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Clevo, clever or otherwise?

Last response: in Mobile Computing
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October 10, 2003 5:15:53 PM

I am about to buy a laptop, and I have narrowed the system down to three, one from Rock Direct, one from Pico Systems, or one from AJP. However, I have just found out that all these manufacturers get their components from Clevo, a taiwanese manufacturer. I was just wondering if anybody might be able to let me know if Clevo products are good quality products that stand the test of time, cos I'm afraid I won't be able to afford another laptop for many years (maybe even decades) to come.

More about : clevo clever

October 10, 2003 5:33:01 PM

No, I'm afraid they are not. They are actually among the lowest 'quality' notebooks you can get for the following reasons:
They are typically hot, noisy, heavy, power hungry, and badly constructed. They are known for this, but they are also known for very high performance. So basically, it boils down to what you need. I would HIGHLY recommend that you go to a retailer or computer shop and actually interact with the notebook 'hands-on' or one on one.

Then, if you still like it, go for it.

RaPTuRe

P.S. Do you mind posting what spec system you are looking for. We may be able to help you out in terms of suggestions, experience and advice etc.

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
October 11, 2003 2:54:00 PM

Thanks for the info RaPTuRe.

My problem is that most retailers just don't sell the spec of laptop I'm looking for. I want a 3GHz or more machine with 1GB (or 2GB ideally) of RAM. A 128MB ATI M10 graphics card, DVD-RW, 80GB hard disk, Bluetooth, infrared, 1.44MB disk drive, XP Pro, 3 to 4 USB ports, Firewire, good sound, ethernet and TV-out. I know its a high spec but like I mentioned earlier I want to do it right cos I won't have an oppurtunity again for a while + I need large processing power and RAM for mathematical modelling (and games too obviously).

Any advice or recommendations you could give me would be highly appreciated. My situation means that I should be able to pick one up either side of the atlantic provided it will work with a UK style 220V power supply.

Thanks again for all the help.


P.S. - I'm afraid I won't be able to pick one up in SA though, unless you'd like to purchase one on my behalf
:-)
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by carln on 10/11/03 10:59 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
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October 11, 2003 4:35:03 PM

well, i haven't had a Clevo notebook -- yet. But, I've spent some time following the Sager (ie, CLEVO) models. The SAGERS is another reseller of the CLEVO ODM.

If you are really interested in those Clevos, I'd suggest going over to <A HREF="http://talknotebooks.com/" target="_new">talknotebooks.com</A> and reading through their forums. They have both types over there -- some dell guys in some of the other forums and then some specific Sager (ie, Clevo) designated information plus you can read about tech support too.

The guys that host that is PCTorque @ <A HREF="http://www.pctorque.com" target="_new">pctorque.com</A>.

And, you might check out <A HREF="http://www.powernotebooks.com" target="_new">PowerNotebooks.com</A> as they are another reseller of Sager and other brands of notebooks and check out their forums - they aren't as busy as TalkNotebooks though but still good info - more *nix related.

Personally, I just ordered a DELL M60 ... but, I was and still might get a SAGER 5680. Just depends ... the M60 is delayed so I might cancel that order.

HTH ...

IC7-G 1.3| P4 2.8 800 | SLK900-U / 92mm Fan (AS3) | 2x512mb Corsair PC3500C2 | 2x120gb SG SATA RAID 0 | 2x120gb WD RAID 1 | CM ATC201B-SXT | 520W | Radeon 9800 Pro | Audigy2<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by okietex on 10/11/03 12:38 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 11, 2003 10:57:01 PM

Battery life doesn't really concern you does it? :p 

If that's what you need, then you really have no alternative, but they are not so much notebooks - if you really need something that powerful, why not get a desktop?

Just a note on the HDD. I personally would make SURE that I got a 7200rpm notebook HDD, even if it is smaller, the extra speed is DEFINITELY worth it.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
October 12, 2003 12:14:57 AM

Dude, did you read my entire message? What did I say I ordered just recently and it's on order (DELAYED) right now from DELL -- an M60. What are you talking about BATTERY LIFE -- I ordered an M60 ... good battery life right? Kind of like a D800... basically a D800 except for video.

