Kobalt Comanche SLI review

A powerful gaming spec sets this premium laptop apart

The 17-inch Super-TFT display is impressive, offering pin-sharp images and vibrant colours

TechRadar Verdict

The most feature-packed laptop we’ve seen to date, but a bit pricey


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    Great for gaming

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    Bright screen

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    Good feature set


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    Too expensive

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    Bulky chassis

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Kobalt makes gaming laptops, using a generic chassis crammed with the latest technology.

The most impressive laptop in the company’s line-up is the Comanche SLI (£3080 inc. VAT). Setting it apart from the others, there’s a desktop processor at its heart.

Powerful laptop

The Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 chip features four cores, which help it to run multiple applications with no sign of lag, and goes a little way to justifying the price tag.

As much as 4096MB of memory further helps to speed up the system, with a 64-bit version of Windows Vista Home Premium taking full advantage.

There’s loads of storage space in the form of two 250GB hard drives and a third 220GB disk.

One drawback of such a high specification is cooling and, with such a bulky chassis, the Kobalt has plenty of space for air vents. With a host of fans also in place, the Kobalt remained impressively cool to the touch.

Vibrant gaming

The 17-inch Super-TFT display is impressive, offering pin-sharp images and vibrant colours.

With a large bezel above and below the screen, the Kobalt’s panel appears a lot more upright than the 16:9 aspect ratio found on some rivals, but movies still looked great.

The Comanche offers great gaming performance, thanks to the use of two nVidia GeForce 8800M GTX graphics cards. You’ll be able to play the latest games in full detail, and if 3D capabilities are important to you then this machine is easily the most capable.

Blu-ray drive

A Blu-ray optical drive is included, and high-definition films looked stunning.

Unfortunately, video connections are limited to S-Video and DVI-out, and the lack of an HDMI port means those wanting to hook-up a TV will have to be content watching movies in standard definition.

Generic chassis

The Comanche SLI uses a generic chassis, which we’ve seen several times before in other gaming machines. The boxy design puts function firmly ahead of form, and those seeking a stylish laptop should look elsewhere.

There is plenty of space for the user interface, however, and the large keyboard and numeric keypad are comfortable.

The big chassis allows plenty of space for features – including Bluetooth and an 802.11n Wi-Fi adapter, to a 7-in-1 media card reader and an integrated webcam.

Out of reach

If technology, features and speed are important to you, then this machine is a compelling choice, offering everything you’re likely to need in a desktop replacement.

It’s let down by the boxy design, however, and the outrageous price tag puts it out of reach for all but the most demanding of users.

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