Metabox W230SS

Crazy resolution at an insane price.

One of the disturbing trends we noticed at this year’s Computex were gaming laptops packing 4K displays, backed up by GPUs that would have a heart attack if they were told to drive such a high resolution screen. When we asked why on Earth companies connect such demanding displays with GPUS that didn’t have a hope in hell of powering them, we were met with a lot of blank faces and back peddling. Unfortunately Metabox seems to have made the same mistake with this beautifully crafted, but woefully overpriced, gaming laptop.

We should point out that the base model of this laptop starts at just $1359; however, we were sent the fully specced version, which sells for a whopping $3789, so that’s what we’re reviewing. It’s a very small gaming laptop, thanks largely to the 13.3 inch screen. This relative postage stamp of a display packs the crazy resolution of 3200 x 1800, and then expects NVIDIA’s mid-range GTX 860M to be able to power it. To be frank, duel desktop GTX 780 Tis would struggle to deliver a consistent 60fps on a screen of this resolution, so the decision to use this panel on a gaming laptop makes little sense. Admittedly it’s a gorgeous display, but we can’t help but feel it’s a waste when used here.
It’s a shame, as the laptop is beautifully crafted by the Australian manufacturer. The chassis might be plastic, but it’s got a gorgeous carbon fibre finish to it that looks like it came off the Lamborghini factory floor.

It’s generously stocked with four USB ports (three of the 3.0 variety), as well as Killer Ethernet, HDMI and DVI out.

The backlit keyboard feels rock steady, and even the touch pad is perfectly accurate.

Heading inside we see the extremely powerful i7-4790MQ CPU, a quad-cored HyperThreaded beast that screams by at 3.9GHz. Twin Samsung 840 EVO drives combine into one uber SATA drive, along with another huge 1TB Samsung EVO SSD. That single drive alone is worth $600, hence the high price.

We just wish that money was spent on a better GPU instead, as the GTX 860M isn’t a huge step up from the 850M in the budget Gigabyte product.

Metabox has crammed a lot of very expensive, high-end hardware into this 13 incher, but the use of a mid-range 860M then spoils it all. We simply can’t justify spending this much on a gaming laptop when the performance is in the middle of the pack.
•Powerful CPU
• Beautiful case design
•So much SSD storage
•Mid-range GPU holds it back
• Too many pixels
• Overpriced

VERDICT

If only this 13 incher could accommodate a GTX 880M, it’d be perfectly priced. But it can’t, so it’s not.

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