Yeah, I know what you're saying - the SAGERs have no battery life. I NEVER SAID THEY DID HAVE GOOD BATTERY LIFE. BUT, the ORIGINAL POST from "carln" didn't have ANY specs and HE didn't say ANYTHING about BATTERY LIFE. Even his SECOND POST didn't say anything about BATTERY LIFE... just a POWERFUL NOTEBOOK.

What I did TRY to offer was OTHER views and input that are different from yours and point him to OTHER places where he MIGHT LEARN from happy/unhappy users of *POSSIBLE* PRODUCTS that FIT HIS NEEDS/DESCRIPTIONS (or close to it).

I wasn't familiar with the resellers he mentioned so I ASSUMED they were SAGER-like models based on CLEVO being the ODM.

Geez... have you ever read any of the forums over at PowerNotebooks and TalkNotebooks ... those guys LOVE these SAGERs. Granted, I'm sure they DON'T CARE about BATTERY LIFE but they seem fairly happy. I'm sure there are some that HATE them as you do too and have had BAD experience as you did. But, a majority of what I see/read over there is fairly positive.

CARLN ... HTH you. I like having a lot of info in making decisions so I like getting all different views. From what I see on here, RapTure gives out good info a lot of the time.

Also, in regards to HDD ... I tend to agree with the 7200 rpm drive too. On the M60 I ordered, I went with 7200 ... if going with another one, I'd try to get 7200 as well.

again. hth.

IC7-G 1.3| P4 2.8 800 | SLK900-U / 92mm Fan (AS3) | 2x512mb Corsair PC3500C2 | 2x120gb SG SATA RAID 0 | 2x120gb WD RAID 1 | CM ATC201B-SXT | 520W | Radeon 9800 Pro | Audigy2
October 12, 2003 8:16:41 AM

I wasn't replying to you.

and BTW, I would go with the Precision anyday above any other notebook. IMO it is the creme de la creme of notebooks.

Carln didn't 'mention' battery life, and this prompted me to say bring it up, i.e. in case he was not aware that the powerful notebook he is looking for is not going to last more than 45minutes on the go.

People posting at PowerNotebooks and TalkNotebooks probably don't care about weight, battery life or looks, but that is fine. I agree that it is entirely subjective what notebook you choose, but on the other hand, if you go to the "Dell" or "Toshiba" forums, you will read mostly positive feedback on those notebooks as well.

Oh, and just in case you cared, the M60 if you push it for maximum battery, you will just manage to get 5 hours out of it... which is very impressive (with only one battery of course).

Sorry about the misunderstanding, I was not replying to your post, but the one above it. I must've clicked on the wrong reply button...

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
October 12, 2003 11:47:07 AM

Battery life is quite important to me, but not as important as the high specs, I didn't realise it would be as low as 45mins though. I was hoping ito get around the two hour mark with the battery. In that case a major rethink may be in order. The main problem I'm having with the spec is getting the high powered ATI 9600 graphics card, the rest of the items seem to be widely avaiable.

If I was to aim for a slightly lower spec but keep the big graphics card what would you recommend that would give about 2 hours on the battery.

I already have a high spec desktop (4GB of RAM if you want to believe it) but I still need a portable computer. At the moment my plans for the machine would be to use it for games, giving presentations, and when I do some work at home.

I'll have a look into those other forums aswell, I have already looked at "what notebook", the sager notebook forum and some others.

I have no problem in saying that this is by far the best forum I've enountered, and the opinions appear to be varied and impartial, just the way I like them.

BTW, I have absolutely no idea what HTH stands for, please let me know. Thanks for the help so far guys.

P.S. I was looking at a Dell Inspiron 5150 originally and it seem alright apart from the graphics card and lack of bluetooth, does anybody know if Dell will customise further if I ring them up and ask.

