A while back OCZ, which is most well know for their enthusiast memory, has acquired the computer maker Hypersonic.
From Hypersonic's web page:
Hypersonic PC Systems is dedicated to "Performance Beyond Expectations" and is a leader in providing cutting edge technology to the most astute and selective gamers and enthusiasts in the PC market. With world-renowned commitment to service and support, Hypersonic has been paving the way in high performance computing since 1996. Hypersonic offers customers more than just high-end computer systems. We offer them quality, craftsmanship, world-class support and personal attention, and it is these elements that have resulted in numerous industry awards and recognition. Our customers demand the very best, and our handcrafted systems deliver the preeminent gaming experience with the ultimate blend of performance and style.
Their brand new Hypersonic AG2 notebook which we have on our testbench today is available in a wide range of colors which can be easily configured online.
You can pick from the following colors:
Additional options like processor, memory and harddrive size and configuration can also be adjusted according to your needs and budget.
The system we received for our testing had the following specifications:
- Processor: Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo T9300 (Penryn), 6 MB cache
- Memory: 4 GB OCZ PC2-5400 @ 667 MHz (2x 2 GB)
- Chipset: Intel GM965 + ICH8-ME
- Network: Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit Ethernet
- Wireless: Intel WiFi Link 4965AGN 802.11 b/g/n
- HDD: Hitachi Travelstar 7K200, 200 GB, SATA
- OS: Windows Vista Home Edition
Packaging & Contents
The Hypersonic AG2 comes to you in a surprisingly small package, I included a CD in the pictures for easier size comparison.
A seperate cardboard box contains the required acessories.
The notebook is protected very well against shock or other damage by the white plastic foam and a clear plastic bag.
Sheets of plastic cover the paint job, so it won't be scratched during transportation.
Inside the package you will find:
- Notebook computer
- Windows Vista Home Premium
- User's Guide
- Personal letter from the Hypersonic CEO - yes it's personal. Says "Dear W1zzard"
- Software bundle: Nero, Power DVD, Drivers
- Soft cleaning cloth
- Thermal paste (uh.. why?)
- AC adapter + power cord
As mentioned before I received the black version which is extremely high gloss. This notebook is by far the most difficult thing to take photos of I ever encountered.
The looks of the Hyper Sonic AG2 are absolutely stunning - if you are into high gloss. It will definitely make an excellent impression with your friends/visitors. At some point during testing my sister came by for a visit, spotted the notebook in a far away corner "nice notebook", grabbed it and started asking a lot of questions about it.
Please note that the HyperSonic logo is arranged in a way that it will show the logo upright when the notebook is opened. This might confused you when trying to open the notebook the first time because you might try to align it facing to you.
Hypersonic uses a 12.1" WXGA TFT LCD which has a native resolution of 1280x800 pixels. The display is easy to read and has very little reflection, even in brighter rooms.
Above you see how the lid is attached to the notebook. The curved designs causes the display to be a few inches below where you would usually expect it. This takes a bit time to get used to, but is no problem otherwise. Even though I found no real evidence of any weakness, the plastic construction felt a little bit flimsy to me. The lid opens easily and stays open even when the notebook is moved around a bit.
The display stays well readable even if you look at it from an angle.
The keyboard is your normal notebook keyboard layout. By pressing the blue function key to the left of the Windows key in combination with the function keys for example you can invoke special function - just like on most other notebooks.
A trackpad is located below the keyboard to control your mouse pointer. It is of the normal size and is easy to use if you have used one before. Below the trackpad you will find two buttons for the left and right mouseclick. In order to scroll through documents easier you can drag on the right side of the touch pad, where the white dotted area is.
Above picture shows the right and the left side of the notebook. Here you can see the DVD-RW optical burner, a USB port and a connector for your modem. The other side features the AC adapter input, Gigabit Ethernet, Analog VGA (why no DVI?), FireWire and two USB ports. The back has no additional input connectors.
On the front you will find the audio connectivity and a CardReader port for MMC and SD.
In the lid a small webcam is installed, its resolution of 1.3 MPixel is sufficient for WebCam use but nothing outstanding.
