I am incredibly new to the PC gaming world. While Stardew Valley and Undertale run just fine on the old MacBook Air I covered in anime and band stickers, I never had the kind of hardware that would play something like Red Dead Redemption 2. I don’t know a lot about PC gaming, but I always wanted something that did the job.
When I look back at my brief periods of playing games on computers that didn’t run an Apple OS, I remember Reader Rabbit, Freddy Fish, The Sims, and Age of Empires running on the fattest Windows desktop computer. Years later, I would begrudgingly play MapleStory and Borderlands 2 on a Sony Vaio touchscreen laptop that decided to slowly break in half (while still working somehow).
The thing is, almost everybody I know plays games on PC. While consoles are great for the games available on them, there’s a whole other world of video games that are exclusively available on PC. This is something that had me wanting a gaming PC for a while, but it was when I started this job that I realised I would need a little something to access that space.
If you’re anything like me, you might want a full gaming desktop set-up eventually. Maybe when you’re in a financially stable moment in your life and you have the space to put your beautiful custom build. Continuing on you potentially being like me, you might want somewhere a bit simpler to start. That’s where gaming laptops come in.
While not packing the hefty punch that a full desktop gaming PC set-up has, gaming laptops are a great alternative for people who still want to play games on a PC. As time goes by, gaming laptops are also getting better and better in terms of performance and reliability.
There are plenty of gaming laptops available on the market but in my plight to properly break into the PC gaming world, I got my hands on the Allied Gaming Tomcat-A 16″ Ryzen 9 5900HX RTX 3070 Gaming Laptop.
What are the specs?
Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB Graphics [130W] Memory: 16GB [2x8GB] 3200MHz DDR4 SO-DIMM RAM Operating System Drive: 1TB NVME [Gen3.0] M.2 SSD Display: 16″ IPS WQHD (2560×1600) 165Hz
The Allied Tomcat-A is a 16-inch gaming laptop that runs (from my experience) the latest version of Windows 10. It contains an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB graphics card.
The laptop itself is somewhat chunky, being 2.3kg in weight and 27.3mm thick. However, it doesn’t feel like a lug to take around, making it a good option in terms of portability. The battery also lasts about 4 hours if you’re using it for standard work purposes, with more high-performance gaming hitting the battery a little harder. In this case, I found that the laptop is great off-charge for lighter gaming experiences, while more demanding games led me to keep the laptop plugged in.
Up until I started using the Allied Tomcat-A Gaming Laptop, I was using a newer MacBook Pro for work purposes. If you don’t know, the said MacBook has two USB-C ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack port. This is annoying and usually leads most people to get an additional adapter (which I did). Alas, the Allied Tomcat-A is filled with holes (sorry). The laptop has three USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, a Mini DisplayPort 1.4, an HDMI 2.0 port, a USB-C 3.1 Gen2 Port, and a 2-in-1 audio jack port. This meant it was easy as hell to set all my stuff up.
My experience with the Allied Tomcat-A Gaming Laptop
When I first set this bad boy up, I was also using Allied Gaming’s Firehawk RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (which is clickety-clackity and colourful) and Flashbang RBG Gaming Mouse (which is simple to use while still being a solid gaming mouse and is also colourful). The laptop’s keyboard also lights up with plenty of options for customisation, but can also be turned off if you’re using a separate keyboard and mouse like I was.
The laptop comes built-in with a Control Centre, where you can choose between three options for how the laptop functions: Office mode, Gaming, and High Performance. These modes will change the fan speeds to make sure the laptop stays cool when functioning in different ways. Office mode is a great option when you’re using the laptop for work, with the fan being nice and quiet. However, the fans are pretty loud in Gaming mode and even louder in High-Performance mode. While it can be a little distracting, it also meant that the laptop didn’t face any issues when running games. When you’ve got game sounds or music coming from speakers or you’re wearing a headset, you don’t really notice them.
To test out the Office mode, I simply used the laptop to do my job. From a full day’s work, I faced no issues. Plain and simple, the laptop is great to work from. Not much else to say about it!
To test out the Gaming and High-Performance modes, I used two games.
For the Gaming mode, I played through about an hour of Portal 2. I consider Portal 2 to be a good control game when it comes to testing how games will run on anything, as it is relatively demanding but not so much that it can’t play on a standard console or PC. In playing Portal 2 on the Tomcat-A’s Gaming mode, I ran into a bit of lag at first that evidently came down to the game’s default resolution, which I ultimately changed and found afterwards that it wasn’t an issue anymore. The game ran smoothly and looked good, and I found this to be the same for other light-to-standard games like Frog Detective and ibb & obb.
To truly test out the High-Performance mode, I thought it was only right that I shifted into the gamer zone and upped my set-up a bit.
Sure, it’s no Ultimate Gamer Zone, but it was enough to make my little sister ask, ‘So what, are you a streamer now?’, which is good enough for me.
For the High-Performance mode, I played through about an hour of Red Dead Redemption 2. When I asked my gamer friends what games would really test the abilities of a gaming laptop, this was the most popular answer. Alas, I started out by testing the frame rate using the in-game tool, and it consistently ran at 60fps without fail. And god, it looked beautiful.
Jumping into the game itself, the laptop’s fan was blowing hard. In turn, it didn’t face any overheating and the game didn’t seem to stutter at all, which made the jet engines seem like they were doing their job. I went into the game without changing any settings, and it looked gorgeous and ran swimmingly. As somebody that’s never played Red Dead Redemption 2 before, I found myself constantly saying out loud, ‘Jesus Christ, this looks so good.’ This was doubled by the fact that the gorgeous graphics of the game didn’t have to be knocked down a peg in order for it to run well thanks to the hardware I had it running on.
So who’s this for, and is it worth it?
The Allied Tomcat-A Gaming Laptop is a really good option for anybody not wanting to commit to a full desktop set-up. Allied Gaming, an Australian-based PC gaming manufacturer, knows its stuff when it comes to PC gaming and has options for custom-built desktop gaming PCs as well as gaming laptops, so both options are there.
In terms of price, it’s actually a fair bit cheaper than other RTX3070 gaming laptops. Looking at competitors like MSI, Razer, and Alienware, you’re looking at anywhere between $3,000 to $6,000 from standard retailers like JB Hi-Fi. While packing the same punch as these laptops, the Allied Gaming Tomcat-A 16″ Ryzen 9 5900HX RTX 3070 Gaming Laptop is a more reasonable $2,699. Although it’s still a premium price, I’d say it’s worth it for what you get.
I also have to say and echo what others have said in the past, that their customer service is second-to-none. If you’re looking to either simply get yourself a gaming laptop or go the extra mile and get a whole custom PC built, the contact with Allied Gaming is easy as hell. They know what they’re talking about, and are happy to walk newcomers through the process of getting a solid set-up to get gaming.
The Allied Tomcat-A Gaming Laptop itself though is a solid option for those looking for something portable and easy to set up. While more avid gamers would probably be better off going for a desktop PC, the Allied Tomcat-A is a great place to start for people just getting into the PC gaming world like myself.
If you’re on the go, it works great for playing smaller games and doing your work, but it’s definitely a laptop that benefits from being plugged in and set on a desk if you’re wanting to play bigger games.
It functions well not only as a standard gaming laptop but also as a good home office laptop. Considering I am interested in both gaming and doing my work, it’s a great option for both thanks to the multiple modes.
All in all, as a newcomer to the PC gaming world, I’ve had a great start with the Allied Tomcat-A Gaming Laptop, and can easily recommend it to anybody wanting to start their own journey into PC gaming.