The all-new 2017/2018 Venom BlackBook musclebook

June 27th 2017

I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of these to review.

It is a 15” notebook computer with a dedicated graphics card, the version we have is spec’ed up with a GTX 1060 card and the latest 7th Gen Intel Core I7 CPU. Supporting up to 32GB of RAM and 3 hard drives. The tag line is that it is for “Gamers & Creators”

Initial impressions.

The keyboard is the stand out, a full RGB mechanical keyboard that is delightful to pound away at. That is the first thing that I noticed. While the laptop is definitely not this thinnest, and being a muscle book it probably should not be, it was pretty quiet under load and didn’t blow any excessive hot air when under load.

The screen was clear to look at, and the speakers were decent with a nice little kick coming from the built in sub woofers.

I anticipate battery life to be terrible, but that is expected in this category. Booting into windows was a blast, Venom’s legendary no bloatware approach is successful again and combined with their choice of RAM and the type of high speed NVMe SSD they use, windows was fully booted within just a few seconds.

Ports and comms are standard for a muscle book at this price range with everything you would need to connect to monitors, external hard drives and a VR headset perhaps. It is VR ready.

The touch pad is a little small, but that could be a good or a bad thing as it is not in the way, and would wouldn’t really “game or create” on a touch pad anyway.

 

Gaming and Creating

I played battlefield 1 on it which was nice, certainly better than on my Xbox one, and did some basic rendering in CAD to get the gaming and creating feel. Very decent performance as promised. Mind you PC creating can mean a lot of things, but I believe Venom is talking about creating in the 3D realm with this one as the much thinner BlackBook Zero family is for productivity and doing things in office and basic 3D work fine there. If you want to seriously game, use VR or perhaps have an engineering or design requirement that needs 3D rendering then this ticks the boxes.

The keyboard is fabulous, with an external mouse it really works well as a portable workstation. There is a simplistic tough feel about the machines design.

The look

Venom BlackBooks tend to be fairly minimalistic in their design and they never scream racing with neon lights, like Alienware or Razer do, so it is definitely the kind of machine that has some street credibility without looking childish. It is gaming for the serious gamer.

The top cover is made of brushed aluminium and looks and feels the part. Sturdy and cool to touch. The rest of the laptop is made of a hardened special plastic and definitely feels reassuring.

Verdict

Would I use this? Yes.

It is a very fast machine and Venom has not taken any short cuts with this model as well. If you are serious about gaming or serious about “creating” and still want to look serious when you are doing any of these things then this is great laptop to choose.