Five Multimedia Notebooks, Tested

Specifications

Specifications

Table 1: Acer, Asus, and Eurocom Specifications
SPEC Acer 8920G Asus M70S Eurocom D90X
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo T9500 Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450
Graphics Processor GeForce 9650M GS ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 2xGeForce 8800M GTS (SLI)
Physical Memory Total Amount 4 GB 2 GB 8 GB
Memory Speed 2x2048 MB DDR2-667 2x1024 MB DDR2-667 2x4096 MB DDR2-667
Disk Drive(s) WD3200BEVT 320 GB Hitachi HTS545050KTA300x2 1TB Seagate ST9200420AS x 2 400 GB
Interface, Rotational Speed, Seek Time, Buffer Size SATA 5400 RPM 12ms 8MB SATA 5400RPM 12ms 8MB SATA II 7200 RPM 11 ms 16 MB
Optical Drive Matshita UJ-120 Blu-ray R Hitachi GSA-T20L DVD RW Matshita BD-MLT UJ-2205 RW
Display Size 18.4" 1920x1200 17" 1440x900 17" 1920x1200
Battery Capacity mAh (Mfgr) 4800 mAh 5200 mAh 6600 mAh
Battery Voltage 14.8 V 14.8V 20V
WiFi Throughput 802.11agn –up to 200MB/s 802.11agn –up to 200MB/s 802.11agn –up to 200MB/s
Wired Throughput GbE GbE GbE
Bluetooth Yes Optional Optional
Number of USB Ports 4 4 4
Firewire No Yes Yes
Other Ports TV antenna, S-Video, HDMI, VGA, RJ-11, Kensington lock, mic-in, headphone-out. S/PDIF TV antenna, S-Video, HDMI, eSATA, VGA, RJ-11, Kensington lock, S/PDIF VGA, S-Video, CATV, RJ-11, DVI, 7.1 audio, Kensington lock
Fingerprint Sensor yes yes optional
ExpressCard Slot yes yes yes
Memory Card Slot yes yes yes
Web Cam yes yes yes
Dimensions WxDxH 18.7" x 13.4" x 2.3" 18.7" x 13.4" x 2.3" 15.9" x 9.11" 1.2"
Weight with battery—pounds 8.9 9.0 13.0
Weight Power brick –pounds 1.175 1.0 2.2
Operating System Windows Vista Ultimate Windows Vista Home Premium Windows Vista Ultimate

Table 2: HP and Sony Specifications
SPEC HP HDX 9203KW Sony VAIO VGN-AR790U/B
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo T9500 Intel Core 2 Duo T9300
Graphics Processor GeForce 8800M GTS GeForce 8600M GT
Physical Memory Total Amount 4 GB 2 GB
Memory Speed 2x2048 MB DDR2-667 2x2048 MB DDR2-667
Disk Drive(s) W2500BEVSx2 500 GB HitToshibaMK352GSXx2 640 GB
Interface, Rotational Speed, Seek Time, Buffer Size SATA 5400 RPM 12ms 8MB SATA 5400RPM 12ms 8MB
Optical Drive Optiarc BX500A Blu-ray R Matshita BD-MLT UJ-220S Blu-ray R
Display Size 20.1" 1920x1200 17" 1920x1200
Battery Capacity mAh (Mfgr) 8800 mAh 4 400 mAh
Battery Voltage 14.4 V 11.1V
WiFi Throughput 802.11agn –up to 200MB/s 802.11agn –up to 200MB/s
Wired Throughput GbE GbE
Bluetooth Yes Optional
Number of USB Ports 4 4
Firewire Yes Yes
Other Ports dual headphone, mic-in,expansion/dock, VGA, HDMI, eSATA, NTSC/ATSC video, 7.1 audio ports, Kensington lock mic-in, S/PDIF, headphone, coax TV, Kensington lock, battery connector
Fingerprint Sensor yes yes
ExpressCard Slot yes yes
Memory Card Slot yes yes
Web Cam yes yes
Dimensions WxDxH 18.7" x 13.4" x 2.3" 16.2" x 11.8" x 1.32"
Weight with battery—pounds 15.38 8.4
Weight Power brick –pounds 2.47 1.1
Operating System Windows Vista Ultimate Windows Vista Ultimate

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  • urimiel
    I am really sorry to be the one that points this out. I am Tomshardware reader for quite many years now. This is the first time I have seen an article or any kind of presentation like that. You guys are posting bar graphs and change the legend of each color bar for every different graph... this does not make sense.
  • fudgeboy
    Quote:
    You guys are posting bar graphs and change the legend of each color bar for every different graph
    wow, and thats like the basic fundamentals of presentation. the writers on this site really need to go back to high school. they should have a standard layout over the whole thing (like you would if you were doing an experiment)
  • Master Exon
    Basically purple is always at the top, regardless of who purple represents. Kinda dumb, but they really should have had the manufacturer's name on the bar itself.

