Maingear eX-L 15 Gaming Notebook Review - HotHardware

Maingear eX-L 15 Gaming Notebook Review

7 thumbs up
Let's be frank, at nearly $2,500 for a 15-inch laptop, the eX-L 15 will have penny-pinching gamers running the opposite direction. But it's worth mentioning that buying a system from Maingear is an entirely different experience than ordering from budget-minded system builder. In addition to high-end parts, Maingear offers the "white glove treatment," starting with a hard case binder. You also get lifetime phone support and a 30-day zero dead pixel guarantee for the machine's display.



Pop open the binder and you'll find more than just the usual assortment of paperwork. Here's what was in ours:
  • Handy multi-tip screwdriver with small tips for working on notebooks and other portable electronics
  • Maingear T-shirt
  • Maingear mousepad (cloth)
  • Detailed invoice
  • Original Windows 7 install disc
  • Driver disc
  • Notebook user guide
  • Custom Maingear user manual with lots of tips and warranty info
At the time of this publication, Maingear was also offering a couple of freebie add-ons, including the Shogun 2: Total War! game and a laptop stand. Not included with the system is a carrying bag or gaming mouse, though Maingear offers a handful of the latter to choose from when ordering, ranging in price from $19 (Logitech M110 Optical USB Mouse) to $149 (MadCatz Cyborg R.A.T. 9 Wireless Adjustable Gaming Mouse).


One thing that even boutique system builders have trouble avoiding is the temptation to shovel bloatware on their systems. Third-party software vendors pay big bucks to have their programs pre-installed on OEM systems, which can help keep prices down, but at the expense of performance, at least until you go through and remove all the rubbish. Maingear, however, advertises a 'Zero Bloatware' policy, saying:

"Large, multi-national computer manufacturers have commoditized the PC market by subsidizing their products with the installation of intrusive, third-party software. They are paid to do this. This software bogs down your system and prevents it from running at its highest potential. It also has the tendency to make your system unstable or may conflict with software you wish to install. All MAINGEAR systems eschews these tactics as we believe that YOU are the customer, not a third-party software provider. We build purebred PCs designed for performance and reliability, not billboards and advertisements."

Maingear didn't just talk the talk, they walked the walk by delivering a system completely devoid of performance hampering trialware and other garbage that power users don't care about.

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Great review Paul, this machine is awesome. I love the attention to detail maingear has, their "white glove" treatment is really great. There zero bloatware policy is great and the battery life was way better than I expected! Usually the fastest laptops drain the juice like nobody's business. I don't know though, I'd rather have the price lowered a little bit and they can keep the screwdriver and t-shirt kit.

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Nice!! This reviews shows that you don't need a desktop class processor and that Bulky 17' Clevo chassis anymore.. unless you want to go SLI with the 485M. The 480M required it(the Clevo Chassis), now thanks  to updates to the  architecture of the graphics card, its able  perform faster and be smaller so that it can fit into a 15 inch frame. ...Also Intels Mobile Chips gets major props too..


Maingear is everywhere, I hope they become as big as Dell or HP one day.

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Pretty machine. Good review the only thing I feel like it is missing is USB 3.0 Ports versus USB 2.0 ports. Maingear certainly does it again.

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@omegadraco, ithe ex-L 15 comes with a pair of SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports on the left side.

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Thanks, I could have sworn that I read that review pretty carefully and only saw USB 2.0 on it :) I obviously skimmed it too quickly. USB 3.0  certainly makes it even better. Love the no bloatware policy.

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Aww, this reminds me... lol why didn't you guys get some shots of them putting a laptop together! :D

WOW the design looks dam neat! And DAM nice scores!!!

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Thanks for the great review of this screamer from Maingear.It has some awesome specs and performance and I like they way it looks. But for me to justify the higher price its relatively simple it's not the included T-shirt [nice] or mini-screwdriver.It's the attention to all the details & pride of workman-ship done by one of the techs [local Jersey guy] that built.tested,'burn n benched it' signed,sealed & delivered it in the included binder with the original Windows disc,driver cd along with no bloat-cr^p!

Besides there is always the custom config page on the website.

you get what you pay for and it's worth it.

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Man, after reading this review, I am convinced that Maingear makes the best machines ever.

Pure processing power, USB 3.0, no bloatware? Who needs ExpressPort when you got this much power?

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Nice! Once again, Maingear outs an awesome notebook!

No bloatware is FABULOUS!

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I was looking at the customization options of this laptop and a cool thing main gear offers is engraving options for free or your own for 99$.

I would love to get one of these for college, but i'll probably become panicky if some one tries to touch it.

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