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High-End Portability: Eurocom and M-Tech D900C Laptops

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June 25, 2007 5:57:06 PM

These high end laptop suppliers use similar platforms, but each is going after a slightly different target market. We put some samples through the paces to discover their strengths.
June 25, 2007 9:30:14 PM

Nice article, though I'm now curious as to how high end laptops compare to each other, and what comsumers should be looking for in a high end laptop company. How do Dell, Alienware, Ferrari, and some of the others compare?
June 25, 2007 11:31:38 PM

I find it funny that these machines are still called laptops because only somebody with Nomex pants could stand to put them on their lap for more than a few moments. I betcha there's even a warning in their owners' manual about not using the computer on your lap. I've seen it in other manufacturers' manuals for much smaller and cooler notebooks; Eurocom and M-Tech probably have (or should have) it in there too.

I know that Toms' does not review very many laptops, but one thing that is pretty much universal in laptop reviews is a battery life test, generally using BAPCO's or some other battery benchmark. I'd be interested in the battery life (or lack thereof) that these machines get. The batteries are large 12-cell, 98 watt-hour batteries, but I'd wager that the system needs something like 130-150 watts or more at idle and will eat up a battery in 45 minutes or less just sitting there.
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June 26, 2007 4:06:09 AM

Nice review, and I'm glad you guys got these units in, but I must pick on some missing details.

Noise - you show pictures of the thing with 4 fans in it yet make no mention of how loud the systems are at load or idle.
Heat - as with the noise, how hot do these things get. Will it work sitting flat on a table or do I need to prop the rear up for the fans to work properly. A little better scrutiny here would have gone a long way.
GPU - do they run at stock speed or are they underclocked for thermal efficiency. My particular laptop had an underclocked GPU because the miserable fans wouldn't cool properly. I have since fixed it.

This is the same unit as the Aviator EQ7 sold by Hypersonic. They let you configure with upto 3 hard drives, blu-ray burner, and custom paint jobs.

I've heard a lot of no-no's regarding laptops with desktop CPU's inside, but since you recommend both models here, I find it hard to disagree. I use a HP zd7000 with a desktop P4 inside, runs hot and loud, but it's never missed a beat in 3 years.
June 26, 2007 6:36:20 AM

I have a bad taste in my mouth.
It's hard for me to imagine notebooks with good descrete video-cards anymore. I remember some good ones, but now almost all notebooks just use integrater GPUs.
I hope Acer (for example) can make ANOTHER 5500 series with a high-end video card stuffed in a lightweight notebook. - overheats and short battery life, but it's got muscle :D 
I hope things change.
Also: From what little I know, desktop CPUs inside notebooks don't matter quat! Since (Intel) makes the Core2 as performance per watt.
It's late and I didn't read the whole review. Just my 2 cents.
June 26, 2007 8:41:47 AM

laptops will never replace desktops, as price goes down and performance goes up for laptops, its pretty much ten fold on desktops, but i do agee on having the options for ppl who want powerful notebooks
June 26, 2007 3:16:01 PM

Honestly... it's hard to say IMO.

At work, I use a Dell Precision M90 as a Desktop Replacement and have had no issues and see no performance loss in the work I do. The way I see it, it's more expensive than a Desktop, but also offers more flexibility to a person who travels a lot.

The Precision M90 I have is a Core Duo (Yonah 2.16GHz) with 2 GB DDR2 667, 80 GB 7200 RPM HD, 17" WS (1920x1200), NVIDIA Quadro FX 1500M and it does quite well compared to my Desktop (see sig). Although it did cost 60% more than my desktop.

I think in the near future, laptops will no longer be called laptops, they will just be known as a Desktop Computer.

Just my $.02
June 26, 2007 3:25:16 PM

Sorry, but while this is an impressive "laptop", wait until you have to lug one of these through an airport. Throw in the weight of the bag, power supply, a few CDs or DVDs, maybe an extra battery--and you're approaching 20 lbs. In fact, try lugging a 10 lb laptop through security and the never-ending walkways of an airport like O'Hare (to get to your plane at gate 472) with the same set of accessories...

