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.