Editor's note: This story originally appeared in Computer Shopper magazine. (3/17/06)
CyberPower's tradition of building flashy gaming desktops in sleek, automotive-style, custom-color cases now extends to notebooks with its Xplorer line, which come in seven bright hues. Our fire-engine-red test model packed a nice feature set for $1,458.
At first glance, the Xplorer X64 9700 appears to be a solid laptop. It weighs a hefty 6.1 pounds (7.3 pounds with its AC adapter) and measures 1.2 inches thick, 13.4 inches wide, and 10 inches deep. On closer inspection, though, we noted some shortcomings. The keyboard felt uncomfortably stiff, and though the touch pad was responsive, its strange trapezoidal shape led to frequent accidental touches. On the whole, the case felt poorly constructed; the notebook's plastic lid creaked loudly every time we opened or closed it.
The Xplorer X64 9700's wide-aspect 15.4-inch WXGA display has a glossy, reflective surface. We found that the laptop's discrete ATI graphics engine generated fluid DVD playback and rich colors. We just wish there were external controls to adjust volume and control playback.
The CyberPower Xplorer X64 9700 features a decent selection of ports and connectors, including VGA, S-Video, four-pin FireWire, modem, Ethernet, and four USB 2.0 ports, as well as headphone and microphone jacks and an 802.11b/g Wi-Fi radio. Our review unit also came stocked with a sweet dual-layer DVD burner.
Based on the 1.8GHz AMD Turion 64 MT-34 processor, the CyberPower Xplorer X64 9700 was also equipped with a fast 7,200rpm hard drive with a somewhat disappointing 60GB capacity, 1GB of 400MHz RAM, and an ATI Mobility Radeon X700 graphics chip with 128MB of video memory--a decent value for the price. Anchored by those components, the Xplorer delivered a solid performance on CNET Labs' benchmark tests, matching the larger, Pentium M-based Fujitsu LifeBook N6210 and . It performed less ably in our gaming test, turning in 19.6 frames per second in our Doom 3 test--not terrible, but not great.
CyberPower provides a standard one-year warranty; we wish the company offered upgrade options. But we do appreciate that CyberPower provides toll-free tech support for the life of the product. During the first year of coverage, phone support is available 24 hours a day; after that, your calls are limited to West Coast business hours.
|BAPCo SysMark 2004 rating||SysMark 2004 Internet content creation||SysMark 2004 office productivity|
|Id software/Activision's Doom 3|
Find out more about how we test Windows notebooks.
Windows XP Home; 1.8GHz Turion 64 MT-34; 1GB PC3200 DDR SDRAM 400MHz; Hitachi Travelstar 7K60 60GB 7,200rpm
Fujitsu LifeBook N6210
Windows XP Home; 1.86GHz Intel Pentium M 750; 1GB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon X600 128MB; two Fujitsu MHV2100AT 100GB 4,200rpm
Windows XP Professional; 1.86GHz Intel Pentium M 750; 1GB PC3200 DDR2 SDRAM 400MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon X600 128MB; Hitachi Travelstar 5K100 100GB 5,400rpm