Gaming laptops tend to push garish, over-the-top designs these days; the second-generation Razer Blade throws these clichéd conventions out the window. The result is a 16.8x10.9x.88-inch minimalist laptop that resembles a large matte-black MacBook Pro. This doesn't mean the Blade looks plain, however. Its alluring green LEDs coupled with its slick LCD trackpad give this Blade a killer edge.
Note: This review was taken from the Holiday issue of the magazine.
We’ve been so inundated with Ultrabooks these days that we almost forgot how powerful, and hulking, a full-on gaming notebook can be. MSI’s GT60 arrived in our Lab to remind us. At 15.6 inches, the GT60 is not the biggest of the big, but it’s a beast nonetheless with a 15.5x10.5x2-inch body and a 10-pound carry weight.
The keyboard’s multicolored backlighting is customizable via a software control panel.
Origin PC’s Eon11-S isn’t the first 11.6-inch gaming notebook to come knocking—Alienware kicked off the category in 2010 with its small-but-mighty M11x. But times have changed since the M11x’s debut, hardware and thermals have advanced, and thus Origin’s Eon11-S is no less impressive an accomplishment. Packed into the 11.2x8.1x1.4‑inch chassis are an Ivy Bridge Core i7-3720QM quad-core processor and a GeForce GT 650M GPU. They’re joined by a 256GB SSD in the standard 2.5-inch trim and 8GB of DDR3/1333 RAM across two slot‑driven SO-DIMMs. Incidentally, all the innards are accessible via a bottom panel that pops off with ease, making future upgrades possible.
The Eon11-S comes in either a “Traditional” design, with a simple matte-black textured lid, or this “A-Panel” design, in either matte red or black, for the same price.
Even though the original only started shipping in late January, gaming peripheral company Razer unveiled the successor to its Blade gaming laptop at PAX Prime on Friday. The good news is that despite boasting better innards, the Blade 2 will cost $300 less than its predecessor.
WHEN LOOKING FOR a tagline that will easily sell a boatload of Acer Timeline M3 notebooks, it doesn’t take much more than: “an ultrabook that will play Battlefield 3 on Ultra setting.” And it’s true, too.
The Timeline M3 will indeed play BF3 on Ultra, provided you’re comfortable with 30 frames per second. That dips a bit below our thresholds for a shooter. We preferred playing Battlefield 3 on High, which gave us 50–60fps in online play. Granted, we were only playing at the 1366x768 native resolution of the machine’s 15.6-inch panel, but that’s pretty good for a so-called ultrabook.
We say so-called ultrabook because even though it’s within the very loose parameters set by Intel, a lot of people who encounter the Timeline M3 aren’t going to think this widescreen notebook is an ultrabook. Most people equate ultrabooks with PC clones of a MacBook Air. But the definition is broader. Ultrabooks must be within a certain height, run a certain proc, reach a certain battery life rating, and come out of hibernation in a certain amount of time. The Timeline is wide—just shy of 15 inches across—so wide that it has enough space for an optical drive. There’s even room in the Timeline to sport a 7mm, 2.5‑inch drive bay. Acer doesn’t use the bay, though, instead opting for a teeny-but-fast SATA 6Gb/s Lite-On SSD in mSATA trim. Storage hogs hoping to use both bays will be heartbroken—installing a drive in the 2.5-inch bay turned off the mSATA drive.
Most notebooks that are capable of pulling off a true frag fest on the run are portable in name only, being heavy-duty 15- to 17-inch monsters with battery lives briefer than butterfly's lives. To make mobile matters worse, Alienware recently announced that its M11x is being put out to pasture. Fear not, traveling gamers: all is not lost. Maingear is, well, gearing up a new 11-inch gaming notebook of its own, the Pulse.
When we reviewed the Maingear Titan 17 last year, we noted that the high-end gaming laptop crushed 3D benchmarks and wallets alike. Maingear just announced a couple of new updates to the notebook that help to keep up both of those proud traditions: moving forward, buyers have the option of adding Nvidia GTX 675M mobile graphics cards and an Nvidia 3D Vision display (or both!) to the portable powerhouse.
Toshiba UK has announced a new gaming notebook called the Qosmio X870. The X870 is not just another gaming laptop, according to the official announcement, but the company’s most advanced gaming notebook till date. Hit the jump for more.
We reviewed Eurocom’s top-of-the-line mobile workstation, the Panther 2.0, in our June 2011 issue. That high-end behemoth weighed more than 15 pounds and cost upward of $5,000, but it sported a desktop Core i7-980X CPU and a pair of Radeon HD 6970s in CrossFire. This time around we’re taking a look at the company’s lighter-weight mobile workstation, the Neptune 3D.
While also billed as a high-end desktop-replacement, the Neptune 3D is far more modest than its beefy big brother. It’s based on a mobile Sandy Bridge CPU (Intel’s Core i7-2760QM) and a single mobile GPU (Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 580M). The Neptune 3D weighs less than nine pounds, but its defining feature is its 17.3-inch, 120Hz, 3D display.
We get to test a lot of unusual laptops—overclocked, oversize, over-dimensional, and just altogether overdone. Digital Storm’s x17, from first impression to Lab testing to real-world evaluation, is just a normal 17-inch laptop. It has high-end components that make it an extremely fast 17-inch laptop, but we’re not sure that’s enough to justify its high price.