Systemax Pursuit 4250 Review

by Reads (11,694)

by Kevin O’Brien

The Systemax Pursuit 4250 is notebook sold exclusively through TigerDirect.com, and is assembled and supported inside the USA. This notebook offers a decent gaming configuration as well as some impressive internal features starting at less than $1,000. Read on to see how well this notebook performs during our testing.

Technical Specifications:

  • 15.4-inch WXGA (1280 x 800) Glossy Display
  • 1.5GHz Core 2 Duo T5250 processor
  • 1GB (512MB x 2) DDR2-667 SDRAM (up to 4GB DDR2 SDRAM available)
  • 60GB 5400 RPM SATA HDD
  • 8x Dual-layer DVD±RW drive
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT w/ 512MB RAM (MXM replaceable video card)
  • Intel 4965AGN A, B, G, N Wireless
  • Media Card: 3-in-1 flash memory reader
  • Input and Output Ports: 4 USB 2.0, VGA, IEEE 1394a, RJ11, RJ45, 1 headphone, 1 microphone, 1 ExpressCard 54mm slot, S-Video
  • 2.0 megapixel Webcam
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 9-Cell battery (11.1v, 7200mAh)
  • Dimensions: 11.4" x 14.3" x 1.4"
  • Weight: 6lbs 10.8oz w/ 9-cell battery
  • Base configuration price: $899.99
  • Price as tested: $1,059.99


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Build and Design

The Pursuit 4250 has a fairly basic design, with few rounded edges or sloped panels. This style is getting rare these days as many notebook manufactures move towards slim designs like the Dell M1530 or soft curved notebooks like the Toshiba A210 or Dell Vostro. The only design element that really sticks out is the screen cover, which has a smooth glossy finish with the Systemax logo front and center. With my tastes gravitating towards boring a business design like the Thinkpad, this style of notebook fits in perfectly.


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Build quality is top notch offering a really strong design with only one weak spot. The weakness that stuck out to me was the palmrest that flexes over the ExpressCard slot. The rest of the notebook is very durable, offering plenty of protection for day to day abuse. The screen cover offers plenty of protection for the LCD, with the display showing no ripples when you firmly press on the back cover.

One design element that I really enjoy with this notebook is the easy access to almost all system parts through access panels. Users have complete access to the RAM, wireless cards, cpu, hard drive, heatsinks, and fan assemblies after removing only a handful of screws. This notebook also offers an upgradeable MXM graphics card slot, which some users might like for upgrades down the road.


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Screen

The glossy screen on the Pursuit 4250 is about average in terms of color, contrast, and viewing angles. Dark blacks had the tendency to look washed out or faded depending on the viewing angle. Vertical viewing angles were limited, inverting colors at mild to steep angles.


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Keyboard, Touchpad, and Media Controls

The keyboard on this notebook was more than adequate for lengthy typing, and had great support to prevent sagging or flexing. No particular area bowed down under firm pressure from my fingers.


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The touchpad while spacious compared to some found on other notebooks, was not as sensitive as I would have hoped. At times I had to repeat movements with more pressure on my finger for it to track properly. The touchpad buttons were fairly large, and placed very close to the touchpad. Feedback from the buttons was minimal, with a very shallow click.

Ports and Features


Left: VGA, LAN, Modem, S-Video, 2 USB, Firewire, SD-Card Reader, Expresscard/54, Mic, Headphone. (view large image)


Right: Optical drive, 2 USB, AC Plug. (view large image)


Front: Indicator lights, Wireless On/Off. (view large image)


Back: Kensington lock slot, battery. (view large image)

Speakers

The internal speakers provided a decent amount of volume, but range was lacking, as well as any bass. Watching movies or listening to music would be perfectly acceptable, but for maximum enjoyment you should probably turn to the headphone jack and a nice pair of cans.

Performance and Benchmarks

The performance of this notebook was fairly good considering it had the low-end 1.5GHz Core 2 Duo and only 1GB of RAM. Graphics performance was very good for a sub $1,000 notebook, along with the impressive MXM upgradeable video card. Since this is a build to order notebook, I would recommend purchasing a 7200rpm HD and at least 2GB of RAM for this notebook.

wPrime is a program that forces the processor to do recursive mathematical calculations, the advantage of this program is that it is multi-threaded and can use both processor cores at once, thereby giving more accurate benchmarking measurements than Super Pi.

