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.

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

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

Samsung's premium-looking gas range costs less
2:06 March 28, 2015
The $1,699 Samsung Gas Range with True Convection, model number NX58F5700, has a lot to love at a reasonable price.
Play video
PicoBrew's automated beer maker too pricey for most home brewers.
6:28 March 28, 2015
We're cloudy on the benefits of the PicoBrew Zymatic, especially for $2,000.
Play video
Meerkat or Periscope? Which is better?
1:54 March 27, 2015
With Twitter's Periscope hitting the scene, we had to see how it measures up to Meerkat.
Play video
Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge: What's the difference?
2:30 March 27, 2015
Paralyzed by choice? CNET's Jessica Dolcourt helps you decide if you can really be happy with the base model S6, or if the S6 Edge's...
Play video
2016 Kia Sorento
5:28 March 27, 2015
CNET Senior Editor Wayne Cunningham test-drives the new 2016 Kia Sorento Limited Trim model and checks the tech on this comfortable,...
Play video
Mercedes F 015: Car of the future (CNET On Cars, Episode 62)
20:50 March 27, 2015
Mercedes asks what shall we do when driving ends, the new safety tech that must be on your new-car shopping list, and the Top 5 affordable...
Play video
Imagine a 10TB Solid State Drive
2:58 March 27, 2015
Could a 10TB Solid State Drive be in our near future? Amazon fluffs up their cloud service, Lyft goes social and Tim Cook gives ba...
Play video
It shoots. It scores.
2:53 March 27, 2015
Mirrorless Samsung NX1 takes on dSLRs for action photography.
Play video