The Maingear Element’s a great gaming laptop you’ve probably never considered

    Sarah Tew/CNET
    Maingear’s not a family identify for laptop computer consumers; it is higher recognized for its custom-built desktops and comfortable gaming chairs. And like different {custom} builders equivalent to Origin PC, it historically makes use of some third-party chassis for its restricted line of laptops. The Maingear Element 15-inch gaming laptop computer is the corporate’s first individualized design — although not unique — which emerged by way of a collaboration with Intel. The result’s a classy and comparatively gentle pocket book with stable gaming efficiency that I occur to love fairly a bit.

    LikeSmart and classy designRelatively lightComparatively nicely priced

    Don’t LikeMaingear Node utility is bare-bones and considerably complicated

    You will not be overwhelmed by configuration selections for the Element: It begins at $1,699 with an Nvidia GeForce 1660 Ti, 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, the identical with an RTX 2070 Max-Q is $2,099 and a 2070 mannequin with 32GB RAM and a 2TB SSD is $2,299. You may also get a gunmetal-color chassis with the highest configuration for an additional $100. Also, I examined a limited-edition model that included a {custom} Pelican journey case. Unless you intend to hook up with an exterior monitor to play at 1440p or need to set high quality at superduper, the 1660 Ti base mannequin needs to be wonderful for many video games. Regardless of configuration, you may get the identical unremarkable, narrow-color-gamut 144Hz 1080p 15.6-inch display discovered on a large number of gaming laptops. 

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    Maingear ships abroad, however does not set worldwide costs. That means you configure it and do not understand how a lot it will likely be in native foreign money till you are nicely into the checkout course of. The worth ranges at at the moment’s alternate charges are roughly £1,300 to £1,840 and AU$2,470 to AU$3,490.Performance is true according to what you’d count on from the set of elements. While the battery life examined at a depressing 2.2 hours, it additionally carried out higher than others on benchmarks. That can sign that the system’s defaults are optimized barely in another way. In follow, the battery lasted notably longer than that after we examined utilizing it for issues apart from gaming.Maingear Element

    Price as reviewed



    15.6-inch 1,920×1,080 144Hz

    PC CPU

    2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H

    PC reminiscence

    32GB 2,666Hz DDR4


    Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q


    2TB SSD, SD card reader


    1 x USB-C/Thunderbolt, 3 x USB-A, 1 x HDMI, headphone, mic


    Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200, Bluetooth 5.0

    Operating system

    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (1903)


    4.1 lbs/1.9 kg

    In pricing the Element is fairly corresponding to comparable fashions, such because the MSI GS65 Stealth, although lower than extra high-profile rivals just like the Alienware m15 R2 or Razer Blade Advanced with the identical elements. However, the even much less well-known Eluktronics makes use of the identical chassis for its MAG-15, and its equal configuration runs $200 much less (£150 and AU$290). Note that they might differ in some necessary methods, equivalent to thermal ceilings and cooling system, which may affect efficiency. Their batteries are the identical 94Wh capability, although.  

    All the sleekifying components we have come to count on are right here: slender display bezels, thinnish 0.8-inch (19mm) thickness, matte-textured magnesium-alloy physique, glass touchpad, a snazzy underglow gentle bar on the entrance and so forth. There’s a devoted button for biking amongst energy modes, primarily to manage cooling. You don’t need these followers blasting throughout conferences — even Chrome can set them a-blowin’ — and headphones are extremely advisable for gaming. In reality, headphones are advisable for lots of issues; the audio system can get surprisingly loud for a laptop computer, however in addition they sound a bit echoey.Geekbench 4 (multicore)

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency

    There are separate mic and headphone jacks fairly than a combo, which will be helpful for some individuals, in addition to a fundamental 720p webcam, IR digicam for Windows Hello login and an SD card slot — options that are usually omitted from gaming laptops. The energy, USB-C, Ethernet and HDMI connections are all on the again, which suggests the AC connector will not begin fights along with your wired controller, keyboard and mouse. Some individuals could take into account the optomechanical keyboard an acquired style, although I fairly like its tactile, quietly clicky really feel and stable 2mm journey. Plus, in fact, there’s the per-key RGB lighting, which you’ll be able to customise utilizing the essential Maingear Node management middle utility — or attempt, as a result of the interface is considerably complicated. The utility is fairly elementary with a system monitor, energy and fan presets, gentle bar and keyboard brightness and shade settings and show presets, which change brightness, and, for the Reading preset, the white level (you may also regulate the person RGB values). It additionally helps you to lock the Windows key and show perform keys onscreen.But whereas {custom} builders are inclined to lack subtle management facilities, you’ve got gotta love the no-bloatware coverage a lot of them have, together with Maingear. The Element’s not as pristine as some I’ve seen, however it’s not infested with third-party stuff like anti-virus software program and Microsoft Office trials. What software program is there’s tucked away in Start menu tile teams the place you do not have to see it.Geekbench 4 (multicore)

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency

    Cinebench R15 CPU (multicore)

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency

    Video playback battery drain take a look at (streaming)

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency

    3DMark Fire Strike Ultra

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency

    3DMark Port Royal (RTX)

    Longer bars point out higher efficiency

    System configurations

    Alienware m15 R2

    Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design; 1TB SSD RAID 0

    Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XA

    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q Design; 512GB SSD

    HP Omen X 2S

    Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 2080 with Max-Q Design; 1TB SSD

    Lenovo Legion Y545

    Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeFroce GTX 1660Ti; 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD

    Maingear Element

    Microsoft WIndows 10 Pro (1903); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H; 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,667MHz, 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q Design, 2TB SSD

    Razer Blade Advanced (2019, OLED)

    Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-9750H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 with Max-Q Design; 512GB SSD

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