Intel Windows HDMI Compute Stick Review

Introduction


There is a portable “USB-powered-HDMI-displayed-AIO-device” war going on since the arrival of low-cost Android boxes which in turn brought us Windows boxes of the same form factor. The next generation of these devices came and shrunk the form factor even more, bringing the full-fat Windows experience to the System on a Chip (SoC) device while maintaining the size of a large memory stick.

Amongst the-the many rebranded Chinese Android sticks to make it to Europe has been an official offering by Intel in the form of their “Compute Stick”, which serves as proof that they are aiming to claim a slice of this emerging market in both Linux and Windows flavours. Intel were kind enough to send us a Windows Compute Stick to put through its paces, and no sooner had they confirmed we would be getting one had it arrived.

Anyway enough of the backstory, let’s get the shrink wrap off and get this fired up!

Specifications
  • Name: Intel Compute Stick (Windows Variant)
  • CPU: Intel Atom Z3735F (Quad Core 1.3Ghz with 1.8GHz burst)
  • RAM: 2GB 1333MHz DDR3
  • SSD: eMMC 32GB
  • GPU:Intel Integrated Graphics (64mb)
  • LAN: None
  • WLAN: 802.11a/b/g/n Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • I/O: 1x USB 2.0 , 1x HDMI 1.4
  • OS: Windows 8.1 32bit
  • Dimensions: 103 x 12 x 37 mm (WxHxD)
  • Warranty: 2 Year
  • Price: £119.98

The box is very nicely packed, no bigger than you would get with a phablet sized phone. There is a small black tab which when pulled slides the inner box out from the cover

With the box slid out, the first thing you are presented with is the compute stick itself

Removing the lining reveals multiple accessories underneath

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Chillblast Fusion Nano 960 Gaming PC Review

Introduction


Chillblast gave us a friendly poke to see if we were interested in taking a look at one of their mini-itx gaming range. As I am mainly used to dealing with hulking gaming monsters which are show-pieces never to be moved, I was quite interested to see what offerings are available in terms of portable PCs of tiny small form factor, and finding out if they’re actually worth it or not.

Having a brief look over the spec sheet revealed on paper at least, that this seemed a fairly decent gaming rig, even touting an AIO liquid cooled CPU cooler. We’ve seen plenty of GTX 970s, 980s and even Titan Xs, but we’ve yet to try out the GTX960. Needless to say, we gratefully took Chillblast up on their offer and sure enough a fairly large yet light parcel turned up at eTeknix HQ.

Specifications

  • Name: Chillblast Fusion Barbarian Gaming PC
  • Case: Raijintek Metis Windowed Mini ITX Case – Red – modified
  • Motherboard: Asus Z97I PLUS
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 4690K Devils Canyon overclocked to 4.3GHz
  • Processor Cooler: Corsair H55 all-in-one liquid cooler
  • System Memory: 8GB Corsair/Crucial/Samsung  1600MHz DDR3 Memory (2 x 4GB sticks)
  • Main Boot Drive: Seagate 2.5″ SSHD 1000GB Hybrid SSD / HDD Drive
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): None
  • Graphics card: GTX 960 2GB based on the Maxwell Architecture
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified PSU Modular Version
  • Optical DriveNone
  • Wireless: Asus A/C
  • Monitor: Not included
  • Peripherals: Not included
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
  • Warranty: 5 Year Warranty with 2 Years Collect and Return (UK only)
  • Price: £869.99 as configured Delivered.

The outer box, sealed and in perfect condition, a good start!

Inside the outer box amongst a large amount of paper padding on all sides we have a smaller box and a case box.

The much smaller Raijintek case box

In the side box, we have the external magnetic Asus Wi-Fi antennae, extra modular power cables, kettle power lead, PCIE blanking plates, motherboard sound speaker and various manuals and drivers discs.

Removing the rig from its case showed that extra care had been given to the components inside the case, nice.

