7/23/07 – Most of Hypersonic PCs notebooks are designed for those looking at mobile gaming platforms. These often come at the expensive of either portability due to their size or battery life due to powerful components. The Aviator MT7 looks to make a gaming system much more practical through a more traditional design that balances performance, power consumption and size. Let's take a closer look at what they offer ...
While many companies are now using the new Intel Core 2 Duo dual core mobile processors with the faster 800MHz bus speed, Hypersonic has chosen to use three older models with the 667MHz bus speeds: T5600, T7400 and T7600. These are all strong models and do quite well even when compared to the newer models. They also have the advantage of power savings versus gaming notebooks that focus on using desktop processors.
The base configuration for the Aviator MT7 comes with 2GB of PC2-4200 DDR2 memory. This is good in the amount of RAM, but disappointing in the speed. Thankfully, Hypersonic offers a variety of configurations of PC2-5300 DDR2 memory that better matches the bus speed of the processor. Users can select configurations that range as little as 512MB up to 2GB. It would be nice to see the option for 4GB, but that is still uncommon in the mobile world.
A total of four different hard drives are available to be installed inside of the Aviator MT7. For those looking for high performance, either a 80 or 100GB drive can be installed with the 7200rpm spin rate more common to desktop notebooks. If speed isn't as much of a concern as capacity, users can also opt to have either a 120 or 160GB drive that spins at the more traditional 5400rpm notebook rates.
Users do not have any options when it comes to the optical drive. All of the Aviator MT7 models come equipped with a fairly standard 8x dual layer DVD burner. Those wishing to get a system with a high definition HD-DVD or BluRay drive will be out of luck with the Aviator MT7 and will have to look at other notebooks.
Gaphics and Display:
Hypersonic markets the Aviator MT7 as a gaming notebook, but the graphics seem to be a bit below top notch for a desktop replacement. The 17” LCD screen features the very common 1680x1050 wide screen resolution used by games, but the graphics processor is not the best choice. The NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 certainly can handle PC gaming, it just doesn't have the horsepower to provide extremely high frame rates at this high resolution or offer up various filtering. This makes the MT7 better suited for more general purpose uses and casual gaming. It does have a built-in 2.0MP webcam though.
The Aviator MT7 comes standard with a built-in 56Kbps modem and a gigabit Ethernet interface for networking. Those looking for wireless networking will need to upgrade the system to a 802.11g compatible wireless network card. It is also possible to get this card installed with a Bluetooth 2.0 module as well. The system does not have an option for a draft 802.11n adapter, but this isn't much of a problem as these standards aren't finalized or common enough yet.
The port layout for the Aviator MT7 doesn't look that much different from a typical notebook. It comes with the standard four USB 2.0 ports, mini FireWire port, ExpressCard/54 slot and 4-in-1 card reader slot. There is one unique connector that can be found on the Aviator MT7 that isn't found on most notebooks though. It does come with a single external SATA connector. This is not something that is common right now, but eSATA offers a lot of promise for external hard drive storage.
Like many system integrators, Hypersonic does not offer much in terms of software with the Aviator MT7. What they do offer is a huge range of operating systems to be installed on the system. In fact, users can even elect to purchase the system without any operating system installed at all. For those requiring the OS, there is a choice of three versions of Windows XP and all of the current 32-bit versions of Windows Vista.
Hypersonic markets all of their notebook computer systems as designed for gaming. While the Aviator MT7 certainly can be used for gaming, it falls well behind in terms of its 3D performance. Most of this stems from their choice in the graphics processor used in the system. The GeForce Go 7600 processor certainly can handle current Direct X 9 games, but with limited frame rates, especially up to the systems 1680x1050 resolution. And don't expect to really be using anti-aliasing or anisotropic filtering.
The problem is that the design purpose of the Aviator MT7 and its gaming role are at conflicts. Hypersonic's other notebook systems certainly have the level of performance required for detailed PC gaming, but they either sacrifice battery life by using desktop components or sacrifice portability by using bulky designs. The Aviator MT7 is designed to be portable with strong battery life. Those goals preclude the use of desktop processors or more powerful graphics processors.
So, does this make the Aviator MT7 a poor choice as a notebook? Certainly not. It just is not well designed as a gaming specific notebook. It does perform quite well in the role of a general purpose notebook computer systems that will also be used periodically for PC gaming. Then the issue really boils down to the cost. Many similarly equipped notebooks are available at lower prices or offer additional features for roughly the same price. Be sure to look hard at alternatives before going with the Aviator MT7.