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Up-Close With Clevo's New Desktop Replacements

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 20 comments

These two behemoths promise a lot of power under the hood—and enough heft to cause fatal blunt force trauma.

Over at the Clevo meeting room for COMPUTEX 2010, at least two different desktop replacements were on display. For some reason though, picture-taking wasn't allowed. So, for the X7200 and X8100, we only have our impressions,  the spec we found online, and company product photos to share.

Let's get the specs out of the way first:

X7200 (complete specs here)

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 CPU
  • Chipset: X58
  • GPU: Dual-Configuration GTX 480M With SLI
  • Display: 17.3" 1920 x 1080
  • Wi-Fi: Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300
  • Webcam: 3.0 megapixel
  • Memory: 3 x DDR3 slots, total max 12 GB
  • HDD: Max 3 slots for RAID 0/1/5
  • Media Connectivity: HDMI-In, HDMI-Out, S/PDIF
  • Ports: 1394b, 2 x USB 3.0, 3 x USB 2.0, eSATA
  • Others: TV Tuner, Fingerprint reader, Bluetooth

X8100 (complete specs here)

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 CPU (mobile version)
  • Chipset: PM55
  • GPU: GTX 480M
  • Display: 18.4" 1920 x 1080
  • Wi-Fi: Intel Ultimate N WiFi Link 5300
  • Webcam: 3.0 megapixel
  • Memory: 2 x DDR3 slots, total max 8 GB
  • HDD: Max 3 slots
  • Media Connectivity: HDMI-In, HDMI-Out, DVI-I
  • Ports: 1394b, 2 x USB 3.0, 4 x USB 2.0, eSATA
  • Others: TV Tuner, Fingerprint reader, Bluetooth, 8 "gaming keys", touch controls

From appearances, the X7200 promises more power, by virtue of its desktop-grade hardware. Yet the X8100 came off as more intriguing due to its touch controls. While physical buttons and dials do a great job of managing functions like volume level and Bluetooth on-off states, doing away with them results in a more sleek look for this 18.4" monster.

Both gadgets are quite big, even for desktop replacements. With a ruler on-hand, we estimate heights of 2.35" and 1.7" for the X7200 and X8100 respectively. They're also quite hefty, with both feeling at least 12 pounds heavy. The mere act of dropping either "portable" on a person's head is undoubtedly enough to kill them. Neither demo unit felt particularly hot to the touch, as they were busy cranking out Unigine renders at full detail.

Clevo is an OEM, which means they sell only to resellers, not direct to customers. Once such reseller is Sager Notebooks. The Sager NP2985 is practically similar to the X7200, save for the lack of USB 3.0 ports and inability to read fingertips. The X8100 is well-represented by the Sager NP8120—mostly. Sager's 18.4" offering also has the touch controls and the specialized gaming keys. Unfortunately, other than also lacking USB 3.0 and the fingerprint reader, the NP8120's most powerful GPU option is the GTX 285M.

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  • 1 Hide
    scook9 , June 2, 2010 6:08 PM
    the np9285 is just the 9280 with a new gpu....which is the D900f NOT the x7200
  • 1 Hide
    FATAL STR1K3 , June 2, 2010 6:10 PM
  • 1 Hide
    gayan , June 2, 2010 6:24 PM
    Dang those are going to be BIG and HOT... and did i say Heavy?
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    greatsaltedone , June 2, 2010 6:35 PM
    It is beyond me why anyone would put fermi into a laptop. The battery drain must be awful!
  • 2 Hide
    sublifer , June 2, 2010 6:36 PM
    The mere act of dropping either "portable" on a person's head is undoubtedly enough to kill them.

