Just a few years ago, playing games on a notebook was never even thought of. Developers were more concerned with boosting processing power and increasing battery life than thinking about 3d graphics. But now, as the line between notebook and desktop performance becomes evermore blurry, some developers are beginning to consider the entertainment side. This is were IBuyPower comes in.
15.4" WXGA TFT LCD Display 1280x800 Pixels
Intel® Pentium®4 2.8GHz, FSB 800 MHz with HT Technology
128MB ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro 256-bit 3D graphics accelerator
SiS 648F Chipset support 800 MHz FSB
2x Memory Slot, 0MB onboard, 1024MB [512MB x2] DDR-333 PC-2700
60 GB 5400rpm ATA-100
DVD/CD-RW Combo Drive
Digital S/PDIF output/input, 4 analog line-level stereo inputs, with 5 bit volume control 2 Speakers.
10/100 Mbps Ethernet
802.11B Wireless LAN
56K V.90 Modem
15 pins CRT Port
S-Video TV out
Audio-Out Jack/SPDIF out
Line-In Jack/SPDIF in
RJ45 Jack for LAN
RJ11 Jack for Modem
DC In Jack
3 USB Ports
IEEE 1394 Connector
Memory Card, MMC/SD/MS Card Reader
The Battalion-101~ S comes packaged in a handy black carrying case. On top of the carrying case is the power adaptor, software, and the users manual. Inside the carrying case you find the stunning notebook itself, wrapped in a clear plastic bag, to prevent scratches.
The Chipset & Memory
IBuyPower chose the SiS 648F Chipset supports Intel Pentium 4 series processors with FSB 400MHz/533MHz/800MHz.This was a great choice, as you can have a mighty desktop processor built into the notebook. The memory controller supports DDR only. It can offer bandwidth up to 3.2GB/s under DDR400 in order to sustain the bandwidth demand from host processor, as well as the multi I/O masters and AGP masters. Our Battalion-101~ S came equipped with a generous 1024MB, which is more than enough for gaming.
The Battalion-101~ S uses the ever so powerful Mobility Radeon 9600. The Mobility Radeon 9600 uses 128mb of ram, the first mobility graphics to use 128mb of video memory. The Mobility Radeon 9600 is a DirectX 9 card with a Chip clock of 350 MHz. It also features 4 pixel pipelines (each with 3 pixel shader operations per clock signal, or a total of 12 pixel shader operations per clock signal) and 2 vertex shader units.
A very interesting feature was added to the Mobility Radeon 9600, the Powerplay4, Power-On-Demand. This is a power management for the chip, which can be manually controlled by the user, or which can be defined according to the performance requirements of the application running. Another great feature is Overdrive: an automatic and dynamic "overclocking" of the chip (on-the-fly).
The Hard Drive
The Battalion-101~ S comes with many options for hard drives. You can choose large space with slow reads, or fast reads and small storage. We have a 60GB 5400 rpm drive. The large space is amazing to have, yet the slower read speed creates slow startups. It is worth the extra money to get a 7200 rpm hard drive.
The Battalion-101~ S packs an amazing 1280x800 standard screen resolution. Running games at maximum detail settings didn’t even cause the unit to hiccup.
Of course there is the option of using these following resolutions as well: 1280x768, 1024x768, and 800x600.
More Security & Protection
The Battalion-101~ S underside sports four rubber feet that protect your furniture. They also serve as a useful anti-slide mechanism while sitting on a desk. Since the 2100 is encased in magnesium alloy, it gives the unit a more rigid and sturdy feel. The Kensington Lock (an industry standard) on the back side allows you to secure your hard drive and system whilst you are away from your desk.
Ports & Expandability
The Battalion-101~ S comes loaded with ports. It’s amazing to find so many ports squeezed into this small of a machine. On the left side you find two USB ports, RJ-11 and RJ-45 port, SD/MMC/MemoryStick Reader, Firewire port, and a PCMIA Type I/II. On the back you’ll find a Parallel Port, CRT out, Infared Port, a USB port, and a S-Video out. As you see IBuyPower packed everything it could into the monster, yet the missing PS2 port makes takes away the perfect score for Features.
During our testing, the Battalion-101~ S battery lasted 214 minutes during general use with low level applications (such as Microsoft Word), 182 minutes during DVD playback and the Battalion-101~ S lasted 114 minutes during intense gameplay.
We tested the Battalion-101~ S with Aquamark, and with Futuremark’s 3DMark2001se, and 3DMark03. These scores are pretty decent, yet lack slightly, which is probably due to the slow 5400 rpm hard drive, with only 2mb of cache.
Overall, this is a great product with perfect functionality. The Battalion-101~ S is surely a desktop replacement for those who frequently move their computers and need the power and speed for gaming. Yet, the slow hard drive make the Battalion-101~ S lack superiority over a desktop machine.