17-inch gaming laptops are one big compromise

My favorite English word, and one of the first I ever discovered, is “games.” Some of my happiest adolescence memories are of chasing down Ex recreation documents on DOS-powered Pravetz computers in my native Bulgaria for the duration of the ‘90s. The specifics will differ with everyone, however I imagine maximum Verge readers my age and more youthful have grown up with video games as a crucial and inextricable part of their life. And as the ones lives turn out to be more cellular, we evidently want to take the ones games with us, that is in which portable consoles, smartphones, drugs, and gaming laptops all come into play. These days I want to talk approximately the latter of those, the computer, and how it fares in its quest to make Computer gaming mobile.

EVGA, a hardware enterprise nice acknowledged for a successful line of Nvidia pictures playing cards — and my favorite alien mouse — this 12 months launched its first foray into designing and building entire computer systems with its robust 17-inch SC17 computer. Needless to mention, it’s a gaming powerhouse, touting a 4K display, a 2.7GHz Center i7-6820HK processor, 32GB of RAM, and a GTX 980M pix card. I’ve placed it thru its paces with traumatic games just like the Witcher 3 and Battlefield 4 and it’s slightly damaged a sweat, and what’s more, EVGA has simply introduced a version of this computer with a GeForce GTX 1070 inner it (now not a cellular version, the actual computer card). So are you able to recreation on this thing? Hell yes. But then for $2,499, it had better be able to run Crysis like Usain Bolt handles sprints.
EVGA SC17: Complete specs and capabilities
The exciting questions about the SC17 relate to its practicality, no longer its performance. This pc weighs a Full 10lbs (4.5kg), the equivalent of five Asus ZenBook 3s or ten nine.7-inch iPad Pros, and that I’ve felt the overall heft of it each time I’ve attempted to transport it. Now, that’s now not for nothing, because the SC17 is encased in a significantly difficult aluminum unibody shell that offers it protection, rigidity, and long-time period sturdiness. I simply can’t call this a portable pc in any significant experience. It qualifies as portable, but then so do all-in-one Computers, that have a number of ergonomic blessings and don’t come with the identical miniaturization top rate as a computer.

To test each my stamina and the SC17’s mobility, I took it on a journey again to Bulgaria at the start of this month. The primary problem I encountered become that none of my techie backpacks could accommodate this Pc, so I needed to use a small suitcase rather (Ed. Note: LOL). EVGA is addressing this pain point head-on by way of now presenting a loose backpack with purchases of the computer. And every other helpful touch from the corporation is the design of its 240W energy adapter, which is wide and long, however also brief — so it packs flat in place of fats. All the identical, I discover these to be the simplest mild mitigations to the pervasive issue of this pc’s size and weight. Even shifting it between rooms is a complex hobby that calls for planning and clearing out a huge sufficient touchdown spot.


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A large pc THAT HAS All the electricity YOU Need, however now not THE ERGONOMICS
As soon as at home in Bulgaria, I realized just how many variations I’d made while checking out the SC17 back in London. The primary thing I did was raise it on a laptop stand, due to the fact as high-quality as the 4K display might appearance — bonus factors for being matte! — it’s anchored to the keyboard and that puts it too low on my computer for most fulfilling ergonomics. But then whilst I’ve the Laptop on the stand, the keyboard is faraway from me, so I must join an outside one. A mouse is another must for any midway-extreme Laptop gaming, in order that figures at the listing of necessary accessories, too. And then catastrophe strikes when I locate that just plugging in my basic peripherals occupies the 2 every day USB ports and if I’ve something greater like a gaming headset that connects through USB, I’d better hope I have a USB-C adapter accessible. EVGA affords one however I left it in London, and that’s actually the crux of the hassle: you wind up needing more outside add-ons with this giant machine than you do with the famously connector-starved Apple MacBook. No SD card slot here either.

Two different problems bog down the SC17’s usability, which is probably without problems expected given its emphasis on high performance: warmth and noise. I had to begin with was hoping to have the ability To test gambling on this Pc with its very own keyboard, however that dream changed into dashed when its wrist rest heated as much as an uncomfortably high temperature. The fan also grows annoyingly loud throughout longer gaming periods, so the most effective choice is to play with headphones. That’s a shame, frankly, because the SC17’s loudspeakers are actually quite respectable and provide reasonable spatial imaging.EVGA SC17

BATTERY life, warmness, AND NOISE: THE Everlasting FOES OF cell GAMING MACHINES
Inside the warmness of the Bulgarian summer season, I absolutely couldn’t tolerate the SC17’s furnace-like operation to trouble with playing any games. This computer has brilliant reserves of energy and performance, and it boots in an immediate, but I’m dissuaded from tapping its Full ability because of the compromises it demands from me. I limited my vacation use of the SC17 to looking Valve’s Dota 2 events on Twitch and YouTube, which I could have performed an awful lot greater simply on an iPad. I did attempt using EVGA’s pc in bed, and I will confirm that it’s feasible, however I wouldn’t advise everybody else to test in that manner. You don’t need to nod off and feature a 10lb slab of difficult metallic landing in your nose.
I feel torn approximately the SC17, because I see a few very good and clever engineering at paintings, however for every upside there appears to be a corresponding downside. The keyboard is spacious, has a nicely extended key journey and first-rate tactile sense, but it’s matched to a poorly acting Synaptics touchpad that seems unwilling to consider my scrolling options. The display is the undisputed highlight of the SC17, imparting wealthy, barely boosted saturation and exemplary viewing angles, however then it suffers from lingering scaling problems in Home windows that suggest some UI elements (together with Steam overlays and Logitech’s Gaming Software) appear unusably tiny when working in Complete 4K resolution. Need I also relate the truth that all the almighty performance of the SC17 comes at the dire price of battery life? Even when I’m now not doing anything greater than surfing the web, this machine’s battery never threatens to closing longer than 4 hours.EVGA SC17

Generally YOU PAY A Better Rate FOR FEWER COMPROMISES, not greater OF THEM
Apart from the SC17, I’ve spent time with Alienware’s souped-up gaming laptops and feature skilled some options from Asus, MSI, and Razer as properly. EVGA’s first access into the category is admirably completed, however it clashes against the same barriers that each one of its competitors do. There’s a fundamental mismatch among the power and ergonomics that Complete-fat Pc gaming calls for and the portability exigencies of a cell laptop. Is the SC17 a horrific gaming computer? By no means. But that’s a meager compliment when you recall the category as an entire, that is populated by machines that promise and cost a lot, however deliver too many compromises.