Settling on a mobile gaming rig just got a little tougher, courtesy of Maingear's new Ivy Bridge- and Kepler-equipped Vybe 15 notebook range. Starting at $1,099, the "Good" configuration should handle most modern games on medium to high settings with a dual-core (quad-threaded) Core i5-3360M, a GeForce GT 650M with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM, 8GB of DDR3 1333MHz RAM, and a 500GB 7200RPM hard drive.
|Vybe 15 Good||Vybe 15 Better||Vybe 15 Best||Vybe 15 Ultimate|
|CPU||Core i5-3360M||Core i7-3520M||Core i7-3720QM||Core i7-3820QM|
|GPU||GT 650M 2GB||GT 650M 2GB||GTX 660M 2GB||GTX 660M 2GB|
|RAM||8GB DDR3-1333||8GB DDR3-1333||8GB DDR3-1600||16GB DDR3-1600|
|Storage||500GB 7200RPM||750GB 7200RPM||128GB + 750GB||256GB + 750GB|
Jumping up to $1,299, the "Better" machine packs a dual-core Core i7-3520M and 750GB of storage. Stretching further to $1,599, the "Best" setup offers a quad-core i7-3720QM, a GeForce GTX 660M, 8GB of DDR3 1600MHz RAM and a 128GB mSATA Crucial m4 to accompany the 750GB drive. The final configuration, dubbed "Ultimate," costs $1,999 for an i7-3820QM, 16GB of DDR3 1600MHz RAM, and a 256GB m4.
Unlike most of Maingear's systems, the Vybe 15's preconfigured tiers don't seem very customizable -- at least not when it comes to the main specs. This is unfortunate because depending on what you play, you may not need to upgrade from the GT 650M to the 660M, but you'll have to splurge on the latter if you want a factory-installed SSD, and it's unclear if the "Good" and "Better" systems support a user-added mSATA drive.
All configurations have a 15.6-inch 1080p matte display, a multitouch trackpad, a full size keyboard, a 1.3MP webcam, a DVD burner, and the usual I/O: HDMI and VGA outputs, headphone and mic jacks, a multi-card reader, two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The Vybe 15 ships without bloatware, though a free copy of Just Cause 2 and $60 worth of Tribes Ascend goodies are offered.