Gadgetslab: ELan LD7KW

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GadgetsLab .inddSPECIFICATIONS:

Screen size: 1 5.6-inch LED HD screen

Memory: 8GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB HOD

CPU: 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM quad-core CPU (can be boosted to 3.4GHz)

GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX with3GBofVRAM

Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, 3 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, eSATA/USB 3.0 combo, Firewire, Display Port, DVI-1out, S/PDIF out, card reader

Physical dimensions: 376 mm x 256 mmx35-43 mm

Weight: 3.1 kg

Warranty: 1 year warranty

WHAT’S HOT:

• Excellent audio

·Gaming desktop-like specs

• Backlit keyboard

WHAT’S NOT:

·Bulky for a mobile device

• Unnecessarily huge power brick

BOTTOM LINE:

When my bank account has a few more zeros added onto the end, there’s no doubt I’ll be opening my wallet for this device.

BUY METER: 4.5/5

I’ve always wanted a laptop that had the same specs as my desktop-hauling my desktop around will probably result in inconvenience (and maybe injury) considering its weight, size, and the fact that there’s also a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and headset that needs to be brought along with it. Thankfully, the Neo Elan LD7KW came into our office and it seemed that my prayers were answered or at least they would be after I spent a few days with the device.

Unboxing the device wasn’t difficult, but the laptop was massive. In an era where laptops, even ones that are designed with gaming in mind, are seeking to get thinner, this one weighs 3.1 kg and is between 35-43mm thick, which is quite heavy and thick for a device that is in the mobile category. It also has a somewhat durable build, so it should survive the occasional drop, at least by my guesstimate.

Graphics cards in desktop PCs are still on the big side, and their mobile counterparts, although smaller, still take up space, so in that sense, it can be forgiven. The power brick itself is also unnecessarily huge (even larger than the boxes from the 1990s), and the port for the adapter is located in the back of the device instead of off to the side. There are also two exhaust vents to keep the device cool in the heat of your gaming sessions. If you’re bringing this around with you to tournaments, or if you just go to a friend’s house or a coffee shop to play some games and have fun, make sure your carrying case is large enough to accommodate all the extra parts.

Gamers love seeing the numbers on their rigs, and hope that the performance comes up to par. The NEO Elan LD7KW comes with a 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM quad-core CPU. This makes it one of the few laptops with an Intel Core i7 quadwww. gadgetsmagazine .com. ph Gadgetslab .indd 33 core CPU, and since it’s marketed towards garners, it was a great addition considering how much processing power gaming demands from the CPU. There is also an additional Turbo Boost option so you can bring the CPU speed to 3.4GHz, which will make it power through even the most graphics-intensive games.

The graphics card is one of the best mobile graphics cards available on the market today. The NVIDIA GTX 670MX has 3GB ofVRAM available, and you’ll also have 8GB of DDR3 RAM available, so you can crank up the video settings of your favorite games to Ultra and not worry about the frame rate dropping like a rock. You can also adjust other graphics settings via the NVIDIA Control Panel, which is pre-installed onto the LD7KW. The 15.6-inch LED display allows the laptop to display Full HD, so you can play games in 1920×1 080 without any problems. This computer runs Windows 8, and it does its job well.

The backlit keyboard is also a great addition, as most garners play late into the night. There is also pre-installed software you can use to change the color of the backlight, and for fun, you can even use different colored lights at the same time. It was slightly disappointing that there was no solid state drive (SSD) option, but 1TB of hard drive space more than made up for it, so there is plenty of storage available. Like all devices that require large amounts of power to run, the battery ran out pretty quickly. It lasted about four and a half hours before I had to charge it up again. You can go to Power Options in the Control Panel and adjust some settings to try to squeeze some more life out ofthe LD7KW. However, in the four and a half hours that it didn’t need a charge, I was also able to enjoy high definition sound that I didn’t even need to put at full blast thanks to the On kyo speakers and subwoofer, so if you like watching movies, you can even feel like you’re at the movie theater. The laptop also comes with a 2-megapixel webcam.

The game I tested was BioShock Infinite, namely due to its high graphics demands (and the fact that I didn’t have tore-download it from Steam as I had the CDs). The game comes with a benchmarking utility that will let you see some of the in-game graphics statistics. On Ultra settings using DirectX 11 at 1920×1 080 resolution (the highest possible settings), the device averaged between 36 and 54 frames per second (FPS), which is very smooth for a laptop, although they will be exceeded by desktop setups with multiple graphics cards. On the Ultra setting of most games, there are plenty of extra graphics options that you don’t necessarily need to do well in the game, but rather are things that make the games look more realistic or extra nice. Many garners will be familiar with the graphics settings, and even if you’re not, feel free to turn everything to max settings. If you like making videos for your games or if you use streaming services such as Twitch. tv, you’ll see the effects of turning those extra settings on or turning up those graphics settings from low or medium, and your viewers will probably appreciate it as well. The FPS range is well within the range of the vertical sync option, which caps frame rates at 60 FPS to prevent excessive screen tearing. Other less graphically demanding games will obviously have higher framerate numbers, so overall, the gaming experience promised by the LD7KW delivers.

There’s a PHP 70,999 price tag on the LD7KW, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you’re into gaming as a hobby, or if you’re practicing to become a professional gamer, you might want to save up for this desktop-like laptop. Were my prayers for a gaming desktop fitted into laptop dimensions answered? I guess you can say they partially were-1 still don’t have the funds to buy one for myself yet.

GadgetsLab .inddFirst published in Gadgets Magazine, June 2013

Words by Jose Alvarez