Let's see, unless you're in first class, you couldn't use these either of these laptops on a plane. (Even if you could fit it on the tray, you're probably approaching the weight limit of it). Throw in the weight, the heat from 4 cooling fans, the absurd size, the absurd cost, and I just have to ask WHY???
a b D Laptop
June 26, 2007 4:16:24 PM

You need to keep in mind that the vast majority of people looking at gaming laptops are not going to be taking them everywhere they go. People generally know what they are getting into when they buy this type of laptop. The majority of the time it will remain on a desk and only be moved for LAN parties. I have used an Inspiron 9300 which was no joy to lug around everywhere for the week that I borrowed it, but I also knew this and didn't take it when I could afford not to have it. The majority of people I have seen that travel a lot have bought the smaller and lighter 14.1'' and 12'' screen laptops, which can still pack quite a punch as demonstrated by the XPS M1210.
June 26, 2007 4:21:04 PM

The new Dell 1520s seem to pack a punch to with a 160GB 7200 RPM drive, 2 GB DDR2 667MHz, Core 2 Duo (Santa Rosa refresh), and an NVIDIA 8600GT. Yea, that's right, an 8600GT. And it's a 15,4". I do like the Dell 1720, now that they have added the numeric keypad, as well as the option for dual hard drives, but I am not quite sure. I would expect it to be the same size and weight as my Dell Precision M90, which isn't too much fun carrying around, then again, I don't move it that much. Besides, with all the junk food I eat, I could use the work out :tongue:

Bottom line, majority of the people that purchase laptops know what they're asking for. To me, these (weight and size issues) are minor things. Just think about packing a mid tower ATX case, keyboard, mouse, speakers, and a LCD screen whenever you want to go to a LAN party or somewhere for work purposes.
June 26, 2007 5:29:55 PM

So can anyone tell us (since the review doesn't note) which kind of hacked drivers this guys use? because after the hacked 88.xx I haven't seen others.

I assume they have some 93.71 SLI Enabled for Intel drivers.
June 26, 2007 6:47:35 PM

I appreciate providers making something like these awesome computers shown, these are a waste of money, these are not and ill say it again ARE NOT! made for portability! I live in San Francisco, and take the bus, and ride my skateboard sometimes, having something like this in my bag brings down my ability to get around. Of course I don't ride my skateboard with my laptop 99% of the time, but I am walking a lot downtown and buying other stuff and carrying just a 6lbs Compal Hel-80 is heavy enough in my bag including a small digital camera PDA, water bottle a book and other stuff you would normally find in a bag, and maybe a spare battery...Your shoulders start to hurt!

The only solution that would make me buy one of these is too get rid of my desktop, not my trusty 6lbs 'real' Laptop. But for what reason would someone do this? I got a 22" LCD screen and Raid 5 with an extra backup HD, DVD-RW, CD-RW drives, and the list goes on.

Also It may be a great spacesaver, but then why not add an extra 5 or 10 pounds to it say a 22" screen or something since you can carry 15lbs with one hand why not 30lbs with two hands?

Last words, as I said these are awesome examples, but they are not practicle in a portable setting, unless you got someone to carry it for you. Wink
a b D Laptop
June 26, 2007 7:33:57 PM

See my previous post and Eurasian's post. Most people buy these with the knowledge that they can't easily take them places. They probably should change the title to exclude the portability. These laptops are mostly used as desktop replacements and for LAN parties. It is easier to take one of those laptops to a party than it is to take your entire desktop setup. One neat package plus maybe a mouse instead of a tower, monitor, keyboard, mouse and a few other peripherals. It makes more sense to some people than it does to others (no offense intended to anyone).
June 27, 2007 1:24:47 AM

"Luggable" PC not "Laptop". Even 'laptop' is being superseded with the term 'notebook'.
2x667 RAM (10.6GB/s) beats 1x800 (6.4GB/s) but bandwidth to CPU limited by Intel 266*4 FSB (8.5GB/s).
June 27, 2007 5:56:28 AM

if u travel a lot it makes sense, but otherwise desktops will always remain number 1. think about it workstations, gaming, media centers. much cheaper much better, there isnt a laptop that can pull quad core with hd 2900xt 4gb ram under 2k. and if u buy the same specs desktops will be much cheaper

bigger screen size, better sound system. there is no reason for the majority to buy a laptop, considering they wont evern be truly upgradable.

there will be a market for gaming laptops, but its never really going to domin jus because desktops hav every adtanve, u want easy portability?

get a small form factor
June 27, 2007 11:12:46 AM

I'm no expert on notebooks, but seeing as they use virtually the same hardware (minus the processor), couldn't you swap the processors and RAM about?

