Digital Storm Equinox (2018) review: Lots of gaming power in a slimmed down design

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Sarah Tew/CNET

During normal use, the system stays pretty cool and the keyboard itself is nice to type on. The same app that controls the system fans also lets you set up key combos and adjust the three-zone RGB lighting. 

For gaming, the WASD keys are outlined to find them more easily, but I wish there was some separation between the keyboard and the number pad. The Asus Zephyrus' keyboard, for instance, has a defined break between its keyboard and number pad, the arrow keys are dropped and separated, the space bar is wider on the left side and the function keys are broken into three sets of four. 

Digital Storm doesn't actually design the laptop hardware and other than being thin, its design is nothing special and it picks up and holds on to the oils from your hands. That's not necessarily a bad thing, since it sort of gives you a blank slate to cover how you choose. And it doesn't skimp on ports and connections including two Mini DisplayPorts and a full-size HDMI out so you can surround yourself in external displays. 

This is a power-hungry laptop, too, with only a little more than 4 hours of battery life in our tests, so you won't want to stray too far from an outlet. 

Great gaming with a personal touch

While it's not nearly as nice to look as one of its custom desktops, the Digital Storm Equinox is still assembled and tested by its team of experts. If there's a problem, you can call them up and get personal service with lifetime support. Just as important, though, gaming performance is excellent -- even if it does get a little hot while you're playing. 

Geekbench 4 (multi-core)

Digital Storm Equinox
19725
HP Spectre x360 Convertible
15425
Dell XPS 15 9575 2-in-1
14810
Acer Nitro 5
14220
Asus TUF Gaming FX504GD
11548

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Cinebench R15 CPU (multi-core)

Digital Storm Equinox
1021
Acer Nitro 5
851
HP Spectre x360 Convertible
783
Dell XPS 15 9575 2-in-1
691
Asus TUF Gaming FX504GD
599

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Video playback battery drain test (Streaming)

Dell XPS 15 9575 2-in-1
406
HP Spectre x360 Convertible
374
Acer Nitro 5
333
Asus TUF Gaming FX504GD
300
Digital Storm Equinox
247

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance (in minutes)

3DMark Fire Strike Ultra

Digital Storm Equinox
3413
Acer Nitro 5
1873
Dell XPS 15 9575 2-in-1
1627
HP Spectre x360 Convertible
1614
Asus TUF Gaming FX504GD
758

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Bioshock Infinite (fps)

Digital Storm Equinox
171.67
Acer Nitro 5
98.51
Asus TUF Gaming FX504GD
82.92
Dell XPS 15 9575 2-in-1
76.36
HP Spectre x360 Convertible
76.28

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided gaming test

Digital Storm Equinox
72.4
Acer Nitro 5
37.7
Asus TUF Gaming FX504GD
31.2
Dell XPS 15 9575 2-in-1
28.3
HP Spectre x360 Convertible
28.2

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance (FPS)

System configurations

Digital Storm Equinox Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,660MHz; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with Max-Q Design; 500GB SSD
Acer Nitro 5 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-8300H; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,660MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti Graphics; 256GB SSD
Asus TUF Gaming FX504GD Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-8300H; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,660MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Graphics; 1TB HDD
Dell XPS 15 9575 2-in-1 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 3.1GHz Intel Core i7-8705G; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 4GB AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics; 512GB SSD
HP Spectre x360 Convertible Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 3.1GHz Intel Core i7-8705G; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 4GB AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics; 512GB SSD