The laptops used by mobile gamers have to be powerful beasts in order to offer the kind of smooth, detailed graphics and slick gameplay exacting users demand. The latest example to make claim to the title of fastest laptop in the world is the X8100 from Taiwan's Clevo. The credentials begin with a choice of three Core i7 processors, either one or two nVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics processors with SLI technology support, a 18.4in full high definition display, up to 8Gb DDR3 memory, space for up to three SATA drives and touch sensitive hot keys.

Clevo offers the gamer a choice of Intel Core i7 configurations to power the X8100, the 1.6GHz 720QM, the 1.73GHz 820QM or the 2GHz 920XM Extreme. The difficult choices continue with either a single or dual nVIDIA GeForce GTX 285M graphics processor option, each GPU having 1Gb of onboard RAM and SLI technology. There's room for up to three 2.5in SATA storage drives on a RAID 0/1 configuration and the option of a Blu-ray writer as an optical drive. The X8100 will also accommodate up to 8Gb of DDR3 memory via two 204-pin SODIMM sockets.

Moving outside, the gamer is treated to full 1080p high definition delivered to the huge 18.4in LCD display. To the left of the full-size keyboard are eight programmable gaming keys and to the top, eight more touch sensitive hot keys for quick access to such things as WLAN, Bluetooth and volume control. The touchpad supports gestures and scrolling. The unit benefits from a 5.1 speaker system with built-in subwoofer to blast out high definition audio and S/PDIF digital output for external options if needed.

Other connectivity options include four USB 2.0 ports, an IEEE 1394a and an eSATA port, HDMI-out and a 7-in-1 card reader. 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR take care of the wireless options and a TV tuner deals with the possibility of gamers needing to switch entertainment mode.

The gaming power you have in your lap will depend on which configuration options are chosen, which in turn will be determined by the size of your wallet - basic systems start at well over the US$2000 mark.

Just how long Clevo will hold onto its claimed title of "fastest laptop in the world", with similar power being promised by MSI in the form of its GT660 gaming laptop (but with USB 3.0 ports onboard and up to 12Gb RAM) and ASUS also announcing i7-powered gaming machines at this year's CES and of course Dell's Alienware machines already offering similar i7 configurations, remains to be seen.

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