The Bottom Line
Mar 5 2014 - For those looking at a high performance gaming laptop, Digital Storm is a big name and its Krypton laptop can deliver on the performance front just fine, especially if you are willing to pay for the upgrades. It even offers a good amount of style with its lighting options. The system is flawed though by a less than stellar display that does not stand up well against other 17-inch gaming laptops and below average battery life in a category known for short running times.
- Solid Gaming Performance
- Wide Range of Customization Options
- Lots of Peripheral Ports
- Display Is Not As Bright Or Colorful as Competition
- Customization Makes Price Climb Quickly
- Below Average Battery Life
- Intel Core i7-4700MQ Quad Core Mobile Processor
- 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
- 750GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
- Dual-Layer DVD Burner
- 17.3" WUXGA (1920x1080) Display With 2.0 Megapixel Webcam
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M 3GB GDDR5 Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Three USB 2.0, One uSB 2.0, eSATA (shared), FireWire 400, Displayport, HDMI, 9-in-1 Card Reader
- 16.5 x 11.5" x 1.95" @ 8.7 lbs.
- Windows 8
Review - Digital Storm Krypton (Good - Level 1)
Mar 5 2014 - The Digital Storm Kyrpton laptop is based upon the Clevo P370SM white box chassis that is then customized per the ordered configuration. This means that it shares many of the same basic features as other system integrator offerings such as the Origin PC EON17-S that uses the same base chassis. The design is not as large as some other 17-inch gaming systems in the past but it is still quite sizable at just under two inches thick and weighing between eight and half and nine pounds depending upon the configuration. To make it a bit more premium feeling, the laptop does offer some customizable lighting behind the keyboard and trackpad which has and etched in design logo similar to what Alienware has offered for some time.
Powering the base Good or Level-1 system is the Intel Core i7-4700MQ quad core processor. While there are other faster processors available, this one still provides solid performance for those looking at doing high performance computing including digital video work and playing PC games. It is always possible to upgrade the processor but the cost compared to the performance is probably not going to be worth the cost for many. The processor is matched up with 8GB of DDR3 memory that allows for a very smooth experience with Windows.
Now Digital Storm offers a wide variety of configurations when it comes to the storage as the system does feature two 2.5-inch laptop drive slots and two mSATA slots for solid state drives. The base configuration comes with a traditional 750GB hard drive that spins at 7200rpm. The only downside here is that the lack of even a small solid state drive means that the performance feels slowed compared to those equipped with an SSD. This is particular evident when booting up the system or loading games. Uses might want to look into one of the SSD options to try and boost the performance. If you need to add some high speed external storage, this system has plenty of options. In addition to the three USB 3.0 ports, there is also an eSATA port that is shared with one of the USB ports and a FireWire 400 port. Overall, it should have no problems adding to the storage. There is a dual layer DVD burner for playback and recording of CD or DVD media but there is no including software.
Now the Krypton is designed for gaming and the display panel puts a heavy emphasis on response times. Sadly, this means that the color, contrast and brightness are not up the standards of many other laptops. Even the viewing angles were quite narrow. At least the graphics are a bit above par thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M graphics. This provides it with a good amount of performance such that most games will run at the full native resolution without a problem while a few demanding games will require the graphics levels be turned down. If you do want higher performance, the Level 3 option does come with the GeForce GTX 780M but it does add significant cost.
Rather than the isolated keyboard layouts found on many system, the Krypton uses a more traditional design. There is decent space between the keys and it does feature a full numeric keypad. It offers a decent level of comfort and has very springy keys which many games prefer. As mentioned before, there is custom backlighting for the keyboard. The trackpad is a nice large size and offers solid feeling dedicated buttons. Between the two buttons is also a fingerprint reader. It handled multitouch gestures just fine.
The standard battery pack used by the Digital Storm Kyrpton is an 89.2WHr capacity which is a fairly typical size for 17-inch gaming laptops. In digital video playback testing, this lasted roughly three hours before the system shut down. This puts it slightly behind many of the other gaming laptops but this is a problem with all of these systems that require a large amount of power. More demanding tasks like PC gaming will result in running times of less than two hours so you will want to be close to a power outlet. If running time is a primary concern, then a system like Dell's Inspiron 17 7000 will provide over twice the running time but it sacrifices a lot of performance to achieve this.
Pricing for the Digital Storm Krypton is just over $1700. This puts it much higher than some of the other gaming laptops with similar features. Its most direct competitor is of course the similarly equipped Origin PC EON-17S with a slightly high price tag. Other competitors would be the ASUS ROG G750JW and the CyberpowerPC Fangbook EVO HX7 both of which cost around $1300. The ASUS drops a bit of 3D performance from using a GeForce GTX 765M graphics processor but it does run significantly cooler under loads. The CyberPowerPC offers a similar level of performance but it is certainly quite heavy and large even compared to the Krypton. It also does not have as nice of a keyboard. Now if you are looking for something with a similar level of lighting customization, then the Alienware 17 priced around $1500 is another option. It has slightly lower performance and features a lower resolution display at its base price but offers a similar high level of build quality.