Eurocom Sky X7E2 pushes the bounds of mobile computing

— 9:51 AM on September 15, 2016

The saga of Eurocom's absurdly powerful pseudo-laptops continues. The curiously-named Sky X7E2 Mobile Supercomputer—curious because there was no Sky X7E—is a 17.3-inch desktop replacement packed tight with desktop CPUs and desktop graphics. 

This super-laptop isn't quite as insane as the X9E Unlocked we reported on back in March, as it doesn't support SLI nor quite as many drives. Still, the X7E2 is a fresh product, flush with the latest technology from the green team, and can be configured with the desktop-equivalent GeForce GTX 1060, 1070, and 1080 graphics cards. Eurocom says these MXM 3.0 graphics cards can draw up to 190W of power and are cooled well enough to match their desktop siblings' performance blow-for-blow. Given that the desktop GTX 1080 can put the hurt on a pair of desktop GTX 980s, the X7E2's MXM 1080 should scorch the X9E's GTX 980M SLI configuration with ease.

All that graphics horsepower will come in handy if you should choose one of the display upgrades. The standard panel included in the Sky X7E2 is a rather pedestrian 1920x1080 60Hz IPS job, but users can opt to upgrade to a 120Hz 1080p model or a 60Hz display in 4K Ultra HD, both IPS panels. G-Sync is available as an extra option for all three displays. For a small fee, Eurocom will perform a professional display calibration on new machines. The company also says it has wide-gamut displays available on request.

Like the X9E Unlocked, the Sky X7E2 supports socketed desktop processors using LGA 1151. Eurocom offers the Core i5-6600K, Core i7-6700K, and the locked Core i7-6700. The company says the X7E2's Z170-based motherboard fully supports Intel's Extreme Tuning Utility, which is normally intended exclusively for desktop machines. Eurocom feeds the processor with four DDR4 SODIMM slots that support a total of 64GB of DDR4-3000 memory.

Storage options for this macro-laptop include a pair of M.2 drives and a pair of 2.5" drives; Eurocom will configure the machine with up to 5TB of storage out of the box. The Sky X7E2 also has a plethora of external ports: two Thunderbolt 3-enabled USB 3.1 Type-C ports, four USB 3.0 ports, two mini-DisplayPorts, one HDMI, and four analog audio jacks supporting 7.1 output. The headphone jack does double duty as an optical TOSLink connector, too. A Killer E2400 chip provides Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, but if you want Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, you'll have to give up one of the M.2 sockets for a combo card.

Normally you wouldn't even consider skipping Wi-Fi in a laptop, but Eurocom gives no performance data for the Sky X7E2's internal 89Wh battery beyond its capacity rating. Chances are, you'll want to carry around that 330W power adapter anywhere the X7E2 goes, and if you're plugging into the wall, you might as well plug in the RJ-45, too. Still, Eurocom's engineers must be applauded for reducing the size of the X7E2 versus the X9E Unlocked. The new luggable is just an inch and a half thick when closed, and weighs a mere 8.6 lbs. Considering that it's packing in essentially the same hardware as a Mini-ITX PC plus monitor, keyboard, and speakers, the X7E2 seems pretty svelte indeed.

Eurocom has its configurator for the Sky X7E2 all ready to go on its website, although the button reads "quote" rather than "order". The most basic configuration, with a Core i7-6700, GTX 1060, and a single 128GB M.2 SSD, comes out to $1915.

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