Keyboard and TouchPad
Maingear has opted to go with the trends and equip the Vybe 15 with one of those Island-style or Chiclet keyboards that are all the rage right now. It seems to be a good implementation too, as it was comfortable to type on, and provided very few typos.
There's quite a bit of flex near the semi-colon on the keyboard, but at the all-important gamer-used WSAD keys and arrow keys, there is nearly no flex. It appears that there is some reinforcement in this area, which results in a better gaming experience.
The full-size keyboard and number pad resulted in a very nice typing experience. I was able to quickly adjust to the system and utilize the keyboard at near my maximum typing speed, without putting in a bunch of unneeded typos.
The keys are slightly rough and feature an ever-so-slight curve to them, which is only noticeable when looking for this sort of thing. The keys feature little resistance and bottom out nicely, along with making a good clicking noise. It's not too loud, but it's definitely audible.
It's sad to see that Maingear did not put a backlit keyboard on their "Ultimate" Vybe 15. I can't understand these companies that don't put a backlit keyboard on near every machine they sell. It's not that expensive of a feature, at least that's my understanding, and it adds so much usability to the system.
The touchpad is a two-piece assembly. The touchpad portion and click buttons are two different pieces. The left and right click buttons are a single piece of plastic, which makes clicking towards the middle somewhat difficult. I'd prefer two separate and distinct buttons for left and right click.
The touch-sensitive area of the touchpad has small bumps over the surface, which sets the touch-sensitive area off from the rest of the system. It is also indented into the palm rest ever so slightly, but this is barely noticeable. The touchpad is centered on the keyboard and features a button to disable input, which is a nice touch.
The Maingear Vybe 15 Ultimate is fitted with a 15.6-inch, 1080P screen. The screen is of the matte variety, so as to reduce glare, and overall quality of the screen is impressive. The one area I feel could be improved is the brightness as it seems rather dark compared to other screens.
Viewing angles are rather impressive, since I believe the panel to be of the TN variety. When moving your head to the left or right, it results in a very slight change in color and brightness, even to extreme angles. Moving vertically, the panel doesn't fare quite as well, though it does better looking down from above than it does looking up from below.