Something I thought I'd mention after seeing it on the forums... The ac adaptor is supposedly noisy because it has its own fans. However, I have it inside my cooler mod (pictures of this are on the forums) and I haven't heard from it at all ever, lol, to the point that I didn't write anything about not hearing it in the review as far as I can remember :-) If it is outside of the cooler mod and sitting next to me, I can hear it when it comes on, but putting it on the floor alleviates any noise it makes.
Also, as far as battery life, a lot of people have been wondering about external batteries for this. I highly doubt that it will happen anytime soon... This laptop requires 120 watts of power to run... the standard desktop replacement (like the dell inspiron 8200) requires about 65 watts... Then you move on down to the tiny notebooks that are as thick as the screen on the 8886, lol. They use around 10 watts or so if I'm not mistaken... So, those $400 external batteries provide around 90 watt hours of power, thus you get "up to 8 hours of power" on those tiny notebooks and prolly (if even) 1 hour on the 8886... NOT WORTH the money in my opinion. I would wait on this option until they have significantly advanced in battery technology. It simply is not feasable at this point.
As far as the damage resistance of the 8886, I wrote some posts in another thread that I will add to the review here. Well, I'm not going to drop this 8886, lol, I'd sooner die. But, it looks like it can take as much or more hits than any other lappy I've seen.... The space between the plastic outside and the screen is a lot more than most lappies, so it can definitely handle more hits to the top. The bottom has big rubber legs that can help... and there is steel framing and coverings under the keyboard and around the rest of the lappy... That gives the plastic some support while leaving the lappy looking good. I have more faith in the 8886's structural integrity than I would any other. The plastic isn't the main thing, though... the steel protects the processor, the drives, the ram, lol, the expensive stuff... The plastic is maleable enough not to break with the steel behind it... Obviously it isn't indestructable, my point is simply that I trust it more than others (my own lappy, for example). And, as far as the screen goes, its size does not post a risk to damage unless you are talking about the likelihood that something hits it (because it is bigger, lol).
BTW, the cooler mod I built is at this thread: http://sagerforums.com/forums/showth...=&threadid=315
Just hooked up my USB joystick and it recognized it in a second and I calibrated it and freespace works great with it :-) I don't use it for freespace, I use it for Jedi Starfighter, lol, but hey, it works :-)
Time for the next battery test. Same as last time, half processor speed, screen at minimum, no peripherals, half volume, etc. I want to use a DVD movie this time, though, to see if that choppiness happens at the beginning. Castaway is the only one that is longer than 2 hours here, so I'll use it. We'll see how it goes. Here goes nothing! Holy heck, this thing is LOUD on a dvd, lol. Wow. Half volume would prolly be too loud on this. It is crisp and clear as can be, I love it. The dvd did not get choppy at all. It played for just over two hours with no trouble and it looked grrrrrrrrrrreat :-) After this point, I called my friend and asked if he'd like to LAN at his house... He accepted.
I packed up the 8886 for the first time since I got it. Put it in the standard $15 case from PCTorque, strapped it in, it fit perfectly. In the outside pocket, I put the power cord, a small cd case, an optical mouse, a crossover cable, an RCA cable, and the spdif splitter for the 8886. The fit ended up being perfect. I closed it up and put the shoulder strap over my head and mounted my bike and rode it a few blocks down the street. Lol, it was FREEZING cold outside, but I had on a big coat :-) and the 8886 bumped against my leg a few times and stood up well to a few potholes in the concrete I road on. I got there, unpacked, and we set up the LAN. It handled beautifully... the front speakers on this lappy are so loud and capable it's insane. The only thing lacking is bass, lol, but that's obvious. You can't get bass out of a little 1 inch speaker, lol. But wow, I could hear everything like crystal. We played battlefield...
We decided to have a race, lol. We wanted to see who could load a level faster :-) so we both set up the exact same server settings and picked the same level with the same number of computer players... We hit "Start local" at the same time and watched... the 8886 loaded the level faster by a LONG shot, lol. His computer is no slowpoke either... It's a 2.26Ghz P4 with 512 RDRAM PC1066 and a GeForce4 ti4200 w/128DDR. His hard drive and RAM are both faster than the 8886 (and thus faster than any laptop), but this 8886 had twice the system RAM, and half the video RAM. No matter, the 8886 tore up. He insisted on running the server because he was the desktop, so I allowed him the honor... His computer started getting choppy when we had 48 bots on the map... his settings were all at medium as far as graphics and his resolution was at 800x600x32... I told him I'd serve, and I did, with the same number of bots, only my graphics settings were ALL at max and the resolution was 1024x768x32... Not a single chop. Lol, he was impressed... :-) Sorry, but the 8886 is just incredible.
So much so that his father was walking by and he saw it and was like "whoa!" and he stopped and came over and I told him all about it, and his jaw just dropped lower and lower as I told him more and more, lol. Then I told him the price and he about fell over, lol, obviously because you could get all of that for that price in a laptop... He has decided that he will probably get one for his son (my friend) for college... and he asked where he could get such a spectacular machine at such a low price. "PCTorque of course"... :-) He said he'd definitely keep in touch with me about it, so my friend was overjoyed to say the least at the prospect of getting a Sager. :-) My friend's dad said that the thing that really caught his eye was the screen... he could see it clearly from across the room (big room) and it was so bright and crisp and the contrast was great... Lol, funny thing is, I had the screen at minimum brightness still from the last battery test :-) I guess that just goes to show some more about the screen quality. :-)
I checked my friend's receiver for an spdif input, and I'm almost certain that he has it, I saw it on there but I couldn't really do anything with it at the time because they had guests. His father asked me to come and try it tomorrow because he wants to hear it too, lol. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve though, so we'll see if that happens. But, regardless, I will go soon and try it. I just have to figure out what game would be best to use to try it... My friend said the Thief series from Looking Glass Studios (they are out of business now I think) had the most incredible 4.1 surround sound utilization... You could hear people coming from different directions and the like. I guess I'll ask him if he has one of them that I could install when I go to try it next time. He has 4.1 surround on his desktop, but it's from his desktop sound card and not his home speaker system (which is what we're going to use... it's like a 500 watt system or something like that). :-) I'm all smiles, lol.
After we played, though, I packed up and rode back here and put the 8886 back in its place on the cooler mod. It is seriously the epitome of laptop computing...
I just erased a full 700MB cd-rw.... faster erase times than my desktop or my lappy and they have the same rw speed... :-)
I used the remote a little... It's cool to be able to turn on and shut off the computer using the remote :-) I used the cd player while the computer was off, ran great both on the computer's own speakers and on my cooler mod speakers. Sound was crisp and high quality. I tried to play a cd with mp3s on it, but that didn't work, so it is just like a regular cd player. Worked completely on remote control :-)
I am now going to time a complete cd copy. It is 680MB... I will time from the time I hit start til when the cd rom opens with the final copy. It took a total of 25 minutes and 40 seconds. That's a great time considering that this is the older 16x burner... the newer ones should expect that time to be lower by several minutes... Regardless, it is a big improvement from the 8x burner. I have an 8x burner on my lappy and it takes about 20 minutes just for the burn part, lol. Blah. :-)
In case I don't make it on for Christmas Eve or Christmas, Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it and Happy Holidays to everyone and have fun with your Sagers if you have'm :-)