Chillblast Fusion Defiant Mini Review

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Chillblast Fusion Defiant Mini
The Defiant Mini certainly makes a great first impression, though, as this 13in laptop not only has one of the best off-the-shelf Clevo cases we've ever seen with its soft-touch lid and angular design, but its internal components also pack a serious punch. Our review sample use a 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-4700MQ processor, which can increase its clock speed up to 3.4GHz when the processor's cool enough to do so, and 8GB of RAM. These components powered the Defiant Mini through multimedia benchmarks so that it scored an impressive 85 overall. Needless to say, it'll handle whatever desktop application you throw at it.

The Defiant Mini's 2GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M graphics processor was even more impressive, and produced a silky smooth average frame rate of 90.3fps in Dirt Showdown at a resolution of 1,280x720 with graphics quality set to High. The GeForce GTX 765M is by far one of the most capable dedicated graphics processors we've ever used, and while the GTX 765M's fans certainly had their work cut out for them, this didn't prevent it from producing an excellent 67.9fps average frame rate a 1,920x1,080 resolution with High graphics quality.

When we tested the Defiant Mini with our much more challenging Crysis 3 benchmark it produced an average frame rate of 20.5fps with High quality graphics at a resolution of 1,920x1,080. This isn't smooth to play game properly, but reducing graphics quality to low produced a smoother 28.2fps. This is outstanding performance for a 13in laptop, although you'll want to keep your hand away from the vents on the left-hand side because they got very warm when gaming.

Happily, the Defiant Mini was great to use a regular laptop to undertake everyday tasks. The keyboard was very comfortable to type on and although the Defiant Mini's springy mechanical keys were a little noisy, they did give a good level of tactile feedback. We'd recommend connecting a mouse if you're going to use the laptop for long periods of time, though, because we didn't get like the Defiant Mini's touchpad at all. We had great trouble performing multi-touch gestures, such as two-finger scrolling and pinch-zooming. Oddly, Windows 8 gestures worked fine. The Defiant Mini has a good selection of connection ports for such a small laptop, including one USB2 and three USB3 ports. It also has HDMI and VGA video outputs, an SD and MMC card reader, a Gigabit Ethernet port and separate headphone and microphone jacks.

We liked the 13.3in screen, too. With a measured sRGB colour gamut coverage of 85.5 per cent, reds, greens and blues looked rich and vibrant, and whites were bright and clean with no traces of grey. Blacks were deep and inky, too, despite its somewhat average black level reading of 0.37cd/m2, and we didn't see any signs of backlight bleeding.

The screen's contrast levels were a little less impressive. Even though we measured a promising contrast ratio of 914:1, its deep blacks made it difficult to see finer detail in high contrast test photos. Night scenes suffered the most, with areas of shadow appearing as simple areas of solid black, so you'll have to make sure you adjust the in-game contrast settings if you want to help illuminate darkly lit environments when playing games. Battery life was also fairly average for a gaming laptop, as the Defiant Mini's battery lasted just 3 hours and 52 minutes in light use test with the screen set to half brightness. This is to be expected from such a power-hungry system, but it's a shame the Defiant Mini doesn't last a little bit longer away from the mains because its small size and reasonable 2.1Kg weight make it pretty portable.

Conclusion:

With its powerful hardware and highly capable graphics processor, the Chillblast Defiant Mini is a superb gaming laptop. It not only manages to combine all the speed and power of larger gaming systems into a smaller 13in chassis, but it does so at a competitive price without any compromises in performance. The Defiant Mini is a great value laptop that deserves its Best Buy award.
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