Construction - Build, Appearance, Size

Voodoo has been known for putting in that extra effort, which is particularly apparent in the very slick high gloss paint job. Many of our pictures don’t do Voodoo enough justice on the paint job; it can only be experienced up close. Of all the systems we have seen, Voodoo probably does the best paint job in this respect.

Accessing this powerhouse notebook is as simple as sliding the single clip that secure the lid and opening.


Click to enlarge.

The M:855 is unlike the M:700, as it is a desktop replacement notebook that doesn’t use a 17” WXGA (1440x900) wide aspect screen. Instead, the M:855 resorts to the more common 15” SXGA+ (1400x1050). There are no other available options for display configuration.

On many notebooks, the 15” screen makes the system look overly large, even though the system maybe of the thin and light variety. In contrast, Voodoo’s use of a 15” SXGA+ actually helps to give the perception that the notebook is compact and small. Voodoo's implementation of the SXGA+ also has the ability to use Windows XP's virtual desktop, where higher resolutions can be scrolled through by the mouse instead of being out of sync.

The keyboard is something that we come to expect from desktop replacement notebook: full sized, good response, and a tactile feel. Unlike many of the notebook keyboards we have seen, the Voodoo keyboard is translucent, which adds to the aesthetic appeal. Though, this has another unforeseen benefit. Over time, notebook keyboards get dirty and or some smart article lodges itself between keys and prevents full functionality. The translucent keyboard allows for the use to tell how dirty the keyboard is and if anything is lodged between keys. On the other hand, a non-translucent hides the dirt.

The problem we have with the keyboard is that the control key is not in the correct place on the keyboard. This isn’t a limited to Voodoo, as we have seen this on several other notebooks. Our M:855 was an engineering sample so there were a couple of keys that didn’t function correctly, but production units shouldn’t be effected.


Click to enlarge.

There are no buttons other than the one for power and wireless connectivity. The power button is located in the upper right hand corner of the laptop, left of the right speaker. Meanwhile, the wireless connectivity button is on the front of the system and lights up to a bright blue hue when active.

The layout of the M:855’s touchpad is fairly similar to the type seen on HP and Compaq notebooks: oval-shaped with curved buttons. The buttons have a reasonable level of feedback, quite similar to Dell’s Inspiron 8600. The 4-way scroll button is recessed more than what we have seen on other systems. In our opinion, we would prefer to see it recess a bit less.

Directly south and to the left of the touchpad, there is a set five status LEDs. These LEDs indicate (left to right): wireless status, hard drive activity, number lock status, caps lock status, and scroll lock status. All of the LEDs are green to indicate status. The conflict in placement of the LEDs here is that they will be covered by the left wrist while typing, which defeats the purpose of monitoring the LEDs.

There is another set of LEDs near the bottom and inversely on the back side of the LCD panel. Our M:855 had three LEDs in these two locations (left to right): one for AC power status (green while active), one for battery status (green while charging and red while low), and one for battery charge (orange while standby and green when AC is on).

Index Construction - Build, Appearance, Size (continued)
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  • spawnocula - Friday, November 21, 2003 - link

    It would be nice if Anandtech would review the ALIENWARE AREA-51m, Voodoo Envy 855, Sager 8890, and Hypersonic Aviator GX6 or 8, to see which is better of the bunch and has longer upgradeability. Reply
  • spawnocula - Friday, November 21, 2003 - link

    Reply
  • alexruiz - Thursday, November 20, 2003 - link

    I am quire sure MOST of the available Athlon 64 laptops are based on the MITAC 8355. Clevo doesn't have an Athlon 64 design. The other 2 Athlon 64 laptops are the hyped Arima A520-K8 that is nowhere to be seen (mobility radeon 9000 only though). The other is the Uniwill 766 that employs the SIS 755 chipset, still not seen yet.

    So, I am 95% confident all the machines available are based on the MITAC design.

    Alex
    Reply
  • Madcat207 - Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - link

    #3&4-

    Im not sure why the article says there is no DDR400, but Uniwill and Clevo both have good DDR400 supplies. I cant speak for Uniwill, but Clevo ships Apacer PC3200, CL2.5, which can be OCed (with some register editing) to CL2. Also, this ram is commercially sold to end users..

    #6-
    Hypersonic's A64 laptop is the EXACT same as Voodoo's, since they both get thier laptops from from the same ODM..
    Reply
  • mrbdm99 - Monday, November 17, 2003 - link

    Hypersonic has a 64 notebook as well, I'm sure it's from Clevo as well. Reply
  • ssamurai26 - Sunday, November 16, 2003 - link

    OK, thanks for the clarification. Reply
  • Andrew Ku - Saturday, November 15, 2003 - link

    FishTankX - Yes, that would be mighty speedy. :)

    gordon151 - Well only one score from each actually, a typo, which has been fixed. Thanks!

    ssamurai26 - The Alienware 51M systems most likely use Kingmax, but the problem still remains to be supply. SODIMM DDR400 modules are very very rare. The highest speed that is actually available to the general consumer still remains to be DDR333.
    Reply
  • ssamurai26 - Friday, November 14, 2003 - link

    "While the K8T800 supports DDR400, SODIMM modules are still limited at DDR333, which is why Voodoo had to go with this memory speed."

    Out of curiousity, why is it then that the Area 51M ships with DDR400 sodimms?
    Reply
  • gordon151 - Friday, November 14, 2003 - link

    Someone wanna email and tell Andrew Ku he mixed up the "Content Creation Winstone 2003" scores with the "Business Winstone 2002" scores =/? Reply
  • FishTankX - Friday, November 14, 2003 - link

    Wow! That Insperon 8600 is running mighty fast at [b]MHz/b]. Reply

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