Notebook / CPU wPrime 32M time
Systemax Pursuit 4250 (Core 2 Duo T5250 @ 1.5GHz) 56.986s
Dell Inspiron 1525 (Core 2 Duo T7250 @ 2.0GHz) 43.569s
Dell XPS M1530 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz)
37.485s
Portable One SXS37 (Core 2 Duo T7250 @ 2.0GHz) 41.908s
Sony VAIO NR (Core 2 Duo T5250 @ 1.5GHz) 58.233s
Toshiba Tecra A9 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz) 38.343s
Toshiba Tecra M9 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz) 37.299s
HP Compaq 6910p (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2GHz) 40.965s
Sony VAIO TZ (Core 2 Duo U7600 @ 1.20GHz) 76.240s
Zepto 6024W (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2GHz) 42.385s
Lenovo T61 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz) 37.705s
Alienware M5750 (Core 2 Duo T7600 @ 2.33GHz) 38.327s
Hewlett Packard DV6000z (Turion X2 TL-60 @ 2.0GHz) 38.720s
Samsung Q70 (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2.0GHz) 42.218s
Acer Travelmate 8204WLMi (Core Duo T2500 @ 2.0GHz) 42.947s
Samsung X60plus (Core 2 Duo T7200 @ 2.0GHz) 44.922s
Zepto Znote 6224W (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2.0GHz) 45.788s
Samsung Q35 (Core 2 Duo T5600 @ 1.83GHz) 46.274s
Samsung R20 (Core Duo T2250 @ 1.73GHz) 47.563s

 

3DMark06 comparison results for graphics performance:

Notebook 3DMark06 Score
Systemax Pursuit 4250 (1.5GHz Intel T5250, Nvidia 8600M GT 512MB)
3,187 3DMarks
Dell Inspiron 1525 (2.0GHz Intel T7250, Intel X3100) 545 3DMarks
Sony VAIO NR (1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5250, Intel X3100) 504 3DMarks
Dell XPS M1530 (2.20GHz Intel T7500, Nvidia 8600M GT 256MB) 4,332 3DMarks
Dell Inspiron 1520 (2.0GHz Intel T7300, NVIDIA 8600M GT) 2,905 3DMarks
Dell XPS M1330 (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, NVIDIA GeForce Go 8400M GS 128MB) 1,408 3DMarks
Samsung Q70 (2.0GHz Core 2 Duo T7300 and nVidia 8400M G GPU) 1,069 3DMarks
Asus F3sv-A1 (Core 2 Duo T7300 2.0GHz, Nvidia 8600M GS 256MB) 2,344 3DMarks
Alienware Area 51 m5550 (2.33GHz Core 2 Duo, nVidia GeForce Go 7600 256MB 2,183 3DMarks
Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi 1526 (1.66GHz Core Duo, nVidia 7600Go 256 MB) 2,144 3DMarks
Samsung X60plus (2.0GHz Core 2 Duo T7200, ATI X1700 256MB) 1,831 3DMarks
Asus A6J (1.83GHz Core Duo, ATI X1600 128MB) 1,819 3DMarks
HP dv6000t (2.16 GHz Intel T7400, NVIDA GeForce Go 7400) 827 3DMarks

PCMark05 measures overall notebook performance:

Notebook PCMark05 Score
Systemax Pursuit 4250 (1.5GHz Intel T5250, Nvidia 8600M GT 512MB) 4,013 PCMarks
Dell Inspiron 1525 (2.0GHz Intel T7250, Intel X3100) 4,149 PCMarks
Dell XPS M1530 (2.20GHz Intel T7500, Nvidia 8600M GT 256MB) 5,412 PCMarks
Dell Inspiron 1520 (2.0GHz Intel T7300, NVIDIA 8600M GT) 4,616 PCMarks
Dell XPS M1330 (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, NVIDIA GeForce Go 8400M GS) 4,591 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, Intel X3100) 4,153 PCMarks
Lenovo 3000 V200 (2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, Intel X3100) 3,987 PCMarks
Lenovo T60 Widescreen (2.0GHz Intel T7200, ATI X1400 128MB) 4,189 PCMarks
HP dv6000t (2.16GHz Intel T7400, NVIDA GeForce Go 7400) 4,234 PCMarks
Fujitsu N6410 (1.66GHz Core Duo, ATI X1400) 3,487 PCMarks
Alienware M7700 (AMD Athlon FX-60, Nvidia Go 7800GTX) 5,597 PCMarks
Sony VAIO SZ-110B in Speed Mode (Using Nvidia GeForce Go 7400) 3,637 PCMarks
Asus V6J (1.86GHz Core Duo T2400, Nvidia Go 7400) 3,646 PCMarks


HDTune results:


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Heat and Noise

Heat and noise were average for this type of notebook, only getting relatively loud under stressful activities like gaming. No particular area was overly hot, with the peak temperature recorded being 94F on the top right side of the keyboard. The rest was between 75 and 90 around the top and bottom.

Below are heat overlays of this notebook with temperatureslisted in degrees Fahrenheit:


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Battery Life

With screen brightness set to 80 percent, wireless enabled, and basic web browsing taking place this notebook managed 3 hours and 28 minutes of battery life with the 9-cell battery. If the screen brightness was lowered this notebook shouldn’t have much of a problem playing an entire DVD movie over a flight or extended airport stay.


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Conclusion

The Systemax Pursuit 4250 offered good performance for a notebook that starts at $900 with a dedicated NVIDIA 8600m GT graphics card. While styling was very basic, the notebook shined with its build quality. If you are looking for a good deal on a notebook, and also want that built and supported in the USA good feeling, make sure to check out this notebook.

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • Easy to upgrade
  • MXM upgradeable video card

Cons

  • Touchpad was not that sensitive
  • Display could have been better


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