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Mobility Radeon Vs. GeForce M: The CrossFire Advantage

Leopard Skin (External Features)

The Leopard comes with a high-gloss finish on most surfaces, perfect for showing off your favorite finger prints. While many of these surfaces are gleaming black, the lid appears to have a “black chrome” insert under a layer of clear acrylic. The flashlight is not included.

A plethora of left-hand ports reduce cable clutter for right-handed mouse users. Included on this edge are DVI-I, USB 2.0, gigabit Ethernet, HDMI-out, a flash-media drive, USB 3.0, HDMI-in, IEEE-1394, and a buyer-selected optical drive.

That's right, we said HDMI in. The X8100 Leopard is designed to display external device output via HDMI pass-through, a feature that could be especially handy to anyone whose living quarters lack the room for a separate TV. The connector isn't purely passive, as it allows still shots, but it does require Windows to be running before any input can be displayed. Input resolutions and timings are mostly limited to the same standards used for televisions.

The Leopard is designed to blow heat away from the user, its large vents leaving only enough room for a single power connector on the rear edge.

Right-edge audio ports include headphone, microphone, line-in, and digital out. A coaxial connector supports an optional TV tuner card, and the top USB 2.0 port on this side doubles as eSATA 3Gb/s.

Nothing more than a blue outline visually separates the touchpad from the palm rest. Buttons and a fingerprint scanner separate an otherwise seamless surface.

The Leopard’s webcam is hidden smartly, behind a smooth panel the covers both the LCD and its frame.

Eight programmable buttons are added to a full-sized keypad which, fortunately, is not seamless.

A lighted power button is hidden on the side of the Leopard’s right top-panel hinge.

Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.