Sager NP8760 Review

by Reads (34,812)

Overview

  • Pros

    • Very high performance
    • Good build quality
    • Beautiful 1080p display
  • Cons

    • Loud fans
    • Abysmal battery life, even for a gaming notebook
    • Can get very expensive

The NP8760 is Sager’s latest gaming notebook featuring a 17.3” display, Intel Core i7 processor, and Nvidia GTX 280M graphics. Just how fast is this beast, and is it worth the price? Read our review to find out.

A special thanks goes out to Justin at XoticPC.com for loaning us this review unit.

Our Sager NP8760 has the following specifications:

  • 17.3-inch 1080p (1920×1080) display with LED backlighting
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
  • Intel Core i7 920XM processor (2.0GHz/3.2GHz Turbo Mode, 8MB L3 cache)
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 280M 1GB graphics card
  • 8GB DDR3-1333 RAM (2x 4GB)
  • 500GB 7200RPM hard drive (Seagate Momentus 7200.4/ST9500420AS)
  • Intel Wireless WiFi Link 5300AGN
  • Built-in Bluetooth 2.0+ wireless
  • 8X DVD burner
  • One-year limited warranty
  • Li-polymer battery (3800mAh/42.18Wh)
  • Weight: 8.35 lbs
  • Dimensions: 16.25” (W) x 11.0” (D) x 1.69~2.25” (H)
  • MSRP: $3,574

The NP8760 starts at $1,959, however out test unit has some expensive options including the Core i7 920XM processor ($745), 8GB of RAM ($605), and Windows 7 Ultimate ($185). The starting price includes the GTX 280M video card and 1080p display.

Build and Design
The NP8760 is a large notebook with a less-than interesting design based on the Clevo W870CU. Like most Clevo-based customized notebooks, Sager notebooks are built with an emphasis on performance rather than looks. The nondescript appearance can be a pro or a con depending on the person. The chassis has a traditional shape with no odd curves or designs. The silver trim around the chassis and lid looks smart. Most of the chassis is non-reflective black plastic; the only glossy plastic in sight is the small border around the display. The NP8760’s non-reflective surfaces are a welcome sight after seeing so many notebooks covered with nothing but reflective plastic. Matte plastics are more practical since they do not pick up fingerprints or show dust/dirt as easily.

The overall build quality is good. The plastic is thick enough to feel a step above most consumer notebooks. The chassis is difficult to twist when grabbed by its corners. The palmrests and other areas do not flex under pressure. The lid resists twisting well for its size (17.3” diagonal) and pushing in on the back of the lid does not produce any ripples in the screen. The build quality is consistent; any given area is of the same quality as another and the chassis has no weak points.

Fit and finish is very good; there are no rough edges or corners and all parts fit together with even spacing. Overall the build quality is good, however on a notebook starting at nearly $2,000 a bit of aluminum trim would be a nice touch. Then again, the NP8760 appears to have been designed with ambiguity in mind.


Screen and Speakers

The NP8760 has a 17.3-inch LED-backlit screen with a 1080p resolution (1920×1080). The display is quite beautiful – it has ample brightness and stark contrast. The display’s glossy surface helps bring out colors and improves clarity at the expensive of glare and reflections. The backlighting is even with only a tiny bit of bleed at the edges. Viewing angles are very good as well – the horizontal is nearly perfect and there is a generous vertical range. Watching movies and playing video games are enjoyable activities on this display; it is one of the higher-quality panels we have seen.

The speakers are typical for a notebook; they sound tinny and have no bass. Fortunately the NP8760 has many audio-out options, including HDMI, headphone jacks, and S/PDIF.

Keyboard and Touchpad
The NP8760 has one of the new ‘chiclet’ or island-style keyboards, where keys are raised above the keyboard surface and have more than usual spacing. The keyboard has a good if not sophisticated feel but is accurate and allows for precision typing. There is no flex at all. The keys provide enough resistance that resting fingers on them will not cause them to depress – this is good for gamers. Another plus is the matte surface for good traction. This keyboard has a harder feel than previous Sagers; it is not even remotely rubbery. It is somewhat noisy if typed hard on, but if typing softly it should not bother people sitting nearby.

The downside of this keyboard is the lack of dedicated home, end, page up, and page down keys, which are integrated as secondary functions in the arrow keys. If number lock is disabled they can exist as dedicated keys, but then the functionality of the number pad is lost. Speaking of the number pad, it has an odd three-column layout (as opposed to the standard four-column), however all standard keys are present. Regardless, given the size of this notebook’s chassis it should have a standard keyboard layout.

The touchpad is easy to use thanks to its matte surface; too many notebooks use a glossy surface which trades looks for tracking ability. The right side of the touchpad functions as a scroll zone. The buttons are excellent, with a dimpled surface and quiet, defined clicks. The optional fingerprint reader is located between the two buttons.

Ports and Features
The Sager NP8760 has as many ports as some desktops. HDMI and DVI are both included for video-out. It also features eSATA for fast connections to external hard drives.
All picture descriptions are left to right.


Left Side: 56k modem jack, CATV (only enabled with TV tuner), 7-in-1 media card reader, IEEE 1394 mini-Firewire, USB, optical drive


Right side: Headphone jack, microphone jack, line in, S/PDIF, ExpressCard/54 slot, eSATA, DVI-I, Kensington lock slot


Rear: Exhaust vent, HDMI, power jack, 2x USB, Gigabit Ethernet, exhaust vent


Front: Battery status, AC power indicators


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