Hi Everyone.. This experience has been a nightmare so far! I received the Sager 3790 on Monday, and got it going fairly easily with Windows XP. The hardest part was manually assigning the WiFi card new drivers from the Device Manager.
As I was installing the OS, I noticed the screen had multiple vertical lines of lit pixels... In other words, from the time that I turned the machine on, to the time the OS loaded and I told it to shut down, multiple, vertical, 1px-wide lines would run from top to bottom. I realized these lines appear and disappear according to how I adjust the tilt of the screen. When I push the screen or pull it towards me, I get random lines. After speaking with Sager within 1 hour of launching my complaint with their reseller (Discount Laptops--Outstanding company), I got a tech on the phone that believes it's an LCD issue. One thing I did notice is that the display blooms in a pinkish hue when you look at the screen off-axis from about 5-20+ degrees. I have had two other Sager laptops, and I've never experienced colored hues as side effects to looking at the screen. I am hoping the screen is just faulty and will get a new one promptly.
Now.. Regarding the XPlorer... I have been waiting for the arrival of it since 12/11/04, and CyberShop.com claims they do not know why the laptop did not ship out yet from their warehouse. I cannot get over this! I was hoping to have my review done already.... *sigh*
For those interested, I did play a few games of Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, and thought I'd test the battery out in the meantime with the game pinning the 2GHz processor at 100%.
I ended up switching to battery with full brightness and no power management, and with the game running on full, I started at 11:50pm, and the laptop shut down at 1:20am. So basically, I got 1.5 hours out of the battery with the CPU running constantly at 100%.
The unit is unlike older Sagers in that all heat is now vented out the sides instead of pushed out the bottom. It appears there are two intakes that cool the graphics card and processor. When the unit is on a table and has slight clearance underneath from its built in stub legs, the unit operates with no real notice of excess heat. I know a lot of people talked about their left hands getting toasted, but this does a good job with that. However! If you sit the unit on your lap, or on any surface that can inhibit air flow and act as an insulator against the body, the unit starts cooking! When I played RCT3 on my lap for a bit, my left leg started burning up to the point I could not keep the unit on my lap any longer. In addition, that heat rose straight out the top and to my left hand! lol So if you're not on a table, you will experience significant heat.
The unit is remarkably quiet. I have an older 5620P (2GHz, 512, 40gb, ATI 7500) and the fan is fairly loud, because there's two of them pushing air out the bottom. With the 3790, the heat quietly blows out the side, and unless you are in a completlely silent room, it is difficult to notice the fan. I did notice that it turns on randomly, and I understand you can train the fan, but I didn't see any utilities in the BIOS editor that would allow me to "learn" fan styles.
The screen is very nice, compared to my 5620, which is also an SXGA screen. Over time, the screens fade in intensity, so when I sat the 3790 next to the 5620, the 3790 looked almost 50% brighter. The native mode that looks the best is 1680X1050. At that resolution, the text tends to be very small, but it is crisp. Any less of a resolution and you'll see anti-aliased screens as the card tries to average the display into the odd number of pixels.
The unit was surprisingly slim to me, considering the amount of power it has. It is fairly light, weighing in at about 5-6 pounds.
I will do more formalized testing between the two units, but since you all have been so patient, I thought I'd throw out there what I could. I didn't go through the hassle of installing benchmark software yet because I've been preoccupied with this delivery nightmare... If any of you have any questions in the meantime, please let me know.
I really love the 3790 so far, but I also am dying to see how the Xplorer does with battery and an extra 128megs of video ram. I am wondering if the extra ram would truly matter if my processor is already pinned at 100%. I would think at this point the CPU is the bottleneck. Can any of you give any insight into this?
Thanks for your interest! More to come as the units re-arrive.