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PC Specialist Lafité Notebook Review

Introduction


When I found out I’d be reviewing this laptop from PC Specialist I decided to check out their site and do some homework to see what I was getting.  Having no hands on experiences with Intel’s new Broadwell chips previous to this meant I finally get a chance to see what all of the Broadwell fuss was out, or perhaps to discover it was just marketing hype. After a while of making the cheapest and most expensive builds possible to curb my curiosity my very own review unit had arrived. Reading the spec list I was given ahead of the arrival, features like “5th Gen i5 Broadwell CPU”, “1080p 13.3″ screen”, “250GB SSD” were all ticking the right boxes to me, but when I seen how remarkably thin the chassis was on the website photos it was then my interest peaked.

The question is though, is it as good as it looks or is it all style and no substance? Let’s get this unboxed and find out!

Specifications

  • Name: PC Specialist Lafité
  • Case: PC Specialist Lafité Silver Aluminium Chassis
  • Processor: Intel® CoreTM i5 Dual Core Processor i5-5200U (2.20GHz, 2.7GHz Turbo)
  • System Memory: 8GB Kingston SODIMM DDR3 1600MHz (1 x 8GB)
  • Main Boot Drive: 250GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD, SATA 6Gb/s (upto 540MB/sR | 520MB/sW)
  • Graphics card: Intel® HD Graphics 5500
  • Battery: Lafité Series 4 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (6,300mAh)
  • Optical Recovery MediaWindows 8.1 (64-bit) DVD with paper sleeve
  • Optical Drive: None
  • Wireless: Gigabit LAN & Wireless Intel® AC-3160 M.2 + Bluetooth
  • Screen: 13.3″ Matte Full HD IPS LED (1920 x 1080)
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
  • Warranty: 3 Year Standard Warranty (1 Month Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
  • Price: £599 as configured Delivered.

Opening the outer box reveals shows the majority of the notebook inner box is surrounded by extremely strong air padding

Removing the air padding reveals the inner box, it may be plain, but there’s no chance of damage in transit here.

The contents merely a few items, including AC Adapter, SSD Manual and PC Specialist handbook

Up close on the power supply.

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CyberPowerPC Infinity Xtreme Halo Review

Introduction


CyberPowerPC are making a sizeable impact in the UK PC market in recent years since they came across the water and settled in the sunny North of England. They contacted us offering not just a glimpse at one their flagship systems, but a completely built and ready to go review sample of which we were encouraged to “test”, and by test I mean game on.

Naturally we were on scene faster than you can shake a stick at and soon we were pulling up outside Cyberpower HQ eager to get our mitts onto this mystery machine. We were not disappointed when we were warned that it would take 2 men to lift it, and that I would need to put my back seats down as the box would take up half of the back of my car. As we returned to eTeknix towers we could see on the box what chassis we had, but it wasn’t until we got it unpacked that we seen what we had been given, and investigated the invoice properly. What they had in fact given us was a top end X99 system with not one but TWO GTX Titan X’s in SLI, with a bespoke water cooling setup, a price tag of £6400, and that’s just the beginning. Ladies and Gentlemen, hold onto your hats, I’m going in!

