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Sager NP4780 review: Sager NP4780

Sager NP4780

Dan Littman
3 min read
It makes more sense to think of Sager's NP4780 as a desktop PC that's easy to transport between offices than as a truly portable notebook. For several reasons, it doesn't quite fit the bill as a system you would want to use while you walk around the office or sit on an airplane. The handsome silver-and-gray slab weighs a shoulder-straining, knee-crunching 9.4 pounds (or 11.3 with its AC power supply). At 15.5 inches wide by 10.75 inches deep, it won't fit on a standard airplane foldout tray nor on many hotel sideboards. Moreover, its battery lasts less than 90 minutes and requires a screwdriver to swap. Still, we think the Sager NP4780 offers enough muscle and features for you to consider trading in a desktop for this computer, which is small enough to lock away inside your desk.
The NP4780's strength is that it offers all the comforts and capabilities of a desktop computer in a notebook. For one thing, the keyboard has a separate numeric keypad instead of a patch of letter keys assigned to perform dual functions. The springy, quiet keyboard is also very comfortable for typing. A bright, crisp, 17-inch (diagonal) screen displays a movie-friendly 1,440x900 WXGA resolution, and the standalone ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro 3D graphics controller with 128MB of memory plays movies with no hesitation or jitter. A Pentium 4 running Windows XP Pro at 3.2GHz and backed up by 1GB of 400MHz memory and a 60GB drive spinning at 7,200rpm lets you zip through ordinary computing tasks. (For an extra $530, you can even upgrade the memory to 2GB, but those modules run at a slower 333MHz, which may ultimately result in decreased performance.)
Sager loaded the NP4780 with enough features to make the $2,510 price tag look like a square deal. The list includes a Gigabit Ethernet adapter, an integrated 802.11b wireless networking adapter, a DVD-RW drive, a FireWire port, and a Type II PC Card slot. More exotic features include a four-slot flash-memory reader that can handle six common formats: CompactFlash, Microdrive, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, Secure Digital, and MultiMediaCard; plus a Camtel video camera built into the lid (although like most pinhole cameras, it tends to capture a delayed, blurry stream), and a television tuner with a handheld remote control (a port on the side can attach to a cable television feed or an antenna). For movie watchers and game players, the subwoofer built into the bottom of the notebook is a good complement to the four clear-sounding and reasonably loud stereo speakers placed next to the keyboard on the front edge. You can also use the NP4780's S/PDIF port to divert audio to an external 5.1 surround-sound setup.
Sager provides a toll-free telephone number for free lifetime tech support, available weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT. However, the warranty runs only one year, which seems inadequate considering the NP4780's price tag. You can extend it to three years for $210 or four years for $260. You also get a thorough user manual, which provides extensive information on the configuration, power management, graphics controller, BIOS, and other important details about the NP4780.
Maximum application performance  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo SysMark 2002 rating  
SysMark 2002 Internet content creation  
SysMark 2002 office productivity  
Gateway M675
Eurocom D470V
Sager NP4780

3D graphics performance  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
Futuremark 3DMark2001 SE  
Sager NP4780
Eurocom D470V
Gateway M675