About a dozen screws later and the HSF is fully secured and the panels are back in place. Now it’s just a case of fitting the battery and plugging the power adapter in. Assuming everything is still working and fitted correctly, a press of the power button should see your creation leap into life and you can now start installing your operating system of choice.
If any of you have ever tried reinstalling or upgrading the OS on your notebooks you’ll know it can sometimes be a real hassle trying to get hold of all the drivers and little utilities that make work all the various switches and dials for adjusting volume, screen brightness, and the like. Thankfully OCZ hasn’t slipped up in this regard and it provides a complete list of drivers and utilities for the DIY range on its website. The only problem being OS support is limited to Windows Vista.
Once you’ve finished doing your bit of DIYing, this is of course just a normal notebook. So let’s see how it compares to the competition.
Aesthetically there’s little merit that we can lavish this model with. Its glossy black lid is dull, scratches easily, and attracts fingerprints with aplomb. Meanwhile the matte black of the rest of the chassis also does little to inspire. In fairness, we much prefer this plain and simple look to the gaudy gaming notebooks we so often end up with.
Reflecting this lack of style flair is the chassis’ distinct lack of finesse when it comes to build quality. All the plastics feel cheap, there’s a very noticeable clatter to the keyboard and the buttons for power and multimedia shortcuts that run above the keyboard are stiff and unresponsive. The two small speakers that sit below the screen are also rather feeble, though we do like that they’re on the top rather than hidden underneath like on some laptops. This means they can produce quite a convincing soundstage that makes gaming and watching movies reasonably immersive.
All of which paints a less than favourable picture, so far, but our complaints are tempered by the fact this model is available for around £470. At this sort of money we wouldn’t expect anything too clever.