Unbeatable Value - and I tried hard to beat it!
First the TL;DR version: after a ridiculous amount of research before buying and a lot of testing since I received it, I can firmly state that this is far and away the best combination of power, features, service, and price to be had from ANY laptop manufacturer out there. Disclaimer: some of what I will review below will be Eluktronics itself, and not just this particular laptop model. Viewer warning: wall of text, incoming. In the interests of appearing unbiased (from the moment I got this laptop I admit I attained a strong bias in favor of Eluktronics) I will start with the cons: 1. Eluktronics tends to charge a little more than the best of the reputable online vendors, e.g. Newegg, for those models that are available from those vendors. Not more than similar products, just more for their own products than those vendors charge for the same Eluktronics model, i.e. discount vendors undercut them a little on their own stuff, a very common practice. This price difference, however, is smaller than usual and to my thinking is more than made up for by eliminating the middleman as a potential complicating factor for all service related purposes. Just my opinion, but when the cost is close, it is better to deal directly with the manufacturer. That said, this particular model was not available from any other vendors, so for this particular purchase it was a moot point. 2. This laptop is a bit on the heavy side, as one might expect considering all the stuff jammed into it. 3. Gets uncomfortably warm under any use heavier than just browsing the web or checking email. Between this and point 2 above, this laptop is not well suited for lap use. That said, the heat is only uncomfortable for the user, not for the components - temps have yet to climb anywhere near a point that is worth being concerned about. And for a high performance gaming rig, laptop use was probably not intended to be common in the first place. 4. Windows 10. I know it is unfair to mention, and I take no points away because of it, but I loathe Windows 10. I know that manufacturers have no choice, however, because it is the only version Microsoft will sell licenses for that is suitable for laptops. I made a mistake and selected the Home version. I rather wish I had spent the extra few dollars for the Pro version, as it would have given me marginally more control over the update process. Other than that, a few relatively easy steps to delete Cortana and Edge, plus the installation of a third party start menu replacer, and Windows 10 was mostly, if not completely, de-suckified. That's about it for cons. I didn't feel it fair to take away any points for any of them as they were all either outside the manufacturer's control or were just normal conditions for this kind of heavy-duty desktop-replacing laptop. But other buyers may need to know when deciding on a model, so I felt I had to include them anyway. Now for the pros: 1. Ridiculous power and speed for a laptop. The combination of the desktop version of the I-7 processor, the high speed DDR4 ram, the high speed GTX1060 graphics, and the NVMe PCIE M.2 drive as primary boot device all add up to unbeatable performance. I only found two other manufacturers that made laptop models that could match this combination of performance options, but the cheaper of the two cost much more than this one. (Eluktronics, pretend you guys didn't see that! You are NOT underpricing yourselves! Seriously!!) Even the peripheral port options are all high speed. And to reiterate for those not in the know: the difference between the laptop version of the i7 processor and the desktop version, which this laptop uses, is HUGE. For purely eye-candy gaming like shooters, not a big deal. But for heavy number crunching apps and for processor intensive gaming, e.g. grand strategy games and the like, the performance improvement over a laptop processor version is impressive. 2. Some will call this a con, but I call it a plus that they chose to offer the GTX1060 as a choice here. Honestly the 1080 is too much power for a laptop, unless you intend to hook it up to a 32+" monitor and run at 4k resolution - in which case you should probably have just bought a desktop and had done with it. For 1080p gaming (1920x1080 resolution) the 1060 is more than enough graphics card to run anything out there at maxed out settings with very high frame rates. 3. A G-Sync display? In a laptop?! At 75 Hz instead of 60?!? This is sweetness and an excellent design decision for a gaming rig. Some might wish for 120Hz, but that is overkill honestly. Your eyes and brain cannot even register frames at that rate, so it's just for showing off. 4. Construction - this puppy is not only built very solidly, with good, strong and fairly stiff hinges (very underestimated feature, that) but it is built smart. For example, to add or change out a drive, you only need to remove two screws and slide one panel in order to expose both drive bays. To reach the extra M.2 port, its a few screws and sliding a different panel, but you don't need to remove any other panels to do it, so you are only exposing the bits you want to modify. Less trouble for the user and less risk of damage to other bits you aren't even messing with anyway. 