Specifications

  • Name: Cyberpower Infinity Xtreme Halo
  • Case: In-Win S Frame ? Black and Gold
  • Motherboard: ASUS X99 Deluxe INTEL X99,  4 Channel DDR4 ATX Mainboard w/ 8 RAM slots,UEFI Bios,Turbo APP,Thunderbolt Ready,Crystal Sound 2,Turbo LAN,USB3.0,SATA-III RAID,3 Gen3 PCIe x16 & 1 PCIe x4
  • Processor: i7-5960X Extreme Edition Eight-Core 3.00 GHz 20MB Haswell-E
  • Processor Cooler: Custom loop, featuring a resivior/pump combo, 360mm radiator with LED fans and rigid tubing.
  • System Memory: 32GB HyperX Fury w/Heat Spreader DDR4/2400MHz Quad Channel Memory (8 x 4GB sticks)
  • Main Boot Drive: (1x400GB) Intel 750 Series M.2 PCIe Solid State Drive Card, Read: 2500MB/Sec, Write: 1200MB/Sec
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): 2TB Seagate Hybrid Gen3 SATA-III 6.0Gb/s Cache 5400RPM SSHD in RAID 0
  • Graphics card: GeForce GTX Titan X (x2 in SLI, with full cover waterblocks)
  • Power Supply: Corsair 1200 Watts AX1200i Platinum 80+ Modular digital control Gaming Power Supply – Quad SLI Ready
  • Extras: ASUS USB 3.1 Expansion PCI-E card, provides extra two USB 3.1, Free Arkham Knight and The Witcher 3 – Wild Hunt
  • Optical Drive: None
  • Wireless: Wireless A/C
  • Monitor: Not included
  • Peripherals: Not included
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
  • Warranty: 2 Year Warranty
  • Price: £6400 as configured Delivered.

Here have the huge box,  with oodles of padding, foam and air pockets to protect its precious cargo.

A motherboard box full of extra cables, goodies and more, including a Windows 8.1 disc.

Unboxed and raring to go.  By this point I had smeared the glass with my clammy palms and had to give it a quick wipe down.

 

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Boston Venom 3401-7T Workstation Review

Introduction


Although Boston may at first not be familiar to many, rest assured with a presence in America, UK, Germany and India this is a truly global company.  They supply one of the widest variety of business hardware available, from micro servers, blade servers, Quadro workstation and even green and cloud solutions. Today we will be looking at the Boston Venom 3401-7T, which is one of their flagship models of their Venom series, which has been designed for high-performance graphics, parallel processing and high-speed rendering. With this being one of our first enterprise workstation reviews we have a fresh selection of benchmarks which will help us push these high specification systems to their limits. We have a wide range including CPU, GPU, Memory and storage benchmarks which will help us collect some statistics which will help us find the cream of the crop of workstation rigs and at the same time provide our audience with informative concise results.

Although normally in reviews we don’t usually use descriptions that suppliers supply us with, with workstations often being targeted at a particular use or task and I feel that it makes sense for us to include a small description from Boston on what area the Venom is aimed at.

“The Boston Venom 3401-7T is designed to be the ultimate workstation for all design, VFX and digital content professionals.  The Venom 3401-7T is a workstation designed by Boston that brings together the often disjointed design and simulation processes into one package; dramatically increasing productivity and allowing engineers, designers and content creators to do more, faster, and with better results.”

So on that note, we have some high expectations going into this review!

Specifications

  • Name: Boston Venom 3401-7T
  • Case: Silverstone Fortress Series Case FT04 – Black
  • Motherboard: Supermicro X10DAX
  • Processor: Intel Xeon Processor E5-2687WV3 3.1GHz (Haswell) x 2 with 4% Overclock
  • Processor Cooler: Custom Dual Liquid Cooled Solution
  • System Memory: 8GB DDR4-2133 1Rx4 ECC REG DIMM (8x8GB Sticks)
  • Main Boot Drive: Samsung 850 PRO 512GB SATAIII x 2 in RAID 0
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): Western Digital SE 2TB SATA III – 6Gb/s Hard Drive 24×7 Enterprise Class x2 in RAID 1
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA Quadro K5200 Retail 8GB, 2304 CUDA Cores, PCE-E (x16) 256-bit, GDDR5 256-bit
  • Power Supply: Supermicro PS2 1200W Multi Output High Efficiency Power Supply
  • Optical Drive15X Internal Blu Ray Writer with SATA-OEM
  • Wireless: Not included
  • Monitor: Not included
  • Peripherals: Not included
  • OS: Windows 7 64 Bit
  • Warranty: 3 Year return to base warranty with 1 year parts swapout (UK only)
  • Price: £9,118.87 inc VAT as configured Delivered.

