Gaming Prowess – The Sager NP9860

Gamers have a new dream machine to drool over, the Sager NP9860. Indeed in a recent review, Laptop magazine found that the Sager supplants the Dell Inspiron XPS machine as the ultimate transportable arcade.

They raved about the huge 17.1-inch WSXGA+ screen (compared to the 15 incher on the Dell) and its crisp, clear, and vivid visuals. Lighting it up is possibly the finest feature of the NP9860, a tasty Nvidia GeForce Go 6800 PCI Express video card. With 256MB of dedicated memory, the card promises to provide the most performance per watt on the planet. Laptop magazine ran the card through the paces of 3DMark2001 with high hopes, but were disappointed when the Go 6800 couldn’t beat the Inspiron’s numbers.

Gamers shouldn’t worry, though. The Sager dominated when the laptop reviewers put the computer through a real-world test with a few games of Doom III and Painkiller. On the 1024 x 768 (Quality visual) setting, the Sager yawned at Doom III, producing 60 frames per second consistently.

It doesn’t hurt that the NP9860’s power plant is a 3.6-GHz Intel Pentium 4 with 1GB DDR SDRAM capable of speeds of 7,200 rpm. The hard drive isn’t too shabby either at 60GB. If you ever have to stop gaming and – gasp! – do work, the Sager can make you a multitasking master. Again, the Laptop reviewers came at the Sager with one of their lab tests. This time, the notebook broke a record with a PCMark score of 5139.

Despite this performance, Laptop magazine complained about the short battery life (1 hour and 21 minutes), which wouldn’t last through most roundtrip flights. The machine’s audio system – four speakers and a subwoofer – didn’t match its visual capabilities. And the notebook is a backbreaker at 12.5 pounds.

The machine is unbeatable as a gaming system, though, but could probably get passed over as an all-around computer.

To pick up your own NP9860, head to

By Matthew Brodsky

Monday, February 14, 2005