After racing ahead on the desktop late last year with Radeon HD 5870 graphics card, ATI is finally starting to equip gaming laptops with its Mobility Radeon HD 5870 graphicswhich, like its desktop sibling, supports DirectX 11after it was announced in January at CES. First, Asus announced the G73Jh, and now Maingear has revamped its eX-L gaming laptop around the new graphics chip as well as the latest Intel mobile processors.
The eX-L is a 15.6-inch notebook, but still manages to pack a LED-backlit screen that can be configured with 1,920x1,080 resolution (as a $95 upgrade). For the base $1,599 price, it comes with a Core i5-520 dual-core CPU, though for another $400 you can go all the way up to a quad-core i7-820QM. You also get 4GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and a DVD burner, though all are upgradeable: you can double the RAM (for $320 more), add up to a 750GB hard drive ($76 extra) or choice of SSD drive, and choose a Blu-ray reader/DVD burner combo drive (an additional $145). Maingear outfitted the eX-L with a dual-heatpipe solution for the processor and graphics to try to keep things cool, though I'd be wary of having this sit on my lap for long gaming sessions.
Clearly, the new ATI graphics is the biggest draw here, being the first DX 11-compatible GPU and maybe the fastest one on the market. Is that enough to get you to buy a gaming laptop, or are you still holding out for some benchmark scores and reviews?