Is Kogan's $999 Gaming Laptop Worth The Money?

Kogan has decided to wet its toes in the enthusiast gamer space, offering a $999 Windows 10 notebook that promises to deliver a "flagship" gaming experience. Packing in a discreet Nvidia graphics card and an Intel Core i7 CPU, the Atlas Pro is certainly a cut above Kogan's previous laptop releases — but is it actually worth $999? That all depends on what you plan to use it for...

The Kogan Atlas Pro comes with a 15.6in 1080p display, a fouth-generation Intel Core i7-4710MQ processor (2.5GHz), 8GB of DDR3L RAM, a 1TB HDD (5400RPM) and a 2GB Nvidia GeForce 940M graphics card. Other notable specifications include 802.11ac Wi-Fi, a full-sized chiclet keyboard with a numeric pad, a DVD optical drive and a 2-megapixel webcam.

Assuming the build quality is up to snuff — which is not necessarily a given when it comes to Kogan — these specifications are quite decent for the asking price. However, they are unlikely to satisfy the hardcore gamers that this laptop is supposedly aimed at.

The GeForce 940M isn't a particularly fearsome GPU and it will likely struggle with graphically intensive new-release games. If you're the type of gamer who enjoys blistering frame rates and maxed out settings you can basically forget it.

Plus, the hardcore gaming community aren't usually interested in cutting costs and compromising on quality — they're happy to spend thousands of dollars on the latest and greatest technology. Most of them would never show up to a LAN party with a Kogan laptop tucked under their arm. They'd much rather spend a few hundred dollars extra.

With that said, the Atlas Pro still provides a decent amount of grunt for $999. If Kogan's own benchmarks can be believed, it outpaced a range of more expensive big-brand laptops in Passmark; a third-party application that rates PC graphics performance. In other words, it will comfortably handle just about any complex application you throw at it — with the exception of cutting-edge games.

As with any Kogan product, you should definitely read as many customer reviews as possible before buying this thing to get a sense of its reliability and build quality. (We'd pay particular attention to what people say about the keyboard.) If you're looking for an all purpose laptop with a little extra grunt under the hood, this could be worth considering. But gaming fanatics should steer clear.

[Via Kogan]


    Anything less than a 950M is cutting too much of a corner from a gaming perspective. From what I see, most consider the 950M the entry level chip for gaming purposes.

    Still, its nice to see people try to do something like this, so hopefully the next iteration can build on this start and we see improvements over time.

    What are your thoughts as a multi purpose laptop? One that you can manually upgrade?

    Even taking the lesser quality GPU into account, the real bottleneck here is going to be a 5400 RPM HDD, even putting a 128GB SSD into this would make it more appealing. Personally I wouldn't be targeting huge amounts of storage space in a gaming laptop as a priority, rather high quality components and performance as number 1.

      the trouble is you do need a lot of storage for gaming these days. GTA5 takes 65gb installed and it's not an outlier.

      Any large SSD would have broken the sub-$1000 price point they were going for pretty hard. I'd personally prefer a second HDD bay so you could have a small SSD for the OS and a bulk storage HDD, but I cant really argue with their choice.

        Depends what genre I guess. For decent online gaming then you are only at 12-20GB and access speed is very important, especially if it's asset rich. Nothing worse than lag as you wait for a 1900's tech drive to spin around to the read heads to grab that set of armour that just appeared.

    Why would you not include a SSD? A 5400rpm 1tb HDD would be slow as all hell... not to mention the heat benefits of a SSD.. It wouln't have to be 1TB may be 500 or 250gb even

    It's a rebranded Clevo W230SD.

    Would this be suitable for running graphics packages such as Adobe Creative Cloud-After Effects in particular?

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