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Maingear’s New Pulse 14 aims to balance power, portability and price

It isn’t easy to find a worthwhile gaming laptop. Hardware-makers have to make serious compromises to make something that meets players’ mobile gaming and computing needs. This leads to a marketplace littered with products that aren’t quite up to snuff. Maingear will try to strike the right balance between portability and performance with its refreshed Pulse 14 laptop, which is equipped with one of Nvidia’s brand new GeForce GTX 800M-series GPUs.

The base model features an Intel Core i5-4300M processor, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 850M, 8GB of RAM and a 500 GB 7,200 rpm hard drive. The mid-range model beefs up to an Intel Core i7-4702MQ processor and a 500GB hard drive with 8GB of flash storage. Though the top-of-the-line Pulse 14 sports the same CPU as the mid-range version, it has double the RAM (16GB) and boasts more and significantly faster storage in the form of two 128GB mSATA SSDs in RAID 0 along with a 1 TB hard drive. Ports include two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, VGA, HDMI, and Ethernet. Each Maingear Pulse 14 has the same GeForce GTX 850M GPU under the lid.

Here’s a question we have about the new Maingear Pulse 14 right off the bat: why don’t you have the option to outfit it with a GPU that’s more powerful than the GeForce GTX 850M? That’s not a knock on that GPU, but considering this is supposed to be a gaming notebook, we’d think that the more powerful GPUs would be available with the Pulse 14 as well. On the other hand, as gaming notebooks go, the new Pulse 14 is pretty affordable, and stuffing the 850M into it as opposed to the other new Nvidia GPUs that are higher up on the totem pole help Maingear make that possible.

The low end goes for $1,199, the mid-range costs $1,399 and the high end carries an asking price of $1,699.

The new Maingear Pulse 14 should be available starting today. You can pick one up on the official Maingear website.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

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