The Genesis 7970 isn’t the most attractive laptop we’ve ever set eyes on. However, it performs well and is one of the more reasonably priced gaming rigs available. See Group test: what's the best high-end laptop?

That cheap and cheerful design doesn’t make a great first impression, as it both looks and feels plasticky. The keyboard rattles as you type, and the trackpad and mouse buttons are smaller than we’d have liked – not helped by the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner between the two buttons. You may want to plug in a decent gaming mouse at the first opportunity. Take a look at Dell Alienware M11x review.

The Windows key is also over on the right-hand side of the keyboard, which some gamers prefer as it prevents them accidentally hitting the key whilst playing. However, we’ve never found that a problem during our years of gaming, and omitting the key on the left just irritated us.

But, to be fair, the Genesis is fairly solidly built and weighs about 3.3kg so you could just about carry it around in a backpack if required. Battery life is also above average for this group, giving us a full 3 hours of wireless video streaming even when using the power-hungry Radeon 7970M graphics.

The Genesis also ran cool and quite during our tests, so we had no worries about the Intel Core i7 overheating. We appreciated the ability to switch graphics on the fly.

The 15.6in screen provides a bright and clear image with 1920 x 1080 resolution – marred only by the glossy and reflective screen coating. The speakers aren’t terribly impressive, though, sounding rather thin and weedy even after experimenting with the included audio software.

But if its exterior is rather unimpressive, Chillblast has done a better job with the components nestling inside the Genesis. The 2.7GHz Core i7 provides plenty of raw horsepower, backed up by AMD Radeon 7970M graphics as well as the integrated Intel HD 4000. The Genesis also includes 8GB of memory and a 750GB Seagate Momentus XT – a hybrid drive that combines a conventional hard disk with a small, 8GB solid-state module.

The Genesis took second place behind the Alienware M17x in most of our tests, achieving a strong 45fps when running Batman: Arkham City at 1920 x 1080 and High detail, and reaching 59fps when we dropped the resolution to 1280 x 720.

Admittedly, that HDD/SDD combination doesn’t provide quite the same performance boost as the larger SSD included with the Alienware M17x, but the Genesis still produced a good set of gaming results at a competitive price.

Chillblast Genesis 7970 review: Specs

  • Processor: 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-3470QM, quad-core (3.7GHz Turbo)
  • Graphics: Radeon HD 7970M, 2GB/Intel HD 4000
  • Display size and type: 15.6" (1920x1080) glossy LCD
  • Operating system: Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Storage: 750GB hybrid: HDD/SSD
  • Memory: 8GB DDR3 1600MHz
  • Ethernet: Gigabit
  • Optical drive: Blu-ray/ DVD±RW combo
  • Video out: HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n (Intel 2230)
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0
  • Webcam: 720p
  • Speakers: Onkyo stereo speakers
  • Audio in: Built-in microphone, 3.5mm line in
  • Audio out: Headphone, SP/DIF
  • USB: 1x USB 2.0, 3x USB 3.0
  • eSATA: 1
  • FireWire: 1
  • Thunderbolt: N/A
  • Other ports: Kensington Security Slot
  • Card slot: 9-in-1
  • Trackpad: 86x46mm, two-button
  • Other software: N/A
  • Power adaptor: 180W mains adaptor
  • Battery: 76.9Wh, Lithium-ion, removable
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 376x256x43mm
  • Weight: 3.3Kg
  • Warranty: 2yr
  • Processor: 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-3470QM, quad-core (3.7GHz Turbo)
  • Graphics: Radeon HD 7970M, 2GB/Intel HD 4000
  • Display size and type: 15.6" (1920x1080) glossy LCD
  • Operating system: Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Storage: 750GB hybrid: HDD/SSD
  • Memory: 8GB DDR3 1600MHz
  • Ethernet: Gigabit
  • Optical drive: Blu-ray/ DVD±RW combo
  • Video out: HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n (Intel 2230)
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.0
  • Webcam: 720p
  • Speakers: Onkyo stereo speakers
  • Audio in: Built-in microphone, 3.5mm line in
  • Audio out: Headphone, SP/DIF
  • USB: 1x USB 2.0, 3x USB 3.0
  • eSATA: 1
  • FireWire: 1
  • Thunderbolt: N/A
  • Other ports: Kensington Security Slot
  • Card slot: 9-in-1
  • Trackpad: 86x46mm, two-button
  • Other software: N/A
  • Power adaptor: 180W mains adaptor
  • Battery: 76.9Wh, Lithium-ion, removable
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 376x256x43mm
  • Weight: 3.3Kg
  • Warranty: 2yr

OUR VERDICT

It’s a shame that Chillblast has opted for such a mediocre chassis, as it really takes the edge off what is otherwise an attractive gaming proposition.

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