Also regarding Dell, I don't want to pay the extra money to get MS Office, but I absolutely despise Works Suite, is there anyway I can get them not to install Works without having to pay for Office. I know I should really ring them and ask, but I usually encounter a real pleb when I ring large companies.

Thanks
October 12, 2003 1:40:35 PM

AH .. gotcha. It shows a reply to me ... that's why I answered. Cool. -ot

IC7-G 1.3| P4 2.8 800 | SLK900-U / 92mm Fan (AS3) | 2x512mb Corsair PC3500C2 | 2x120gb SG SATA RAID 0 | 2x120gb WD RAID 1 | CM ATC201B-SXT | 520W | Radeon 9800 Pro | Audigy2
October 12, 2003 1:45:35 PM

Carln-

HTH=Hope That Helps ...

Battery life - the Sager 8890 and 5680 aren't known for battery life BUT from what I read/hear, you *MIGHT* be able to squeeze out around 1.5-2 hrs with one or the other. I think the 5680 can be equipped with 2 batteries and that would allow you the 1.5-2 hrs but you just need to research that as I don't recall for sure. I don't remember on the 8890 what people say they are getting. But, as RaPTure said, it wouldn't compare to 4-5 hours like a DELL M60 or D800 or others in the same category.

If you can wait, I'm sure the ATI Radeon 9600 card will be out there more in the market and you might find something more suited for you and from more name brands. Just have to wait ...

Re: Dell & office ... I think if you go with Business/Precision offering, no office and *maybe* (didn't check) on the Business/Latitude but I don't recall. That might just be on desktops. You just need to go to home/home office and see what comes up and then on the Business side. You can always UNINSTAL... :) 

IC7-G 1.3| P4 2.8 800 | SLK900-U / 92mm Fan (AS3) | 2x512mb Corsair PC3500C2 | 2x120gb SG SATA RAID 0 | 2x120gb WD RAID 1 | CM ATC201B-SXT | 520W | Radeon 9800 Pro | Audigy2
October 12, 2003 4:07:19 PM

<<<Battery life is quite important to me, but not as important as the high specs, I didn't realise it would be as low as 45mins though. I was hoping ito get around the two hour mark with the battery.>>>

Unfortunately, if you want the highest performance then you have to sacrifice battery. Most notebooks that use high end P4s use the desktop version (i.e. more than 400MHz FSB), which means no powersaving... The thing is, if you do get 1.5 to 2hrs out of one of those Sagers, it will mean you have to run your LCD at lowest contrast, everything at maximum powersaving etc which makes for a rather unpleasant work environment.

If you want at least 2 hours of battery on avg, you are DEFINITELY going to have to lower your specs - at least a bit.

Unfortunately Notebook manufacturers have been terribly slow in releasing notebooks with the M10, I would suggest you wait until after christmas, by that time you will have a lot more choice in the matter.

That being said, CPU power isn't really all that important to most people - like the difference between a P4 2.8 and a P4 3GHz is not really 'noticable' unless you spend your time encoding videos 24 hours a day. The Pentium-M 1.7GHz performs almost as well as a 2.8GHz P4, except that it runs much longer thanks to its powersaving technology, the Pentium-M also supports 2GB of RAM whereas all "mobile" Pentium 4-m's only support 1GB.

Dell are definitely equipped to release their Inspiron 8600/Latitude D800 notebooks with the M10, even though at the moment they are pushing the GeForce FX Go 5650 (which is quite crap) - as they have M10 samples that can be fitted to their notebooks at any time. A Dell notebook with a P-M 1.7GHz, 2GB PC2700 RAM, 60GB 7200rpm HDD, GFFXGo5650 128MB, and WUXGA LCD will give you very high performance, and almost 4 hours of comfortable battery life.
If/When they release the M10, the battery life can only go up, and the notebook will be among the most powerful you can get, all-the-while being fully upgradable, light, cool, reasonably sturdy, and not too bulky. In addition to this, you get Dell support, which isn't all that great, but it is still better than 90% of the notebook Manufacturers out there (that includes Sager/Clevo/Eurocom/Alienware etc.).