We knew we were in for a treat when it came on its own pallet…

This system is extremely heavy, it was a 2 man job just to get it out the box!

The Silverstone Fortress FT04 (as reviewed here).  Don’t let it’s modest looks fool you, there is some of the fastest hardware money can buy tucked away in here!

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MSI GS60 2QD (Ghost) 470UK Gaming Notebook Review

Introduction


MSI have been busy lately, dishing out their latest range of MSI Gaming notebooks and they’re keen to show that they have a gaming notebook offering for virtually every budget range. Today we are looking at their mid-to-high range offering, the GS60 2QD (Ghost), and MSI kindly offered us a chance to review a red limited edition version instead of the usual black. A 15″ full HD 1080p screen, high-end i7 processor, PCIE storage and the brand new Nvidia GTX765 under the hood, we should be in for an interesting review!

Specifications
  • Name: GS60 2QD(Ghost)-470UK-
  • CPU: Sharkbay Core i7-4720HQ (2.6GHz – 3.6GHz)
  • RAM: 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 1.35w (8GB*2)
  • SSD: 128GB PCIE M.2 SSD
  • HDD: 1TB 7200RPM
  • GPU:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M 2GB
  • LAN:10/100/1000/Gigabits Base T
  • WLAN: Killer DoubleShot Pro 11ac Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • Monitor:  15.6″ FHD, Anti-Glare (1920*1080) eDP Wide View Angle
  • Keyboard: SteelSeries FULL back lit keyboard with SteelSeries Engine
  • I/O: 3x USB3.0, 1x HDMI,1x Mini Display Port, SD Reader, Mic-in, Headphone-out, line-in, line-out, 1x 1Gb LAN, FHD Webcam
  • ODD: None
  • Battery: 6-Cell Li-Polymer(4840mAh 52Wh)
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Dimensions: 390 x 266 x 19.9mm
  • Weight: 1.9kg(w/ battery)
  • Warranty: 2 YR’s Collect & Return (1 YR Global)
  • Price:£1,299 Inc VAT

Packaging & Accessories

It arrived well packed and undamaged I’m pleased to report; nothing more to say, so lets open it up!

On opening the outer box we can see it has been divided into 2 sections

The smaller section contains a protective case, featuring the MSI shield logo.

Close Up, it wont protect the GS60 from drops much, though it should keep all normal wear and tear to a minimum.

The notebook box itself is very nice…

With the lid lifting straight off to reveal the sheathed notebook.

Putting the notebook to one side for the minute and exploring the rest of the box, there are 2 wide compartments under the notebook and a long compartment running alongside the notebook.

The left wide compartment contains various Warranty and documentation information, the right wide compartment contains the power brick, and the long compartment contained the 3pin to clover power connector.

Power brick close up

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OcUK Titan Pandora Gaming System Review

Introduction


It’s system review time at eTeknix HQ and today Overclockers.co.uk step into the arena with their Titan Pandora Gaming PC. Housed in a Bitfenix Pandora case we have a high-end i5 4690k overclocked to 4.2GHz, Nvidia GTX 970,  16GB of DDR3 with a clock speed of 2133MHz.  There is a double 240mm AIO CPU liquid cooler and a Galax GeForce GTX 970 EXOC Black Edition featuring an impressive 11% overclock. On the storage front, we have Samsung’s latest SSD offering in terms of the 250GB 850 EVO, with a larger amount of storage supplied in the form of a Seagate Barracuda 2TB mechanical hard drive.

Gaming systems at this price point have become very competitive recently, so let’s get stuck in and see what else the Titan Pandora has to offer!

