OUR STREAMERS

Disclaimer: We were loaned a review unit, courtesy of Illegear in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are the author’s own and not influenced by Illegear, and/or its affiliates, in any way.

When Illegear reached out to us to review their latest laptop, I jumped at the chance. It wasn’t a typical gaming laptop that they’ve been producing for years now, instead, they were looking to enter a new space - a laptop for creators. Now that might seem a bit broad since “creators” can apply to so many different kinds of users and based on their description and the Arté 14’s specs, it’s targeted at visual/graphic designers who can make full use of the laptop’s opulent display and portability. The way I interpret the laptop - it’s Illegear’s answer to the MacBook Air.

Since I am not a graphic designer, I’m not the intended audience of the device but I still put it through the paces of my own workflow to see how well it would hold up. After all, I can appreciate a lightweight laptop with a fancy screen and I do create content.

A Workhorse

I’ve been using the Illegear Arté 14 as my daily driver for the past week, and my routine consists of using Chrome for a lot of my tasks - writing in Google Docs, updating spreadsheets, Facebook, emails, and blogging in WordPress. Outside of Chrome, I used Photoshop for some image editing.

In this regard, the device performs admirably. I have no complaints at all. Everything ran smoothly, without a hitch (as I expected it to, thanks to its beefy specs). The laptop boots up in seconds, applications load instantly, and I never encountered any slowdowns or crashes. From the responsive trackpad and keyboard to the brilliant 90Hz display, the Arté 14 was a joy to use.

I also appreciated the laptop’s weight (or lack of - at 1.04kg). Even though I didn’t leave home during the testing period, I shifted it about my house many times, and it never was a hassle to do so. I think this can translate to bringing your laptop around for meetings or appointments outside when the world goes back to normal.

Another thing I like about the Arté 14 is the number of ports available on the laptop. You get: USB 3.1 Type-A (x2), USB 3.1 Type-C, Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C, 2-in-1 audio jack, HDMI 2.0 output and an SD Card reader - it’s not common for super-slim devices like these to have so many ports available, good on Illegear for addressing that need. Personally, I could have done away with the SD Card reader since I don’t use it but I can see how it would be useful for people who want to transfer photos/videos from their cameras.

Speaking of cameras, the webcam on this laptop isn’t great. The quality of the built-in mic is adequate, and the speakers are loud, clear and balanced. I enjoyed listening to music and watching movies on the laptop.

Gaming

Since I’ve never had a chance to play with an Iris Xe-powered laptop before, I decided to install COD: Warzone to see how it would fare. I had the rendering at 1440 x 900 and upscaled to its native resolution (2880 x 1800) and it was barely playable at a very choppy 45 FPS. All the other settings were turned to the lowest or off when possible.

While it was not unplayable, it’s definitely not ideal and it caused the CPU/GPU to heat up to about 90 degrees C while running. A real shame, since we had a gorgeous high resolution and refresh rate display, that couldn’t be used for intensive gaming. Running Warzone also caused the top of the laptop (near the hinges) to heat up terribly, which is definitely not something you want to put your laptop through for extended periods of time.

If you plan on playing smaller 2D indie or old/retro games, you won’t have any problems there, but this is definitely not for you if you’re into hardcore gaming or the latest triple-A titles. I did some digging around and it seems that the GPU might work better with different titles and graphics APIs. Regardless, I would not recommend this laptop if you’re looking for a gaming machine, and since it wasn’t marketed as one, we can let it slide. However, it’s still something to note when considering a purchase.

Battery Life

Based on what I’ve written so far, you must be thinking - this laptop seems perfect for a work machine, what could be wrong? It has great specs, a reasonable price tag, and a lovely form factor. 

Well, if there’s one thing I was let down by in this device, it’s the Arté 14’s battery life. Throughout my week of testing, I used the laptop at different brightness levels and performance settings to see how much they would affect my experience.

I used the laptop at max brightness and max performance, 50% brightness and better performance mode, 50% brightness and better battery mode, 50% brightness and best battery life mode, and 10% brightness and best battery life mode. Here’s what I encountered: 5-6 hours of battery life despite the setting I was at. 

It seemed like the brightness or performance mode didn’t matter at all - I couldn’t squeeze any extra life out of the battery. On the plus side, this meant I could use the laptop at max brightness and performance with no drawbacks since going down to lower settings didn’t improve the battery life. On the downside, there was no way to extend the battery life. I am not sure if this was a hardware or software issue and I have brought it up with Illegear who responded that they will look into it.

5-6 hours of usage isn’t terrible, but for such a portable device, I wished it could at least last a full day because it brings me to the next issue - its massive power brick. If you aren’t using this laptop as a desktop replacement, you’ll need to lug around this bulky accessory with you since the laptop won’t last a full day of use.

Conclusion

If the laptop had better battery life, it would have made this machine an easy recommendation from me. It does everything that Illegear set out to do with their Creator-focused line in a sleek, attractive, and lightweight package with a reasonable price tag. However, I wish the battery life could have been a tad better, or at least extendable when I set it to battery saving mode. Maybe if the charger wasn’t so cumbersome, I could have overlooked this issue.

