In anticipation of our upcoming Core 2 Duo content for the Merom processor, we bring you a preview of Velocity Micro’s L80 Ultra Gaming Notebook. It carries an Intel T7200 and an NVIDIA Go 7600, so let’s see what we have to look forward to.
As many of you might know by now, HardOCP doesn’t "review" systems; we evaluate the experiences they facilitate. We order the system the same as you would and evaluate every aspect of the end-user experience. Not only does this give us a better idea of what hardware an end user actually receives, it also allows us to obtain a more accurate picture of just how each company functions and treats its customers. As fast as PC hardware has become over the years, we think giving a personal computer "5 stars" based on how fast it ran a synthetic benchmark is simply irresponsible. We think service, support, and reliability are much more important factors in today's climate rather than speed. Fast is easily bought, but purchasing and ownership satisfaction can be elusive.
This process allows us to not only evaluate the system, but the OEM that builds it. Our goal is to give you the wide-angle lens view of the computer and the company so that you can make informed and educated decisions as to what you purchase or recommend to clients, friends, and family.
Velocity Micro (VM) is our program’s oldest member. We’ve evaluated four VM desktops, all of which have had exceptional build quality. This will be their first mobile solution that we have had in the [H] Consumer offices. However, this will be a preview, not an evaluation. VM was kind enough to send us one of their L80 laptops outfitted with a Core 2 Duo Merom processor. These systems are currently for sale on their website and in Best Buy stores.
Intel’s Core 2 has created a huge shockwave in the market. In anticipation of Core 2 reaching the market, AMD made significant price cuts. They knew then what we know now – Core 2 is blazingly fast. While we don’t see a huge difference in real-world gaming, the efficiency of this processor in media creation and DVD encoding is jaw-dropping. As impressive as the desktop versions of Core 2 have been, we’re all the more curious as to what a mobile chip could do.
We’ll soon be evaluating Core 2 mobile systems, but as a prelude to those full evaluations, we thought you’d like a primer on what you can expect to see.
Because this system will not be scored, we’re mostly looking to see what kind of an impact Core 2 is going to make in the mobile arena and what VM is doing to grasp that performance. This laptop is equipped with an NVIDIA Go 7600, so we’ll be looking at its prowess in gaming. We’re also keenly interested in what Merom means for mobile productivity. We’ve seen several impressive Core Duo solutions in the recent months, so we’re very interested to see how much the Merom chip will up the ante.
Here’s what we got: