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Digital Storm Krypton: A kick-ass gaming laptop at a great price

W. Bryan Hastings | July 2, 2014
Digital Storm's 17-inch gaming portable is big, heavy, and no-frills; but it’ll rock your virtual worlds at a great price.

Too bad the Krypton isn't as well suited to the road. I've long wanted a gaming portable I can tool around with, satisfying my addiction even when work drags me off to a faraway city. But the two-inch-thick Krypton and its power brick will put a beastly 11 pounds on your back (shoulder, if you rock a messenger bag).

For all that weight, you'd think this laptop would have a stronger lid. It's actually rather flimsy. Dump an open Krypton on the floor, and it will likely be lights-out for the display. I had the same complaint about Origin's machine, of course (since they share the same source platform). 

The trackpad can be clingy, sometimes catching files and icons I didn't want to move. I also had to occasionally hunt down AWOL cursors due to the trackpad's merely fair palm rejection. But I like the near-full-sized backlit keyboard. It's comfortable to type on. The keys provide good tactile feedback and are nicely separated from each other to minimize typos. 

Well connected 

The Krypton's screen and speakers do as much justice to the gameplay as those on any reasonably priced gaming portable I've seen. You won't confuse this 17.3-inch TN display with a vivid IPS model--its colors look a little washed-out--but it's unusually sharp when viewed straight-on (and you wouldn't game any other way).

Onboard audio is a quantum leap better and richer than on non-gaming laptops. Digital Storm includes Onkyo speakers in the raised speaker bar that stretches most of the width of the laptop below the screen. That, plus the pair of midrange drivers, the one-inch subwoofer mounted on the bottom of the laptop, and the SoundBlaster X-Fi MB3 software, combine to deliver rich, engrossing audio.

The Krypton delivers just about every connector and slot you'd want in a laptop that might serve double-duty as a mobile workstation. Video ports are on its rear panel: HDMI, DisplayPort, and mini DP (but no VGA). On the sides you'll find two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, and one USB 2.0/e-SATA combo port. There's a multi-format memory-card slot; and 1/8-inch jacks for headphone, mic, speakers, plus S/PDIF for connecting to an outboard DAC (digital-to-audio converter) or a surround-sound setup. That's all great, but the FireWire port could go the way of the Dodo for all we care. The digital audio and video world is moving to Thunderbolt (an I/O port this machine lacks).

Network connectivity is top-notch, with gigabit ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0, and a 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter. Finally, you get an onboard fingerprint scanner tucked between the trackpad keys, and a Blu-Ray player/DVD burner on the right side. As with Origin's machine--remember, they share the same infrastructure--you'll find removable panels on the bottom of the Krypton that provide quick access to the battery, hard drive and SSD, optical drive, and memory.


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