Two large, affordable gaming notebooks go fang-to-fang
Gaming notebooks can be quite pricey, but Gigabyte's P2742 and CyberPower's Fangbook X7-200 remind us that we don't need to break the bank to get PC gaming on the go. Not only are both of these 17.3-inch notebooks affordable at around $1,500, they also both feature the same Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor. Which one is worth your hard-earned money? Read on to find out.
Note: This article was taken from the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
When it comes to tablets, we’d wager that most Maximum PC readers lean toward the x86 variety—in theory, at least. Right? It’s the more capable, more flexible option—the natural fit for computer nerds. In fact, with specs that rival an Ultrabook’s, an x86 tablet promises to serve as the ultimate production/consumption device, leveraging Windows 8’s dual persona to optimum effect. We haven’t had face-time with Microsoft’s x86-based Surface Pro standard-bearer—ironically, the company seems uninterested in getting its product in front of these power users—but we do have the Acer W700, an extreme tablet in its own right and a worthy representative of what this new tablet category has to offer.
Note: This review was originally featured in the May 2013 issue of the magazine.
With both Intel’s Haswell and Nvidia’s new 700M-series components shrinking and sipping less power, the super-portable, 14-inch, gaming laptop revolution is about to begin. Leading the charge is Razer with its ultra-sleek new Razer Blade gaming notebook, which is a smaller take on the 17-inch version (since rebranded as Razer Blade Pro) we reviewed in our Holiday issue.
The Eurocom Scorpius lives a dual life. On one hand, it’s a dull-looking workstation; on the other, this highly configurable laptop can also be outfitted with a 3D monitor and killer gaming specs. We opted for the latter.
Note: This review originally appeared in the March issue of the magazine.
This we know: Windows 8 is more usable with a touchscreen, plain and simple. Whether that’s a practical scenario for tower-and-monitor setups is arguable, but it turns out that using touch on a laptop comes pretty naturally—even more so than we expected.
Note: This feature originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of the magazine.
Microsoft’s re-imagined OS is only half the equation
As has been reported exhaustively by now, Windows 8 can be a very unsettling experience for longtime Windows users. It’s like going to visit your parents and finding dad decked out in drag. The person you’ve known for so long is still there, but a new, unexpected element to his persona has you flummoxed and fumbling for how to behave.
Note: This feature originally appeared in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.
The Razer Edge sounds fantastic: a Windows 8 tablet, notebook, and portable gaming system in one. But in actual use, the Edge is a letdown.
The Edge starts at $1,000, with the Pro (reviewed here) climbing up to $1,450. That may be pricey for a "tablet," but it comes with a Core i7-3517U, Nvidia GT 640M LE, 8GB of DDR3/1600, and a 256GB SSD. While it’s supposed to be the happy love-child of a portable tablet and a powerful PC, the end result is a compromised monstrosity.
After reviewing the iBuyPower CZ-17 last month and seeing it look nearly identical to our zero-point MSI GT60, we were hoping our next gaming laptop would be a fresh, new design. Unfortunately Maingear's Nomad 15 apparently uses the same original design manufacturer (ODM) construction as those other two.
Note: This review was taken from the February 2013 issue of the magazine.