Cyberpower PC Xplorer X3-9100

13-inch Laptop Designed For Computer Gaming

Clevo W230SS Chassis
Cleve W230SS Chassis. ┬ęClevo

The Bottom Line

For those that want a relatively affordable 13-inch system that offers performance for PC gaming, the Cyberpower PC Xplorer X3-9100 does offer the potential thanks to a strong processor and graphics card. The problem is packing all this power into such a small package can lead to noise and heat generated by this system being an issue for those that truly want to use this as a laptop.

On top of this, the peripheral port layout can really get in the way if you want to use some gaming accessories. If you can work around these issues, then it may be something to look at.

Pros

  • Strong Performance For Its Size
  • Relatively Good Battery Life
  • Highly Customizable Storage Options

Cons

  • Runs Hot and Loud Under Load
  • Primary Peripheral Ports on Right Hand Side Get In The Way
  • Build Quality Not The Same As More Premium Brands

Description

  • Intel Core i7-4710HQ Quad Core Mobile Processor
  • 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
  • 1TB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 13.3" WUXGA (1920x1080) Display With 2.0 Megapixel Webcam
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M 2GB GDDR5 Graphics
  • Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
  • Three USB 3.0, One USB 2.0, HDMI, 9-in-1 Card Reader
  • 12.99" x 8.94" x 1.26" @ 4.6 lbs.
  • Windows 8.1

Review - Cyberpower PC Xplorer X3-9100

The Xplorer X3-9100 is a laptop system based around the Clevo W230SS chassis. This means that it will have many of the same base elements as other systems built around the same chassis.

The is a compact 13-inch laptop design that is meant for performance. As a result, it is relatively thick at 1.26-inches and fairly heavy at 4.6-pounds. Certainly not as svelte as an ultrabook but this is designed for performance and gaming in mind. It is a mix of plastics with soft touch surfaces here and there to give it an above average feel but certainly nothing like a premium system like the Razer that is built of an aluminum chassis.

Powering the Xplorer X3-9100 is the Intel Core i7-4710HQ quad core processor. This is a very high performance processor that should have no problem handling the latest games or even a demanding task like desktop video editing. Of course with the power consumption and the heat generated by this processor along with the graphics, the system can get rather hot and fairly loud when even under fairly moderate loads. The processor is matched up with 8GB of DDR3 memory which provides a smooth overall experience with Windows.

Since this is a configurable system, Cyberpower PC offers a wide range of storage options when it comes to ordering a Xplorer X3-9100. The base configuration uses a one terabyte hard drive that provides it with a large amount of space for storing all those games or digital video files. If you want more performance, it is possible to either add or replace the standard hard drive with a mSATA or standard 2.5-inch solid state drive. Adding such a drive would certainly improve the loading time for Windows and applications over the hard drive. If you need to add extra space after ordering, there are three USB 3.0 ports for use with high speed external storage. The one drawback is that there are all on the right hand side of the system along with the HDMI port which can get in the way for those that like to use an external mouse.

There is no DVD burner built into the system but this isn't much of an issue these days as most people get their games through digital online services.

Now the Clevo W230SS chassis can support displays up to the 3200x1800 or 4K panel but Cyberpower opted to use the standard 13.3-inch display with a 1920x1080 native resolutions. This makes sense when you consider that current mobile graphics processor can't really play games up to the UHD resolutions yet. There are some drawbacks though as the display panel used for the 1920x1080 does not have the same level of color, brightness or viewing angles of the 4K version.

The one benefit is that at least the text in Windows is still quite legible for the average user. Now the graphics are handled by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M graphics processor that does a very good job of playing current games up to the full panel resolution. It does limit some games from having filtering enabled but this isn't so much of a problem with such a compact system.

The keyboard for the Xplorer X3-9100 uses an isolated keyboard design typical to most systems these days. The spacing and shape of the keys is well design and the overall feel is quite good. Due to the limited space, some of the keys are smaller than usual which is especially true of the left shift key. The keyboard does feature backlighting that is somewhat subdued and not overpowering when using it in the dark. The trackpad is a decent size but it certainly is not something suitable for gaming as it is rather small. In addition, the buttons take up a fair amount of space and have some accuracy issues due to the spongy response. Gamers will definitely want to use an external mouse.

For power, the Xplorer X3-9100 uses the standard 62 WHr capacity battery pack. This is certainly a higher capacity than most 13-inch laptops but this system also uses a fair bit more power. In digital video playback testing, the system was able to run for four and three quarter hours before going into standby. This is certainly above average considering the compents installed in the system but it is fair lower than the typical 13-inch laptop that focuses much more heavily on battery life such as the Apple MacBook Pro 13 that lasts roughly four hours more.

Gamers will see much less run time than this and likely will have under two hours before needing to plug in.

Pricing for the Cyberpower Xplorer X3-9100 is certainly affordable. The configuration reviewed lists for just under $1100. This puts it roughly in the same price range as the Alienware 14 that is larger and a good deal heavier. The Alienware however offers a bit more in terms of styling. A similar system with nearly identical price is the iBUYPOWER Battalion 101 W230SS that uses the same Clevo chassis. It is nearly identical such that there is little to say in terms of differences. Of course if you are looking for even greater portability and money is not an object, than the Razer New Blade is thinner and roughly the same weight but with a 14-inch QHD screen with higher performance but at double the price.

Manufacturer's Site