"Laptop" and "notebook" are misleading words when it comes to describing the D900T-U. It’s too big and heavy to be whipped out at a moment’s notice – and it certainly gets too hot to put on your lap. If you need more power than traditional laptops give – and you only move desk to desk – this is the best ‘portable’ model we’ve seen so far.
For a computer of this build to be worthwhile, it must be stuffed with the much more powerful components than you can get with a Pentium M-based unit. Thankfully, this version of the D900T features a fast desktop Pentium 4 processor and a workstation-standard 2GB of RAM. This allows it to barrel through our Photoshop CS 2 test in four minutes two seconds – almost twice as fast as its average competition back in April (though we were using the CS version back then). It’s also respectable when compared to the graphics workstations reviewed on page 108.
The D900T-U also set a quick pace through our LightWave-based image rendering test, completing it in a swift
32 minutes 50 seconds. Its 3D graphics performance isn’t as impressive as we’d expect from the mobile version of the GeForce 6800 Ultra (3D heads may prefer the optional Quadro FX Go 1400 chip instead). The unit’s Cinebench score of 2552 is mitigated by the high-resolution of the 17-inch screen, which looks great thanks to a glossy black coating.
Both the 100GB drive and dual-layer DVD±RW drive are available on smaller units – though the second (currently empty) drive bay isn’t. The speaker system, which includes a subwoofer, is also much better than a laptop.
We had a few problems with the unit not recognizing external drives, but this was fixed with a driver reinstall. Windows XP Pro would be preferable to the installed XP Home (though it’s good that XP 64 is an option) – but the D900T-U shows why bigger is sometimes better.