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Four cores and seven years ago...

Four cores and seven years ago...

A star-spangled laptop

Six weeks ago, we told you about the Xtreme Notebooks 917V, one of the very first laptops purporting to offer quad-core computing, featuring the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 and Q6700 CPUs. While this was an xtremely interesting development, as our colleague Matt Elliott sagely pondered: "It all adds up to an unquestionably powerful laptop, but I'd like to know what the Xtreme 917V Accelerator sounds like when it's cooling a desktop CPU, two video cards, and three hard drives." Other vendors agreed, and even wrote in to let us know that these quad-core chips were not officially supported by Clevo, the manufacturer of the chassis used in the Xtreme Accelerator 917V.

We figured we'd wait until this 12-pound monster showed up in our Lab before passing judgment. It was certainly hard to miss when it did show up. As illustrated above, the entire system was decked out in a bizarre American flag pattern, complete with stars printed right on the wrist rest. We didn't see a flag option on the Xtreme Notebooks Web site, so we figure this is an example of the company's offer to paint the system and put any graphic you want on it for $389 (on top of a base price of $3,199).

That doesn't look right...

Checking out new hardware is always exciting, especially when it breaks new ground, like stuffing a desktop quad-core CPU into a laptop. Equally disappointing, however, is booting up a system like that and running into immediate problems. Our Xtreme 917V had an unusual quirk--it ran fine when plugged in, but the screen image broke up whenever we pulled the plug and attempted to run it off of the battery.

After some elementary troubleshooting, we decided to cut our losses and ship the system back to the vendor for repair before benchmarking it, so it'll be at least several more days before we can tell you about our first experience with a quad-core laptop. Doubtless, you're just as eager to find out as we are, so we certainly hope they'll be xtremely quick in getting it back to us.