The first time you power on the system you will notice some lights turn on. There are accent lights on the two speakers, lights on the trackpad, two lights on the bottom front of the laptop, two accent strips on the lid and the iBUYPOWER logo lights up on the lid as well. I was unsure if this laptop had backlit keys as they did not turn on at first but there is a simple button that turns them off and on. Not the best backlighting I’ve seen on a keyboard, but it gets the job done. And remember if you want to turn them off you can.
I have been using the Valkyrie CZ-17 as my main laptop for about 2 weeks now. What better way to get a real feel for it. This way I can not only see how it does with gaming, but general daily usage as well. Let’s first talk about the keyboard and trackpad. We are never going to see mechanical keys on a laptop, but during gaming and general use the keyboard of the CZ-17 was very comfortable and since the keys were spaced out well I did not accidentally hit buttons I did not want to press. The keyboard has good flex in it and provides good feedback. Also the fact that you have a full number pad is a plus. I was less than impressed with the trackpad. It just did not feel right at all and was not that responsive. I know many people will be using a dedicated mouse with this laptop so they can look over this.
The large screen is nice and bright and I did not have to adjust it that much at all when I first received the CZ-17. While glossy screens do have many benefits I like that fact that the screen on the CZ-17 is a matte screen. Being that this is a laptop and your location is going to be different from time to time having a glossy screen could cause some glare and that could affect you during gaming. Since this is a 17.3-inch screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 you are going to be able to enjoy HD movies and play games at that resolution.
iBUYPOWER does not install any bloatware on this system, which is a plus. So many times when I get a new laptop I spend about an hour or so taking off all of the unnecessary software that has been preinstalled. There is a little icon positioned at the top center of the screen that opens up a shortcut menu where you can turn off and on many of the functions of the device, much like the touch sensitive buttons above the keyboard.
Heat is a big factor not only in performance, but how comfortable you are too. No one wants a laptop sitting on their laptop that has the potential of burning them! We did a simple idle and load test to see how hot the CZ-17 could get. You can see the results below.
One thing we always talk about when it comes to laptops is battery life. This is a gaming laptop so do not expect to get something like 6 plus hours out of the battery. During our testing we found during normal usage we would get around 3 hours of battery life and if we were gaming that would be cut in half. Luckily the battery is removable, so if need be you could have a few on hand when you don’t have access to a power outlet.