I don't think that the 5150 has bluetooth capability, and I know that it doesn't use a P4-m - it's battery life isn't that bad, the graphics card is the only real downfall. Unfortunately, that is the best they have - the FX series from nVidia sucks.

Unfortunately, Dell have a deal with microscum or something, because you don't really have a choice when you order your system. The only thing you can really do, is get the notebooks, and format it when it arrives, then reinstall the OS without the extra software.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
October 12, 2003 4:54:32 PM

I'll look into the Pentium-M a bit more, my problem is that I do numerical modelling that is really processor intensive. I'll search around and see if I can get some performance information of the Pentium-M compared to the desktop P4. I should really have done that a while ago, I fell into the eternal trap of just reading the GHz rating, and yet I spend a lot of my time explaining to others why apples G5 can be as fast as a P4 without the same clock speed (doh!).

I would prefer to get a Dell (or other major brand name) because of the support if things go wrong and despite the fact that I'm not a big fan of standardised everything you know that Dell must be doing something right if they're still on the go. The only problem is - if I have this laptop money burning a hole in my pocket at Christmas time, it won't last very long.

Anyway thanks again for the help.


P.S. - Does anybody know where I can get a performance comparison of various speeds of P4, P4-M and Pentium M processors.

Toms Hardware has one comparison of a Pentium-M 1.6GHz and P4-M 2.2GHz, but for the life of me I can't find a comparison of P4 and P4-M processors.

I've been looking for a while now, can't find any. This laptop business is really beginning to wreck my head, I might just use an abacus instead.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by carln on 10/12/03 02:26 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 12, 2003 7:29:08 PM

There is no difference between a P4 and a P4-m. They are identical. The difference most likely lies in that P4s today have an 533 or 800MHz FSB, whereas P4-m's still have the 400MHz FSB of the original P4. So If you need comparisons between a P4 and a P4-m , just look for a comparison between an old P4 and a new P4 (C).

Good point about the money and christmas time, but the truth is, only after christmas will the new stuff come out, and the prices drop.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
October 13, 2003 2:32:35 AM

you might look <A HREF="http://www.intel.com/products/benchmarks/notebook/" target="_new">@INTEL</A> and maybe it can give you more info ... and I'm sure there are other benchmark resources out there that could help you.



IC7-G 1.3| P4 2.8 800 | SLK900-U / 92mm Fan (AS3) | 2x512mb Corsair PC3500C2 | 2x120gb SG SATA RAID 0 | 2x120gb WD RAID 1 | CM ATC201B-SXT | 520W | Radeon 9800 Pro | Audigy2
October 17, 2003 12:30:40 PM

It seems like companies are finally getting around to putting the M10 in the laptops, Compaq have one, and I'm informed that Dell have one available in France (I don't know whats wrong with the rest of the EU). My only remaining trouble is that I would prefer a P4 processor rather than a P-M. Plus Dell seem to be really ripping people off with the P-M.
October 17, 2003 3:31:57 PM

I just found three other manufacturers (of Clevo products I think) that I'd like your opinion on. Their names are Eurocom, Hypersonic & Voodoo.

I'd appreciate if people would let me know how they found these manufacturers. I'd especially like to hear from anybody who bought a machine from them more than 18 months ago. Did it give trouble?

Thanks again
October 17, 2003 6:51:03 PM

I don't know of anyone who has these but from what I hear, some of their models are made by Clevo as you said -- then, they put in memory, hdds, extra stuff and sometimes a paint job. Then, they charge quite a lot more than a Sager ... at least on the Voodoo side and *maybe* Hypersonic. I'm sure you've been comparing prices but I'm only going on what I had researched several months ago. Also, the older AlienWare 51M was a CLEVO as well... but not the new one -- it's a Uniwell I believe. Eurocom -- just heard about them as I had the others but not know too much about any of them personally. Sorry ...

