The CyberPower Gamer Xplorer 80 targets gamers who want a mobile system rather than a bulky, non-portable desktop PC. That's the only excuse we can think of for the ugly, unmovable plastic panel stuck on the back of the chassis.
But for a laptop that is supposed to be aimed at gamers, the performance of the Xplorer 80 in our Doom3 and Halo tests wasn't all it could have been. Though the frame rates suggested the CyberPower wouldn't struggle to render the visuals of demanding 3D games, the results weren't the sky-high numbers we've lately become used to seeing with gaming laptops.
The ATI Mobility Radeon X700 may not be the newest graphics card, but it does have 512MB of dedicated RAM – which makes the scores all the more disappointing. And the screen is good, but it stretches to a resolution of only 1,280x800. You might want to go a little higher if you want to see greater detail.
But in terms of overall performance, the CyberPower is pretty impressive – another reason why we think the company might have pitched this product at the wrong audience. A WorldBench 5 processing-speed score of 111 shows this would make a strong desktop replacement, but the Windows XP Media Center Edition, large 120GB hard drive and multi-format DVD writer make it clear the home entertainment capabilities of the Xplorer have been given more attention.
Otherwise, it's solid enough. A good warranty is counterbalanced by a lack of any software of note, but there are connectivity options galore. The keyboard isn't the greatest, with a criminally small Return key, but otherwise the CyberPower is neat and tidy enough when the lid is open. Possibly the most impressive thing about the Xplorer is that it costs less than £1,000.