Gaming laptops, there really are not that many to choose from, but if you are going to make a gaming laptop there are 2 main things that you are going to need if you want gamers to take your product seriously. First off is the hardware, you are going to need to pack your laptop with hardware that is going to play the latest games. Secondly the laptop needs to be flashy, backlit keys and lights are a must! I don’t know what it is about gamers, but they like lights! It seems like iBUYPOWER did a great job at both of these things.
On the hardware side iBUYPOWER has packed the Valkyrie with some of the best hardware available. The Intel Core i7-3610QM running at 2.3GHz is what you are going to need for gaming and definitely gets the job done. If you want even more power you can upgrade the processor to an i7-3820QM (2.7GHz). You need a powerful video card if you want to play the latest games and iBUYPOWER has used an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M 4GB. This is one of NVIDIA’s best offerings for laptop graphics available. And just like the processor it can be upgraded, to a GTX 680M if you want to get a little more performance. Add in 8GB of DDR3, a faster hard drive and a Blu-ray player and you have a pretty impressive system. To give you an idea of how the CZ-17 can handle games check out our gameplay video below.
Gamers like flashy things, it’s a given. While the Valkyrie CZ-17 might not have the best overall design it makes it for it with all of the lights. Not including the keyboard you have 8 different accent lights on the laptop. These give it a cool look and let people know that you are not just using some ordinary 17-inch laptop. The backlighting on the keyboard is a definite plus. It not only looks cool, but allows you to easily see the keys at nighttime and low-light situations.
The 17.3-inch 1920 x 1080 screen is very vibrant and has a matte finish so you will not have to deal with glare that you would see with a screen with a glossy finish. The keyboard is very comfortable and for those who plan on gaming with this laptop the keyboard is most definitely suitable for that. The speakers on the laptop are very clear and powerful, much more so than your normal laptop. You have a total of 5 USB ports (3x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0) so you have more than enough connections for all of your accessories.
This is a large laptop so keep that in mind. It is not the lightest laptop either at 6.9lbs. The battery life while gaming is not the best, but that is expected. I would assume if you are gaming that you are not going to be running on just battery anyways. The 9-cell battery should give you about 3 hours and it is removable so if needed you could purchase extra batteries.
There really were not a whole lot of issues that I ran into with the CZ-17. Although I was quite disappointed with the trackpad. It was not that responsive at all. I would suspect that 80% of users will be using a dedicated mouse with this laptop anyways so it is not that big of a deal. Also the area around the trackpad is a fingerprint magnet, you will notice this after using the CZ-17 just a few times.
When it comes down to it the iBUYPOWER Valkyrie CZ-17 is a great gaming laptop that can play the latest games, has enough processing power do complete even the most CPU-intensive tasks and looks good doing it. For those looking to move away from a desktop this could be a viable desktop replacement. Overall ThinkComputers gives the iBUYPOWER Valkyrie CZ-17 gaming laptop a 9 out of 10 score.
– 17.3-inch 1920 x 1080 matte screen
– NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M 4GB graphics
– Backlit keyboard and other accent lights
– Comfortable keyboard
– Plenty of expansion (USB, eSATA & extra hard drive bay)
– Trackpad not that responsive at all