It seems with the launch of Intel’s Haswell processors and platform, notebook manufacturers are starting to focus on smaller devices without sacrificing a lot in the way of performance. We recently reviewed the Razer Blade, a 14-inch ultrathin laptop that’s still able to pack a quad-core Haswell processor (37W TDP i7-4702MQ) and GTX 765M into an extremely stylish chassis. Unfortunately, the Razer Blade let us down with the inclusion of a 1600x900 lower quality LCD. In a similar vein, I’m working on a review of MSI’s GE40, another 14-inch laptop with specs similar to the Razer Blade, again let down by a 1600x900 low quality LCD. Digital Storm will hopefully break that trend with their 13.3-inch VELOCE laptop.

Like the Razer Blade (the MSI GE40 uses the slightly slower GTX 760M), the VELOCE uses NVIDIA’s GTX 765M 2GB for graphics duty. Where it differs from the Razer Blade and GE40 is that it supports full voltage Haswell processors, not to mention it has a slightly smaller display size but ups the resolution to 1920x1080 – anti-glare no less! The full specifications are pretty impressive, and while it’s not as thin as the Razer Blade or GE40, it looks like we might finally have a no-compromise 13.3-inch gaming laptop. Digital Storm offers for customization options on their laptops, but here is one set of specifications for the VELOCE:

Digital Storm VELOCE Specifications
Processor Intel Core i7-4800MQ
(Quad-core 2.7-3.7GHz, 6MB L3, 22nm, 47W)
Chipset HM87
Memory 2x4GB DDR3-1600
Graphics GeForce GTX 765M 2GB
(768 cores, 850MHz + Boost 2.0, 4GHz GDDR5)

Intel HD Graphics 4600
(20 EUs at 400-1300MHz)
Display 13.3" Anti-Glare 16:9 1080p (1920x1080)
Storage 750GB 7200RPM HDD
8GB SSD cache
Optical Drive DVD-RW (?)
Networking 802.11n WiFi (Killer Wireless-N 1202)
(Dual-band 2x2:2 300Mbps capable)
Bluetooth 4.0 (Killer 1202)
Gigabit Ethernet
Battery/Power 6-cell, 11.1V, 5900mAh, 65Wh
90W Max AC Adapter
Left Side Headphone and Microphone
1 x USB 2.0
Exhaust Vent
Right Side 3 x USB 3.0
1 x Mini-HDMI
1 x VGA
Gigabit Ethernet
AC Power Connection
Kensington Lock
Operating System Windows 8 64-bit
Dimensions 1.26” (32mm) thick
Weight 4.6 lbs (2.09kg)
Pricing and Availability $1535 as configured
Available July 17, 2013

The press release notes that the VELOCE include support for two storage devices (mSATA and 2.5”), with optional RAID support. There’s also a spec sheet that mentions a DVD-RW drive, but the images don’t indicate where that drive would be located unless it’s an external option. We’re definitely excited to see more competition in the (reasonably) thin and light gaming laptop market, and while the VELOCE isn’t quite as thin as some of the other options, the performance and in particular the LCD may more than make up for that.

Digital Storm is currently in the process of revamping their entire notebook lineup, so the mobile section of their website consists of a countdown to July 17. We would assume there will also be additional notebooks announced at that time, or at least sometime in the near future. We have requested a review sample and we hope to be able to provide a full review in the future. The current price is about $300 more than the MSI GE40 (which includes a 128GB SSD), but VELOCE has a higher-end processor; it’s also about $300 less than the baseline Razer Blade. Hopefully the VELOCE can live up to our expectations and deliver a quality gaming experience in a reasonably portable package.

Source: Digital Storm PR

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  • nathanddrews - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

  • DanNeely - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    Specs look mostly good as is; but unless the ram's easily upgradable I'd strongly recommend 12+ GB for any new gaming notebook. Console ports expecting to have 8GB to work with are probably going to show up within the useful lifetime of any current generation gaming system; and the console's OS is almost certainly going to be much thinner than Windows + whatever you leave running in the background while gaming.
  • inighthawki - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    Don't forget two things:
    1) Consoles are unified memory (System + Graphics = 8GB). this has 8GB + 2GB GDDR5. Granted it is more complicated than this, but ultimately I expect the two to be of similar usage.
    2) At least on the Xbox One, only (If i recall the number correctly) 5GB are usable for the games, and 3GB is reserved for system+app usage.

    I don't think more than 8GB is really necessary, plus a configuration like 12GB would require 3 sticks of ram which is bad. For best performance, you will want a full dual channel configuration, so 8 or 16GB. I assume they will allow this to be configured.
  • thesavvymage - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    yeah i believe xbox has 5gig for games and 3 for the OS, whereas ps4 has a 7/1 split.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    12GB would be two sticks: 8GB + 4GB. Only a few laptops support three SO-DIMMs -- those were only the DTR models using Bloomfield CPUs from a few years back. Today, there are high-end workstations and DTRs that have four SO-DIMMs, but then you'd want to install 4x4GB ideally, or perhaps 4x8GB for even more extreme needs.
  • inighthawki - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    Apologies since this is a double post, my original post did not reply to the correct post (stupid noscript :P)
    Having mismatching sticks of ram is going to set you up for a lot of trouble, especially once you get into high usage and one stick of ram starts handling the majority of the requests since the other stick is full. 2 identical sticks is the only way to go to maximize performance, thus 2x4GB or 2x8GB.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, July 12, 2013 - link

    Intel has had their Flex Memory technology and AMD has had something similar for a while now, so mismatched sizes isn't a huge deal. Really, dual-channel only helps a lot with integrated graphics and a few memory intensive workloads, and flex memory gets you about 80% of the performance increase dual-channel offers over single-channel. Still, I'd go with matched sizes just to keep things simple.
  • inighthawki - Friday, July 12, 2013 - link

    Yes, but for a gaming PC you want to maximize performance, not make silly sacrifices. 2x4GB will almost certainly end with better performance than 8+4. The flex configuration, even at 80% performance could mean a couple FPS, which is something no true gamer would sacrifice just to have a bit more ram.
  • chuckey - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    I believe that this is a clevo w230st (the spiritual successor to the w110er) and I've been keeping my eyes out since rumors of it emerged at the beginning of this year.

    What is really nice about this model is that it has TWO mSATA ports (that can be configured to be RAID0 or RAID1) along with a 2.5" bay. The LCD is suppose to be an IPS model that was used in a Zenbook and garnered excellent reviews.
  • Inteli - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    This looks great! Finally, there's a good 13" gaming laptop. Sure, the aesthetics are kind of cheesy, but It looks solid, and this looks like a worthy upgrade from my HP ProBook 4320s. I'm going to have to look into this laptop, especially if it's user-upgradable.

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