Specifications

  • Name: Overclockers UK Titan Pandora
  • Case: Bitfenix Pandora Micro ATX Gaming Case – Black
  • Motherboard: MSI Z97M Gaming (Socket 1150) DDR3 Micro ATX Motherboard
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 4690K Quad Core Haswell Processor overclocked to 4.2GHz
  • Processor Cooler: 240mm CPU Water Cooler
  • System Memory: 16GB 2133MHz DDR3 Memory (2 x 8GB sticks)
  • Main Boot Drive: 250GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): Seagate 2000GB 7200RPM Hard Disk – 6Gbps
  • Graphics card: Galax GeForce GTX 970 EXOC Black Edition
  • Power Supply: Super Flower 550W Gold PSU
  • Optical DriveNone
  • Wireless: Not included
  • Monitor: Not included
  • Peripherals: Not included
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
  • Warranty: 3 Year Warranty with 2 Years Collect and Return (UK only)
  • Price: £1300 as configured Delivered.

Opening the box reveals plenty of air pocket padding; just what we like to see.

Words from the wise greet you as you open the case box, take heed!

The system unboxed, now to remove the polystyrene, pop the side off (no screws required) and remove the supplementary packaging that has been supporting the cards in transit.

The unboxed system is looking good! The first thing I noticed is that it feels very well made with its mirror finish front, though it seems to attract dust and fingerprints almost instantly.

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Chillblast Fusion Barbarian Gaming PC Review

Introduction


Today we are looking at the aggressively named “Chillblast Fusion Barbarian Devil’s Canyon Gaming PC”, featuring a Corsair SPEC-03 chassis on the outside, with a high-end i5 4690k, Nvidia GTX 970,  16GB of DDR3 on the inside and a few high performance coolers in between. Chillblast have even thrown in a tasty CPU overclock to help us hit the high notes and have opted for the traditional OS SSD / Mechanical HDD storage configuration to give the user more options when it comes to storage.

At a time when certain delayed AAA titles are on the horizon, many will be looking to upgrade their rigs to play the latest and greatest games at maximum graphics settings. The question is, is the Barbarian worth considering for your next upgrade? Let’s find out!

Specifications

  • Name: Chillblast Fusion Barbarian Gaming PC
  • Case: Corsair SPEC-03 Case
  • Motherboard: Z97X-Gaming 5  Motherboard
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 4690K Devils Canyon overclocked to 4.3GHz
  • Processor Cooler: Corsair H75 all-in-one liquid cooler
  • System Memory: 16GB Corsair/Crucial/Samsung PC3-12800 1600MHz DDR3 Memory (2 x 8GB sticks)
  • Main Boot Drive: 120GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): Seagate 2000GB 7200RPM Hard Disk – 6Gbps
  • Graphics card: Gigabyte GTX 970 4GB Maxwell Windforce Edition
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified PSU
  • Optical Drive24x SATA DVD+/-RW Drive
  • Wireless: Not included
  • Monitor: Not included
  • Peripherals: Not included
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
  • Warranty: 5 Year Warranty with 2 Years Collect and Return (UK only)
  • Price: £1163.78 as configured Delivered.

The system was well packaged, with what can only be described as “cardboard ghillie” padding.

Chillblast has included the Motherboard and Graphics card boxes too, which contain all of the misc leftover bits.

The system unboxed.  The front of the case reminds me of the mask Bane from Batman, with its exaggerated front grille bars and bold styling.

Across the top of the case we have 2 x USB3, headphone and mic ports, with power and reset buttons.  Underneath is a bar which lights up red when the system is powered on, and the HDD activity LED sits in the middle of the I/O panel.

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ECS Liva SOC Mini-PC System Review

Introduction


ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) are no stranger to the PC hardware game despite not being instantly recognisable by most as a PC hardware vendor. In fact, they are the fifth largest motherboard manufacturer in the world, producing hardware for some of the biggest PC brands such as Acer, Zoostorm, IBM and Compaq, and have been around since 1987. Although their bread and butter has been motherboards for years, they have occasionally deviated from this, releasing everything from graphics cards to SOC (System on a Chip) computers. Speaking of which, today’s review is all about their latest SOC offering; the ECS Liva Mini-PC!

