Another entry in the growing compact gaming laptop category, the Maingear Pulse 14 is slim and portable, with decent specs, but it's too expensive considering its lackluster screen.
Accept the limitations of its scaled-down chassis, and the Maingear Potenza Super Stock will provide top-notch gaming horsepower in an attractive package.
A hefty investment if nicely configured, the Maingear Nomad 17 delivers for serious gaming, although the look may not be for everyone.
With desktop-replacement power in a midsize package, the 15-inch Maingear EX-L 15 is a niche product, but one that largely delivers.
Ignore the side panel. Maingear has an outstanding deal in this high-end F131 gaming desktop, which is one of the fastest PCs we've seen all year. We recommend this system without hesitation to serious PC gamers and those interested in a high-performance, high-value computer.
Maingear's Vybe is the first desktop in our lab with AMD's new six-core Phenom II X6 processor. That chip alone can't save this system from tough competition among midranged gaming PCs, but if the Vybe isn't the best all-around PC at this price, it has some impressive gaming chops. Just be prepared to make a few sacrifices along the way.
Maingear's Shift is the boutique vendor's new flagship gaming PC. It brings almost everything we expect to find in such a system, from expert craftsmanship to fast overclocking to a case that makes a statement. We found a few minor sticking points, but, on the whole, this PC sits comfortably alongside the top tier of luxury gaming boxes, and we recommend it if you have the means.
With few limitations and strong value in its enthusiast category, Maingear's expertly built, impressively fast Vybe Super Stock earns an Editors' Choice Award.
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We hate to criticize PCs that strive to balance performance and power efficiency, because the goal is noble. But despite its visual charm, Maingear's Pulse requires too many speed compromises to entice PC gamers, and too few benefits over a competing system from HP. Its base configuration may have some appeal as a digital entertainment system, but this higher-end Pulse needs the core technology to catch up to its aspirations.
Jeff Bakalar tours the Maingear computer headquarters in New Jersey to see how the company custom-builds any computer imaginable -- from entry-level gaming PCs to $12,000 water-cooled powerhouses.