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Are Gaming Notebook Vendors Scared of MobilityGuru?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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April 26, 2006 8:18:53 PM

Come on gaming notebook vendors, give the world a peek at your products.
April 26, 2006 9:51:06 PM

Hello,

I would love to see Xtremenotebooks Fusion notebook get evaluated: http://xtremenotebooks.com/

The reason being, they convey the message that they assemble a slick laptop with great performance. I have read their rating reviews and its seems consumers love their product. I would just like to see how they stand with any of their gaming notebooks, whether it has a Intel or AMD inside.

I thought about purchasing a Fusion notebook but now Tomshardware have given me a chance to read the Ultimate review. I hope xtremenotebooks sends out a pimped notebook to show what their really made of.
April 26, 2006 11:19:04 PM

I'd like to see a falcon northwest fragbook in the line up.

http://www.falcon-nw.com/

they make the best desktops so it would be good to see if they have what it takes in a laptop.

Aliennware would be good to see also. They charge enough.
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April 27, 2006 2:41:10 AM

Thats it put them on the spot! Now they'll either have to denouce MobilityGuru or give in!
April 27, 2006 7:15:14 AM

"Are Gaming Notebook Vendors Scared of MobilityGuru?"
Sure ... its a loose - loose situation for them. Either they submit a notebook and have to face the possibility that their notebooks aren't so great (and as we all know they are not as good as on paper) and thereby getting humliated infront of the whole "tech-geek" community,

and when they dont send in a notebook ... welll that doesnt help sales either
April 27, 2006 8:54:58 AM

I suspect it might not even be the vendors, Barry - I would try and hunt down the distributor/wholeseller.

You see, a lot of these vendors are actually selling the identical thing, just under various model names. The clevo units all come off the same production line somewhere across the pacific, possibly sent semi-assembled with the vendors completing final assembly based on customer options.

Could be that whoever the vendors are getting these units from doesn't want them being evaluated.

Could also be, based on the $3k-$6k price, that these vendors might have so tight a budget or operate so small that they simply do not commit to a unit before payment has been authorized. However, if that were the case, then I am amazed that they are still in business.

THG has tested computers from Falcon NW for example, who offers the same clevo laptop as Sager, Hypersonic, xVx, Alienware, Voodoo etc... Falcon NW do not seem like a company tight on budget. It would be interesting to ask for their response.

Dell's recent purchase of Alienware might also suggest it's m7700 line of clevo units being rebranded in the not-too-distant-future under yet another XPS incarnation/designation. If/when that happens, you can be pretty much sure that the infamous clevo unit has met at least Dell's specifications, which is saying something.

Quite frankly, if these vendors have the technical apparatus to back a 3-5 year warranty on their product, the advertising finances to create/maintain those snazzy websites, and the available manpower to host a live webchat in some cases, then I see no excuse as to why each vendor should not have the resources to offer a demo unit for tech reviews.
April 27, 2006 2:23:15 PM

If a vendor refuses to ship an evaluation unit to Tom's Hardware that should not remove them from the evaluation. All it takes to get an "evaluation unit" is $$$. Have a look at the return policy the companies offer and then once you understand those, just put up the necessary cash to buy the notebook outright and then 28 days later return the notebook for a refund. At best all you will be out is the cost of shipping, at worst it might be 10-15% of the cost of the notebook. It's the exact same situation your users are in, they front x amount of cash and then wait not knowing what the quality of the product is until it's recieved. If vendors ever wise up to this then use the names of friends and family.

Notebookforums.com is an excellent place for amature revies and detailed overclocking and upgrade instructions.