IC7-G 1.3| P4 2.8 800 | SLK900-U / 92mm Fan (AS3) | 2x512mb Corsair PC3500C2 | 2x120gb SG SATA RAID 0 | 2x120gb WD RAID 1 | CM ATC201B-SXT | 520W | Radeon 9800 Pro | Audigy2
October 18, 2003 11:24:34 AM

I just asked one of he manufacturers about what brands of hardware they use. They told me that the hard disk is made by hitachi, and the DVD-RW drive is made by toshiba.

Are these reliable makes?

Go raibh maith agaibh
(a little test, even if you can't translate it you should guess what it says!)
October 18, 2003 2:58:00 PM

Yes, Very.

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
October 18, 2003 9:59:25 PM

the pm is much more energy efficient, so the p4 is slightly faster who gives a damn if it only has a half hour of battery life. Dell isn't ripping people off with the pm they are very expensive chips right now, intel still hasn't produced enough of them to meet the huge demand.

Join the TomsHardware IRC channel <A HREF="http://skulls.sytes.net/tom/ " target="_new">http://skulls.sytes.net/tom/ </A>
October 19, 2003 9:41:45 AM

i have the dell 8600. p-m 1.6, 512 ram, nvidia 5650, 40 gb drive, dvr+r. wasnt that expensive. about 1900, but with my employee discount which i think was about 10%. but u can find coupons about.
it came down to between the dell and the sager 5680 (at pctorque). battery life isnt a big concern for me but i do hate the noise the fan makes on desktops and notebooks. gives me a headache. from what i hear, the fan is on all the time on the 5680, obviously with the desktop chip. on the dell it comes on only about 5% of the time. but always on when gaming. the laptop itself and the screen r excellent. and its quite thin and light, about 6.9 pounds and 1.3 inches.
i see a lot of sagerites having problems with dead pixels and having heat and weight issues. the 9600 card is the biggest plus, but i dont think u can upgrade it on the 5680, but on dell u can. and ill be looking to do that end of next year possibly with an m11 or something. the nvidia 5650 isnt as good as i expected at all.
and forget about good tech. support for dell. u will get overseas tech. support who r hard to understand and will NEVER solve ur problem. i just go on tech. forums now to solve problems. notebooks r always a compromise so it just boils down to what r ur preferences.
wait for the dell with the m10. that'll be ok.
October 20, 2003 3:33:32 PM

Why is it possible to upgrade the graphics card on the Dell and not on the Sager/Clevo machine?

Thanks
October 20, 2003 6:52:28 PM

...because Dell use a separate PCB, but Sager/Clevo integrate the graphics onto the motherboard.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
October 21, 2003 12:32:57 AM

but on sager/clevo one can upgrade the processor and not on the dell. i dont even know how one would go about changing the video card on the dell. dont really see mobile cards available in the market.
October 21, 2003 5:16:26 PM

Of course you can upgrade the processor on the Dell. In fact, unlike the video card, you can upgrade the processor on ANY Dell notebook - not just a select few.

You can't buy mobile video cards on the market, as there is no standard form factor. Dell use their own size/shape PCB for their graphics cards, which means that you can only buy a replacement card from Dell. Which isn't so bad, I mean Owners of the Inspiron 8000 (running off a P3 800MHz) have been able to upgrade from their original ATI M6 cards, to GeForce 2s, ATI Radeon 7500s, GeForce 4s, ATI Radeon 9000s, and even to Quadro 700GL cards which were only released with the Inspiron 8200 using up to 2.4GHz P4s. THAT is where the advantage lies.

The actual process itself is really quite simple. You can download the step by step guide from Dell if you wish.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
October 21, 2003 7:10:15 PM

Hows the craic,

I'm back again. I was on to another Clevo manufacturer/assembler today and they said they use Sony DVD drives, Kingston RAM and Fujitsu hard disks. Hows the quality on devices from these companies. Good, Bad, Indifferent.

Thanks
October 21, 2003 9:04:53 PM

Yes, All are very good, except the HDD. Fujitsu isn't known for its high performance, or its reliability. But that is the only dodgy thing IMO.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
!