AVADirect Clevo P180HM Gaming Notebook Review

Software, Accessories, & First Boot

We're often critical of vendors who don't include a lint-free cloth with their systems, especially ones as glossy as the P180HM, so we were thrilled to see AVADirect toss one in with the accessories. As you'll discover in a moment, there's a lot of real estate to wipe down, so it's a good idea to keep the cloth handy (and your fingers clean).

What really excites us, however, is the included laptop bag. Remember, this is an 18.4-inch machine that isn't going to fit in your 15.6-inch bag, and will even give some 17-inch laptop bags a workout. Because AVADirect includes one, you don't have to worry about shopping for a compatible laptop bag that's big enough to hide a body inside. Other accessories include:
  • Power cord and brick
  • Various documentation
  • 3.5-inch adapter bracket (in case you ever decide to port the SSD over to your desktop)
  • CyberLink Creative Media Suite 8 CD
  • Drivers and Utilities disc
It's a fairly small bundle, albeit one you're able to pile onto depending on which accessories you order through AVADirect, such as additional software, game controllers, and so forth. Noticeably absent from the system we received is a Windows disc or restore media, which is a bummer. However, you can add a recovery partition or bootable DVD to your system for $30, or $45 for both.

There isn't much in the way of desktop clutter on the P180HM, and the few items that are there are mostly utilities, not bloatware. One of the icons will disappear as soon as you activate the THX software, and the rest are related to the webcam, Bigfoot Networks NIC, macro key bindings, CyberLink software, and navigating Windows.

It took us 40 seconds to cold boot the P180HM into Windows and load the startup items, and 11 seconds to shut down. Not record breaking, and not too shabby either.

CyberLink Media Suite 8 is a generation behind the latest version, but still packs an assortment of tools for media chores like ripping audio CDs, copying and backing up your data, converting video, and perhaps most importantly, watching Blu-ray movies, whether it be on the 18.4-inch Full HD 1080p display or hooked up to your swank big screen HDTV via HDMI.

For an additional $40 over the base price, AVADirect will upgrade the P180HM's 802.11b/g/n wireless adapter to a Bigfoot Networks Killer Wireless-N 1103 internal PCI-E card. If we were configuring one of these systems on our own dime, we'd skip this dubious upgrade and apply the funds elsewhere, or pocket the cash and stock up on Amp and Funyuns. But if you do spring for the professional NIC, this is what the interface will look like, giving you more fine grain control over your Wi-Fi than what's available with a basic wireless adapter.

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