As of late, I’ve been running into struggles trying to find an ideal gaming laptop that would suit my on-the-go gaming needs. For some strange reason, the Best Buy guy suggested the Star Wars HP laptop but…nope. I can’t even run The Division efficiently on it.
So I’m once again on the hunt, looking for that ideal laptop that won’t cost me and an arm and a leg. And, alas, the SAGER NP9870-S doesn’t quite fit in the affordable category. That’s because the model that I was sent for review goes around $2,800 – a bit high-end compared to other models on the market.
However, I can see why the price is that high – you actually get what you pay for out of this machine. I barely ran into any issues booting up any of the games – including complex stuff like Tom Clancy’s The Division and Bioshock Infinite – and found the machine to be at peak performance throughout. Sure, it may lack the frills in design that other machines have, but it makes up for it with how it runs the games. And that’s really what’s going to count with players.
The device not only comes with a built-in GTX 980 GPU (one of the best in class you can find out there), but also a 6700K Skylake desktop CPU for supportive power. And, boy, does the machine run like it’s using them. I had no trouble running a session of Rise of the Tomb Raider and even smaller games like Enter the Gungeon or Atari Vault on the machine. It just coasted swimmingly along, even though the loading time was slightly longer than usual – even with the custom SSD that comes within the device.
No matter, because when the SAGER gets up and running with its hardware, it’s spectacular. The machine didn’t chug at all during my gaming sessions with it, and the menu interface is incredibly easy to use. The device also read my controller with no problems whatsoever, and even has a neat set-up with a button that lights up like a lit bar when you start it up, along with other staples like a fingerprint reader and a reliable touch-pad.
The keyboard is very cool, as the keys don’t feel mushy at all. In fact, they’re truly responsive, easy to the touch and enabling solid entry during even the more complex games, like Typing of the Dead Overkill. Granted, you’ll probably be doing most gaming with a controller (unless you’re a hardcore League of Legends type), but it’s nice to have a keyboard that actually works with you, instead of against.
The LED display may not be that large – it’s a 17-inch screen that works with 1080p – but it’s quite impressive, with no drops in quality and a solid 75Hz IPS panel with full G-Sync support, so even the higher-end games run at a blistering frame rate without a loss of detail. Likewise, the Sound Blaster set-up is superb, providing great stereo support for each game, although some of the music did seem to run on mono. (However, to be fair, that’s pretty much the fault of the games themselves.)
The unit comes with a 1TB hard drive and a 256GB solid state drive. That’s a lot of memory to have on hand, but it’s quite sufficient when it comes to loading up games and getting things going. As I said, the SSD isn’t quite as fast as it could be, but it’s still acceptable when it comes to starting up games. Plus, the machine actually keeps rather cool with its system. Sure, it’s a big unit and hard to lug around (at least about 10 pounds or so, and quite big with its chassis), but if you can set it somewhere secure, you can get about three to four hours of gameplay from it. It doesn’t hurt to have the power brick style plug-in close, though, in case you have a marathon session coming up.
In addition to its build, you’ve got an SD card reader, an HDMI port (which is quite sweet for this unit – the TV display didn’t let up), five USB ports, one USB type C port and two Ethernet ports. Not sure why two are really needed there, but better to have it and not need it than the other way around, yes? Overall, it’s a stock unit, but one that’s smoothly built to get the best level of play out of it.
Of course, the price isn’t going to be everyone’s speed – it’s hard to accept a price tag that runs about the level of a deluxe car payment. Nevertheless, if it’s quality you’re after – and you don’t mind an immense size and slight performance hitches with loading from the SSD – the SAGER NP9870-S certainly won’t let you down.
(A Sager NP9870-S was provided for review purposes from XOTIC PC. For more information on XOTIC PC you can head to http://www.xoticpc.com/. For more information and to purchase a Sager NP9870-S you can head to http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np9870s-clevo-p870dmg-p-8798.html.)