Smooth Creations 18.4 Gaming Notebook Review

Posted: Dec 31 2009, 12:00am CST | by , Updated: Aug 10 2010, 9:30am CDT, in Reviews

 
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Benchmarks

Specifications
The Smooth Creations 18.4 gaming notebook I am testing has an Intel Q9300 quad core CPU, 18.4-inch 1920 x 1080 LCD, NVIDIA GTX 280M graphics, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB HDD. This is far from the basic configuration and prices for the machine start at $3,400 and there is a huge amount of options to choose from. Fully configured machines will cost thousands more than the base price.

Benchmarks
Since this is a gaming notebook, I will be testing it with 3DMark Vantage, Crysis, and Battery Eater Pro. The first test up is Battery Eater Pro.

Battery Eater Pro
I ran the BEP test with all power saving features turned off and the notebook screen set to 100% brightness. The battery lasted 48 minutes, which is not bad for a big gaming machine like this. I was actually surprised by the runtime the battery offered.

3DMark Vantage
The next test is 3DMark Vantage; I ran the benchmark at default settings on both the application and the computer. The machine scored 11881 total 3DMarks overall and the GPU scored 9937 with the CPU scoring 28770. The machine is easily the best at this benchmark I have tested.

Crysis
Crysis is getting older, but it is still very challenging for computers. I ran the game with settings at medium and a screen resolution of 1280 x 720. The minimum frame rate was 41 fps, average frame rate was a bit over 59 fps, and the max frame rate was 94 frames per second.

In Use
After all the benchmarks were done, I used the notebook like I would any other machine. The keyboard is oddly small for such a large notebook with keys that were smaller than some ultraportables that I have tested. The keys have more space between them than the average keyboard does and the keytops themselves are smaller than average. Other than odd spacing and small keys, the keyboard offers good typing feel and works well. There is a learning curve with the keyboard ad after I was done I was able to type without issue.

The huge 18.4-inch screen of the notebook has great color reproduction and works very well for gaming and movie watching. The 1920 x 1080 resolution means you can watch HD video on the machine and it has an HDMI output for watching on a big screen. I noticed no issues with video playback like smearing or tearing of images.

You can take one look at this machine and tell that you won’t be carrying it around with you in a backpack. I doubt they even make a backpack that would fit this thing. It weighs a ton making it best suited to the user who only occasionally travels with the notebook. The Smooth Creations 18.4 gaming notebook would make a great desktop replacement that occasionally moves from the office to the house.

Verdict

Conclusion

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Excellent screen
  • Powerful hardware

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Strangely sized keyboard

Verdict
The Smooth Creations 18.4 gaming notebook is not a notebook for everyone, the machine is big, brash, and expensive. Gamers with the means to purchase the expensive machine will find that when properly outfitted this is one of the best performing notebooks available.

9.0
10
 
 

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at shane@i4u.com.

 

 

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