The Good The Maingear Nomad 17 offers fast performance and deep configuration options, and Maingear has a great rep for support.
The Bad A $2,000 laptop really needs a better keyboard and touch pad, and a less generic body.
The Bottom Line A hefty investment if nicely configured, the Maingear Nomad 17 delivers for serious gaming, although the look may not be for everyone.
Built-to-order gaming power, for a price
In a world filled with superslim ultrabooks and, is there any room left for the classic desktop-replacement laptop? As inelegant as that category name is, it still represents the first choice for the most serious PC gamers and multimedia enthusiasts who want something close to a portable home theater, complete with a high-res screen and booming (for a laptop) sound system.
A handful of companies still seriously compete in this space, from the more mainstream Alienware (nowadays a subdivision of Dell) to boutique PC makers such as Origin and Maingear, which charge premium prices but offer wide-ranging configuration options, expert by-hand assembly, and high-touch service and support.
The Maingear Nomad 17 starts at $1,579, but our tricked-out configuration came in at $2,099, and included an Intel Core i7-3740QM CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M GPU. By way of comparison, a nearly identically configuredlaptop comes out to just about the same price (with one year of warranty coverage for each).
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