There are few things better at killing time while you're traveling than gaming, but that doesn't mean I want to lug around a giant 8- or 10-pound behemoth wherever I go. That's where CybertronPC's Osiris 154 comes in ($1,349, or $1,599 as reviewed), because with an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and Nvidia 970m graphics, you can have potent gaming power in a sleek and stylish 14-inch laptop. If it weren't for the machine's anemic battery life, the Osiris 14 would be a top pick, but it's still a pretty good value.
With sharp, angled lines and subtle accents on top of a matte-black metal body, the Osiris sports a simple but stylish design.
It reminds me of the quiet confidence seen in pro gamers, instead of the shouty, attention-seeking behavior of bronze-level players who can't quite back up their claims.
I really like the tiny lip on the edge of the display, which makes it easy to open the lid with one hand. The long speaker grille wedged between the Osiris' hinges ensures that sound is being projected in the right direction, toward your ears and not out to the sides.
At 13.75 x 9.65 x 0.85-inch and 4.8 pounds, the Osiris 14 can't quite match the sleek dimensions of the 2016 Razer Blade (13.6 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches and 4.8 pounds). And despite a larger 15.35 x 10.47-inch footprint, the 15-inch Digital Storm Equinox is actually thinner (0.78 inches) and lighter (4.2 pounds) than the Osiris 14.
But when compared to a more typical 15-inch system such as Asus' ROG Strix (15.3 x 10.5 x 0.9 inches and 4.8 pounds), the Osiris' 14-inch chassis clearly saves space.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Typing and gaming on the Osiris 14's keyboard is like snapping into a Slim Jim: crisp and meaty.
The backlit keys have a good 1.5mm of key travel, and with a 55-gram actuation weight, there's plenty of resistance to cushion your fingers during even the most frantic fragging sessions.
But for this price, I would have liked to have seen colored backlighting behind the keyboard, like you get on a lot of other systems in the price range.
The Osiris' 4.25 x 2.5-inch touchpad features a smooth matte surface, plenty of room to move around, and fast and accurate response to clicks and multitouch gestures. However, I'm not a big fan of the two discrete mouse buttons, which feel a bit spongy.
The Osiris' 14-inch, full-HD screen helped me really enjoy the flaming rockets and shiny ninja stars that flew past my head during a few rounds of Overwatch. Unfortunately, you can't configure the laptop with quad-HD resolution.
With a screen brightness of 278 nits, the Osiris 14 topped the typical thin-and-light laptop average of 246 nits, and was a bit brighter than the Asus ROG Strix and its 273 nits. However, both the Digital Storm Equinox and the Razer Blade were more brilliant, at 293 and 338 nits, respectively.
As for color range, the Osiris covered 112 percent of the sRGB spectrum, which was about the same as the ROG Strix's 109 percent and the Equinox's 111 percent, but again, slightly behind the Razer Blade, which boasted a range of 120 percent.
Lastly, the Osiris turned in a great color-accuracy score of 0.79 (0 is perfect). That's better than the Razer Blade (0.95) and Digital Storm Equinox (1.1), but the ROG Strix (0.49) is even more accurate.
Like a lot of laptops, the Osiris 14 suffers from a distinct lack of bass. But when I unplugged my headphones after a bit of gaming, I was impressed with the speakers' ability to re-create the blaring trumpets and rich baritone sax in Too Many Zooz's "Warriors." Too bad the volume is on the soft side.
The Osiris 14 gets a bit toasty on the bottom, as that side reached 102 degrees Fahrenheit after the system streamed 15 minutes of HD video. That mark is above our 95-degree comfort threshold. Temps were cooler on the keyboard (99 degrees) and the touchpad (90 degrees).
Ports and Webcam
With four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, Ethernet and 2 DisplayPorts, the Osiris 14 has a bounty of connections along its sides.
You also get two headphone jacks and one for a mic, along with an SD card reader and even a SIM card slot if you need a built-in 4G connection. The one annoyance is the Osiris' rear power plug, which can be a little awkward considering that it's the only port located on the back of the laptop.
With its Nvidia 970m graphics card that has 6GB of video RAM, the Osiris often outpaced its competition, which is pretty impressive considering that the competitors use the same GPU.
In Metro: Last Light at full-HD on low settings, the Osiris 14 pumped out 115 frames per second. That's better than the Asus Strix's 78 fps and a bit higher than the Blade's 103 fps and the Equinox's 98 fps.
It was the same story in Rainbow Six: Siege at 1920 x 1080 and high settings, as the Osiris hit 81 fps, versus 72 fps for the Razer Blade, 61 fps for the Digital Storm Equinox and 69 fps for the Asus ROG Strix.
The Osiris performed just a well on the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark, scoring 7,111. That trumps the Blade (6,426), Strix (6,510) and Equinox (6,683).
With the Osiris' 3.5-GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ CPU, 16GB of RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD and 1TB HDD, everyday tasks such a crunching a few spreadsheets and streaming video were like walks in the park.
The Osiris 14 blitzed the Geekbench 3 test, which measures overall system performance, with a score of 13,639. That's twice what you get from a typical thin-and-light laptop.
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Even more impressive was the Osiris' M.2 SSD, which recorded a transfer rate of 558.69 MBps. Among the Osiris' competitors, the closest system was the Digital Storm Equinox, at 424 MBps, while the Razer Blade and ROG Strix were further behind, at 359 and 135 MBps.
And when we matched 20,000 names with their addresses in OpenOffice Calc, the Osiris posted a completion time of 3 minutes and 41 seconds. Digital Storm's Equinox and Asus' ROG Strix were barely faster, with times of 3:37 and 3:39.
The Osiris' stamina is a pretty big Achilles' heel. That's because on the Laptop Mag Battery Test (continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 100 nits of brightness), the laptop conked out after just 2 hours and 12 minutes. Even for a high-powered gaming system, that's pretty disappointing.
Competing systems such as the 2016 Razer Blade and the Asus ROG Strix lasted almost three times longer, at 5:42 and 5:56, respectively. However, Digital Storm's Equinox wasn't that much better, with a run time of just 3:09.
The Osiris 14 starts at $1,350 for a configuration with a 14-inch and 1920 x 1280 screen, Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD, and an Nvidia 970m GPU with 6GB of vRAM. If you head over to CybertronPC's website (which is currently the only place you can order this system), you can configure the Osiris 14 with a larger SSD, a second storage drive or different types of RAM. Unfortunately, there aren't any changes you can make to the CPU, screen resolution or graphics card.
Software and Warranty
The Osiris 14 comes with a refreshingly clean install of Windows 10. Aside from the typical assortment of preinstalled apps from Microsoft, it features just a handful of utilities from EVGA, Nvidia and others for configuring the graphics and display.
The Osiris comes with a one-year warranty for parts and labor, which can be extended up to three years for $100 per year.
At $1,599, CybertronPC's Osiris 14 gives you more gaming performance than almost any other system in its size or price range, along with an attractive, compact case and a fantastically snappy keyboard. While systems like the 2016 Razer Blade and Digital Storm Equinox dazzle with gorgeous QHD screens or even thinner designs, none of them match the performance or value you get from the Osiris.
But what turns this Egyptian gaming god into a mere mortal is its paltry 2 hours of battery life. So if you're OK with lugging a power brick with you wherever you go, the Osiris 14 is a very good pick. But if you value longevity along with performance, you'll be better served by the Razer Blade.