That being said, if you’re looking for a portable high-performance laptop (not for gaming) and you don’t mind the 5-6 hour battery life or lugging around a large power brick, the Illegear Arté 14 is right up your alley.

The Illegear Arté 14 is available now on their official website, with prices starting at RM4,599 (before discount). If you purchase one before 31st July, you are entitled to a free Samsung 512GB SSD upgrade, free Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut, and free colour calibration.

Specs

Processor11th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-11300H Processor (Four Core, Eight Threads, 3.1GHz to 4.4GHz), 8M Cache
11th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-11370H Processor (Four Core, Eight Threads, 3.3GHz to 4.8GHz), 8M Cache
Core LogicIntel® Tiger Lake H
Display14″ 90Hz iRIS WQXGA 16:10 Anti-glare IPS sRGB 100% INFINIVISION Display (400 nitts)
RAMSupports Dual Channel DDR4
Two 260 pins SODIMM sockets, support for DDR4 3200MHz
(Real operation frequency depends on processor)
Expandable up to 64GB, depends on 8GB/16GB/32GB SODIMM module
Graphics CardIntel® Iris® Xe Graphics, 400 MHz – 1300 MHz
StorageTwo M.2 2280 SSD, PCIe Gen3 x2 and PCIe Gen4 x4 interface (RAID 0/1 support)
Sound SystemBuilt-in Dual Digital Microphone
Built-in High Definition Audio (2 Channels)
Two 2 Watt Amplified Speakers
THX® Spatial Audio
KeyboardUltra-tactile Keyboard with White Backlit (USA International)
Pointing DeviceIntegrated touchpad with Microsoft PTP multi-gesture and scrolling function
Double-tap ON/OFF Feature
I/O Ports1 Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C port
- Support Type-C Fast Charging
- Support Power Delivery
- Support Data Transfer
- Support DisplayPort 1.41
HDMI 2.0 output Port
1 USB 3.1 Gen. 2 Port (Type-C) (Support Display Output)
2 USB 3.1 Gen. 1 Ports (Type-A)
1 2-in-1 Audio Jack
1 DC-in jack
Slots2-in-1 Card Reader
Three M.2 Card Slots
– 1st for WLAN Combo M.2 2230 Card with PCIe and USB interface
– 2nd for SSD M.2 2280 Card with PCIe Gen3 x2 interface
– 3rd for SSD M.2 2280 Card with PCIe Gen4 x4 interface
CommunicationIntel®️ Wi-Fi 6 AX201 + Bluetooth v5.1
Other FeaturesMagnesium Alloy with Protective Coating
Large Glass Touchpad
Windows Hello Camera (Top Webcam)
PowerEmbedded Polymer 53Wh Battery Pack
Full Range AC-in 100~240V, 50~60Hz, 90W AC Adapter
SecurityKensington® Lock
OS SupportWindows® 10
Certificate11th Generation Intel® Core™ i5/i7 Logo
Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics Logo
Physical Characteristic1.04kg with Battery
308.8 (W) x 215 (D) x 13.6~15.6 (H) mm

Disclaimer: We were loaned a review unit, courtesy of Illegear in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are the author’s own and not influenced by Illegear, and/or its affiliates, in any way.

Illegear has been stepping it up with their high-performance laptops recently, and one of their latest machines to join the fray is the Selenite X with GeForce RTX 30 series graphics.

We had the opportunity to play around with the machine for a couple of weeks and boy, it sure delivers - at least on the performance front. In terms of being a portable computer, I would chalk that down to personal preferences because this isn't for me.

Firstly, the laptop is massive. It has a large footprint thanks to its 17.3" 165Hz display and isn't what anyone would call lightweight, at 2.4kg. Throw in the massive power brick (because the battery life on this machine isn't great - I managed to squeeze slightly over an hour on high-performance mode) and you've got a recipe for backache. I tried lugging the laptop around as a daily driver and while I eventually got used to the weight, it made me appreciate the weight of my Ultrabook (ASUS UX430UA) when I switched back.

That being said, the Selenite X delivers on all other fronts. In terms of performance, you won't be disappointed. The machine can run all games, watch HD films, stream, and anything else you can throw at it. Unsurprising for a laptop of this caliber, but just thought I'd point it out in case you were wondering. The review unit I had was powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H, 32 GB of RAM, RTX 3070 and SSD had no issues keeping up for the most part.

Yes, I shall point out one of my main issues with the laptop - the CPU/GPU combo on my review unit does not take full advantage of the 165Hz display. Sure, the display is gorgeous and has no issues pumping out high-resolution visuals, but I had trouble getting games to run at that frame rate. By no means the games are unplayable - I ran a multitude of tests at different settings, with and without overclocking the hardware and I could never get Fortnite or COD: Warzone to run at 165 FPS. I was definitely getting above 100-120 FPS in most situations, and even 140 in certain areas, but I could never get the games to make full use of the display's capabilities. At this point, it's probably a CPU restriction because the equipped RTX 3070 is no slouch, but I thought I'd point that out.

