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Extreme Gaming Rigs: When Is A Laptop Not A Laptop?



When Is A Laptop Not A Laptop?
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Extreme laptops are reaching new benchmarks to give you the ultimate gaming experience. These ever increasing powerful machines are offering you better performances from ever decreasing packages. Gaming notebooks are now reaching standards usually associated with high end Desktop PCs.

But at some point even the most dedicated gamer has to ask: when is a laptop not a laptop?

If you take the literal meaning of the word, you should be able to fit or sit a laptop comfortably on your lap for an extended period of time. Portability should also be another defining feature; you should be able to easily carry your laptop around with you wherever you go. Otherwise, why not just buy a Desktop PC instead of a laptop?

The long standing argument has been power or performance; you can get higher performance out of a Desktop PC than you can get from any laptop. Maybe so, but the gap is narrowing quickly.

Recent extreme gaming rigs are offering some very impressive specs. Just take for example, the new Xtreme SL8 from Rock, (a UK laptop manufacturer) and you will see that stacking has taken on a whole new meaning.

The Xtreme SL8 is one heck of a mean-machine with ultimate raw stacking power with Four Intel Core 2 processor cores, Two NVIDIA 8800M GTX SLi graphics cards and Three 7200rpm SATA hard drives. This gaming machine can crunch numbers and offer top mobile performance benchmarks. It might even give the odd PC some serious laptop envy.

This machine supports up to 4GB DDR2 RAM (available up to 800MHz) with DX10 graphics. Plus, you have all the high end features such as HD-DVD Writer combo drive, TV Tuner, Hi-res 17" WUXGA X-Glass (1920x1200) Display, Webcam, 7.1 Surround Sound Output with 4 speakers...

However all this stacking power and fully loaded features takes up a lot of space. The Xtreme SL8 weights in at a little under 12 pounds (5.3 kg) and around 15.5 inches (394) mm by 12 inches (299 mm). At 2 and half inches thick this is not your Apple Air.

Nor is it trying to be but some comparisons has to be made if we're classifying both of these computing machines as laptops. The Apple Air is 3 pounds (1.36 kg) and under an inch thick (1.94 cm) so it truly is a portable laptop with 5 hours of battery life. This is a long way removed from the XSL8's massive credentials and massive weight, but so too is the distance between the performances offered by the respective laptops.

These two mobile computers were designed for two completely different purposes; one for raw gaming power and the other for the ultimate in portability. Each has their respective customers but can both of them be called a laptop?

Perhaps, but the Xtreme SL8 is more or less a neatly trimmed down packaged Desktop PC. Not that there is anything wrong with that as long as you know what you're getting when you're buying one; you won't be sitting with this baby on your lap for long periods or lugging it around over long distances.

For those of us studying laptop designs (there are such creatures in the world unfortunately) over a long period of time, you can't help but notice how much power and performance can now be crammed into an ever shrinking package. Nor can you ignore the trend that Desktop PCs are looking more and more like laptops, especially the monitors.

Even the trademark Desktop Tower is getting slimmer and more streamlined; there will probably come a time with all the tower components will evolve into such small compact entities, calling it a tower will be a gross exaggeration.

One can plainly see, the Desktop PC days are numbered, especially when you consider we have an inherent need to make everything smaller and more compact. Besides why take up all that space when you can get the same performance in a smaller package. This is another example where big may not necessarily be better.

The line between what is a Laptop and what is a Desktop computer will continue to be blurred as computer makers keep offering up what the consumer wants. At some point in the not too distance future the two products will probably converge into a light portable package that can be carried anywhere. Why not just call everything a Mobile Computer and be done with it.

But for now, gaming enthusiasts will still have a choice when buying their ultimate gaming machine - a Desktop PC or a laptop such as the Xtreme SL8. However, calling the last one a laptop is still stretching the imagination to its limits, no matter how you define it.



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