Price When Reviewed: 1699
Pros: Relatively small size and low weight. Very powerful.
Cons: Graphics chip not as poweful as Dell Precision M90’s.
If the 15.4-inch nw8440 mobile workstation – which was the top-rated model in our group test of laptops in Digit 101 – is too small for you, HP has released this 17-inch version.
The nw9440 is more than just a larger version of the nw8440. It’s the first mobile workstation we’ve seen to feature nVidia’s Quadro FX 1500M graphics chip. This is much more powerful than the nw8440’s ATI FireGL V5200 and is essentially the same chip as the Quadro FX 2500M used by Dell’s 17-inch Precision M90 (also reviewed in Digit 101) – though the 1500M has 256MB of RAM to the 2500M’s 512MB.
With the support of the 1500M, the nw9440 performed admirably in our Cinebench and SPECviewperf 9 tests – though significantly behind the Dell Precision M90’s results.
In our graphics processing/rendering test using LightWave 8.5, the nw9440 was just as quick as the M90. In Photoshop, the M90 took just over three minutes to complete our set of 20 actions, while the
nw9440 took just under four. The M90 did have twice the RAM of the nw9440 - and cost almost £300 more. The nw9440 is smaller and lighter than the M90, and had a longer battery life (three hours in MobileMark to the M90’s two).
The functional design isn’t going to garner you many envious glances from passers by, but there are lots of great practical design features – such as slot markings around the keyboard to make plugging in devices easier.
The nw9440 is the best mobile workstation so far, being both very powerful and truly mobile.
CPU: Core Duo T2600 (2.16GHz)
RAM (standard/max): 2GB/4GB
Front-side bus speed: 667MHz
Aspect ratio: Widescreen
Graphics chip: nVidia Quadro FX 1500M
Hard disk: 80GB/7,200rpm
Optical drive: DVD±RW
Battery life: 5.5 hours