CyberPower Xplorer X6-9100: Gamers Need Not Applyby Dustin Sklavos on May 4, 2011 12:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Sandy Bridge
- Intel SSD 510
Given the lack of dedicated graphics, really the two heaviest hitters are going to be the 45-watt TDP on the processor and the 15.6", 1080p screen. We've already talked about the former and we'll get into more detail on the latter on the next page, but for now let's see how much of a toll they take on the CyberPower Xplorer X6-9100's admittedly mediocre six-cell, 48Whr battery. (CyberPower is currently looking into making an 8-cell battery available.)
Jarred was excited about the potential for quad-core Sandy Bridge to save power on the battery, and that potential bears fruit again here. We tested the Xplorer X6-9100 at about the same time as the Toshiba M645, and despite the 10W higher TDP and larger screen on the X6-9100, it more or less ties the Toshiba when it comes to useful running time. The X6-9100 is a little on the big side, but if you need to run it off the mains you shouldn't have any issues. Still, we would appreciate manufacturers standardizing on bigger than 48Whr batteries, especially on 15.6" and larger notebooks.
Noise and Heat
Since the X6-9100 doesn't have a dedicated GPU to cool, the fan shouldn't have to work as hard and thermals can stay reasonable. As a result, the X6-9100's insides ought to stay frosty even under load.
Uh oh. The OEM seems to have erred on the side of silence; the i7's idle temperatures are reasonable for a notebook and the load temperatures aren't horrible, but they aren't great either. Things get worse when you take a look at the temperatures radiating from the chassis.
These are far from the worst temperatures we've seen, but the traditional notebook hotspot (the bottom center) gets particularly toasty under load. An unfortunate side effect of the glossy shell also makes the palm rests less than ideal when putting the notebook to work, as they're liable to generate enough heat to make your palms sweat and stick to the surface.
The corollary is that the X6-9100 runs quiet, especially for normal workloads (as opposed to heavy multi-threaded work), but we'd prefer a bit more noise at load with lower temperatures.
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Hrel - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - linkI can just see Dustin. Gets a new laptop in to review, starts getting excited. Grabs a knife, opens the box, pulls off the packaging, pauses... *swears, throws things, swears some more. Shakes fists at the sky "Damn you glossy plastic". Lol, that's the impression I get.
Anyway, I saw this a while ago and was hoping to see review for it; nice work. It really is a great option for people who don't need GPU power. You can get the price down around 600-700 bucks and it's still a much better than anything else I've ever seen. Largely due to the 1080p screen.
Cyberpowerpc has an MSI laptop on their website with a 1080p screen and the GTX460M in it. That's the laptop I'd really like to see a review on. I'm going to buy a laptop this summer and frankly the only thing that stopped me from impulse buying that MSI laptop the moment I saw it was the 48Whr battery. Made me think "hm, I better wait till I've read the anandtech review".
I'm not sure if it's the same model MSI you gave away or not, but it has 2hdd bays so those who were so inclined could have an SSD and mechanical disk without sacrificing an optical drive.
Hrel - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - linkI was hoping that screen would be at least a little better than that. Oh well, it's at least one step in the right direction. At least we got 1080p, maybe 2012 will bring 500:1 minimum contrast ratio? I do wish. Still, best laptop for people who don't about gaming I've found. Nicely configured for 650, very fair.
Personally, I've had too many bad experiences with Dell to ever buy a laptop from them again. Also, my next laptop will have a GTX460 in it. My main issue with Dell is the restrictions they put on their upgrades. If I upgrade the GPU, I shouldn't be forced to upgrade any other component. And their website sure as hell shouldn't be lieing to me, telling me it causes a compatibility issue. (they claimed I couldn't put a dual core i5 with their gpu upgrade, I think at the time it was up to the 425 or 435M.)
JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - linkIf you're talking about this one (http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/Xplorer_X6-9500... I'm pretty sure that's the same chassis as the MSI GT680R that we gave away. I previewed performance around the time of the Cougar Point bug, and we have a fixed version in for review that I'll be posting shortly.
Long story short: same performance as other GTX 460M laptops, not the greatest build quality in the world, and the 1080p LCD is about the same as the Pegatron laptop in this review. Also, the battery is NOT 48Wh (hint: no 9-cell battery is that small; the unit I have has an 87Wh battery). So it's a fair amount of power for the price, but I'd go with a Clevo P151HM (or P150HM), or perhaps an ASUS G53SW. You lose the dual HDD bays on both of those, I think, but for sure the Clevo models have much better LCDs.
Hrel - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - linkYeah, I was very suspicious about that battery size. It's really good to hear these reviews are coming. I am surprised to hear you'd prefer the Clevo... you guys all seem to REALLY hate that keyboard. On that point, is it just the 10 key or is the whole thing bad?
I was looking at that Asus too. Last time Asus had a good 15.6" laptop though the 1080p screen was below/at average. Where compal/clevo/dell units had nice 1080p screens.
Have you heard/seen anything from Compal with Sandy bridge and GTX460 in 15.6" 1080p flavors? They seem oddly absent from the laptop market all of a sudden.
JarredWalton - Thursday, May 5, 2011 - linkNothing from Compal yet, at least not that I've heard about. They do seem to be a bit behind with most launches, though Pegatron isn't exactly a brand known for being cutting edge (i.e. witness the aesthetics in this review).
As far as best gaming laptop in a 15.6" form factor, it's a question of compromise. MSI and ASUS seem to have lesser 1080p LCDs, and none of them get the keyboard *right* (MSI is probably closest with the layout, though), so you have to decide what's most important. The MSI touchpad is really bad, with a 2008 aesthetic on the build quality. ASUS looks good overall, but without testing the LCD I can't make a final call. Clevo has a poor keyboard layout, with a pointless 10-key, but I can still type on the rest of the keyboard "okay" and they have one of the best LCDs right now in my opinion. Pricing on the Clevo is also quite good, which is probably a deciding factor.
StrangerGuy - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - linkI'm sure that glossy palmrest is gonna like turn off at least 50% of potential buyers away regardless of specs.
Anyway, 1080p is squeezing too many pixels for a 15.4" screen IMO. But then nobody does 1600 x 900 on laptops anymore...
Belard - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - linkUh... Lenovo ThinkPads have optional 1600x900 screens for their 15.6" models.
ThinkPad L series: L520 2620M CPU / 4GB RAM / HD / 1600x900 non-glare screen is about $1070, give or take on your options. But the T-series T520 is a much better notebook, same config but with an i5 = $970 (But $1160 with Q2620)
One of my clients has a slightly older T-510 with the 1600x900 screen and it looks very nice!
Stuka87 - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - linkI actually like the pixel density on my 15.6" display. I wish it was 16x10, but other than that I like it.
Belard - Thursday, May 5, 2011 - linkPersonally - with my eye-sight... I'd go for the 1920x1080 15.6" screen... But since I find 15.6" screen 16:9 notebooks so wide and add more than another 1lb of weight, I'd most likely go with a 14" screen @ 1600x900.
JMS3072 - Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - linkUnfortunately, the target audience (photographers/videographers) are going to want a decent LCD, making this a no-go.