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Kobalt has some sweet gaming notebooks

Kobalt has some sweet gaming notebooks

The paint finish was excellent, even if it is a luxury extra.

The guys from Kolbalt Computers in the UK dropped into our offices yesterday to show us some of their latest notebooks - and these are some serious bits of kit.

First off is the Mojave XI - it uses the same chassis and GeForce 8800M as the rock Xtreme 770 X9000-8800 we reviewed the other day, however Kolbalt offers some custom paint jobs for either the lid or the entire chassis. Having seen "custom paint jobs" before and never been that impressed - the lacquer was always too thick or it would chip easily on exposed corners - we were expecting to get the same sort of thing here.

With this in mind we scrutinised the chassis carefully and I'm happy to say it was not the case. The blue used here is actually a really nice shade; the satin finish is certainly the choice we'd recommend instead of gloss. It was unsurprising when Kobalt said to us they actually sell more painted chassis at the premium of £295, rather than the bog standard black and metal.



If you just want the lid done so you can show off at LAN parties, that's just £110. If you're seriously looking at £2,500 gaming notebook, that might not be a bad investment though - I'm sure we've all spent just as much modding our cases.

The lid is given a custom airbrushing and the one brought down as a demo was very professional and equally top quality. There was a bit of glue residue around the edges, but it's not a huge deal.

Next up was the behemoth that Kobalt calls the Commanche SLI - this is the big daddy of notebooks desktop replacements (DTRs) as it weighs in at a crazy 5.4kg (yeah, that's five and a half kilos, damn). Bundled inside are a few black holes SLI GeForce 8800M GPUs, up to three hard drives in RAID 5 and a choice between several desktop CPUs. Yes, that's a few hundred watts venting into your desk, and no, we didn't see the power brick.




However, because the chassis is so big, it can actually use larger fans which rotate slower making it more tolerable. It reminds us of the Evesham FX-60 gaming notebook we looked at in early 2006. It really is the all in one "mobile" PC though with Blu-ray option, TV Tuner and 1920x1200 17" screen (even if it is glossy).

We were told this model was not only popular with strong armed gamers, but also those who wanted mobile workstations, although we'd hazard a guess the battery life might be measured in minutes unless the whole thing is put to sleep.

So what do you think? Cool artwork and perfect for LANs or hauling to collage and back if you're doing a course in 3D animation? Or, big and ugly - you'd have to drag that desktop out of your cold, dead hands. Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

14 Comments

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HourBeforeDawn 18th April 2008, 18:28 Quote
well they certainly look nice thats for sure.
Th3Maverick 18th April 2008, 18:42 Quote
If God himself wanted to redesign the universe from the ground up, and he wanted to be able to do it while vacationing in the Bahamas and looking really cool in his matching Kobalt Blue Oakleys, I think 5k on one of these beasts would fill his requirement. Color me mildly impressed.
Faulk_Wulf 18th April 2008, 19:04 Quote
Well if I could AFFORD it, then yeah-- sure it rocks. But doesn't every $5,000 ultra-high-end gaming laptop make you go "You know, if I had $5,000 -- I'd buy this thing."
TTmodder 18th April 2008, 19:27 Quote
Seems a little bit too think for my liking. exept for that i just killed a keyboard by drolling :P
TRG 18th April 2008, 20:21 Quote
Both rock and kobalt (just like every other company that makes 1337 laptops, like voodoo) just re-branded Clevo's. These guys do good paintjobs, and they pick out good parts to go into godly perfect Clevo chassis.
1st time modder 18th April 2008, 23:23 Quote
my question is why not for that price modify the clevo chassis to be all aluminum, and at that, where's the intel xeon quad core option..... for 5,000$, a desktop could be built that would not be obsolete for year after year. talk about some weight aswell, should come with some barbells to practice with carrying it around
reflux 18th April 2008, 23:43 Quote
I had a Dell XPS laptop for just over a year. It absolutely kicked arse to start with, but eventually the lack of upgradability and the fact that tweaking it was so hard made me sell it. The best balance IMO is to have a behemoth gaming PC and a mid-range laptop with half-decent dedicated graphics like the 8600M GT. Both together which would cost the same as a bespoke gaming laptop. That way, you can game wherever, but it doesn't cost you an arm and a leg and you have the big rig to go back to at home, which doesn't compromise on screen size/power/upgradability/anything.
completemadness 19th April 2008, 00:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by reflux
I had a Dell XPS laptop for just over a year. It absolutely kicked arse to start with, but eventually the lack of upgradability and the fact that tweaking it was so hard made me sell it. The best balance IMO is to have a behemoth gaming PC and a mid-range laptop with half-decent dedicated graphics like the 8600M GT. Both together which would cost the same as a bespoke gaming laptop. That way, you can game wherever, but it doesn't cost you an arm and a leg and you have the big rig to go back to at home, which doesn't compromise on screen size/power/upgradability/anything.
thats pretty much what i do/have - and i agree with you
Ninja_182 19th April 2008, 01:38 Quote
How is it for heat output under the WASD keys on your palm, my laptop makes my wrist uncomfortable after extended use at high load. Doesn't help that its aluminium mind.
Tomm 19th April 2008, 02:05 Quote
I'd pay £110 not to have that horrible blue flame paint job.

I can certainly see the virtue of these desktop replacement PCs if you do a lot of LANs though. Even taking my shuttle plus the necessary bits is a bit annoying, and it's a third the size of a desktop. But you certainly pay the price...
Tim S 19th April 2008, 08:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by reflux
I had a Dell XPS laptop for just over a year. It absolutely kicked arse to start with, but eventually the lack of upgradability and the fact that tweaking it was so hard made me sell it. The best balance IMO is to have a behemoth gaming PC and a mid-range laptop with half-decent dedicated graphics like the 8600M GT. Both together which would cost the same as a bespoke gaming laptop. That way, you can game wherever, but it doesn't cost you an arm and a leg and you have the big rig to go back to at home, which doesn't compromise on screen size/power/upgradability/anything.

Yeah, gaming laptops need to be upgradeable if they're ever going to take off in a big way. The second problem is driver support - it's often not good enough.
lewchenko 19th April 2008, 16:02 Quote
Beautiful paint job, but glossy screen = fail.
TRG 21st April 2008, 01:32 Quote
The second one can be fitted iwth a q6600 Quad core CPU, which is pretty nice for a laptop.
Jipa 21st April 2008, 09:04 Quote
I'm totally missing the point of those things.
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