BTW, to anyone who says who the hell would lug one of these around, read the article, they do say that they are portable workstations, not laptops/notebooks etc :roll: . They are for people like traveling architects, designers etc, not road warriors. I'd sure as hell take one anyway :D 

Great article though, would be even better with the battery test (wink wink, nudge nudge)
June 27, 2007 12:39:51 PM

Good review. The people who go Why waste money on a laptop replacement are the ones that sit at home playing game. The people who love the Laptop Replacements are the ones that Love Lan partys and see the people they are fighting with. Let think about this do I take my 17 Inch Pro Star or 15.4 Inch laptop to a lan party vs a Desktop that 50lb and keyboard mouse Monitor and Other junk like wires and such total Pounds That take 2 hours to setup vs a laptop that 15lb to 20lb with a external mouse keyboard a few seconds to connect. Huge differnce.

I change to laptops due to the fact I can go anywhere and play anything thing on a laptop. Like driving to Texas that was cool. I use the car to supply power and listen to muisc and play games other then online games. Note I was not driving at the time.

What make me mad is why dont they they have wireless internet useing a intergraded cell phone connection. So anywhere you are at you can be online or find directions.

You can go they do have this tech. But the problem is Why in the hell do I want some thing hanging out my computer to be connected and a Cell phone.
June 27, 2007 2:22:12 PM

I have one similar to these. I lug it around a ton. Sure it's heavy. I even have to lug two computers through airports. My work laptop, and my personal laptop. I can't put my work programs on my own computer and I can't put games and such on my work computer. I use a roll away computer bag to carry my work laptop and a back pack to carry my personal laptop. I just raise the handle and drape my backpack handle around it and let it support the full weight of both of them. It's a pain in the back side, but when I'm gone more than I'm home, I have little choice other than not gaming. Since I find most hotels boring (Lousy TV and expensive movies.) and have still read almost all the books of interest in Barnes & Noble, I need something else to keep me occupied in the evenings.

So they work for me. They give me something to do and let me stay up with my gaming pals online. They are great for LAN parties too. I have one similar to these from Falcon being made as we speak to replace my present Alienware. It's expensive as hell, but I don't feel it's a waste of money, I use the crap out of them. I figure I have over 3000+ hours of runtime and fun on my present laptop. So that works out to about a buck an hour. Better than a movie or sporting event cost/hour wise.

Everyone needs one expensive hobby, this just happens to be mine.
June 27, 2007 2:29:36 PM

Quote:
.....
What make me mad is why dont they they have wireless internet useing a intergraded cell phone connection. So anywhere you are at you can be online or find directions.

You can go they do have this tech. But the problem is Why in the hell do I want some thing hanging out my computer to be connected and a Cell phone.


Do you mean something like an air card? For about $80 bucks a month you can get unlimited data. I have no idea if they would allow gaming on these things, but the data transfer rates are like basic DSL. (Around 1.5 Mbs) I also have no idea about latency values.

My nephew uses one for his business. He loves it, and his wife will be online while they drive down the interstate. He says they never loose connection on it.
June 27, 2007 6:51:32 PM

getting a small form factor desktop, laptops are jus too crappy for gaming
a b D Laptop
June 27, 2007 7:53:12 PM

That's not a bad laptop, I just wish the 8600mGT was better than it is.

I see in your sig that you play COD2 MP, what server do you mostly play at?
June 28, 2007 5:44:29 PM

dont play that anymore and not getting the asus. laptops are laptops and all of those higher end gaming ones are big, crap batt life and etc.

but if u need it u need it
June 30, 2007 2:32:56 AM

OK, everyone needs to realize that "too heavy to lug around" is COMPLETELY relative. I don't mind my XPS2 on my shoulder, power supply, and other accessories included. With Intel's help(speed step and centrino), I have watched a few movies on a plane, in coach with no problems, sure the battery was dead, but what laptop doesn't drain it's battery after an hour and a half of movie watching?

Granted, the XPS2 is not the 4 fanned SLI machines shown here, but I wouldn't mind the extra pound or so as long as it added performance.

I have my desktop as well, but it's very nice having a TRUE gaming capable computer with me every where I go.