    Hey, when will TH compare $300-$450 netbooks? You already did the $2000 ones.
  • cangelini
    urimielI am really sorry to be the one that points this out. I am Tomshardware reader for quite many years now. This is the first time I have seen an article or any kind of presentation like that. You guys are posting bar graphs and change the legend of each color bar for every different graph... this does not make sense.


    Heya guys--sorry about that. I should have caught this in editing. The charts are now correct with each notebook appearing in the same place with the same corresponding legend data.
  • FrozenGpu
    Master ExonBasically purple is always at the top, regardless of who purple represents. Kinda dumb, but they really should have had the manufacturer's name on the bar itself.Hey, when will TH compare $300-$450 netbooks? You already did the $2000 ones.


    Pretty pretty please with a cherry on top?
  • TheGreatGrapeApe
    To me the $300-450 laptops aren't worth an in depth review, just a quicky 2 pager (is it capable as a netbook yes/no) that's a disposable laptop you buy a kids or as a couch laptop or travel one.

    I want to know what my $2K+ buys me, the $300 laptop is the price of one of the options on these things. That's the bigger risk. What's anyone really expecting in a $300-400 laptop, certainly not heaving gsaming, video editing or programming.

    It may seem elitist, but with the limited amount of info out there on laptops period, netbooks shouldn't consume much of the reviews time, nor space, I'd rather see more $1,000 and $2,000 and then $3,000+ reviews those 3 categories have more variability and value than the cheapest ones. Who can't figure out if a $400 laptop is worth it from a visit to the best buy or whatever?

    Personally I want to see an IBM W700 review, tell me if it's worth the $3,000+ (is the built in Wacom pad good enough, the keyboard stiff enough, is it worth it to get turbo memory now that it's faster & bigger or just go SSD and be done with it, etc), not something to tell me which of the cheap laptops is slower than my previous laptops that you could buy at a discount store for as much and which might be just a tiny bit faster but still just suited for M$ office and websurfing and light photoshoping.
  • Anonymous
    Is the image for this on the Toms Hardware site supposed to say "Multiedia" on the laptop screen or is that a typo?
  • johntmosher
    I have been wanting to find a 20 inch laptop so I was excited to see the HDX review.....But still can't find it for sale online at HP.COM
    Got a sales link?
  • maric423
    johntmosherI have been wanting to find a 20 inch laptop so I was excited to see the HDX review.....But still can't find it for sale online at HP.COMGot a sales link?


    According to the HP Sales guys, its out of production (I got interested and looked for it too). The replacement machine is supposedly the HP HDX 18t, which is only an 18.4", and doesn't have the same hinge structure. Not really a comparable machine. You can still find a few HP Pavilion HDX 20" from third parties if you search around, but I wasn't thrilled about the idea of buying a system they'd already stopped making.
  • Anonymous
    Can you please test one more little thing? Linux compatibility.

    Its easy, just toss in an ubuntu live CD, and tell us if things like sound, webcam, wifi etc work out of the box. If they don't, don't bother much trying to get it to work. But Acer for instance is notorious for having buggy ACPI implementation in the bios that detects the OS and only work with Vista. With Linux (possibly even XP) standby will be highly unreliable. Dell and IBM do a much better job at it, and that deserves to be known.

    Doing such tests should be very straightforward and accomplish two things:
    1) inform us linux users (we buy notebooks too you know :) )
    2) put some pressure on oem's to test their BIOS and hardware with linux

    Id appreciate it. No one does this, please be the first :)
  • Anonymous
    Bought the 8920G recently, the ATI version, first power on - entered BIOS and set it to boot from CD, started F10 Live.

    Did not do too extensive tests, but webcam, wifi, bluetooth, wired ethernet worked out of the box. Sound did not work, the card seems to be recognized but I never got a sound out of it.

    BEWARE: I started Vista only once till the Acer Arcade initial Setup screen, I did not proceed any further (I do not accept the M$ EULA), however after that I was not able to access the BIOS anymore! The "Press F2 to enter setup" message disappeared. Reflashing did not help, only made things worse because I lost the CMOS setting and could not boot from CD anymore (and at that time the hard drive was already formatted to get rid of Vista).