BenQ and MSI are offering up some truly portable gaming options. 18.4-inch behemoths aside, the MSI GT725 and BenQ's S57 Joybook should provide solid performance for all you road warriors out there, and should satisfy the 15-inch and 17-inch crowds.
The MSI GT725 is a 17-inch laptop, but it's by no means a bloated system. Coming in at "only" 7.35 pounds, this portable powerhouse shouldn't cause any back or shoulder problems in the near future. Light in mass? yes, but not light in features. The base GT725 is a Centrino 2 setup, packing a Core 2 Duo P8600 (2.4 GHz, FSB1066, 3 MB cache), 4 GB of DDR2 memory, and a 320 GB 7200 RPM hard drive in the chassis. This combined with ATI's mobile 4850, which has its own 512 MB of DDR3 memory, should handle Left 4 Dead and Dawn of War II without any major snags. MSI claims that this mobile GPU is the first mobile single GPU solution to hit the 10,000 mark in 3DMark 2006. MSI also includes a "Turbo Drive" mode, which can supposedly overclock your CPU by up to 15 percent with the push of a button.
The GT725 comes with a connection suite fit for a multimedia notebook. eSATA, HDMI, wireless N, Bluetooth, and three USB 2.0 ports all adorn the sides of this laptop. To complete the multimedia package, the GT275 also has true 5.1 surround sound, including a dedicated subwoofer. The GT275 comes in two flavors: for $1350, you get all of what's mentioned above along with a 1680x1050 LCD screen; If you have some extra cash to burn, $1600 will upgrade the CPU to a P9500 (2.53 GHz, FSB1066, 6 MB cache), bump the LCD to a 1920x1200 panel, and add a Blu-ray ROM drive. Both versions are available on NewEgg.
Are 17-inch notebooks to big for your liking? No worries. The 15.6-inch Joybook S57 from BenQ is right up your alley. The S57 starts with a 15.6-inch LED display, with a 720p-capable 1366x768 resolution. While the processor will be from the Centrino 2 family, no specifics are available at this time, nor is the amount of RAM, although 4 GB is expected for a notebook in the multimedia/gaming category. The graphics muscle is provided by a mobile ATI Radeon 4650, which means the vRAM will be at least 512 MB, if not 1 GB. Combined with up to 500 GB of hard drive space, eSATA, HDMI and bluetooth, the S57 should be an exceptional offering in the 15-inch laptop category.