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Maingear Unveils "Razor-Thin" Notebook; Not

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 21 comments

This afternoon, Maingear introduced its "razor-thin" mX-L notebook computer, sporting a 13.3-inch display and Intel's Core 2 Duo processor. We're still trying to figure out the "razor-thin" part.

Advertisers love a good gimmick. After all, that's what sells on the market, whether it's a custom logo or a unique feature in a game. Publishers, developers, and manufactures spend untold amounts of time trying to stay on the edge, trying to be unique so that you, the Valued Customer, will buy that crazy spoon-in-a-knife no matter how silly it looks. Hey look folks! It can not only open a can and serve your plate, it'll call Domino's and order pizza!

Sure thing pal, we'll take two.

In keeping with the gimmick theme, Maingear Computers seems to be using the "gimmick" factor with the release of its new laptop, the Maingear mX-L. In one aspect, the company claims that the 4.4-lb device is "razor-thin" even though we're left scratching out heads trying to figure out why that is. The actual chassis ranges between 1.3-inches and 1.44-inches in height, 12.125-inches in width, and 9.125-inches in depth. The LCD panel aspect--which actually does look rather thin--houses a 13.3-inch (16:10) WXGA LED backlit display featuring a Super Clear Glare type screen. On the whole, the laptop isn't too large, but not exactly "razor-thin" as promoted. Dell's new Adamo, HP/Voodoo's Envy and Apple's MacBook Air are all superior in this department.

The second gimmick the mX-L carries to the table is the logo etched into the LCD backing. Although Maingear used its logo and crest and an example in promotional shots, the company said that consumers can actually upload an image or logo of their choice, and Maingear will use its M.A.R.C. premium laser etching technology to customize the notebook with love. This is handy for companies wanting to brand the laptops with corporate logos, or consumers with the need to show off their individual style.

Under the hood, the Maingear mX-L offers Intel's Core Duo and Core 2 Duo processors, depending on the consumer's custom preferences. Just for kicks, we chose the "moderate" pre-configuration, playing it safe between the lower "Budget" version and the "Premium" offering. For the moderate user, the laptop contains the Core 2 Duo P9600 (2.66 GHz x 2) using Intel's GM45 chipset and ICH9M motherboard. For memory, the laptop offers 4 GB of dual channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800 MHz, and for storage, the Western Digital Scorpio Black 320 GB (7200 RPM 16 MB - SATA II).

Other features that the Moderate configuration offers include an 8x dual layer burner (DVD±RW, CD-RW), an integrated Gigabit network card, Intel's Wireless 5100AGN, internal high-definition audio, an integrated 1.3 megapixel webcam and more. On the OS front, the laptop comes pre-installed with Windows Vista Home Premium (32-Bit) SP1. Ultimately, the Moderate configuration will cost consumers $1,402.63, and that's without altering the pre-configured options.

Feeling frisky and want to go Premium? Try shelling out $3178.25 for the default configuration and receiving Intel's Core 2 Duo T9800 (2.93 GHz x 2), Intel's GMA X4500HD integrated graphics processor with up to 256 MB shared memory, and 8 GB of dual channel DDR2 SDRAM (800 MHz). This decked out laptop also offers a 160 GB SSD, Blu-ray disc reader, an internal bluetooth module, the webcam, Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit) SP1, and more. Again, this was the default Premium setting, and consumers can max everything out if needed, however there isn't much to add outside tacking on extra peripherals and software.

“We’ve noticed a surge in demand for a highly mobile computing solution that doesn’t force the user to compromise on performance, comfort or style” said Wallace Santos, CEO and Founder of MAINGEAR.  “We’re proud to offer mX-L which provides the performance of a full sized notebook in a compact package.  This powerful portability combined with premium features like a built-in fingerprint reader and custom laser etching provides consumers and business the definitive option for mobile computing.”

The Maingear mX-L doesn't sound too bad for the money, even with the Premium options. Granted a Nvidia or ATI GPU would have been ideal in this portable rig, it's certainly not surprising that Intel dominates the CPU, chipset, and graphics all in one package. There's definitely a cool factor in regards to uploading a favorite picture and having it etched into the backside of the LCD screen. Still, calling this laptop "razor thin" is reaching a bit, but at least it's better than lugging around an ATX case and a CRX monitor.

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  • 1 Hide
    Square_Head , March 27, 2009 1:00 AM
    This is not a stupid article..... NOT

    Lets try and get a title
  • 2 Hide
    chris312 , March 27, 2009 1:25 AM
    Does anyone know if the etching is free? I spent a little time on the manufacturer's website but I didn't see a price for etching. The price seems to be quite good, and the features look nice. I'll agree that it's not "Razor-Thin" but it looks a lot like what I'm looking for for a college laptop this fall. Definitely would wait on some reviews, first, though.
  • 1 Hide
    SneakySnake , March 27, 2009 1:33 AM
    "razor thin" - lol wut??

    the voodoo envy(0.7") and macbook air(0.76") are almost half the thickness
  • Display all 21 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    falchard , March 27, 2009 1:49 AM
    I find this article to be completely rediculous to talk about. A $3000 laptop with an IGP, and an Intel IGP at that. Also making the terrible assumption that an complete Intel platform is better then an AMD platform using a 780GX. Seems poorly writted and more like fanboyism.
  • 8 Hide
    willv , March 27, 2009 3:09 AM
    i wasted my time reading this
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 27, 2009 3:41 AM
    They took tolerance of marketing gimmicky too far, "razor-thin" laptop with a Premium $3k+ package of Intel-IGP.

