Gaming laptops have to be big, right? They need to contain high-end components to even qualify as gaming devices, and those add bulk and weight.
Or if they’re slim and lightweight they’re expensive, like a Razer Blade or Gigabyte Aero. Even Dell are getting in on the act with the gorgeous XPS 15, now powered by a GTX 1050 Ti.
There are cheaper ways to do it, of course. The newly-announced Xiaomi Mi Gaming – essentially a MacBook clone with a GTX 1060 inside – is a bargain, but you need to import one from its native China, which is a pain.
And then there are custom system-builders: you can definitely get a lightweight gaming laptop for less money, particularly if you adjust the spec or can recycle parts. But (with the possible exception of the Defiance XS, which we reviewed recently) custom shop laptops usually look like they hit every branch on their way down the ugly (and very juvenile) tree.
Well, the newly-announced Recoil II, from PC Specialist, is definitely a looker.
It’s got the tiny bezels that are beloved by laptop manufacturers at the moment, for one thing. From the Dell XPS, to the HP Spectre, to Apple’s laptops, nobody wants to see big ugly bezels, and the Recoil II definitely delivers on that front. Even better, it still features the webcam above the screen; if you’ve ever tried to use a “bezel-free” laptop, the kind that typically feature the webcam below the screen, you’ll know the misery of nostril-vision on Skype calls.
Other than that, the Recoil II is a solid spec gaming laptop, bolstered by the latest 8th-gen Intel processors:
- CPU – Intel Core i7 Six Core Processor i7-8750H (2.6GHz, 4.3GHz Turbo)
- GPU – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti (4GB) / 1060 (6GB)
- MEMORY – Up to 32GB 2400MHz
- DISPLAY – 15.6” FHD, 16:9, 45% Gamut
- AUDIO – Sound Blaster Cinema 3 – 2x 2W Speakers
- WEBCAM – HD Webcam w/ Built in Microphone
- BATTERY – Li-Polymer Battery (Up to 4 hours)
- SIZE – 359mm x 236mm x 19mm
- WEIGHT – ~2kg
- CONNECTIVITY – 2x USB 3.1; 1x USB 2.0; 1x USB Type-C; 1x HDMI Port; 2x Mini Display Ports; 1x 2-in-1 Card Reader; 1x RJ45 Port; 1x Headphone Port; 1x Microphone Port; 1x Kensington Lock; 1x DC-in
But the most interesting thing about the Recoil II is its form. Not only is it thin and light – it crams an identical 15.6″ screen into a chassis 20mm less wide than the already svelte Defiance XS – but it looks stunning.
The configurator tool for the Recoil II isn’t live on the PC Specialist site at the time of writing, but it will be available soon. The laptops themselves are expected to land towards the end of April, and should be available to ship to customers sometime in May.
Keep your eyes peeled for updates on their availability, and another of our in-depth reviews.
More from Thumbsticks
- Acer upgrades Nitro 5 with 8th-gen Intel CPUs
- PC Specialist Defiance XS review
- Are the new AMD Ryzen APUs video game console killers?