Is That A Notebook? MALIBAL's Six-Core, Dual-GPU, Speed Demon

Combining top-end desktop and notebook components, the MALIBAL Nine X7200 is the workstation you can take with you. Today we see how it compares to our fastest “desktop replacement” notebook, and how well it stands up to a similarly-configured desktop PC.

The fact that Intel's Core i7 adds an incredible level of performance to semi-portable notebooks won’t come as news to most people, with examples like the i7-720QM-powered G51J and i7-820QM-powered W860CU arriving a year ago. Yet, when Intel’s fastest mobile processor couldn’t match the performance level of its earliest desktop CPU, many enthusiasts were left to wonder, “is that it?”

Not quite.

Going back even farther, we saw Clevo making notebooks for the Core i7 architecture even before Intel was ready to announce its mobile version. These desktop-based machines certainly wouldn’t thrill the ultra-mobile crowd, yet “mobile workstation” performance makes no apologies for heft. That tradition follows through in Clevo’s latest power monster, its X7200, supporting Intel’s high-flying six-core Core i7-980X Extreme and up to two of the fastest-available mobile graphics modules.

If you want one, you’re going to have to buy it from somewhere, and white-box builder MALIBAL wants to be your source. It sent a fully-configured ultimate-performance configuration for Tom’s Hardware to look over, complete with SLI graphics and a RAID 0 configuration of two SSD drives.

MALIBAL Nine X7200 Component List
PlatformIntel LGA 1366, X58 Express / ICH10R, MXM-III Discrete Graphics
CPUIntel Core i7-980X Extreme Six-Core, 3.33-3.60 GHz, 6.4 GT/s QPI, 12 MB L3 Cache, 32 nm, 130 W
RAMSamsung 12 GB (3 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333 MT/s SODIMM, CL9, 1.5 V, Non-ECC
GraphicsDual Nvidia GeForce GTX 480M, 2 GB GDDR5, SLI
Display17.3" Glossy LED Backlit TFT, 1920x1080
Webcam3.0 Megapixel
AudioIntegrated HD Audio
SecurityBuilt-in Fingerprint Reader
Hard Drive2 x Intel X25-M 80 GB SSD, Striped: MLC, SATA 3Gb/s (Supports up to three drive total)
Optical DriveMatshita BD-MLT UJ240AS 6x Blu-ray Writer / 8x DVD Writer Multi Drive
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 (not installed)
Gigabit NetworkJMicron PCIe 10/100/1000 Mb/s Ethernet
IEEE-1394Optional (not installed)
TelephonyNot Available
Peripheral Interfaces
USB3 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0
Expansion CardNot Available
HDD1 x eSATA 3Gb/s
AudioHeadphone, Microphone, Line-In, Digital Out Jacks
Video1 x Dual-Link DVI-I w/VGA Adapter, 1 x HDMI
Power & Weight
AC Adapter300 W Power Brick, 100-240 V AC to 15 V DC
Battery14.8 V 5300 mAh (78.44 Wh) Single
WeightNotebook 13.4 lbs, AC Adapter 3.6 lbs, Total 17.0 pounds
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Edition, OEM
Warranty3-year labor, 1-year parts

Not a configuration for lightweights, this 17-pound (with adapter) behemoth “weighs in” at over $5000, yet even the least-expensive $2600 version carries MALIBAL’s three-year extended-service warranty. Far more portable than any desktop PC competitor, enthusiasts with extra heft in both their arms and wallets will definitely want to take a closer look at its performance.

