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Scan Graphite 3XS LG15 review

Katharine Byrne
9 Jul 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,114
inc VAT

A very powerful gaming laptop, but its screen could be better

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Specifications

17.3 in 1,920x1,080 display, 3.9kg, 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM, 8.00GB RAM, 750GB disk, Windows 8

The enormous Scan 3XS Graphite LG15 has to be one of the biggest and bulkiest laptops we’ve seen outside of Dell’s AlienWare series. It’s 45mm thick and weighs nearly 4kg, but inside this black behemoth is a 17.3in screen with a Full HD resolution, more I/O ports than you could ever need and some seriously powerful hardware.

Scan Graphite 3XS LG15

Our review sample came with a quad-core Intel Core i7-3630QM processor running at 2.4GHz and 8GB of RAM, and it completed our multimedia benchmarks with a super-fast score of 88 overall. This score isn’t that far off our reference processor, the desktop-based Intel Core i5-3570K, which scores 100 overall. This means it’s more than fast enough for everyday applications and more processor-intensive applications such as video-editing suites and music production software.

Its 3GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 670MX graphics processor was equally impressive. It breezed through our laptop Dirt Showdown test, producing an average frame rate of 97.1fps at High quality and a resolution of 1,280x720. It even managed 61fps when we increased the screen’s resolution to its native 1,920x1,080. It struggled slightly when we kept it at a resolution of 1,920x1,080 and increased the quality settings to Ultra, but it still managed 24fps.

It also coped very well with our more demanding Crysis 2 test. It achieved an average frame rate of 22fps at Ultra quality and a 1,920x1,080 resolution, which isn’t smooth enough for comfortable play, but this rose to 54fps when we decreased the quality settings to High. As long as you’re willing to compromise on graphics settings it shouldn’t have any problem playing modern games.

Scan Graphite 3XS LG15

Of course, a powerful gaming laptop needs a good-looking screen, and sadly its display didn’t perform as well as its other components. While we enjoyed the 17.3in screen’s 1,920x1,080 resolution, colours were decidedly on the cool side, which made images look far more washed out than our reference images. Blacks were pleasingly deep and whites were very bright, but this didn’t make up for its fairly poor contrast levels. A lot of detail in our high contrast test photos was simply lost in a mass of black, which could be problematic for games that require you to look at dark but highly detailed environments.

We also noticed a worrying amount of flex in the screen’s frame, particularly when we tilted it back and forward to adjust the viewing angle. This made the screen feel a little fragile, which is a shame considering the rest of the chassis feels so solid and well built.