MAINGEAR Sprouts a Refresh to the Pulse 15, a Gaming Notebook That’s Mid-Range, but Highly Competitive


Maingear, the privately held American “boutique computer manufacturer” is a company well-known for its focus on the details. The company has always claimed to build from scratch, and in computer universe terms, that’s custom, everything. This reminds me a bit of Alienware, whom, before the company was bought by Dell in 2006, was a self-assembling computer company; also responsible for the highly popular Alienware 18 R1, a high-rated gaming laptop monster. Maingear, also self-sufficient, does it all, from wiring to cooling. The 2002 established company is one that builds high-performance PCs, to the needs of both individual consumers, and the mainstream. That alone, should make you want to know more about the newest member of Maingear’s portfolio, a lovely refresh of the Pulse 15 laptop, loaded with graphics and power for the medium-level gamers.

This notebook goes for that good gaming-sized 15.6-inch 2,800 x 1,620 resolution, along with the loved In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel. That’s far better than HD, and in comparison to the previous Pulse 14, which held a lower 1920 x 1080 LCD screen, the Pulse has gone to higher places. While the last model had its own Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle (AHVA), it now has the true glory of actual IPS. Of yeah, and don’t forget to look at those thin bezels we love. So sleek. Measuring 0.8 x 15.4 x 10.5 inches, and weighing 3.9 pounds, yes, this is a relatively thin notebook to expect magical gaming powers inside. There’s that, and this kind of gaming can fit nicely in a bag. That’s already two perks about the primary design. The exterior of Maingear’s last model included a black brushed aluminum along the lid and deck, and it was a pretty basic look. This gen has advanced to eye-candied (customized) Glasurit paint, in a variety of colors, in both matte or glossy. Good move, nice and fun!

The processor has been updated to an Intel Core i7-6700HQ (2.6Ghz, 3.5Ghz Turbo), and the graphics to a latest Nvidia Pascal-based GPU, the new GTX 1060. Expect 16GB of RAM memory, up to a 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD, and a 1TB HDD. For its Ethernet, Maingear adds in Killer E2200 Gigabit, then there’s Intel Wireless AC 7260, plus Bluetooth. It comes running Windows 8.1, lacking a touchscreen. Along the chassis, users will find Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and battery LED indicators, as well as the usual USB 3.0 port, SD memory card slot, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, and a battery reset.

Calling this the most advanced notebook ever offered, Maingear titles this new notebook as “thin, light, and powerful”, and this is all truth. For both a thin and light notebook, gaming power is definitely there. However, battery life is arguably lower than expected, and it can run hot, so, the latter must be the fault of its thin physique. How do you pull off that kind of roaring mechanisms in such a skinny package without expecting it to get hot? There hasn’t been any recognition of the machine’s fan system being high tech, only that it exists as an exhaust vent on the right side of the chassis. So, perhaps if Maingear made an alteration, the Pulse 15 could have little to complain about. Either or, this is going to be a good six-core gaming experience. Because the Pulse 15 has been equipped with both Intel Core i7 and GeForce GTX GPUs, and all for less than $2,149, this is a powerful laptop at your fingertips. Not just for gaming capability, but also productivity. Remember, though, this is a notebook for the casual or budget gamer. You might want to review some towers if you worry your favorite game won’t run on the Pulse 15. Overall, it’s a great rival though. With its own twist.

Topics: Technology News Laptop Trends Laptops & Ultrathin Ultrabooks Tech Reviews

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