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  • Darkerson
    Dear god, that thing is a beast...
  • compton
    I'm not sure how awesome this is in practice. I'm sure someone out othere needs this, but that person would have to be blind to appreciate the asthetics.
  • iam2thecrowe
    its more of a portable pc than a notebook. look at the power consumption. Even its own power adaptor cant keep up at max load.
  • Darkerson
    In this case, its not really about looks, as much as its about "portable" brute strength. And it seems to have plenty of that...
  • bombat1994
    this is why we cant have nice things,

    but seriously, the 480m is just a small 450
  • thats actually really good performance from a top end system
    at most rates it is still fairly close to a desktop in price also
  • maxiim
    This quite useless if you want all that power for gaming, you surely cant have it on the go with a battery provided....might as well build a with almost the same specs for less money.
  • compton
    Its the same price as a base model Kia Rio just about. Kudos to them for the engineering needed to make this gear work in a mobile chassis. I may not be sold on the concept, or see the need of, but I hope they sell a ton of them. It is kinda cool just because its so powerful -- but for the price you could build or buy two highly specialized systems. It could be a mobile workstation or for AV production work on site instead of just for gaming. Clearly these ultra powerful 'notebooks' are a niche segment, but there are quite a few now. Someone must be buying them.
  • sudeshc
    Not that impressive to me main reason for Lappy is portability and thats where this lacks i wounder even if under no load how much heat it would generate and also the battery wont last long..
  • Crashman
    comptonIt could be a mobile workstation or for AV production work on site instead of just for gaming. Clearly these ultra powerful 'notebooks' are a niche segment, but there are quite a few now. Someone must be buying them.
    Actually, that's what the X7200 is! Tom's Hardware got the "gaming" version simply to show off its capabilities to enthusiasts, but the Quadro versions are equally viable (and likely more valuable) in their own respective markets.
  • Khimera2000
    I remember having some of clevo's other offerings. This thing although hard to lug is a god send for any one in the military... It was the only way i was able to game on deployement at the time. but on a negative note these things way a ton >.< don't do the messanger bag if you like where that sholders at :D
  • ridewya
    DaMn This laptop is soo freakin ugly
  • IzzyCraft
    That's one hell of a power brick.
  • amdgamer666
    ridewyaDaMn This laptop is soo freakin ugly

    It's thick for sure but not ugly. There is a difference

    The day I can justify a purchase like this is the day I die a happy man.
  • barmaley
    Maybe it’s because of my lack of imagination, but somehow I fail to find an appropriate application for it. Portable gaming of roughly 30 minutes on battery is next to useless. Which means you must have power outlet if you want to play most the time. In that case you might as well build a mini desktop for a quarter of the price and haul it everywhere with you along with a monitor, lol :)

    On a more serious note, I can see it being a good option if you are at one of those insane doctor appointments where they make you wait for like 3 hours for no reason before you get seen; or on a road trip; or at an airport and then on a plane if power is made available to you (business class).

    If I had a $6000 budget to blow on a computer, this thing would not be on the list. Desktop beats this thing for LAN parties hands down. With all of its performance you still have to live with this pricey, bulky, hot, heavy and butt-ugly unit.
  • joytech22
    I think the idea of this laptop is more of a desktop replacement, it's got the awesome power of a decent desktop in a small package with everything in one, so you don't need to lug around a mouse, keyboard and screen.

    But then again you'll still need those things for LAN's but at least it weighs less than most Enthusiast systems.
  • arkadi
    Imagine....Your new "speed daemon" cup of coffee and sudden move...With one year warranty i will never spend 5k on computer...i wonder who will.....
  • kingnoobe
    Theres very good reason to buy a laptop like this. One of those is being in the military. It would've sucked to pack up my desktop and bring here. Not to mention it wouldn't have made it anyways (all our shit got stolen). With a laptop like this (I personally don't have it but I do have the asus-g series) I don't have to worry about all the bullshit of a desktop (space). We're living in tents so that is a serious issue.
  • the battery at 7844 mWh capacity is about one third of ipad battery which is 25Wh or 2500mWh
  • alexcheng
    Anyone still need a definition for "hardcore"??
  • ghnader hsmithot
    My brother did spend 4k on one..And i clearly didnt like it..
  • climber
    You can buy the X7200 config from Eurocom and iBuyPower.
  • molo9000
    "AC Adapter 3.6 lbs"
    WTF? The power adapter is heavier than most laptops.

    This might make sense for professionals who really really need a mobile workstation but it's extremely pointless for gamers.
  • gti88
    Great article!