Brand new from Maingear, The Vector Pro 17 is their latest in high-end gaming laptops, but to call it just a gaming laptop does it a disservice. The Vector Pro is a stunning piece of hardware, one that could easily fill just about any need. To be able to pack this much power into something as thin and light as the Vector Pro is just astounding and an easy recommendation for someone who is looking for a laptop that can do it all.
This 17-inch Vector Pro comes with some impressive hardware. It features an Intel 11800H processor and an RTX 3080 Laptop GPU. This, paired with the 32GB of RAM, 1TB M.2 NVMe drive, and the latest wireless connections like Bluetooth and WiFi 6, make it an outstanding choice for your next gaming laptop, desktop replacement, or even portable workstation.
If you’re not gaming, the Vector Pro delivers several hours of use browsing the web or working on office-type documents while on the go without needing to charge. However, if you are planning to game on the go, you should be aware that the 11800H and RTX 3080 Laptop GPU are quite powerful components that will drain the battery extremely fast, and that’s with power throttling enabled to get the very most from its massive battery. This is very standard for gaming laptops, as the battery does not have near the capacity to handle the immense power required by these parts. It will do its best, but you should expect somewhere around 60-90 minutes if both the CPU and GPU are being heavily utilized. For the best gaming experience, you’ll definitely want to be plugged in.
I’ve had the opportunity to use the Vector Pro for a bit now, and I’ve really been impressed by its performance. I’ve played games like GTA V, Rainbow Six: Siege, Call of Duty: Warzone, Apex Legends, and Borderlands 3, and it’s handled all of them with ease. I also worked on a couple of projects with Photoshop, and the Vector Pro moved just as cleanly.
Here are some in-game benchmarks that show the performance you can expect!
17.3-inch QHD display
If you have a high-tier RTX 3080 laptop GPU, you’re going to want an equally high-tier display, and the Vector Pro’s 17.3” QHD 165hz refresh rate display is just that.
Maingear made an excellent choice here as this is one of, if not the best laptop displays that I have ever used. The 1440p resolution offers the perfect balance of clarity and performance, especially for a 17-inch laptop. The 165hz refresh rate enables buttery smooth motion in everything from web browsing to intense gaming. The pixel density offered here is excellent and provides rich visual reproduction with bright whites and deep blacks.
The adjustable brightness of the display is great, allowing for easy viewing in direct sunlight (aided by a matte screen finish to reduce reflections and glare), as well as a very low brightness setting, allowing for comfortable viewing late at night with no eye strain.
The keyboard offers an above-average laptop typing experience. There is very little deck flex, as the whole chassis is relatively rigid. Key presses feel neither soft and spongy nor sharp, sitting somewhere in the middle, creating a comfortable long-term typing and gaming experience. However, function keys are a bit of a sticking point. Using them requires you to press the Fn key before F1-F12; otherwise, they’ll be read as utility keypresses. I’ve pushed the sleep button multiple times when trying to hit the Esc key. This is a relatively minor gripe but worth mentioning.
The Vector Pro 17’s keyboard has 4-Zone RGB, allowing you to change the colors in quadrants using the installed Node Control Center. And if keyboard glow isn’t stylish enough, there is a small light bar toward the bottom front of the laptop, allowing for some fun personalization - Make it subtle or make it vibrant; the choice is yours.
One of the more notable differences between the Vector Pro and other Maingear laptops is the webcam placement - The Vector Pro moves its 720p, 30fps webcam to the top bezel of the screen. This is the much-preferred location for webcams, as it allows for a higher viewing angle that is typically more flattering and delivers a generally better experience. In addition, the better placement very much helps with Windows Hello compatibility, allowing you to log in to the Vector Pro just by looking at it.
The Vector Pro utilizes Creative’s Sound Blaster 6+ Cinema paired with two downward-facing speakers, and they deliver with gusto. Stereo sounds are noticeably differentiated between the left and right sides, and there was no distortion, even at max volume. Of course, with all downward-facing speakers, the surface that the Vector is resting on does change the audio a bit, but it is never at the cost of quality.
If you do want to tinker with and personalize the Vector Pro’s sound, it comes equipped with Sound Blaster 6+, offering both easy tuning as well as in-depth and precise modulation to fine-tune your listening experience.
Maingear has outdone themselves with the Vector Pro, making one of the best laptops we’ve ever used, hands down. From gaming to work, this is the closest to perfect 17-inch laptop I’ve ever seen or used. If you’re looking for your new powerhouse laptop, then look no further. This is it.