5. External design - this is loosely related to construction but more about how things are laid out externally rather than internally. The USB ports are well placed, with the four USB 3.0 ports split two to a side. Power button centered and placed well above the keys, so easy to find in a dark room but hard to hit by accident. SD card reader up front on the left for easy access but without risk of being in the way. Keys well laid out in standard 108 pattern but not so closely packed as to be uncomfortable for a fat-fingered oaf like me. 6. Fingerprint reader is high quality and high fidelity. The only times I don't get an instant validation are when I'm not paying attention to what I'm doing and mess it up by missing the sensor and only getting one edge of my finger on it. 7. Cosmetically very nice. Matte black finish doesn't show fingerprints, looks very professional, while disguising the fact that this thing is tailor made for a gaming junkie. 8. Sound is very high quality for a laptop, with very good port output for headphone users. Some may complain of buzzing noises, similar to a blown speaker. I experienced this the first time I challenged the audio capabilities with some Berlioz, Linkin Park, and Pink Floyd. As it turned out, however, this was a result of the subwoofer, which seems to act more like a tactile transducer, causing other items sitting on the desk to vibrate. Once I cleared away extraneous junk like pens, paperclip holder, etc., the sound was clear, clean and pretty impressive for a laptop. Still, it is a laptop. Don't expect studio quality sound unless you plug it into a studio quality amp hooked to studio quality speakers....but then prepare for your inner audiophile to totally bliss out. 9. Killer A/C Wifi - very solid performer. No disconnects or slowdowns like my previous two laptops were prone to. I had been resigned to using an external wifi adapter for the rest of my life due to all the poor performing internal wifi experiences I had with previous laptops. No longer. 10. Service - oh my dear and most fluffy God on high! I called in the day after I got the laptop because the documentation had a warning that opening the case to install extras (I added a 500GB SSD and a 1TB HDD extracted from my previous 2 laptops) might void the warranty if one didn't call support first. So I called. Three rings and I get a human answering. Wow #1. This human, Brian, manages to be both casual and professional at the same time, with it being painlessly obvious he has no need for (or probably access to) any kind of scripts to tell him what to say. Wow #2. After asking how he can help me, I tell him I need a little technical info and a wee bit of tech support. Response, "Sure, I can help you with whatever you need.". And he could...and did. Wows #3 & 4. He quickly and skillfully sensed my level of expertise, didn't waste my time with basics he could tell I already knew, and just got right to the meat of what I wanted to know. What would, with any other manufacturer, have been an hour of pulling teeth (or 15 minutes on hold followed by me hanging up) was reduced to about a 7-minute, personable but professional conversation with every question answered quickly, correctly, and without having to put me on hold to look up even a couple of more esoteric questions I tossed at him just to challenge his knowledge. These. Guys. ROCK! Final thoughts: I have been blown away by Eluktronics at every stage of this process. First it was when I almost discounted them out of hand because of their name and them being totally unknown to me, unlike say Asus, MSI, Lenovo, etc. But the specs they were offering at various price points made me look a bit closer. And the more I looked, the more I wondered how I had never heard of them before. Every review I saw was glowing. The price points for their products were competitive at worst, but more often just plain impressive. Then I got down to cases, looking deeply for hidden traps, looking far and wide for the other great deals they must have been trying to compete with. Nothing to find. They were just offering great quality, high performance, and at reasonable prices, while everyone else was charging as much as the as they thought the market would bear. So I decided to roll the dice, since the risk seemed very low and the potential reward high. I ordered. Then I got the thing, saw for myself how high the quality really is, how impressive the performance, and I sighed with relief that gambling on a relative newcomer didn't bite me in the butt. Then I called for support....and actually got, solid, quality, expert support at a level I haven't seen since I was in the support industry myself back in the early 90s. I am just blown away on all levels. If Eluktronics keeps this up, keeps offering such good value and great support, I will never again recommend anyone but them, nor I will buy from any other manufacturer. You have found a formula for strong brand loyalty here, so keep it up, Eluktronics!