OCZ DIY Gaming Notebook 15"

Notebook Appearance

Notebook Appearance

One of the things that surprised us most when unpacking the OCZ DIY was just how 'plain' it was. Even the most shy manufacturers tend to place a logo somewhere on the lid and above the keyboard, but with the DIY there was absolutely nothing - no sign that OCZ had played any part in the production of the notebook at all. This is quite a shame, as the OCZ logo in itself demands attention and having it emblazoned across the front of a notebook would certainly turn heads.

OCZ DIY in Packaging OCZ DIY 15" Unwrapping

That's not to say that the DIY is unattractive of course, far from it in fact. OCZ have finished the lid of the notebook in a black polished plastic that looks very modern while also doubling up as a pretty effective mirror. Unfortunately, as with all the black polished plastic electronics that seem to be the 'craze' at the moment, the DIY is a fingerprint and scratch magnet. Not ideal for a device that is going to be constantly handled and slipped in/out of laptop bags.
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OCZ DIY Closed OCZ DIY Reflective mmmmmm

As you may have already noticed, the front of the DIY features standard headphone and microphone jacks; useful for singing along to karaoke while on the road? However, the sides of the DIY is where most of the action takes place, and from the images below we can see that OCZ have equipped us with 3x USB Ports (2 left, 1 right), an RJ45 network connection, a HDMI connection, memory card reader and an Express card slot. The choice of a standard DVD-RW drive or Blu-ray drive is also available, with our model being fitted with the former.  

OCZ DIY Left Side OCZ DIY Right Side

Around at the rear we have an RJ11 modem jack for when you fancy going back to the days of making a cuppa in between loading webpages, a VGA connection for hooking the DIY up to an external display or projector and finally the DC-in socket for providing the DIY with its juice.

OCZ DIY 15" Rear OCZ DIY 15" Rear

As already mentioned in the specs over on page one, the DIY is fitted with a 15.4" WXGA screen that has a 1280x800 native resolution. The screen is yet another area of the notebook that is highly reflective and is one of those 'features' that has people split down the middle. While the deep black reflectiveness of the screen aids colour crispness and contrast along with being able to achieve blacker-blacks (washing powder advert anyone?), in daylight conditions you can expect a certain amount of glare.

Set just above the screen is a 2.0MP webcam. As you'd expect from such a small device, the picture quality isn't amazing (but still better than we expected) and the refresh rate makes things a tad laggy. However, for sitting in front of the notebook conferencing with other people the camera is more than adequate. Some sample snapshots taken from the camera can be seen here (1,2).

OCZ DIY 15" Open N))))))))))))B OCZ DIY 15" Webcam

Thankfully, the keyboard and touchpad area of the DIY has been constructed from a rugged matte black plastic that will maintain a much better appearance than the lid. The touchpad is slightly offset to the left, which will make usage slightly more comfortable for the right-handed community, and inset between the left and right mouse buttons is a fingerprint reader.

Concentrating on the fingerprint reader for just one second - I have to say that this device is GREAT. Maybe it's just the novelty of using one for the first time, but the software provided with the device integrates seamlessly with Windows, allowing users to login to the laptop with a swipe of a finger. Additionally, the software can also be used for entering passwords into many other Windows applications, and even for logging into websites.

OCZ DIY 15" Keyboard OCZ DIY 15" Keyboard

Above the keyboard is a total of eight hotkeys. These allow quick access to media functions such as play, pause, forward, back and volume. While these will undoubtedly prove useful for controlling any MP3's you may be playing in the background while gaming, I cant help but feel that some of these would have been much more useful as Wireless and Bluetooth on/off buttons rather than their current position as function keys on the keyboard.

OCZ DIY 15" Power / Function Buttons OCZ DIY 15" Trackpad

The construction as a whole is quite sturdy with little to no 'creaking' when holding the notebook from any of its corners. If we wanted to nitpick, the lid is slightly flexible and probably doesn't protect the screen as well as it could, but it's still better than a lot of notebooks we've used in the past. Overall, OCZ have done a great job with the build quality and features of the DIY from what we've seen so far. So now let's move on to the next page where we explore the Do-It-Yourself aspect of the notebook and attempt to put it together without breaking anything!
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Most Recent Comments

11-02-2009, 08:54:54

JN
"Not afraid to get your hands a little dirty and fancy building a notebook to suit your exact needs? The OCZ DIY 15" Gaming Notebook may have the answer."

