So, what does this all add up to? Quite simply, a desktop replacement in the purest sense, but with a bit more portability than your average 17” gaming notebook. The GT60 2OD-026US doesn’t compromise in the realm of performance, but it does feature a more well-rounded package for those who are seeking a little more versatility in their mobile gaming machine.
All in all, the GTX 780M is the fastest mobile GPU to date, and by a healthy margin, to boot. It destroys most every other recorded score to date, and it can handle even the most demanding games at high resolutions and settings. Not much else needs to be said here; the benchmarks speak for themselves.
As for Haswell’s role in all of this, the GT60’s i7-4700MQ certainly is a strong performer, though its power savings aren’t quite the silver bullet you might have expected going into this review. Nevertheless, roughly four hours of web surfing longevity on medium-high brightness and results paralleling those of some of the most powerful Ivy Bridge CPUs are nothing to scoff at. There is an argument to be made that, in today’s market, improvements in mobile CPU power efficiency provide more value than raw performance gains—and while the GT60’s battery life can’t hold a candle to modern Ultrabooks, it’s still far better than what we’ve seen in the past.
Then there’s the rest of the package. The sturdy, heavy-duty case made primarily of hard plastic (but adorned with brushed metal on the lid and palm rests) barely flexes under pressure. The attractive 1080p matte screen provides rich color, good contrast, great viewing angles, and acceptable brightness, and is even usable outdoors in many cases. Audio quality is mostly good too. Finally, the SteelSeries keyboard is overall very good, and the Synaptics touchpad—while small and coupled with less-than-stellar buttons—gets the job done.
Considering its full selection of ports and A/V output options, the GT60 2OD-026US could seriously pass for a primary workstation—a desktop replacement. That may help you digest the $2K price tag, which—while nearly double that of the Lenovo Y500—makes sense when you consider what a powerful and versatile machine you are actually getting. With a little better battery life, a little less heft, the absence of the warranty sticker, and some minor tweaks to the user interface here and there, it’d be hard to find more to ask for the price. As it stands, however, with just a few exceptions, the GT60 2OD-026US is one heck of a well-rounded gaming monster—and certainly worthy of strong consideration if you’re in the market.