I got one of these, but there's zero information on it on the Maingear site. Also, there are no drivers or instructions on how to use the (very nice) onboard software to control things like the wattage going to the GPU and CPU. I'm worried about what will happen if, one day, I need to reinstall Windows (I have no drivers).
I've reached out to my contacts in our corporate office and at Maingear to get more info about drivers and instructions or a guide for the software on the Vector Pro.
Just for clarity here, are you referring to the Maingear Node Control Center when referring to the software or perhaps something else?
As soon as I get a reply regarding this info, I'll share it with you!
Comparing this to the previous generation of Maingear laptops they've also improved the thermals on this machine. A lot of my customers have been thrilled with this machine especially considering the competitive pricing.
@RyanWatson I didn't have much experience with the previous generation of laptops but I was thoroughly impressed with how cool the keyboard stayed in the WASD area. You can definitely tell that the fan is drawing the air in from both the top and bottom of the chassis. It's good to know that this was an improvement over the previous models!
Does the MAINGEAR Vector Pro MG-VCP17I-3080 UPC: 687051831052 have it's RAM soldered in or is that changeable? Some of our bigger ram intensive video projects can use over 32gb and we were interested in upgrading to two 32gb modules to replace the two 16gb.
Hi @Simplytechnical Yes, the memory is changeable!
The specifications from the manufacture list the max memory supported as 64GB. So I believe you'd be able to accomplish your goal!
I reinstalled windows, after replacing both nvme drives with larger ones, and cannot locate the 'control center' / 'node' software, anywhere, for download. Do I need to reinstall the original drives and somehow extract an MSI? does anyone have a download link for the maingear software?
Having said that, everything else installed fine - drivers from AMD / NVIDIA downloaded and installed without any issues; all devices in device manager are A-OK.
I would very much like to have the maingear software....
The control center for the 'non pro' 2020 Maingear Vector seems to work, although I wonder if it is actually the same software that comes pre-installed on this machine.
I downloaded it from here:
I have looked at all the 2021/2020 Gaming laptops
and I was pleasantly surprised with the specs here however I'm at a loss to why
This laptop has not ever been reviewed by anyone on Youtube? Am I missing something?
On Notebookcheck they did a thorough review however I really would of love to see
someone such as LTT or HWC Reviewing this product.
What you've downloaded should work. However, I do believe that the software that comes on the device is a slightly different version. I'm looking to see if that I can find the Pro version of the Node software. I'll be sure to add it here if I can find it!
I'd have to agree with you. It is rather surprising. Kind of going under the radar, especially considering the performance and looks. When I reviewed this laptop, I had no idea what the price would be upon release. I, like you, was pleasantly surprised by many aspects of the Vector Pro. 👍
Has anyone tried to hook up an Oculus quest 2 to this laptop? Has it worked? Thinking about upgrading my laptop to be able to play VR games and wondering if it works on this one.
You wouldn't have any issues running VR with this laptop.
@J_Kild I'd agree with @Ian on this one.
You'll easily be able to play games with the Quest 2 using this laptop. You can use the Quest 2 Link cable, which is a separate purchase, to connect -- or use the new Airlink feature for wireless play if your home network can support it!
The 3080 in this laptop would dominate any VR title thrown at it (well the ones that are well optimized), this is a definitely a top of the line laptop for that purpose.
Drivers and software are located at:
Thanks for posting this! It looks like this has been recently added to Maingear's website.
I'm just dropping this in here so that people who are looking for information for this laptop can have some more peace of mind.
Tongfang Models 2021 | NotebookReview
Just as an FYI, the Maingear Vector Pro is an ODM model manufactured by TongFang - they slap the guts together of this laptop and give it a clean Windows install. Distributors like Maingear take the laptop and give it its "soul" (i.e., the Control Center, wallpaper, etc.); on the Notebook Review form, this particular laptop from TongFang is the GM7ZG7S, which is similar to the Eluktronics Max-17 and the XMG Neo 17.
I hope I don't piss any Maingear reps off here by saying this but check out the reviews and software for the other distributors for the laptop since they all apply to this laptop. Of note, Maingear Control Center seems to only allow for the 3070 to use up to 125W (non-Dynamic Boost). Meanwhile, the Eluktronics Control Center for the Max-17 allows the 3070 to go up to its max potential of 140W. Oh and if you're German, the drivers for the XMG Neo 17 are in native German :)
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