Kobalt has some sweet gaming notebooks

April 18, 2008 | 17:58

Tags: #17 #8800m #computers #custom #extreme #geforce #heavy #laptop #notebook #paint #painted #quad-core #sli

Companies: #kobalt #nvidia

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.
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