PS I'm blocking all flash adds from Tom's Hardware. Over the top advertising adds no value to your site.
April 27, 2006 3:28:17 PM

You folks are great! Thanks for the input so far. We'll try some of the straightforward ideas and maybe even the somewhat devious idea suggested by Alsan7. Barry
April 27, 2006 3:31:33 PM

Sager notebook, www.sagernotebook.com

And dont forget Apple. Now that Apple has its boot camp software it would be nice to see how Apple's MacBook Pros (especially the 17" model) stand up to the boutique models after Windows and the appropriate drivers have been installed.
April 27, 2006 4:42:51 PM

I think TG is smart enough to find the vendor of the notebooks. I know they are not contacting the wholesaler looking for these. Now here is the big story a lot of these dream machines are made over sea and have less then ideal cases and part besides the big parts that catch our eyes. The little things like screws, keyboards, hinges, and case plastic. All make up a notebook not just the inside CPU and GPU. Most people who buy gaming laptops are smart and know how to take care of their costly toy, but the avg user doesn't so Dell and others build for those people.
April 27, 2006 7:39:53 PM

For the most part Notebooks will never compare to desktop counterparts, but in love an war we want portable gaming. Alienware, / Dell make great stuff. but ask way to much for the product. If these other brands are asking more they have no reason to submit a test laptop. Now if they were cheaper and still performed well they could turn heads...

Just look at the HP Pavilion dv8000t not a top of the line gaming machine but will play almost any game thrown at it, fun under $1,700.00
April 27, 2006 8:33:55 PM

MG should try what Hard|ocp does - like Aslan suggests. [h] anonymously buys computers and reviews the entire experience instead of just reporting on benchmarks. imo this is a much smarter and more useful way to run a review - lets you know what companies are really like.

But in general, mg, your tone's kind of a downer. why do you think you're entitled to reviews? and surely not hearing back from two companies can't be construed as the end of the world or a general blacklisting. Try out some different companies and see what happens. I suspect that, as my mother always told me, tone is everything. maybe you'll have more luck with smaller shops?
April 27, 2006 8:37:27 PM

sorry to keep trailing on - also I think [h] returns the units after the review. I'm not sure how they keep it totally anonymous, but they work out some kind of arrangement with the companies beforehand - like we might buy a system from you in the next year and review it. If we do, will you accept it for return with no restocking fee?

If you didn't want to return units, you could always auction them off here.
April 27, 2006 10:14:26 PM

This is easy to fugure out! Most notebooks that venders build for gameing run too hot!!! l mean frying pan hot! And usually crap out after 20 min!!! And most venders DO NOT want to advertise this! If you want to game use a desktop! :mrgreen:
April 28, 2006 1:41:09 AM

That was exactly my response as well about a week ago when the Dell review forum began. Buy a unit, put it through its' paces and cheerfully send it back for a refund.

I actually spoke with a rep from xVx regarding their 30-day trial. Here is what he said:

"Many customers buy our laptops for specific events, lan-gatherings, etc. and as such do not keep the units, sending them back to us within the 30 day trial period and receive a full refund."

If you read my post from the previous forum, you will see that I told Barry as well to go ahead and just buy the damn thing if they are so reluctant to offer a demo unit. Nothing will happen by sending it back, except perhaps a 15% restocking penalty, but hey, you've taken a look at their approach to customers as well, and not just their equipment.

I am sure Barry can get a purchase order approved from his "big boss", if this whole issue is enough to demand an article in itself.

This also raises another interesting point - what do they do with the returned units? Are they resold as new or used? Are they reconditioned? Would you be able to tell the difference between a new unit and a 30-day old one? Why not use a returned unit as a demo unit to send out for reviews? Companies should disclose such details in their policies.
April 28, 2006 2:07:20 AM

I agree with your point. I own a hp pavilion zd7000. Not the newest or greatest, and it won't give me 100fps, but it WILL play any game I have thrown at it, including the flight sim X-plane v8 at 1680x1050. I like the 17" widescreen, and with 2GB RAM and 7200RPM HDD, it really performs quite well. Likewise, it didn't cost me $5000 either, and I was able to see one/play with it before buying it.
April 28, 2006 2:23:50 AM

I would also like to see reviews of Apple's line of Intel computers. DarkPheonix is right, now that they can run windows you can run all the standard benchmarks.

Sledgehammer: When you're ready to buy a gaming notbook take a look at the coupons forum at http://www.notebookforums.com . There are all sorts of insane deals that the users share there such as $800 off coupons for Dell notebooks. They hook you up with the coupon codes. Dell's m170 was $1349 for a while with coupon and it came with a 256MB GeForce Go 7800 free. People were selling their former dell laptops for $1100 to $1400 plus and in some cases making money. The people on ebay though they were getting a good deal. We're talking people selling Inspiron 9300's XPS's and XPS Gen 2 computers.

