The Bottom Line
Jan 4 2012 - Cyberpower makes a name for themselves by making affordable gaming PCs and the Xplorer X7-7500 certainly fits this. With its base price tag just over $1100, it certainly is much more affordable than many dedicated gaming laptops but it does sacrifice some performance to achieve this. Most notable, the graphics processor can't quite handle the full 1920x1080 resolution of the display and the smaller battery pack limits unplugged gaming time. Still, the system does have some better aspects including some good customization options that can boost general performance without costing much and it offers a better range of high speed external peripheral ports.
- Affordable 17-inch Gaming Laptop
- Two USB 3.0 and an eSATA Peripheral Port
- Wide Range of Customization
- Smaller Capacity Battery Offers Below Average Running Times
- Graphics System Not Quite Up To Gaming At Full Display Resolution
- Intel Core i7-2670QM Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 8GB PC3-10600 DDR3 Memory
- 640GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 17" WUXGA (1920x1080) LED Backlit Display With 2.0 Megapixel Webcam
- NVIDIA GeForce GT555M Graphics With 2GB Memory
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Two USB 3.0, Two USB 2.0, eSATA (shared), HDMI, VGA, 9-in-1 Card Reader
- 16.3" x 10.9" x 1.5" @ 6.8 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter
Review - Cyberpower Xplorer X7-7500 17.3-inch Laptop PC
Jan 4 2012 - Cyberpower's Xplorer X7-7500 gaming laptop is a mid-priced 17-inch laptop that has a relatively affordable $1100 starting price and is based around the Clevo W170HN chassis. The company offers a wide range of customization options most of which will add features but will also add to the cost of the laptop.
Powering the Xplorer X7-7500 is the quad core Intel Core i7-2670QM processor. This is a good overall choice for performance that does a very good job at gaming or even dealing with demanding non-gaming tasks like desktop video. If you want to save a bit of many and intend to use it primarily for gaming, then Core i7-2430M dual core processor performs nearly as well. One nice aspect of the system is the inclusion of 8GB of DDR3 memory that provide it with a very smooth overall experience in Windows and is nice to see over the 6GB many companies are providing at this price range. One can downgrade to 4GB of memory to save a little money but frankly it isn't worth it.
The base storage setup for the Xplorer X7-7500 is a decently sized 640GB hard drive. While it provides a good amount of space for applications, data and media files, the performance is a bit underwhelming due to the traditional 5400rpm spin rate. Gamers wanting to have their levels load faster will be interested in either switching to the 500GB drive with the 7200rpm spin rate for the same price or paying a modest upgrade fee for a 500GB 7200rpm hybrid hard drive. Solid state drives are also available but they will heavily restrict the storage space or cost a lot more. A standard dual layer DVD burner handles playback or recording of CD and DVD media. It is possible to include a Blu-ray compatible drive but the upgrade cost is quite significant. Two new USB 3.0 ports are available for high speed external storage and peripherals. There is also an eSATA port that is shared with one of the standard USB 2.0 ports that can also be used.
The laptop features a 17.3-inch display panel with a 1920x1080 resolution for full 1080p high definition video support. Like most laptops now, it comes with a glossy coating which can help increase the contrast but has the tendency to produce glare in certain lighting particularly in bight outdoor lighting. The graphics for the system are handled by the NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M which is just a step below the higher GTX class of graphics. This means that it should work fine for gaming but it won't generally be at the full resolution of the display. Instead, most modern games will have to either have detail levels set lower or the resolution lower which makes it a bit disappointing but understandable for the price range.
One unique aspect of the graphics system is that it have two ways for the graphics to be switched between the dedicated NVIDIA and the integrated Intel HD Graphics. The first is the NVIDIA Optimus technology that will switch automatically to the dedicated graphics based upon predefined programs. The second is a user button that can be used to enable or disable the Optimus graphics switcher. This can allow the user to disable the auto switching and have it be fixed into a certain mode. This is beneficial for those wanting to use only the integrated graphics to try and extend the battery life.
In order to keep the weight of this gaming laptop below seven pounds, it uses a smaller six-cell battery pack that features a 48.8 WHr capacity rating. This is a bit below the more typical eight cell packs found in many 17-inch laptops that feature around 55 to 65 WHr. In DVD playback testing, this yielded just over three hours before going into standby mode. Now, the actual running time if the system is used for gaming is going to be below two hours as that is extremely power demanding. More typical usage would yield under four hours. This is a bit below average for a standard 17-inch laptop.