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Digital Storm xm15 2012 review

Post Date: 2012-05-25

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Orange7 View Drop Down
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  Quote Orange7 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Digital Storm xm15 2012 review
    Posted: 25 May 2012 at 3:32pm
Hey everyone,

I am posting my review for the DS xm15, Level 4. Unfortunately, I will not be posting build pics for this one, because it is a relatively generic case (all of the impressive stuff is on the inside), with very few flourishes. However, suffice it to say that I measured it at about 30mm (1.2 inches tall), and the aesthetic value is quite good. The specs are below.

Specifications:
Chassis Model: Digital Storm xm15 Laptop (Model: 3260)
Display: 15.6 Inch (16:9) (Resolution: 1920 x 1080) (Glossy Surface) LED-Backlit Display
Processor: Intel Core i7 3820QM (2.7 GHz Turbo Mode to 3.7Ghz) (Quad Core) (8MB Cache)
Thermal Compound: Premium IC Diamond CPU and GPU Thermal Compound (Reduces Thermal & Laptop Noise)
Memory: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz
Primary Hard Drive: Intel 240GB SSD (520 Series) (SATA 6Gb/s)
Secondary Hard Drive: - Not Available
Optical Drive: DVD/CD 8x Multi-Drive (Writes and Reads DVDs, CDs)
Wireless Card: Bigfoot Networks Killer Wireless-N 1103 (Reduces Latency for Online Gaming)
Video Card(s): NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M 1GB with NVIDIA Optimus Technology
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-Bit Edition)
Warranty Plan: Life-time Expert Customer Care with 3 Year Limited Warranty


First of all, let me state that I was not looking for a gaming laptop. I was looking for a workstation laptop that had the ability to run code that I wrote quickly, with fast boot times and a long battery life. I was not looking for an amazing graphics card, and if you are looking for gaming performance, this is not the laptop for you, but if you are interested in a solid workstation with a small and lightweight form that packs considerable processing power, this your best bet.



First of all, let's start with the overall layout:

The layout of the keyboard is nicely spaced, and the keys are just the right firmness for extended sessions of coding. The laptop itself requires slightly more force than I would expect to open, and the power button must often be pressed more than once to turn on the computer. The trackpad is well placed, although I keep my wrists very close to it when I type, and I have a tendency to type a sentence or two in a previous paragraph before I even notice that I accidentally clicked. The trackpad buttons are very responsive, but unfortunately, clicking with the trackpad itself is a little too responsive, leading to the problem mentioned above.



Next, to the hardware:
You can see the specs above, and you all probably know what most of those components can do, so I am just going to tell you some of the more impressive things that I noticed:
- Windows 7 boot time: ~16 seconds
- Performed full hard drive(53GB used) virus scan in seven minutes.
- Downloaded Netbeans (257MB) in fewer than 3 minutes, and installed it (~840MB) in under 2 minutes.



Then, to the software:

No crapware (Well... except for IE)! Most of what came installed was great, especially the Cyberlink Media Suite. Other than IE (not DS's fault), my only real complaint was the webcam program, which I could not figure out how to make full screen (or even enlarge) and is the size of a post-it note on the screen.



Finally, to the customer support:

My customer support with DS started out rocky, but quickly improved. I had placed in my order that I had wanted to know about ordering a spare battery (I plan on travelling a lot), and I put it in my build plan. I attempted to contact their customer support, and there was a little rough spot where no one was responding to my emails for a few days.

However, between Alex and the rest of their support staff, I quickly got my problem handled, and I hope to call back Jonathan soon to order the battery (I didn't originally realize that they delete your credit card number after they make the transaction, but that seemed like a nice touch to mention). I have had a ton of work lately (seven hours of sleep in the last four days), so now I am actually the one holding things up. Also, I feel that it is important to notice that DS gave me free shipping on the battery, simply because they overlooked the fact that I mentioned it in the bottom.



Overall, I would rate my experience with DS at a perfect ten. I got an amazing laptop with great customer support for $1700 cheaper than an alienware laptop with the same specs.
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Alex View Drop Down
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 25 May 2012 at 3:39pm
Thank you for posting your review! I know you don't want to post pics as we have them on the site anyways, but if you could have one showing off your setup of your laptop in your workarea, that would be awesome. Chilling
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Orange7 View Drop Down
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  Quote Orange7 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 26 May 2012 at 11:54am
Here are some pics:





















For the record, that screen in the background is an ancient dell screen hooked up to a PC running Linux. It is not used at all for gaming.
DS xm15 Stage 4
i7-3820 (2.7GHz/3.7GHz)
16GB 1600MHz DDR3
GT 630, 1GB
240GB Intel 520
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Tidgxor View Drop Down
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 26 May 2012 at 1:15pm
Hey those were good monitors, I used one at work for some time. Hahaha

Congrats on your new laptop! Awesome
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Orange7 View Drop Down
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  Quote Orange7 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 26 May 2012 at 6:31pm
Thanks. It was a good screen, but it is getting old. Also, just to add another positive comment about this thing, I just installed Libre Office in under sixteen seconds.
DS xm15 Stage 4
i7-3820 (2.7GHz/3.7GHz)
16GB 1600MHz DDR3
GT 630, 1GB
240GB Intel 520
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