Local gaming notebook start-up Aftershock PC recently released its own line of desktop systems. But do not discount its gaming laptops yet. Its top-of-the-line Aftershock Titan will still give those desktop PCs a run for their money.
After all, this laptop packs not one, but two Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M graphics chips. Launched last month, this chip is the latest king of all mobile graphics. Nvidia claims that its performance is up to 75 per cent of its desktop graphics equivalent.
The latest Aftershock Titan has been jazzed up with a bit more flair. There are now two red LED lights at the left and right rear corners. A blue LED bar sits above the keyboard, between two Onkyo-branded speakers.
The black chassis on my review set looks a bit generic, though Aftershock offers custom paint jobs (for a reasonable fee) so you can create your own unique laptop.
There is no need to pay extra to change the colours (up to 16.7 million) for the keyboard backlight. More importantly, it is comfortable to use and has good key travel.
But I was not too impressed with the new touchpad. The physical touchpad buttons are at the edge of the laptop - I had to stretch my fingers to use them.
The 17.3-inch screen has wide viewing angles despite not employing in-plane switching (IPS) technology. Crucially for gamers, the screen is matte and non-touch. However, colours look less vibrant than an IPS screen.
The Titan has a typical 1,920 x 1,080-pixel screen resolution. Some users probably prefer a higher-resolution display, such as a 3,840 x 2,160-pixel screen.
But such a display would require a lot of graphical horsepower - even the Titan's dual GeForce GTX 980M graphics chips would struggle to run the latest games at maximum setting.
If your budget allows, choose the Intel Dual band Wireless-AC 7260 option instead of the single-stream 3160 model. It costs an extra $16, but is well worth it.
As expected, the Titan handled our games effortlessly. In Bioshock Infinite, this powerful rig churned out an impressive 142 frames per second. It easily beats the MSI GT72 Dominator Pro, which has a single GeForce GTX 980M chip.
In Crysis 3, the Titan managed a solid 85 frames per second compared with 47 for the Dominator Pro.
The only benchmark where the Dominator Pro came out tops was in PCMark 7, which measures the general system performance. In this case, it edged out the Titan as it has twice the amount of RAM and a faster CPU.
Battery life is predictably dismal on this 4.3kg behemoth. It lasted 2hr 6min in our test.
This powerful gaming laptop gets a fresh look, but the key upgrade here is its new dual graphics chips.
Processor: Intel Core i7-4710MQ (2.5GHz)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M SLI 8GB GDDR5
Screen: 17.3 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
Connectivity: 4 x USB 3.0, 1 x eSATA/USB combo port, Thunderbolt port, HDMI, Ethernet port, SD card slot, audio jacks
Battery: 89 watt-hour
Value for money: 4/5
Battery life: 1/5
This article was first published on Nov 19, 2014.
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