Chillblast Helium review

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Chillblast Helium is best known for producing desktop PCs, as well as high-end gaming laptops that, while powerful, do tend to look rather like a slab of concrete. The new Chillblast Helium is therefore something of a change in direction.

Like most Chillblast laptops, the Helium still uses a generic off-the-shelf chassis, and it's not the most elegant ultraportable we've ever seen. Its dark-grey plastic casing is fairly nondescript, and sounds rather plasticky when tapped, but should be still sturdy enough to cope with day-to-day travelling in a backpack or briefcase.

Connectivity is something of a mixed bag. We're always pleased to see ethernet on an ultraportable laptop these days, but the 
Chillblast Helium has only two USB 3.0 ports, which could prove a bit frustrating when you need to connect several peripherals at once.

Despite being named after the lighter-than-air Helium, the use of a 14-inch screen means that this laptop is at the bigger and heavier end of what Intel would market as an Ultrabook.
Chillblast Helium provides a number of build-to-order options for the Helium, but we tested a model that costs £899 with a dual-core Intel Core i7 running at 1.8 GHz, along with 16 GB of memory and a hybrid storage system that combines a 500 GB hard drive with 120 GB solid-state storage.

The Chillblast Helium 14-inch screen isn't in quite the same league, though. The image is bright and colourful, but viewing angles could be better, with brightness falling quite significantly once you move past about 100 degrees either horizontally or vertically.

The lack of a discrete graphics means that the 
Chillblast Helium can't match its Chillblast stablemates for gaming performance. Its integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400 could only manage 21 fps when running our Stalker gaming test at screen native resolution.

Dropping to 1280 x 720 resolution in 
Chillblast Helium did produce a more playable average of 29 fps, but the Helium is very much a laptop designed more for work than games.

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