Performance and Conclusion
Despite the small form factor and weight of the Maingear Pulse 17, performance holds its own when compared to other gaming notebooks.
Here we take a quick look at 3DMark between several of the gaming-class notebooks that we have reviewed. Performance of the Pulse 17 falls right in between the higher-end ASUS G750JX, equipped with a GTX 770M GPU, and the MSI GE40 with a GTX 760M.
In real world gaming tests, the Pulse 17 managed to maintain 45 FPS in Bioshock Infinite at 1080p with very high settings. Both GRID 2 and Battlefield 4 both came in at about 35 FPS, with the highest quality settings and a resolution of 1080p.
While these gaming results may not be stunning, it is impressive when you look at the big picture. With a form factor as slim and light as the Pulse 17 is, you will still be able to play any game at 1080p. You may have to turn down the settings slightly for the best experience, but if you want to use this a truly portable machine the tradeoff is compelling.
If you are looking to game with an external monitor at resolutions higher than 1080p, this laptop won't be the best match for you.
Looking at the price of the three laptops compared above, we start to see a major downside of the Pulse 17.
- MSI GE70 – $1259
- Maingear Pulse 17 – Starting at $2,199 ($2450 as configured)
- ASUS G750JX-DB71- $1649
That being said, I'm the type of person who carries an Ultrabook daily, and is obsessed with shedding size and weight from my computer, gaming laptops have never really been in my wheelhouse. It is interesting to think that we might be at a turning point where those things don't have to be mutually exclusive.
While I may not be necessarily interested in carrying a 17" laptop day-to-day, this is certainly the machine I would be looking at if I wanted something to carry everywhere, but still be able to play games.
The price point may be steep when compared to the competition, but you always pay for innovations like thin design and light weight notebooks at first. The Maingear Pulse 17 seems ahead of it's time, and a picture of what the modern gaming laptop will look like.