On my UK blog I have been really upset lately by the poor specification of PC Laptops - specifically the graphics capability. Basically, PC laptops are spec'ed in the main for business use and price is paramount in this world. So the graphics capabilities of these machines are pretty low. Well, how much do you need for email and a spreadsheet?
The truth of the matter, and the reason I'm so worked up about it, is that firstly the PC laptop manufacturers in general, aren't very good at telling consumers how good their products really are. For example, Windows Vista has a feature called the Windows Experience Index which will rate a PC's capabilities across five categories and give the PC the overall score of the lowest category. No PC manufacturer displays the WEI figure for their machines - as far as I've seen. In fact, some of the trendest PC laptop manufacturers don't even publish the graphical spec of their machines - you have to really dig around in their reseller channel material to find them. I think that really sucks, and when Apple are producing MacBook Pro's with the ATI X1600 built in( and clearly showing the spec), it all adds up to suggest my beloved PC platform isn't up to the job. Well actually, Windows Vista is really up for it, its just the PC laptop manufacturers are in the main stuck in the rut of supporting the business world, all dull suits and boring process.
However, I've discovered the PC laptop world isn't as bad as it looks and does have a dedicated crew who really do know how to build laptops. Following a tipoff from a friend I contacted Rock - makers of the Xtreme CTX Pro - and asked what the Windows Experience Index was on such a machine. They pack the Nvidia GeForce Go 7950 GTX with 512Mb of dedicated graphics RAM into this beast so my hopes were high this would be the laptop to rock my world!
And I am not disappointed. As you can see below the Xtreme CTX Pro simply blows the majority (and I mean 99.9%) of PC laptops off the face of this earth! Delivering the highest Windows Experience Index graphics performances I've seen in a laptop to date. Coupled with the Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 @ 2.0 Ghz this machine should be standard issue to all mobile PC enthusiasts.
The best bit - this isn't even the top spec for the Xtreme CTX Pro. There are two more faster processor options available taking you right up to the T7600 @ 2.33Ghz plus the ability to get 3GB of DDR 667MHz RAM.
Without a doubt, this machine with Windows Vista Ultimate is a Mac Book Pro killer. I wish I'd had one when I was working with UK software houses developing Windows Presentation Foundation applications last year rather than the scanky box I'm still lumbered with. Well, I'm definitely over due a machine upgrade and I know which one I'm going to push for. The Xtreme CTX pro (with 3Gb, T7600 and the hi-res WUXGA+ screen upgrade.)