iBuyPower Valkyrie CZ-17 Review
My goodness do you get a lot of laptop for your money with the iBuyPower Valkyrie CZ-17. It's not even a lot of money either. We understand that UK price conversion rates are sadly not as simple as applying the current exchange rate to a dollar amount, but it's definitely something worth investigating. For our American readers, who need not worry about such things, this represents great value for money.
Looks wise it's very nice, with that big screen dominating proceedings. Every available piece of space has been utilised with USB ports, display options etc etc. You definitely wont lack connectivity with the CZ-17. Of course at such a low price there are a few places where you can tell that this isn't an aluminium-cased wonder, but too much show is for poseurs, and this has the right balance of not making you feel you've picked it off the shelf at Sam's Club, but your wallet feels like you have and your friends will be slack-jawed at how little this thing costs.
Speaking of the price, the only real area we'd like to see improved is the speed of the storage. There were times you could tell that the drive was the weak link in the chain, so we'd definitely advise you splash the little extra to upgrade to a pure SSD drive. The benefits will be noticeable, such is the high performance of rest of the components. You could, if you were feeling particularly flush, fill both drive bays with SSDs and go RAID0. If you are mental and are handy with a screw driver there are two more 2.5" HDD ports under the keyboard too *wink wink*
Back to what is available, that screen is excellent. You really feel the benefits of the size difference between it and the more normal 14 or 15 inch screens found on most laptops in this price range. Equally the keyboard has a lovely feel to it, and the sound quality is excellent for a laptop. Performance is excellent as long as you're aware that at the very highest detail levels, a desktop will always outperform a laptop. But damn this gets close to a similarly priced desktop and in a much friendlier package.
Its also worth remember this comes from the same factory that the MSI's do and there really isnt much to pick and choose between them. Same spec near enough, same motherboard and screen, same cooling, same Steelseries keyboard and even right down to the Dyn-Audio speakers. It may not say about the audio and keyboard on the spec sheet and Id have a guess at that is some contract clause IBP have with the OEM but I had the pleasure of taking it apart just to check and I can confirm they are there!
We like the lighting, we love the looks, we especially love the price and the performance. If you take the money you save between this and any equally-spec'd machine and spend it on the SSD upgrade, you'll be the envy of anyone who didn't do their research. For delivering so much in such a cost-effective package we have to award it our OC3D Gold Award.