The mini PC/net-top market that followed the brief fad of netbooks never really seemed to take off – by the time everyone had realised that netbooks were generally awkward to use and fairly underpowered the tablet market had began to take off, with manufacturers realising that netbooks wouldn’t survive the test of time. Interestingly, the net-top has had a recent resurgence of interest in recent times, with Android based net-tops offering low-cost media centres to Windows and Linux-based net-tops promising business users a cheap office worthy PC that uses a fraction of the power. ECS has come out swinging here, taking aim straight at the budget net-top market, providing the user with everything (with the exception of OS) needed to turn this little box of tricks into whatever PC they require, while undercutting rival offerings which often need extra components such as RAM or SSD’s first to function.

Specifications
  • Name: ECS-Liva Mini-PC White Edition
  • CPU: Intel Celeron N2807 (2C/2T x 1.60 GHz (2.17 GHz Turbo), 22nm, 1MB L2, 4.3W)
  • RAM: 2GB 1600MHz DDR3 1.35w (8GB*4)
  • SSD: eMMC 64GB
  • GPU:Intel Integrated Graphics
  • LAN:10/100/1000/Gigabits Base T
  • WLAN: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • I/O: 1x USB3.0, 1x USB 2.0 , 1x HDMI, 1x VGA, Headphone-out, 1x 1Gb LAN
  • OS: Supplied Barebones, Windows 8.1 used in this review
  • Dimensions: 118 x 70 x 56 (mm)
  • Weight: ~190g
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: $185

The box describes the product as a “build your own PC.” All of the components are well packaged and protected and the motherboard was shielded by an anti-static bag.

Contents (from back to front, left to right) Quick-Start Guide, User Guide, Wifi Antennae, USA/EU Micro USB 2000ma AC Adapter, Top Casing, Bluetooth/Wifi Card, Motherboard, Bottom Casing.

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MSI GT80 GTX 980M 8GB SLI Titan Laptop Review

Introduction


There are few things more exciting than reviewing a gaming laptop that you know has a reputation to live up to. Naturally, when the courier dropped off the GT80 Titan I couldn’t wait to get my claws into it. It has a specification list that puts most desktops to shame and has been paraded by MSI for a couple of months now as their latest and greatest flagship gaming laptop, promising nothing but the best for followers of MSIs “Dragon Army”. In preparation for meeting this monster in person, I had a brief look around the MSI website and was impressed to see just how much has been crammed into this machine. There were the usual claims of speed, “ultimate performance” and the likes, but below this was a tech spec list long enough to possibly justify these claims and had me wide-eyed with interest from the off.

I decided to leave to the official blurb behind and just dive in, as to not be influenced by big claims or rose-tinted glasses, so let the unboxing begin!

Specifications

  • Name: MSI GT80 Titan
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4980HQ @ 2.8GHz (up to 4.0GHz Turboboost)
  • RAM: 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 (8GB*4)
  • SSD: 4 x 256GB PCIE SSD
  • HDD: 1TB 7200RPM
  • GPU: 2 x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M 8GB in SLI
  • LAN:10/100/1000/Gigabits Base T (Killer)
  • WLAN: Killer 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • Monitor: 18.4″1920 x 1080 Anti-glare LED backlit
  • Keyboard: SteelSeries Red backlit mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown Switches
  • I/O: 5x USB3.0, 1x HDMI, 2x Micro Displayport, SD Reader, Mic-in, Headphone-out, line-in, line-out, 1x 1Gb LAN, Optical Out
  • Webcam: FHD Webcam
  • ODD: BD-RW (6x)
  • Battery: Built-in 89 W/h lithium-Ion
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Dimensions: 45.6 x 33 x 4.9 cm
  • Weight: 4.5Kg (w/ Battery)
  • Warranty: 2 year collect and return, 1 Year Global
  • Price: £3499.99 Inc VAT

The box comes loud and proud with the MSI logo on it.  Now I know this laptop is big, but this box is huge. On opening it we see why, there are extra goodies in there too, I spy a backpack!