Rbald: What's you're personal experience, or are you just speaking from reading reviews? Personally I've got a Inspiron 9300 and I never have any problems with it overheating while playing games. Although it can only run 3d Mark 2005 for 6 hours before the graphics start glitching. Under normal gaming that dosen't happen though.

My Dream machine that I own and built:

Simultaneous boot OS X 10.4.5 and Windows XP via Paralles on my 17 inch widescreen Dell Inspiron 9300 1.6Ghz Pentium-M Oc'ed to 2.13Ghz, 2GB ram, GeForce Go 6800 256mb oc'ed, 160Gb 5400RPM hard disk, Dual layer DVD burner, 80 watt hour battery good for 5+ hours with powersaving, and Atheros wifi with high gain internal Hawking Technology omni-directional antenna.

It's a budget God box to go. In total it only cost $2000. The next upgrade I have planned is to place the swap file on an internal sd card. It would be a 4Gb card with hardware error correction. This way I could stop the swap file from reducing the relative speed of my hard drive by reducing random accesses. The benefits of the SD card also being no latency random accesses.
April 28, 2006 2:29:39 AM

Luscious: To the best of my knowledge whan a Dell notebook is returned if it is unopened it is resold as new. If it has been opened it is thoughly examined restored to it's origional condition and sold at the dell outlet for a reduced price. http://Dell.com/outlet
April 29, 2006 1:16:56 AM

of course their scared of you
what business isnt scared of being scrutinized?
they dont want you to point out the flaws in their "ultimate gaming notebook" for fear that it will create a negative response towards said notebook

http://voodoopc.com/system/quotekitchen.aspx?productID=...

the voodoo envy u709

this thing starts at $4400

i would just like to know why in the world is it soo overpriced?
April 29, 2006 9:17:18 PM

I would love to see, f.ex. the Acer travelmate 8200 testet.

Grab the highest specked model and run it through its paces.

It ought to do gaming well, it looks relatively business and its able to sustain itself for 3-4 hours, on battery alone..

In short, a real notebook, not a desktop replacement.

~~DukeP~~
April 30, 2006 3:46:27 AM

I'd love to see some tests run on WidowPC gaming notebooks.

They seem quite full of piss and vinegar and eager to prove themselves, as benefits a younger business. Certainly, they use clevo products like many companies, but they claim to have superior synergy with their components.

Why not give them the opportunity to do so in this environment?
May 1, 2006 5:14:53 PM

Just joined, so I could say a few things. And before anything else, please understand that these are all my opinion, and not facts.

Now I own a VoodooPC ENVY U:732. As far as I know it is a clevo, just painted and a bit customised for me. Now someone here posted why Voodoo's are soo expensive. I will give a few reasons:

1. The have a sleek paint job and also offer tattoos which can ad a nice touch to the exterior of your lappie. Now you have to understand that it is nothing more than a painted Clevo, but still it is painted, and they charge pretty high for the paint job.

2. Voodoo is the luxury of the PC world, just like GUCCI or FENDI is in the world of fashion. It is a fashion statement, it is something intangible, it is the experience of owning such a PC. Now there is one other reason for it to be expensive.

VoodooPC in the mobility market have nothing extra really, just that they have that experience and the exterior. Performance wise they would be pretty similar across the board, as most gaming lappies are made by a few companies like Clevo. Just like anyother Boutique vendor, Voodoo is also coming up with their own SLi notebook, now I don't think it is different from anyother SLi notebook that is coming out except of the paintjob.

As for being afraid, I do not know that, why dont you guys ask them for a taste.

