It used to be the case that if you were a serious PC gamer you had to deny yourself the pleasures of blasting aliens in your favourite first-person shooter when you went on the road. Laptops just hadn’t developed to the point where 3D cards could sit comfortably inside such a small space without overheating.
Thankfully those days are now gone and several of the current generation of desktop substitutes have been designed with gaming fans in mind. The D900T is likely to make Doom 3 fanatics weep with joy, as it packs more under the cover than many of its desktop cousins.
Apart from anything else, it looks slim, sexy and silver despite its hefty 5.2kg weight. When the cool blue light under the power switch and the front clock comes on, you know you’re looking at something stylish. There’s a full-size keyboard and separate number pad – plenty of room for such things with a 17-inch TFT screen – and the touchpad includes a scroll facility (which can take a while to get used to).
Powered by a Pentium 4 550 processor with a speed of 3.6GHz and a PCI Express motherboard, this is one powerful machine, with 512MB of 533MHz DDR2 RAM. Worried about hard drive space? Relax, not only does the basic model come with 80GB, but there’s an additional bay for a second HDD option with RAID 0 and RAID 1 support, and all upgradeable to 200GB.
As for the all-important graphics card, you’re gifted with an Nvidia GeForce Go 6800 which is more than sufficient for the current generation of games. We tested it out with punishing waves of the undead in the demanding shooter Painkiller, and with all settings at maximum there wasn’t a flicker, judder or flash to be seen.
As for ports, there are no fewer than four USB 2.0, two IEEE1394 Firewire, a TV/HDTV-Out, Video In, Parallel, Serial, DVI-Out, PS/2 and S/PDif output. In addition there’s a built-in Wireless LAN 802.11b/g card, a 7-in-1 flash memory card reader, Bluetooth, a 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet LAN adapter, an optional TV Tuner and a Bison video camera with good clarity.
Want decent sound? Well, you can either make do with the four built-in speakers and sub-woofer or you can use the Intel Azalia High Definition Sound with Virtual 8 Channel output for the full surround sound experience. When you’re not playing games you can also relax with the built-in Audio DJ CD player and MP3 player which is accessed from the front and can be operated with the main computer switched off.
The only gripe about the whole machine is the brightness level of the screen which, even at maximum, still appears relatively dull. Hopefully this will be corrected in the next update but in the meantime, play on.
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