Keyboard and TouchPad
The Valkyrie features a standard island-style keyboard, like most laptops these days. In addition to the keyboard, it also features a number pad, also a common feature on laptops of its size. The keyboard on the Valkyrie is an interesting one as it generally feels good to type on, though I'm not sure how it would stand up to gaming every day.
There's minimal flex, but the flex that is present is right over the WSAD area of the keyboard, which is partly why I have concern for gaming on it. Additionally, I generally don't trust laptop keyboards to be very durable, at least not as much as their desktop counterparts.
The typing experience is a mixed bag. While it felt comfortable to use, I found myself making numerous mistakes while typing. The backspace, right hand shift key and right hand enter key are slightly smaller than a standard keyboard, which I believe led to some of these typing mistakes.
The keys have a fairly smooth texture on the surface and a very slight curve to the contour. The keys have a smooth travel when typing, as well as a good travel distance. The tactile feel of the keyboard is also very good as the keys feature a nice resistance and a good feeling when they bottom out. They also make a clicking sound like a mechanical keyboard, albeit a bit quieter and less distinctive.
The entire keyboard features a very soft and subdued blue backlighting. One issue I noticed with the backlighting is that, at least on my sample, the right hand part of the keyboard appears to be dimmer than the number pad and left side. It's not a big deal as the keys are still visible, but it is something that needs to be noted nonetheless.
The touchpad is a two-piece assembly. It features a large portion that is touch-sensitive that is visually separated from the mouse buttons by a blue light bar. The mouse buttons utilize a single piece that can be pressed down on either the right or left side to register a click.
The touch-sensitive area of the touchpad features a slightly grainy texture, unlike some of those super smooth touchpads offered by other manufacturers. One thing that I noticed is I inadvertently moved the cursor while typing, something that often added to my typing errors.
iBUYPOWER has loaded the Valkyrie CZ-17 with a large 17.3-inch 1920 x 1080 screen. Even though the machine is not a business laptop, iBUYPOWER has fitted it with a matte covering, which helps reduce glare. The matte covering is a bit grainy and might not be liked by all users.
The grainy aspect of the screen texture is definitely noticeable, though it doesn't impact reading or other viewing on the screen. The panel used is a TN panel which is going to affect viewing angles and color reproduction. Looking straight on at the screen is definitely recommended. Moving too far to the right or left makes viewing the screen less enjoyable, yet text still remains readable and colors only shift tone as the angle increases. The color and readability aspect is worse when looking from above or below the screen.
One last note: when opening the screen, the laptop makes a squeaking noise, likely due to the construction of the body being plastic. This is something I found to be rather annoying and is probably one of my biggest issues with the machine.
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