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...071717831s.jpg

OCZ DIY Gaming Notebook 15"

11-02-2009, 09:18:43

AntiHeroUK
Great video Jim. Nice to see you wore some bling for it

The DIY 15" is a very smart looking unit, it's just a shame they didn't add some form of branding to brighten it's appearence up a bit like you said. A backlit logo would look rather snazzy in my opinion.

The one thing that stood out the most for me is the appalling battery life. Although when gaming at LANs you will have access to mains power when you need it, I would still expect 2 hours minimum for reasonably heavy usage this day in age.

It's good to see the addition of an HDMI out, fingerprint reader, bluetooth included in the price and not optional extras.

Whilst OCZ have made a good effort at bringing an affordable DIY notebook to the market, I personally feel it falls short, even if just a little. I hope they listen to criticism and take it on board as they may be on to a winner if they make a few changes here and there.

Good job on the review as a whole.

11-02-2009, 09:54:43

Rastalovich
The idea is nice.

The implementation is fair.

The price is... ok I guess.

I just feel a little short-changed in the amount of things u really can diy with such barebones-notebooks. I know it's not exactly a mobo and a case - and away u go.

Performs pretty well mind, components taken into account, and I'm glad to see some stats there I can compare against the cheap HP I pimped out.

The looks I think are down to the user to mold into their personal tastes. I see people putting stickers/labels over them - to that end a shiny surface is a good 'attacher' but when it comes to taking off the ATI logo, cos u felt embarassed or something, I wouldn't fancy watching jonny scraping at it with an implement.

Don't like the screen size. Very cheap 15" laptops will do x1024 - ok it's squarer, but the key is u've gone over 1080.

Didn't see any emphasis on dvi, although hdmi available, and would be interested in them showing docking options for these so u can be prouder @home with ur build.

Great stuff.

11-02-2009, 12:03:58

Kerotan
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
Don't like the screen size. Very cheap 15" laptops will do x1024 - ok it's squarer, but the key is u've gone over 1080.
If by this you mean support of 1080p video resolution, that's pointless- a 1280x1024 screen is not going to be displaying 1920x1080 anytime soon.

Far better in my opinion to stick with 1280*800 as they have done so that 720p is within easy reach without the screen having to interpolate the resolution horizontally- resulting in horrible scaling in some cases. It also means the 3650 isn't pushing as many pixels during gaming, which should improve performance.

I have to say that was one of the best reviews I've read in ages, as others have said the addition of the video was great, and I think OCZ are really moving into exciting tech, so respect to them for taking the initial plunge into the market.

11-02-2009, 12:06:56

Rastalovich
I meant 1050 tbh. Apart from HD considerations, I was thinking more of basic web viewing. For just the likes of games I'm not sure whether I'd prefer to go over 800 dots or not.

800 in height for fps might be ok.

11-02-2009, 12:17:29

VonBlade
I still think we need to hire a woman with bright-red nails to do the video

Great review of a, ahem, different product. It's certainly a strange one. The idea is sound, but the battery life is a killer.

11-02-2009, 14:21:49

JN
Cheers for the feedback guys - next time I'll wear red nail varnish just for you VB

11-02-2009, 15:06:20

VonBlade
Lmao. Somehow I don't think that's quite what I meant

I could be wrong

12-02-2009, 15:01:39

FarFarAway
Great review matey

13-02-2009, 07:48:04

Sleekit
Offft i've wanted to build a laptop for ages now, way back when scan.co.uk supplied barebone notebook cases. It would be amazing to build one but isn't it cheaper to buy a pre built one?

Nice video Jim, great choice of music, best song ever IMO :P

One, two, three, four let me hear you scream if you want some more like aaah push it, push it watch me work it, i'm perfect

13-02-2009, 08:06:56

JN
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Sleekit'

One, two, three, four let me hear you scream if you want some more like aaah push it, push it watch me work it, i'm perfect
Oh noes...its the cheesy radio version

16-02-2009, 03:32:08

Bungral
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Jim'
Oh noes...its the cheesy radio version
Yeah, that one does my head in.

Was in Ibiza when that tune was first about and it was played everywhere.. A couple of months later when back in the UK, it got released like that..... Mutilated.
Reply
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