Most gaming notebooks are hulking great beasts with 15 or 17in display screens, back breaking weight, and a cost well over the £1,000 mark. The Genesis Mini from Chillblast takes an absolutely different technique, trying to provide best gaming performance in a cost-effective and portable 11.6 inch laptop.
The Genesis Mini is no Ultrabook. The humble black chassis does not consist of a DVD drive, but it still measures a large 37mm and weighs in at 1.8kg.
The 11.6in display screen packs 1366×768 pixels into a widescreen format. It is small, but bright and clear, with excellent viewing perspectives and a non reflective coating. The Genesis Mini also consists of HDMI and VGA ports, enabling you to hook it up to a bigger screen or monitor.
Regardless of the laptop’s size the keyboard is properly large that our fingers could carry on during action packed gaming sessions. Keys have lots of travel, too. But at 85x42mm, we observed the trackpad small and fiddly. Gamers will almost definitely plug in a mouse, but the trackpad continues to be an irritation for non gaming use.
Chillblast offers many build to order options on its web page. The basic Genesis Mini assessed here costs £699 with your selection of Windows 7 or 8, a dual core Intel Core i5 processor operating at 2.6GHz, 8GB of memory, and a 1TB hybrid Seagate Momentus XT HDD/SSD drive. That fast hybrid drive assisted the Genesis Mini to obtain a very solid score of 4,557 points in PCMark 7.
Gaming is the actual test for the Genesis Mini, and the addition of both Intel built-in graphics and an individual Nvidia GeForce GT 650M GPU guarantees good performance at this price – although it cannot match the raw horsepower of most more costly gaming laptops. Do note that you will not have the ability to upgrade this graphics chip.
Running Batman: Arkham City at the laptop’s own display screen resolution and High details we recorded just 23fps, which is hardly playable. When we decreased the graphics settings we saw 43fps.
Older games, like Stalker: Call Of Pripyat zoomed together, hitting 86fps even with Great detail.
We also attached the Genesis Mini to a TV to see how it would manage at full-HD (1920×1080) resolution. Batman ran at 15fps with High detail, and 34fps with Low detail. Stalker ran at a wholesome 55fps even on the High setting.
You will get only 90 minutes from the battery power when playing games with the GeForce graphics, but you can change to the Intel HD 4000 built-in graphics when performing less challenging tasks.
We recorded 4 hours 45 minutes when streaming iPlayer video over Wi-Fi, and you will get longer still if you are using the laptop only for schedule tasks such as web surfing.
The fan create a low hum throughout our games tests, but it was never loud enough to be intrusive.
The loudspeakers sound slightly tinny, but can generate decent volume.
It is not the all out guns blazing gaming system that Chillblast claims, but the Genesis Mini offers decent gaming performance at £699. The 11.6in display screen will not appeal to everyone, but it does make the Genesis Mini a great option for persons who want a light, portable laptop that still gives enough power for some gaming action.
Price: £699 inc VAT