iBuyPower Valkyrie CZ-17 Gaming Notebook Review

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Given all the frenzy around ultrabooks, Microsoft's Surface, and the low power potential of future chips like Haswell, you might think that desktop replacement-class laptops had fallen out of favor with modern laptop manufacturers. iBuyPower's CZ-17 "Valkyrie" is proof that they haven't -- and while its size and weight won't appeal to road warriors or anyone who needs a svelte portable, it packs a number of significant features into its chassis, at a price that won't break the bank. It also makes a few compromises along the way; we'll show you where they are.
 
iBuyPower's CZ-17 Valkyrie
Specifications & Features 
Processor Options

Dimensions

Weight


Display


System Memory

Graphics


Battery


AC Adapter


Hard Drive Options


Wireless Connectivity


Sound


Webcam


Ports and Connectors


 


 

Operating System 

Pricing
Intel Core i7 3610QM (2.3GHz w/Turbo Boost to 3.3GHz, 6MB L3 cache)

Height: 2.2" / Width: 11.3" / Depth: 16.9"

6.9lbs (with 9-cell battery)


17.3" HD (1920x1080) MATTE 


8GB DDR3 1333MHz (2x DIMM sockets)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 675M 4GB


48Whr batter: 6-Cell (built-in). Up to 7 hours (usage) and 10 days (standby) battery life claimed.


65W AC Adapter


750 GB 7200 RPM HDD (Many other options available)

  Atheros KilerNIC 802.11b/g/n


Unspecified speakers.

3.0 Megapixel Webcame


Mic / Headphone / Line-in / Line-out jacks (Audio)
2x USB 2.0
3x USB 3.0
4-in-1 Card Reader
Gigabit LAN

 Windows 7 Home Premium w/ Windows 8 Upgrade Option

$1459 (As Configured)

 


 

The spec sheet gives you a good idea of where iBuyPower has focused its attention. The Valkyrie CZ-17 uses a 17" 1920x1080 panel with a matte finish. If you hate glossy panels, this alone should put the system on your radar. 1080p panels are tough to find at this price point -- Dell's 17" Inspirons all use a 1600x900 resolution; Alienware's cheapest MX-17 starts at $1649 for a 1920x1080 panel -- and theirs is still a glossy.

Wireless Ethernet is courtesy of Atheros' KilerNIC, there's multiple USB 3.0 ports, and the system doesn't skimp on RAM or GPU power. The GTX 675M is a rebadged GTX 580M, but as we'll see, it's more than capable of powering a system of this type.
 

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