    Perhaps the "razor-thin" applies to the etching, the laser is "razor-thin". Look how far gimmicky has gotten.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 27, 2009 3:46 AM
    So is Kevin Parrish's job title "Official Shill" or something? This is the second article this week (that I've bothered reading, there may have been more) that are nothing more than gloriously spouty press releases. The last was the utterly absurb piece on how a $2600 computer with an ugly logo and consumer-available parts somehow constitutes a "value."

    I sincerely hope you guys are charging ad fees for this. Really, you should charge multiple times your normal rate, on account of I can't block these with Adblock and I have no way of knowing how incredibly worthless they are until after I've read them.
  • 2 Hide
    lutel , March 27, 2009 7:54 AM
    Bring back screens with 4:3 ratio. 16:10 in laptop is pure nonsense, and was pushed to market to cut costs (smaller area of screen for equal diameter). There is huge demand in business market for light 4:3 laptops (like IBM T60, Dell X300).
  • 2 Hide
    thepinkpanther , March 27, 2009 8:39 AM
    if they could sneak a mainstream gpu, perhaps the 9600gt or 4670, and keep it under 1" id call it the razor edge of tech for size. To me a laptop isnt worth buying if it has integrated gpu.
  • 2 Hide
    SneakySnake , March 27, 2009 11:05 AM
    The 15" Macbook Pro has even better specs (9600 GT) and with a 2.93 GHz cpu, its $300 cheaper and almost half an inch thinner
  • 2 Hide
    Zoonie , March 27, 2009 11:25 AM
    Must agree with lutel. 4:3 screens give a better workspace.
  • 1 Hide
    Dave K , March 27, 2009 12:17 PM
    Wow insanely expensive for a no-name third tier system.
  • -4 Hide
    callmesusan , March 27, 2009 1:59 PM
    So does Kevin Parrish hate maingear or something, did they all gangbang his wife or something....
  • 2 Hide
    pharge , March 27, 2009 4:16 PM
    "... Intel's GMA X4500HD integrated graphics processor with up to 256 MB shared memor... Blu-ray disc reader..." hmm... wondering how well of this >$3K laptop handles Blu-ray movies... and how well it handles in the real life... (working, browsing while having Blu-ray movie playing at the side)... hmm guess that should not be too much to ask for a >$3K laptop... isn't it?..;)
  • 0 Hide
    Dave K , March 27, 2009 5:57 PM
    SneakySnakeThe 15" Macbook Pro has even better specs (9600 GT) and with a 2.93 GHz cpu, its $300 cheaper and almost half an inch thinner


    And we all know that if it's more expensive than Apple... it's REALLY expensive. ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    Dave K , March 27, 2009 6:01 PM
    chris312Does anyone know if the etching is free? I spent a little time on the manufacturer's website but I didn't see a price for etching. The price seems to be quite good, and the features look nice. I'll agree that it's not "Razor-Thin" but it looks a lot like what I'm looking for for a college laptop this fall. Definitely would wait on some reviews, first, though.


    I think given the price it's safe to say that the price for etching is DEFINITELY include. If they DO expect you to pay extra for the etching I'd have to say you're paying TWICE. It's pretty much the only thing that differentiates this box from less expensive laptops (with better feature lists).
  • 0 Hide
    matt99 , March 27, 2009 8:38 PM
    This notebook is nothing special. This notebook was design by Clevo (see the Clevo M735T) and also this is way overpriced.

    AVADirect offers the same notebook with better options for less money. http://www.avadirect.com/product_details_configurator.asp?PRID=12467

    I dont see how this notebook is "revolutionary" or anything "new"...? This barebone has been out for 2-3 months already. What a joke this company is.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 27, 2009 10:19 PM
    falchardI find this article to be completely rediculous to talk about. A $3000 laptop with an IGP, and an Intel IGP at that. Also making the terrible assumption that an complete Intel platform is better then an AMD platform using a 780GX. Seems poorly writted and more like fanboyism.


    And this isn't poorly written?

    L2Type. Seriously.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 28, 2009 1:38 PM
    I'd take a $600 all-AMD laptop from Dell, HP, etc.. over this any day, absolutely nothing special here.
  • 0 Hide
    MamiyaOtaru , March 29, 2009 9:44 AM
    Agreeing with the 4:3 love. People will tell you it makes sense for notebooks, and especially netbooks, as there is a certain minimum width needed for the keyboard to be usable. In contrast, there's leeway to cut the depth, and with it screen height. Fine, sounds good.

    Then why the heck are we seeing so many laptops with a battery hanging out the back? Dell Adamo being the first example that comes to mind, along with both the convertible tablets in our office. That's unused depth. You could easily put the hinge back there and get a taller screen.

    Well you could if your true motivation wasn't smaller screen area for the same x-inch diagonal measurement. Cost saving, that's all it is. I'd pay more for a tall screen any day.
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