6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

A portable gaming PC that deserves a better screen: First Look

About Video Transcript

First Look: A portable gaming PC that deserves a better screen

2:20 /

The Maingear Pulse 14 gaming laptop is easy on the wallet, hard on the eyes.

I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the Maingear Pulse 14. This is another one of a reasonably long line of midsize gaming laptops that we've seen this year. We've seen examples from Alienware, Origin, and Razer. Maingear is another boutique PC maker and it's really cool ever seeing people making gaming laptops with 13- and 14-inch screens rather than just the big 17- or 18-inch monitors that we're used to. Of course, there are some trade-offs involved. If you get a system from a boutique PC maker like Maingear or Origin, these guys can't make their own custom bodies from scratch the way Alienware, which is owned by Dell, does. They basically use an off-the-shelf body which is what you see here and they customize it. In this case, they do an actually very nice color back of the lid. This is done in automotive painting. You're getting different colors. It's got some really great kind of automotive sparkly detail to it. Otherwise, it looks like a fairly standard chunky 14-inch laptop and the keyboard and touchpad are really not designed for gaming. I'm hoping that you're going to hook up an external mouse and maybe plug the whole thing into a monitor and use your own keyboard with it as well. Now, this guy, configuration-wise, is just around $2000, but you can get it down to about $1250. And for that $1250, you still get the same Core i7 CPU and Nvidia 760M Graphics card that we have in a more expensive version which is great. The big letdown here, however, is the screen. It is a 1600x900 screen. It's not a full 1920x1080 screen which most of the other midsize gaming laptops and all of the larger gaming laptops have. You really do wanna be able to play in full HD. In order to do that here, you have to do, what I did a lot of time which is take an HDMI output to a larger monitor and then you hook up a mouse and a keyboard and you're basically just using the hardware here. If this system had a better display, it loses a lot of detail with off-axis viewing, although I like that it's kind of a matte display, not over the glossy. If you can't get past that display, you can certainly save a couple bucks over some of these other systems and still get those high-end components, but that's if you're gonna plug it into a monitor all the time. As a standalone gaming laptop, I'd say the 1600x900 display really turned me off. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the Maingear Pulse 14.

New releases

All the things Apple Watch can do without an iPhone nearby
1:33 April 18, 2015
You still need an iPhone to set up and use the Apple Watch, but it can do things on its own, too! Fitness, music, Apple Pay, and a...
Play video
The WD Elements portable drive is a great deal
2:23 April 17, 2015
CNET editor Dong Ngo sort of explains the difference between bravery and courage using the high-capacity low-cost WD Elements portable...
Play video
Forget maps and let leg electrodes guide you there, Ep. 200
4:54 April 17, 2015
Crave celebrates its 200th episode with a human cruise control system that's, well, pretty shocking. We check out a bicycle that claims...
Play video
Send Frigidaire's Professional Fridge back to the minors
2:24 April 17, 2015
The Frigidaire FPBC2277RF is priced in the big leagues, but fails to perform up to expectations.
Play video
Star Wars droid BB-8 is real, powered by Sphero
2:40 April 17, 2015
Get ready for rolling BB-8 toys. The droid in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" is a real robot, based on the technology in Sphero's toy...
Play video
CNET Top 5 - Crazy looking smartphones
3:36 April 17, 2015
Round, curvy and two-faced: five phones that broke the mold and dared to be different.
Play video
Faster Roku 2 masters the streaming universe
1:45 April 17, 2015
A nearly perfect mix of speed, features, price and ecosystem make the Roku 2 our favorite streaming device yet.
Play video
The Garmin Vivoactive is an ultra-slim smartwatch with a few hiccups
2:15 April 17, 2015
CNET's Dan Graziano gives you a first look at Garmin's first smartwatch
Play video