Removed from the outer box and separated from the backpack, this still weighs quite a fair amount

When you lift the lid of the outer box you are immediately presented with a rather nice black envelope sealed with an MSI sticker; we’ll open this in the next section

You can immediately see the laptop on the left in a protective bag and there is a cardboard section on the right which houses the power supply.

When you lift the laptop out of the box, there is a whole host of goodies waiting for you underneath

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Asus ROG G751JY-T7051H Gaming Notebook Review

Introduction


With every incarnation of Next-Gen mobile GPU releases there is always a high-end selection from each major manufacturer vying for the title of “World’s Fastest Laptop”, “Ultimate Portable Gaming Notebook” or similar, and Asus is no stranger for aiming for this accolade. Their Republic Of Gamers (or “ROG” as more commonly known) series is specifically designed towards this area, and has put out regular revisions of its G-Series laptops since the launch of the G70 in 2008. Fast forward to 2014 and we have the G751 series, aimed the highest point in the market in terms of price and performance, using the latest Intel Haswell CPU and the Nvidia GTX 980m GPU based on the new Maxwell architecture.

There was a point in time where most manufacturers could get away with purchasing the latest Clevo OEM motherboard and cramming it with the latest hardware and then shipping it out – though Asus was one of the few at the time to take thermals into account and actually create a custom cooling solution that helped gamers get the most out of their the high-end hardware. Add some aggressive looking “Stealth Fighter” design choices and you have the ROG series in a nutshell.

As an owner of gaming laptops over the years including the Asus G73 back in the day, I have high hopes going into this review that Asus have delivered a monster of a machine capable of gaming till my eyes go square. After briefly looking over the hardware specifications I am looking forward to pushing the G751 to its limits, while hopefully being met with a tremendous gaming experience that will keep me glued to my seat over the New Year. As a laptop pushing the £2000 boundary, this represents a significant investment and therefore we have high expectations going into this review.

Specifications
  • Name: Asus G751JY-T7051H
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4860HQ @ 2.4GHz (up to 3.4GHz Turboboost)
  • RAM: 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 1.35w (8GB*4)
  • SSD: 512GB PCIE SSD
  • HDD: 1TB 7200RPM
  • GPU:NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M 4GB
  • LAN:10/100/1000/Gigabits Base T
  • WLAN: Integrated 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • Monitor: 3″1920 x 1080 Anti-glare LED backlit
  • Keyboard: Chiclet Red blacklit Asus ROG branded
  • I/O: 4x USB3.0, 1x HDMI, 1x VGA, 1x Thunderbolt, SD Reader, Mic-in, Headphone-out, line-in, line-out, 1x 1Gb LAN, FHD Webcam
  • ODD: BD-RW (6x)
  • Battery: 8-Cell 6000mAh 88w/h
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Dimensions: 41.6 x 31.8 x 5.3 cm
  • Weight: 8kg with battery (10.6lb)
  • Warranty: 2 year Global Warranty, can be extended to 3 for an extra £65
  • Price: £1999.99 Inc VAT

Packaging & Accessories

The notebook box provides a decent amount of protection to the laptop inside, and both the machine itself and accessories have an extra layer of protection in that they are inside in thin foam bags. Having said that though for a laptop of this value, it would have been nice if it had been shipped inside a padded box for extra protection, in the same way the PC Specialist Cosmos 2 was packed.

The box is well designed, with carry handle and angled sides reminiscent of the laptop’s aggressively edged design. Upon lifting the lid of the box you are greeted with the line “In Search of Incredible” on the inner lid, and the system itself wrapped inside its afore-mentioned sleeve. The power supply is located in a compartment to the right of the system, and the accessories are stored in a compartment that is revealed under the laptop once it has been lifted from the box.

Included is a power supply, UK 3 pin plug with kettle connection to the power supply, an Asus branded cable tidy wrap, manual, quick start guide, warranty card and cleaning cloth.

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