SavRow Katana

Posted by admin | 3D Laptops,SavRow Katana | Monday 13 June 2011 18:26
SavRow Katana 3D-9 Notebook
13 Jun 2011,  by David Fearon; Price when reviewed: £2,356; Overall Rating 5 stars out of 6


  • Intel’s Pentium 4 560 processor.
  • It runs at 3.6GHz with 1MB of Level 2 cache
  • Full gigabyte of DDR2 PC4200 SDRAM running in dual-channel mode.
  • Unlike Rockdirect design, SavRow has fitted just the one hard disk to the Katana rather than a RAID array, but it’s a fast 7,200rpm Fujitsu disk. However, it’s only 60GB in size – we expect more in a machine at this price.
  • Weight 5.6 kg

The personal touch also extends to setting up the default Outlook Express installation with a private email support account. And, as usual with SavRow systems, the hard disk is configured with two partitions, one for system files and one for data, increasing the chances of salvaging documents if  Windows ever becomes damaged and needs a reinstall.

The highlight of the Katana’s components, though, is the mobile workstation graphics chipset: nVidia’s Quadro FX Go1400. The basic specification differs from the ATi FireGL V5000 fitted to the Fujitsu Siemens H230, with 12 pixel pipelines and five vertex engines.

Where Fujitsu Siemens goes for a design free of what you might call gimmicks, the SavRow’s chassis yells at you with a bright front-mounted blue-LED screen, used in conjunction with the accompanying transport controls to play audio CDs (but not DVDs) when the main machine is powered off. When the machine itself is switched on, the display shows the time by default, although you can deactivate this in the BIOS. An integrated subwoofer endows the Katana with sound quality exceeding most notebooks – good enough for background music while you work.

With all that space around the 53mm-high casing, you’d expect more than the average number of ports and connectors, and you won’t be disappointed. In addition to the usual FireWire, USB ports and so on (see specifications below), there’s a media card reader able to accommodate SD/MMC, Memory Stick, CompactFlash and SmartMedia. There’s even a webcam hidden in the screen surround. But the main bonus is the DVI connector in addition to the VGA D-SUB, enabling a direct output to a digital panel.