The perfect blend of a gaming laptop and an ultrabook for me
Sometimes you try to do things the simplest way possible with the most stock, mainstream options possible, and it all blows up in your face anyway. In those cases, the sound of hitting rock bottom sounds like an automated answering service for tech support. You know how it goes. Long, repetitive, ineffective... Best case scenario you find your answer online while waiting on hold. Other times, you go way off the rails expecting the worst but it turns into a wonderful journey. This was my experience. I wanted a laptop that was between a gaming laptop and an ultrabook. I settled on 17", i7 8750, GTX 1060, 16 GB (16 x 1) 2666 RAM, 500 GB NVMe, 1 TB SSHD for my preferred specs. Checked a bunch of brands I was more familiar with but they either a) landed over price point or b) had cheap build quality. I looked into some more custom-built type sites and actually found a few that were closer to price point. But of those, the MECH-17 stood out for a) mechanical keyboard and b) aesthetically pleasing. It has the power of a gaming laptop but the looks of a sleek ultrabook. I can use this at the office and look like an adult. I'm used to building my own machines. Since I couldn't tell what parts would be used from the product page, I decided to order my own parts and build it from scratch. I already had Windows licensing taken care of and didn't need license so I mentioned it on the order page as I ordered a machine with no parts. I figured it'd be a case of "Nope, you gonna pay. Corporate says so. We're gonna get our margins." I also asked them to leave the badges off to save me time later. They actually called me about it. A tech from Delaware called and talked to me about building it from barebones. He pointed out some things to be mindful of. He spoke to me like I wasn't technically illiterate. It was so refreshing. What they say on their About Us page is true. Everything about the process has been a joy. + I read the native English manual. It said to call before upgrading components. I did and they explained the safe way to open the case. + Anytime I've emailed their Support, they've responded promptly. Anytime I've called, a human answered the phone and got me to a knowledgeable technician within 60 seconds and that technician was able to answer my question. The only times I needed to call were my fault due to haste. + The screen's maximum brightness is really bright. Other brands I looked at had reviews mentioning dim screens. + The mechanical keyboard is my first and it is wonderful. I'd say that it's worth it, but that makes it sound like you have to pay extra for it. This netted out cheaper than comparable models regardless of building it through them or doing it myself, plus is included the mechanical keyboard. Honestly, it didn't feel like a good choice, it felt like the right choice. I've had Asus ROG laptops in the past and their keyboards were sad without anything to compare them to. Now they seem terrible. Using this keyboard is like feeling full for the first time. I like it better than my Logitech keyboard on my desktop. + I was worried that unplugged, the battery would die so quick that it'd be unusable for any real activity. If you turn the lights off the keyboard and dim the screen, I'm getting about 3-4 hours. Plenty of time to watch a movie. Or two. I bet it would be even better if I used Miracast to show it on TV and turned off the laptop screen completely. + The power adapter is as thin as the laptop. It's the size of my hand, but it fits in my bag much better thanks to its thinness. + During normal use, it does not run hot at all. + Don't have much experience playing games on it yet, plugged in or on battery. Other reports put it even or ahead of other laptops running a GTX 1060. If you're aiming for a GTX 1070, you're at a higher price point. In conclusion, this was my best option, and it is wonderful. P.S. If you pursue building yours from barebones, here are a few things to keep in mind. + The touchpad is a unique device, not a standard HID mouse. It won't work until you install the drivers. It only has drivers for Windows. Linux? Good luck, let them know how it turns out for you. They care. + The Serial IO driver is for the mouse. + The Gaming Center takes care of your keyboard lighting and some other things. Run Windows Update until you're at build 1803 before installing. I don't know what happens if you install it before then, but I waited for updates to finish and everything worked fine. + Planning on using only GTX 1060 for graphics? Install the Intel VGA drivers anyway. From a clean Windows 10 Pro 64-bit install, it will fix a) missing display audio driver b) inability to adjust screen brightness c) missing Miracast/Wi-Di support. + Yes, run the installers for both Realtek Audio and Sound Blaster.