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Review: PC Specialist Enigma P960T laptop: Blu-ray and powerful performance

by Tarinder Sandhu on 23 January 2009, 06:00 3.25

Tags: Enigma P960GT, PC Specialist

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Specifications, warranty, and thoughts


PC Specialist Enigma P960GT
Processor Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo P8400 (2.26GHz, 3MB L2 cache, 1,066MHz FSB, dual-core)
Motherboard Compal PM45
Memory 4GB (2x 2GB) PC2-6400 - 4-5-5-15 @ 800MHz
Hard disk(s) Toshiba 320GB, 5,400RPM, 8MB cache
Display/TFT 15.4in WXGA+ (1,440x900) 
Graphics hardware NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT 512MB (64-bit memory)
Optical drive LG DVD-RW and Blu-ray combo drive
Sound Realtek ALC268 HD audio
Modem 56k
Networking hardware 1x 10/100/1000, Realtek RTL8168C PCIe Ethernet
802.11n WiFi  
Ports and connectors 3x USB2.0, VGA-out, ExpressCard54, RJ45 (LAN), modem, 
Mic-in, headphone-out, HDMI
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium SP1, 64-bit 
Notable extras Built-in card-reader (SD, MMC, MS, MSPro)
Weight 2.96kg with supplied 6-cell battery. 
Battery 6-cell (7,200mAh)
Dimensions 358mm x 259mm x 25.4mm (W x D x H)
Warranty One year as standard. Collect-and-return warranty
Price ~£899, including VAT and delivery (but with P8600 CPU instead)

The specification of the PC Specialist Enigma is eerily similar to the cool-looking Zepto Nox that we took a look at a while back, and the P960GT is close to the top of the range, which starts at £642, including VAT and delivery. Being wholly customisable - there are 14 hard-drive choices! - the final price can range right up to £2,000.

The beefy Core 2 Duo P8400 is a sensible choice for a 15.4in laptop that's pushed as an all-in-one solution, from multimedia playback to gaming, and this has now been superseded by the P8600 for retail models. However, the 1,440x900 screen cannot be upgraded at the time of purchase; it's yer lot, and whilst fine, we'd really like to see a 1,680x1,050px panel as an option.

Graphics, too, are standard across the Enigma range and are provided by NVIDIA's GeForce 9600 GT 512MB, which should render games at the panel's native resolution with relative ease. 4GB of RAM is excellent, though.

For the sample, PC Specialist has chosen a combo optical drive that writes to the usual DVD formats but also reads Blu-ray discs. A Blu-ray writer will cost an additional £75 or so and, like most, that's how the company makes margin.

Tipping the scales at just under 3kg with a standard high-capacity 6-cell battery (7,200mAh, which is good), it's just above average for porkyness but should provide decent on-the-go battery-life, too.

Warranty and delivery

The Enigma ships with a one-year warranty that's based on a collect-and-return service. The first month's cover is such that the collect-and-return postage will be paid for by PC Specialist, but any subsequent pickups will need to be footed by the customer, in both directions. However, paying an extra £5 at the time of purchase upgrades this to 'free' for the whole year. A second year's cover can be purchased for £69, as well.

Should things go awry, claims are made by calling a local-rate (0845) number where, if deemed appropriate, an RMA number will be allocated.  PC Specialist covers the courier charges for collection and re-delivery of the machine, and the company says that this is usually within five working days of the agreed collection date.

You'll be emailed once the repaired laptio has left PC Specialist's premises. Should no fault be found, however, the customer will be liable for a £35 charge, covering the courier costs.

Common sense dictates that you keep the box that the system was originally shipped in - it will be needed to protect the laptop during transit for any warranty-related claims, and it's well-packaged if the sample is indicative of how retail models will be dispatched. 

Bear in mind that it's not an insurance-backed warranty, so if PC Specialist happens to go under whilst the PC is still under warranty, chances are the warranty won't be worth the paper it's written on.

Delivery is included in the price but the customer can choose to have a timed drop - pre-10am or Saturday, for example - for an extra £19.

Let's now take a look.