Again this is all my opinion and hence not facts.
May 2, 2006 4:56:49 AM

i guess in defence of theese laptop venders i should say that many of these operations are small teams of people (whom acts as support, builder ad poster, etc. on their owm) which ensures quality, and if you are asking them to make a laptop which no one migh buy, this is kinda out of the question as parts are expensive and they are some times scarce (anyone look at quad sli, not for laptop, but i'm sure that there will be some hard ware in the laptop field that is like that), so if you are asking them to build a laptop worth 4000+ USD, then no one migh buy it, and the stuff inside will devalue, then many of these companies will not do so, its companies like dell with the big muscle that are able to send ya these things (where the quality drops in terms of support and other field, the people whom assemble your comp might be certified, the people whom support you are not, whereas in a small company the one that builds the comp, support it)

so give these companies a break, they are relevetally small compared to dell and may not have that big a sack of $$ to swing around
May 2, 2006 3:36:23 PM

Quote:
i guess in defence of theese laptop venders i should say that many of these operations are small teams of people (whom acts as support, builder ad poster, etc. on their owm) which ensures quality, and if you are asking them to make a laptop which no one migh buy, this is kinda out of the question as parts are expensive and they are some times scarce (anyone look at quad sli, not for laptop, but i'm sure that there will be some hard ware in the laptop field that is like that), so if you are asking them to build a laptop worth 4000+ USD, then no one migh buy it, and the stuff inside will devalue, then many of these companies will not do so, its companies like dell with the big muscle that are able to send ya these things (where the quality drops in terms of support and other field, the people whom assemble your comp might be certified, the people whom support you are not, whereas in a small company the one that builds the comp, support it)

so give these companies a break, they are relevetally small compared to dell and may not have that big a sack of $$ to swing around


But getting kick a$$ parts together and showing it to Mobile Guru is arguably much more effective than posting an add at the back of a PC magazine. I would think it would be worth the investment. I'm not a national PC vendor, but I'm telling you, if THG or any of the affiliates touched on the nitch custom PC market I make systems for, I would be all over it!
May 2, 2006 5:37:56 PM

but that means that w/e company sent in a samople is in a status of war, and that with each generation of graphic/cpu upgrade they have to send in a new one, only the biggest and the ones with excess $$ can do this, sure this is better than an ad, and how many times have ya actually seem any of these smaller elite companies place ads in expensive places like tv or else more than 1 ful colour page in a gaming maz?
May 2, 2006 6:37:03 PM

Having been in the market recently I looked and almost bought a Dell, but for a number of reasons I went with the following:

HP Pavilion dv8000t

The meat and potatoes of the machine is:

Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Media Center Edition
Intel(R) Core(TM) Duo processor T2600 (2.16 GHz)
- 17.0" WSXGA+ BrightView Widescreen (1680x1050)
- 256MB NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) Go 7400
- 2.0GB DDR2 SDRAM (2x1024MB)
- 100 GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
- DVD+/-RW/R CD-RW Combo w/Double Layer

The main difference being the graphics card which I know is not a fast as the Dell's, however, I am curious to see how it does compare to your XPS.
May 2, 2006 7:19:53 PM

Quote:
But getting kick a$$ parts together and showing it to Mobile Guru is arguably much more effective than posting an add at the back of a PC magazine.


Agreed, I can pretty much guarantee that they pay as much for the ad as it would cost them to send in a laptop to review. Especially since you know it doesn't cost the builder $4k to make the computer.
May 3, 2006 4:50:01 AM

That is the thing, they do not aim for the mainstream market, they want to stay niche, as a customer I would like for them to stay that way. I mean the excitement of owning one of these machines is the uniqueness of the experience and the machine. I can get the same config from a lot of other places just not the same experience of feeling.

lawrocks, that looks like a pretty sweet lappie, check out the new XPS and the other ones from Dell, they have a better GPU. My personal Lappie right now has the follow:

Pentium M 780
2 GB RAM
Ge Force Go 7800 GTX 256MB

And I can tell you this mosheen, runs extremely well, havent had any problems with games so far, just in FEAR, it is very CPU limited, but for that you need to get a FX-60 or something equivalent.

Just my 2c.
May 27, 2006 2:42:21 AM

Quote:
I'm your huckleberry... fightin's just my game.


Where do I send my ELIMINATOR x1600 256MB?

It's half the cost and isn't going to be 32 bit obsolete junk come December '06!

Why don't you run your current tests on my KillerNotebook vs. the DELL, then run your same tests on Windows x64 or Vista 64 beta?
Oh yea... the DELL won't even run it AT ALL on a 64 bit O.S. that's something I want to spend $3,600 on!

!