A Closer Look
On the bottom you will find your Windows Vista key and some product labels. The big one reveals that this notebook is actually a rebranded version of the Clevo M72R notebook.
The compartment under the Windows sticker allows access to the harddrive while the other one on the right will let you change the memory, wireless card and possibly CPU.
From left to right the following status indicator LEDs are present: Scroll Lock, Caps Lock, Num Lock, HDD activity, Silent Mode.
Here we see what's under the right lid. The most prominent feature being the two 2 GB sticks of OCZ memory and the CPU+Chipset sitting under the big heatpipe.
Under the left cover you will find the 2.5" SATA HDD. What I really like is that you can open it without any tools, any normal coin will just fit fine.
As you would expect, the memory modules are made by OCZ and come from their Mobile Value Series. The timings of 5-5-5 are fine for a notebook, so is the operating frequency of 667 MHz.
Hypersonic ships a four cell battery pack with the notebook which is quite weak in my opinion. As optional accessory an eight cell battery is available.
||T9300 @ 2.5 GHz
Intel GMA Integrated
|T9300 @ 2.5 GHz
GeForce 8400M GS
|T7100 @ 1.80 GHz
Intel GMA Integrated
|L2400 @ 1.66 GHz
Intel GMA Integrated
Intel 945 Express
|PCMark 05 Score
|HDD - XP Startup
|Physics and 3D
|3D- Pixel Shader
|Web Page Rendering
|HDD - General Usage
|HDD Virus Scan
Overall the notebook is sufficiently quiet when in idle, but once you ask for the huge power of the Penryn CPU it will get noisier. This was to be expected though, since even at 45 nm the CPU will generate lots of heat that has to go somewhere.
A small button near the keyboard will let you choose between "Silent" and "Normal" fan mode. When silent mode is enabled the CPU multiplier is reduced and the fan speed is limited.
This is where the Hyper Sonic AG2 disappoints most. The included four cell battery lasts you about an hour, give or take 15 minutes depending on power settings. Even with Windows Vista (Aero) sitting idle at the desktop the battery will be empty after 95 minutes. This is clearly not enough for a portable notebook. But this is the price you pay for very high performance.
An optional 8-cell battery (M720SBAT-8) should help increase battery life but will also increase the footprint of the notebook a bit.
If you plan to use the AG2 as sexy desktop replacement where it will be connected to AC all the time, this won't be a problem for you of course.
Value and Conclusion
- Depending on your choice of configuration the Hyper Sonic AG2 is available for $999 to $2000. It will be available soon at Hypersonics Website.
- Extremely powerful CPU
- 4 GB of memory
- Light weight: 1940 grams
- Pretty design, excellent paint job
- Button to switch to silent mode
- Optional color customization
- Good software bundle included, clean installation
- DVD Burner
- Limited battery life
- Fan running almost all the time
- Not all users like glossy paint
- Intel GMA graphics not for high-end gamers
- Takes fingerprints easily
- Dust magnet
- No DVI/HDMI output
||Despite the light weight and compact form factor, the HyperSonic AG2 is not a notebook for travellers. The included four cell battery will just not last enough being paired with the power hungry Penryn processor and 4 GB of system memory. If you are going to use the notebook with an AC source nearby this won't be a problem though.|
With its sleek looks and sexy paint job the AG2 notebook will certainly draw quite some attention over all the boring Thinkpads at any business meeting. Optionally you can pick from a wide range of high-quality colors including girly pink (not good for business meetings) at a $500 price premium.
The integrated Core 2 Duo T9300 Penryn processor of our test sample delivered impressive number crunching performance, rivaling many desktop PCs. While there is plenty CPU power, the graphics power is pretty limited with the integrated Intel chipset graphics. It is good enough for an occasional game and media playback of course. Unfortunately an external display can only be connected via analog VGA. A DVI port would be more useful, because then you could use the notebook as media playing station via HDMI adapter cable to watch movies on your big TV screen in HD quality. The 12.1" WXGA display works well and is easily readable, but suffers from too much glossiness in bright light situations.
Overall the HyperSonic AG2 (which is based on the Clevo M72R) is a solid notebook for home desktop users with loads of processing power and good features.