Above the keyboard are three quick launch buttons that give instant access to your email client and web browser while the third one is programmable. The touchpad is reasonable enough, but it’s not the best I have used – although to be fair it’s not so much the touchpad itself that’s a problem, more the stiff selector buttons. Something you might not have spotted if from looking at the pictures is the integrated web camera on the top of the display. It wasn’t working in our pre-production review sample, but we’ve been assured by Systemax that it will work on production models. Systemax will also be supplying an external USB 2.0 TV-tuner from Avermedia and you get a two year warranty thrown in, although it is RTB (return to base).
Apart from its hefty size and weight – 393 x 275 x 37.5mm (W x D x H) and 4.2kg, there are a couple of other drawbacks with the Hurricane 6000. The first issue is the complete lack of integrated wireless networking – Systemax says that it might offer this on later models, but currently no decision has been made one way or the other. The second problem is the amount of cooling fans in the chassis, which produce a fair amount of noise when you’re running a lot of heavy applications, especially games.
Speaking of applications, the Hurricane 6000 is quite a capable laptop in our benchmarks, scoring 224 in SYSmark 2002 which is 10 points faster than the Evesham Voyager 64 which had a 3200+ processor. The battery life is less impressive at a mere one hour and 31 minutes, but this is pretty much expected from a large machine like this. Looking at the 3D scores the Hurricane 6000 is the fastest Athlon 64 notebook that we have tested so far, but it still doesn’t manage to beat the Rock Xtreme! XTR-3.4EE.
The Hurricane 6000 is a hard product to sum up as it has a lot on offer, but the lack of wireless networking is a serious omission these days. It also performs well in all the benchmarks, but has poor battery life. So it all comes down the price in the end and Systemax has yet again been very aggressive in this area – the Hurricane 6000 is £1,299.00 inc VAT and delivery, which is not a bad deal for what you’re getting.
The Systemax Hurricane 6000 is a beast of a laptop, but if you’re looking for something that little bit different that will be able to handle all the latest games, it’s worth a look. The performance and price is right, but the sheer bulk of this machine might put some buyers off no matter how good the performance.
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