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-- by Jonathan Blackwood
TigerDirect wants to put a Cyrix 6x86L chip in your tank ... er ... notebook. The company's new Tiger GT 6x86 PR166+ notebook is a well-built, well-equipped, ergonomically correct system, at a good price. Its shortcomings? Its performance is not really 166 level-falling between a 150MHz and 166MHz P55C Pentium-and its battery life is short. Still, you do get a crisp, bright 12.1-inch SuperVGA active-matrix display, as well as integrated floppy disk and 10X CD-ROM drives.
Other amenities include 256KB of pipeline-burst level-2 cache, 32MB of EDO RAM (upgradable to 80MB), a 1.63GB (nominal) hard disk, a NeoMagic MagicGraph 128ZV video accelerator, integrated speakers and microphone for the 16-bit Sound Blaster-compatible stereo sound and twin PC Card slots with Zoomed Video. There's also the usual bevy of ports, including infrared.
The Tiger measures 2 by 11.6 by 9.5 inches, and weighs 7.5 pounds with battery. Besides Windows 95, it comes with Corel WordPerfect Suite 8. There's also a one-year warranty with guaranteed 72-hour turnaround for repairs. Our strenuous battery rundown test depleted the battery in only 1.47 hours-expect two hours under more normal conditions.
Wintune clocked the Tiger at 250MIPS, 21MB-per-second cached-disk throughput and 17Mpixel-per-second video throughput. It executed our Word and Excel macros in average times of 132 and 337 seconds, respectively, and our multimedia script in a lengthy 37.97 minutes (the Tiger isn't MMX-enabled). Corresponding scores for the MMX-enabled NEC Versa 6060 on our WinList were: 317MIPS, 29MBps disk and 26Mpixel video, with scores of 86 seconds, 190 seconds and 22.41 minutes, respectively, to run our Word, Excel and multimedia benchmarks.
If you want acceptable performance for some $1,100 less than the Versa, the GT 6x86 PR166+ is a good choice. Otherwise, it's outclassed by its more expensive rival.