    That was funny. Put more stuff like this in your stories Rico :) 
  • 1 Hide
    freiheitner , June 2, 2010 7:02 PM
    Put about four inches between the top of the keyboard and the bottom of the display and then I'll consider it a desktop replacement. Until then, I can't use it because I have to hunch over so much to read the screen.
  • -5 Hide
    ricardok , June 2, 2010 7:10 PM
    Since notebooks can't be upgraded (you can only touch the HD/Memory) than I wouldn't say that those will ever replace desktops.
  • -2 Hide
    anamaniac , June 2, 2010 7:13 PM
    Clevo, you make me happy. You know exactly what this man wants. :) 
  • -1 Hide
    razercultmember1 , June 2, 2010 7:21 PM
    Have fun looking at a melted piece of plastic with those fermis
  • -4 Hide
    Ehsan w , June 2, 2010 7:51 PM
    "GPU: Dual-Configuration GTX 480M With SLI"
    still only the performance of an Nvidia
  • -2 Hide
    Ehsan w , June 2, 2010 7:52 PM
    Oh i'm sorry.
    with dx 11
  • 0 Hide
    tokenz , June 2, 2010 8:00 PM
    I will pass. Rather just have a desktop
  • 1 Hide
    falchard , June 2, 2010 9:19 PM
    Hooray a notebook with a 10 minute battery life.
  • 1 Hide
    scook9 , June 2, 2010 10:29 PM
    RicardoKSince notebooks can't be upgraded (you can only touch the HD/Memory) than I wouldn't say that those will ever replace desktops.

    You can actually upgrade the cpu and video cards as well if you are not an idiot....

    And for the battery life remarks, this is a mobile workstation, not a netbook
  • 0 Hide
    Arethel , June 3, 2010 12:58 AM
    I used to have a Sager 8890. Quite a nice machine for having in college as I changed my residence 6 times in four years. I could never take this computer to class with me though, just too heavy, noisy, and kind of embarrassing.

    One things for sure, that computer needed constant maintenance. Cooling was a major issue that required me to have a pretty strict PM schedule. I completely wore that computer out after 5 good years of gaming, coding and rendering. The plastic casing finally gave into thermal wear and my computer split in half once it got too brittle.

    I don't ever regret the purchase. I had one of the most powerful portable computers out there, but it did cost me a small fortune. Five years was plenty of life for me, by that point I was out of school and settled in with a more permanent lifestyle, so a desktop was more appropriate.

    These mobile computers are a niche market. There was a time it made sense for me to have one. Now it doesn't. Now I prefer powerful desktops and a very lightweight laptop.
  • 0 Hide
    Arethel , June 3, 2010 1:06 AM
    I used to transport that Sager back and forth between my apartment and my laboratory. It was priceless to not have to worry about constantly transitioning data from a home computer to a university workstation.

    The 2.35" model is quite thick. The 1.7" model is not bad though. I think my Sager was 1.8" thick and 13.5 lbs.

    I really think it would have been better if Clevo used 1920 x 1200 resolution screens instead. I loved my non-widescreen Sager at 1280 x 1024, perfect for getting work done. Right now though I have a Dell U2410 and 1920 x 1200 is a pretty good compromise.
  • 0 Hide
    robertking82881 , June 3, 2010 2:53 AM
    ive got to get me this heater to keep me warm in winter
  • 0 Hide
    shreejan86 , June 3, 2010 9:19 AM
    whats the price?
  • 0 Hide
    HeadScratcher7 , June 4, 2010 6:54 AM
    I was all set to buy a Clevo before I noticed the cramped keyboard. Looks like they use the same keyboard (with the non-standard 10-key) for every computer they make -regardless of whether it's got a 15.6" screen or 18.4".

    When I buy a desktop replacement I expect a full size keyboard with a standard 10-key pad on the side. The whole point of going the route of a desktop replacement is to be able to use it as-is without having to plug it into a port replicator before I can get some real work done.

    If anyone with some clout has access to Clevo's ear, could they please mention this? When I talked to a Clevo reseller they said no one had ever complained to them before about it. But who would? They would do just like I did and simply buy a different laptop with a proper keyboard. I can't stand companies that try to build a "super" product and then skimp on the basics. When they get the keyboard right, then maybe I'll be interested in the rest.
  • 0 Hide
    JarrettP , August 6, 2010 4:59 PM
    Extended battery for up to 3 minutes of gameplay and a free cooling mat to increase lifetime to up to two seconds running at full power!