With computer giants like MSI and Dell dominating the gaming notebook market it might be hard for an independent manufacturer so stand out. But with a product whose price and benefits align, I guess everything is possible. One of these smaller companies is Eluktronics who purchase high-end components and combine them together in awesome gaming laptops. Eluktronics N850HK1, their better-selling rig, will be examined further in this review.
Great for gaming?
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is a mid-range graphics card meant for 1080p gaming. It might be tough with 4K resolution, but since the resolution on Eluktronics N850HK1 is 1920×1080, all is good. The GTX 1050 Ti comes with 4GB dedicated GDDR5 memory. Out of the card you can expect following frame rates (1080p resolution):
– The Witcher 3, ultra settings, ~30FPS
– Hitman 2016, ultra settings, ~35FPS
– GTA 5, ultra settings, ~35FPS
– Battlefield 4, ultra settings, ~60FPS
See, decent FPS, and if you don’t mind dropping from ultra to high the FPS will be smooth as a silk. The graphics card is not Virtual Reality ready.
Now, there is just 1TB 5400RPM (7mm SATA 3) hybrid hard drive for storage. Offering a lot of space to store your files, the performance can still not match real solid-state drives. To combat this you have two options: either choose another version of this laptop that has SSD installed by default. Or install one yourself! Eluktronics N850HK1 contains a free M.2 2280 SSD SATA/PCIe slot. What is more, the manufacturer includes a caddy with every laptop. You don’t need additional tools for SSD installation.
Intel Core i7-7700HQ is a good processor choice for all resource-intensive work, such as gaming. Belonging to the 7th generation CPU family, this chip is based on the latest Kaby Lake architecture. The goodies don’t end there: the processor is ideal for multitasking as it features four cores. The clock speed is likewise high 2.8GHz with turbo boost taking it to 3.8GHz. For all the benchmark geeks out there, the CPU Mark grades the i7-7700HQ at 9000 points.
The laptop includes one 8GB DDR4 2400MHz 260-pin memory stick. The eight gigabytes is a good amount for gaming and most power users. There is, however, a possibility to install more. On the mainboard one RAM slot is open, the memory cap is a whopping 32 gigabytes.
Ports and connections
In Eluktronics N850HK1, there are three video ports available: HDMI and two Mini DisplayPorts. The common function for those is the support for an extra display. If you want to use the laptop through another monitor, you can hook up your desktop’s display or HDTV to this unit easily.
For your day-to-day peripherals the notebook offers one USB 2.0, two USB 3.0 and one USB 3.1 Type-C (no Thunderbolt) connectors. My usual advice stands true: favor the USB 3.0s since they have high transfer rates, crucial for things like USB sticks and external drives to move data fast. If you are experimental, go for the Type-C port – it has wonderful bandwidth as well, and the connector can be inserted to the port both ways :-)
Appropriate networking components are present: a Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 for reaching Internet via cable, and a long-range dual-band AC WiFi adapter (Intel 8265) with Bluetooth 4.2 support.
Many manufacturers opt out of internal DVD drives these days. So it is here, no DVD burner is installed. There is still a possibility to use external optical drives if discs are important to you. The 6-in-1 media card reader might also come handy.
What about the display?
The size of Eluktronics N850HK1’s screen is 15.6 inches. That or 17 inches are often the diagonals gamers are interested in. The resolution on this model is 1920×1080, if that is disappointing, also 4K version exists. The display has LG’s IPS panel (LP156WF6-SPB1) with points of interests being:
– No touch
– Anti-glare coating
– 60hz refresh rate
– 72% NTSC colors
– 300 nit brightness
Miscellaneous features and benefits
Eluktronics N850HK1 features a 6-cell 62Whr internal battery. According to user reports you are looking at 3-4 hours running time on non-gaming use. Then, when you fire up games, the battery life drops to 1.5-2 hours. That sounds low, but pretty much all gaming laptops have the same issue.
Few people who bought this computer praised the chassis. It seems to be well built. The screen hinge is tight enough to keep the display in place. The laptop weighs around 5.6 pounds – common weight for a gaming notebook – with the thickness being 1.06 inches.
The notebook has two fans, on processor and on the graphics card.
The keyboard is backlit. There are three sections in the keyboard whose color you can change, but the color of individual keys can not be modified.
Operating system is pre-installed Windows 10 Home (64-bit). It’s a so-called clean install with no bloatware loaded. The Windows 10 DVD is included in the purchase, to access it you need an external DVD drive.
It’s reasonable to say that Eluktronics, as a fairly unknown company, has made good job with their laptop. All the things an active gamer would want is there – snappy graphics card, Kaby Lake based i7 and plenty of DDR4 memory. The old-school hybrid hard drive might make some people curious about performance, but it’s easy to install a full-blown SSD later because a drive caddy is included. Ports are in check with HDMI, Mini DisplayPort and USB Type-C offering support for different peripherals. Eluktronics N850HK1 looks like a solid gaming laptop that does not break your bank – what more can you expect?