Again, too heavy for one, may not be for another.
August 10, 2007 2:18:26 AM

Ok I have the Hypersonic-pc Aviator EQ7, same laptop design as those shown in the article. My system specs are 2.4ghz(E6600 or 6400 i think)cpu, 2gb 667 mushkin ram via 2 dimms, 1920x1200 monitor, 2x100gb 7200rpm hdd set up in raid 0, dual 7950gtx's running in sli mode, a DL dvd burner, and its runnin windows xp sp2(heard vista wasnt sli friendly yet on laptops..er something like that) with all the updated patches etc. When all was said and done for two year parts and labor/anything warranty/tech service the total price came in at $3800.00

I am stationed in Afghanistan right now and the temps outside reach upwards of 140 degrees ferenheit at times...luckily I live in an airconditioned tent and bought a lian li cooling pad ...the 17in one...the laptop stays on a table and remains relatively cool. I have taken it to the internet shack setup and in there it is small and no ac and gets very hot...hot enough to cause you to sweat just standing there...I would venture to say well over 100degrees easy in the day. Being in that shack is the only time I have felt my laptop might be in danger even with the cooling pad...the mouse buttons on the laptop itself are metalic and when the pc heated up so did the buttons so much so that it was actually hot to the touch(normally I use a seperate mouse but that day I was lazy)...but that is the only time thats been a problem...keep in mind it was hot enough in there for the cooling stand to actually get hot to the touch so I dont fault the laptop it was under stress for well over an hour and didnt fail me...would I do it again probably not but it did last.

As far as gaming..I play Oblivion run at 1920x1200 full everything except hdr lighting...some weird thing with nvidia and not running hdr and anti-aliasing at the same time. So its one or the other and I chose AA. The game runs fine...a little jitter here or there but for the most part runs smooth...keep in mind its a laptop and compared with even other gaming laptops a game like oblivion would bring them to an unplayable crawl at those settings assuming the screen could even handle the resolution. I also played FEAR start to finish at maxed out settings ...even in intense action still ran smooth...tried the benchmark built into fear and a bulk of the fps were above 60fps. I'll run it again and update this post with the stats later as well as the numbers from Company of Heroes internal benchmark, and 3d Mark stats, 3dmark is enroute to me now as I type. I think my system setup would be a better benchmark comparison to the extreme edition cpu you guys checked out...seeing as to how it runs the same os, same speed ram, same vid cards, and slightly less(one step down) cpu...which is upgradeable to a quadcore option through Hypersonic...couldnt spend the extra 700 for it though. I think that comparison on the few programs I have would really show what benefit you gain from the extra cpu speed as far as gaming goes...that and I am personally curious if its even worth the bother upgrading my cpu ever.

I chose a desktop replacement laptop because Im semistationary and with little space of my own. In other words a desktop was outa the question. Also I move around enough between work and hanging out in my tent...its simply easier to move a laptop, power brick, and external mouse ....than a tower/shuttle, monitor, keyboar,mouse, and power cables in one trip or in one regular backpack. Surprisingly I have found no need for a external keyboard...the one provided is actually quite nice on the laptop. Power consumption...yeah on gaming with it unplugged it sux...like 45mins tops...but thats the whole pt of this pc its not a mobile take it everywhere personal planner ...its meant for when you have time to sit down and game for hours....which usually means you are near an outlet. I believe the laptop itself weighs in at 11.something lbs the brick another pound or two, and thats it so prob around 13-15 lbs...not to bad ...if you want portable easy setup gaming.

For what I payed I feel I got an awesome laptop...probably as good as they get for right now.
March 21, 2009 8:21:46 PM

MU_Engineer said:
I find it funny that these machines are still called laptops because only somebody with Nomex pants could stand to put them on their lap for more than a few moments. I betcha there's even a warning in their owners' manual about not using the computer on your lap. I've seen it in other manufacturers' manuals for much smaller and cooler notebooks; Eurocom and M-Tech probably have (or should have) it in there too.

I know that Toms' does not review very many laptops, but one thing that is pretty much universal in laptop reviews is a battery life test, generally using BAPCO's or some other battery benchmark. I'd be interested in the battery life (or lack thereof) that these machines get. The batteries are large 12-cell, 98 watt-hour batteries, but I'd wager that the system needs something like 130-150 watts or more at idle and will eat up a battery in 45 minutes or less just sitting there.


My processor (if I recall correctly) is an 11 step? battery saving type /mine quad core 2.4ghz 8800. depending on what you're doing ie coffee shop surfing the web while playing media player I've lasted 1.5 hours and I think I had 20% remaining. If you're using all cores and power intensive SLI video as in a game perhaps 30-45 min. This "laptop" is for the portable gamer, portable video editing, or portable research number crunching. It is to replace or exceed a desk model and remain portable. Usually to frequently move into a new location plug it into ac power and not be limited in processing power or speed or capability. If you want long run times to do word processing and the like this is not the computer to use. This is a power users laptop when it must also be portable. Also short term power hits don't impact its use as a tower PC without an UPS would.
a b D Laptop
March 22, 2009 12:26:07 AM

Dude, this thread is 2 years old.
!