Kobalt computers Mojave XI review

Crysis on the move, but at what cost? Well, a little over two large…

TechRadar Verdict

Beautifully specced , but exactly how much does your bank account care for mere aesthetics?


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    Excellent spec

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    Gorgeous looks

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    Very steep price

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    We'd expect better gaming performance

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The gaming laptop is a tricky beast to review - as a value proposition they are not considered a bargain, but as a display of the latest mobile gaming tech they can undoubtedly be mighty impressive.

The Mojave XI from Kobalt then is a beautiful display of how powerful a notebook can be... for a not inconsiderable price.

The bold and the beautiful laptop

This beauty is in no small part because of the great-looking custom paint job provided by Kobalt Computers out-sourced arty types.

The specification is also rather easy on the eye, with the latest 8800-based mobile GPU from NVIDIA, 4GB DDR2 memory and one of the fastest mobile Penryn CPUs currently out there.

All this adds up to some excellent benchmarks. A laptop clocking in at over 9,000 points in 3DMark06 is not necessarily a new phenomenon, but one that maintains playable speeds in the DX10 version of Crysis is something we haven't seen.

Strong gaming performance

Still, it doesn't seem able to output resource-hogs World in Conflict and Crysis at the panel's native resolution of 1,920x1,200 comfortably.

WiC struggles at getting the framerate into double figures, and Crysis just flat refuses to get more than halfway through the bench at that res before the GPU falls over. Slip down a gear or two in the resolution department and things soon pick up, though.

But is that enough? When you're forking out over two grand on a machine - and I don't care how portable it is - you want it to fly with all the latest games and give you a shot at smooth framerates for a while.

Nobody expects future-proofing in this industry, but a modicum of future-resistance would be nice. But, like I said, gaming laptops are tricky, much like their ultra-expensive £5,000 desktop siblings.

Justifiable price?

Realistically, this iteration of the Mojave is the PC's equivalent of a show home; it might be fun to take a look around, but you know that deep down, you wouldn't bother to spring for that mahogany kitchen worktop.

If you knock off the admittedly gorgeous finishing work of the spray job, you're looking at closer to the two-grand mark. Sacrifice RAM and the 45nm CPU, and you can still pick up an 8800M GTX-powered Kobalt laptop for around £1,600.

That's still a massive amount of money, but if you're after a gaming desktop replacement, and you've got money to burn, then it will still give you decent gaming performance.

The only problem on the horizon is that it's the kind of decent gaming performance you can get from a £500 desktop rig with a screen. Just think what you could do with that extra £1,100 - you've got to really, really want a gaming laptop to pay out that extra money.

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