AJP, although if you’re after a laptop with good battery life, that extra £100 will be money well spent.
My initial expectations of the Voyager X5 were high, but the reality didn’t live up to those expectations. The annoying fan noise and the fairly poor battery life are the two biggest issues with the Voyager X5, but they are big enough issues to spoil the package.
The Evesham Voyager X5 PM18 sports strong specifications at a reasonable price. However, it’s let down by poor battery life, unexciting benchmark results and a very loud CPU fan.