iBuyPower Valkyrie CZ-17 Gaming Notebook Review

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Exterior Design

The CZ-17 is built around MSI's GT70 hybrid metal/plastic chassis. The lid of our review unit had a tendency to creak and crackle if flexed, but while the sounds were disquieting, our flexion tests revealed no problems. This system is far too bulky to ever be classed as svelte, but desktop replacements don't really have to be. We're more concerned with heat, noise, and durability than with whether or not you can slip the Valkyrie into an envelope.

The back of the system is on the left. From the far left: Kensington lock, AC power connector, Gigabit Ethernet, VGA-out, eSATA, HDMI.

iBuyPower opted to include VGA and HDMI outputs rather than a DVI/HDMI or DVI/DP combination. It's a bit odd to see on a brand-new system, but there are still plenty of projectors and other peripherals sold today that rely on a VGA port. HDMI over DVI makes sense, given that the HDMI port takes up much less real estate. You can see the edge of one of the internal heatsinks in the foreground as well.

On the right, we've got the the laptop's ports, from the right-hand side. The integrated Blu-ray drive is here, along with a brace of USB 2.0 ports.

The left-hand side of the system is considerably busier. All three USB 3.0 ports are on the left side, along with the four audio jacks and 4-in-1 card reader.

Again from the right-side, looking across the keyboard.

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