MALIBAL's Lotus P150HM: GeForce GTX 485M Gets Its Game On

Bigger Bang In A Smaller Package?

As the mobile vendors who specialize in DTRs try to prove their battery-equipped workstations can replace performance-oriented desktops, many appear to have forgotten that most people like to carry their portable devices farther than the distance from their office to their car. Due to the extra cooling and energy needs of high-performance components, any effort to reduce weight has come at a huge cost in capability.

That is, until now.

The recent launch of Intel’s Core i7-2920XM CPU, which brings massive efficiency gains to the table, puts desktop-class performance into mid-sized notebooks, addressing exactly one half of a “high-end” notebook’s typical shortcomings. The other half of the middleweight performance problem is graphics, to which Nvidia thinks it has an answer in its GeForce GTX 485M.

The combination of these latest components looks good on a spec sheet, but we had to find out how well these worked in actual games and applications. MALIBAL was ready to help us find out, sending its mid-sized Lotus P150HM for evaluation.

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MALIBAL Lotus P150HM Configuration
PlatformIntel FCPGA988, HM65 Express, MXM-III Discrete Graphics
CPUIntel Core i7-2920XM Quad-Core 2.5-3.5 GHz, 8 MB L3 Cache, 32nm, 55 W
RAM16 GB (4 x 4 GB) Apacer DDR3-1333 MT/s SO-DIMM, CL9, 1.5 V, Non-ECC
GraphicsSingle Nvidia GeForce GTX 485M, 2 GB GDDR5 575 MHz GPU, GDDR5-3000, 256-bit
Display15.6" "Full HD" Glossy, LED backlit TFT, 1920x1080
Webcam2.0 Megapixel
AudioIntegrated HD Audio
SecurityFinger Print Scanner
Hard DriveIntel second-gen X25-M 120 GB, MLC, 2.5-Inch, SATA 3 Gb/s SSD
Optical DrivePanasonic UJ240 Blu-ray Burner: 6x BD-R, 2x BD-RE, 8x DVD±R
Media Drive9-in-1 flash media interface
Wireless LANIntel Ultimate-N 6300, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 11/54/450 Mb/s
Wireless PANOptional Internal Bluetooth Module (not included)
Gigabit NetworkIntegrated 10/100/1000 Mb/s Ethernet
Peripheral Interfaces
USB3 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0
Expansion CardInternal Only
AudioHeadphone, Microphone, Line-In, Digital Out
Video1 x VGA, 1 x HDMI
Power & Weight
AC Adapter180 W Power Brick, 100-240 V AC to 19 V DC
Battery14.8 V 5200 mAh (77 Wh) Single
WeightNotebook 7.0 lbs, AC Adapter 1.8 lbs, Total 8.8 pounds
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition, OEM
Warranty3-year labor, 1-year parts (Add $149 for 3-Year Full)

The configuration we received adds over $2000 over the base model, including the $895 CPU upgrade from the standard Core i7-2630QM and a $495 upgrade from the GeForce GTX 460M. While many of these upgrade rates seem at least somewhat reasonable, substituting Intel’s 120 GB X25-M for the base model costs $5 more than purchasing the drive separately from Newegg. Though reinstalling the OS would have been a nuisance, there’s little chance any of us would pay someone $5 to take the standard 320 GB drive off our hands.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • cable4
    Sweet laptop!
    Now all I have to do is plan a bank robbery to afford it ;)
  • Crashman
    cable4Sweet laptop! Now all I have to do is plan a bank robbery to afford itI think you can save around $1500 and still keep the good graphics card if you're willing to give up the fast processor, SSD, and extra RAM :)
  • lee3821
    CrashmanI think you can save around $1500 and still keep the good graphics card if you're willing to give up the fast processor, SSD, and extra RAMGood point.
    With that taken off price, it looks really appealing, honestly.
    ...if I wanted a gaming laptop.
    For me, the HD6550M and i5 480M serve me well enough at 1366x768 until I can get back to my kickass desktop.
  • Bigmac80
    I have a pretty good gaming laptop Asus G73. I remember when i bought it i was thinking to myself that this can really change everything because of how fast and how portble it was. But even though i have a fast laptop i still prefer gaming on a desktop.
  • neiroatopelcc
    Too bad you made no comparisons to desktop midrange systems. So we still don't know if it's worth going for only a laptop like this, or getting a cheap i3 laptop for the road and a proper gaming system for stationary use.
  • Maziar
    Impressive results. 1:38 is quite good for a gaming notebook like this.
    to neiroatopelcc
    GTX 485M performs between desktop GTS 450 and GTX 460
  • bhaberle
    I wouldn't say only seven pounds mate. That is on the heavier side for notebooks. =) But I am glad that laptops are finally not going to be a huge compromise.
  • oz73942
    The batterly life on the review is no where close to what owners are getting. 3 hours under typical daily use ;)
  • WyomingKnott
    Am I just stupid? What is "Clevo?"
  • JackNaylorPE
    WyomingKnottAm I just stupid? What is "Clevo?"
    Most of the brands you heard of don't actually make any laptops. The vast majority of laptops on the market are manufactured by a small handful of Original Design Manufacturers (ODM).

    Major relationships include:

    * Quanta sells to (among others) HP/Compaq, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, Fujitsu, Acer, NEC, Gateway and Lenovo/IBM - note that Quanta is currently (as of August, 2007) the largest manufacturer of notebook computers in the world.
    * Compal sells to Toshiba, HP/Compaq, Acer, and Dell.
    * Positivo Informatica sells to Samsung, Sony, Siragon, Toshiba, HP
    * Wistron (former manufacturing & design division of Acer) sells to HP/Compaq, Dell, IBM, NEC, Acer, and Lenovo/IBM.
    * Flextronics (former Arima Computer Corporation notebook division) sells to HP/Compaq, NEC, and Dell.
    * Itautec sells to Siragon, LG, Samsung, Sony
    * ECS sells to IBM, Fujitsu, and Dell.
    * Asus sells to Apple (iBook), Sony, and Samsung.
    * Inventec sells to HP/Compaq, Toshiba, and BenQ.
    * Lanix sells to Sony, Compaq, Toshiba, Siragon, Itautec
    * Uniwill sells to Lenovo/IBM and Fujitsu & PC World UK own brand Advent.
    * Clevo sells to known boutique brand OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers)… notably Sager, VoodooPC, Falcon Northwest, Eurocom, Xoticpc, Prostar, etc.

    They are also considered (by whoever knows about notebooks) to design and manufacturer the best of the best notebooks in terms of superior build quality and innovative designs