In my opinion, if the laptop came with a 120Hz display instead, I probably wouldn't be too bothered by this point. With that being said, I'm not upset about the laptop's performance, just that the display might be more suitable when paired with the higher-end configurations (you can purchase the Selenite X with an R9 5900HZ if you top up RM3,800).

With a base price of RM7,299, it's nowhere near a budget friendly machine, so what else does the Selenite X bring to the table? For one, the laptop is massive for a good reason - it makes full use of its real estate. Because of its huge footprint, Illegear has managed to fit a keyboard with a numpad and a gigantic touchpad below it. If you ever found yourself complaining about the size of your touchpad, this laptop might be for you.

The touchpad is so big that users have the ability to disable the right half of it (or you can disable the whole thing, but what would be the point?). While I don't see it making a difference when it comes to gaming (I'd rather plug in an external mouse or use a gamepad), it was great for day-to-day usage. Having a larger touchpad made it easier to use without having to constantly lift and reposition my finger. Dragging things around was so much easier to do.

In the beginning, I found myself constantly making accidental moves on the touchpad because my palms were resting on it (where I imagined the empty portion of the laptop should normally be). Disabling one half of the touchpad somewhat solved the issue, but that meant I would absentmindedly use the disabled section instead, which led me to think that it was not responding, so I left it enabled. After a few days of adjusting, I got used to the positioning of this humongous touchpad.

One thing I applaud about the design of the laptop is its thermals. I didn't open up the laptop, but I assume the large base allowed them to put larger fans or at least space out the components more for better airflow. There are vents on the side and back of the laptop to let hot air out. Even when overclocked, the laptop did a great job of getting rid of the heat from the device. I had no issues using its keyboard during my gaming sessions, it never got hot enough for me to be uncomfortable or worried, which is a step up from other gaming laptops I've reviewed in the past. The fans still go pretty loud but one step at a time, I guess!

The Selenite also features plenty of ports on the side - great if you have a lot of accessories to plug in. Three USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader and separate headphone/mic ports on the left. This means if you have a dedicated mic cable on your headset you'll be able to make use of the microphone port, though I suspect most people will have USB mics these days. On the back, you get an ethernet port, a full-sized HDMI port, and a USB C port.

In terms of appearance, the laptop definitely has some sleek and subtle hints to its gamer pedigree but is professional enough to be used in an office setting with no judgement (you'll probably have to turn off the keyboard RGB). No complaints from me - it's a decent-looking machine.

To conclude - if you need a high-end desktop replacement that features a super large trackpad, an almost full-sized keyboard, has good thermals, the Selenite X is probably right up your alley. Since there are competing models within the same budget, it'll be up to you to decide what kind of features you are looking for when shopping for a similarly specced laptop. You can buy one from the official Illegear website, starting at RM7,299.

Tech Specs (Base Model)

Disclaimer: We were loaned review units, courtesy of Illegear in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are the author’s own and not influenced by Illegear, and/or its affiliates, in any way.

If there’s one thing that Malaysians are constantly on the lookout for, it’s a bang for your buck product! And if there’s a gaming hardware company that understands that, it’s none other than Illegear. For years the company has been pushing out powerful gaming products at reasonable price points and their current series of gaming monitors, the Bolt 24 and Bolt 27 are great examples of their philosophy. After spending some time with the Bolt 24 and Bolt 27, here’s what we think about the displays.

Bolt 27

I’ll start with the larger display, the Bolt 27. Its main draw is its attractive price point - at RM1,199, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another curved 27” monitor with all of the same features. Samsung VA panels, 2560 x 1440 QHD resolution, 144Hz refresh rate, HDR, and 4ms response time. Not to mention, the monitor is an attractive looking piece of hardware, especially with the glowing “X” in the back which can spice up your room a little.

We tested the monitor out and it performed as expected - it ran games at 144Hz with no issues, colours were shown correctly and so on. It also has plenty of I/O ports - 2x HDMI 1.4, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x Headphone. If there’s one thing I could wish for, it would be for us to be able to hold onto the review unit forever!

Jokes aside, the Bolt 27 isn’t perfect - the stand that comes with the monitor has extremely limited adjustability. Besides the angle (tilting up/down) of the display, you won’t be able to move anything else. Fortunately, it comes with optional brackets that allow you to use the monitor with VESA mounts (for your walls or table monitor arms). The monitor also uses a power brick instead of a regular power cable, so it can take up some table space.

However, these drawbacks don’t detract from the overall experience of using the Bolt 27. The stand was extremely easy to put together and we had it up and running in a matter of minutes. It probably took more time to remove the display from the box!

If you’re looking for a high-res, high-refresh-rate, and HDR-capable monitor, you can’t go wrong with the Bolt 27, especially at this price. However, if you don’t need something that large (i.e. limited table space or you don’t have the GPU for such high resolution), the smaller Bolt 24 might be what you need.

Bolt 24

The Bolt 24 can be touted as the little sibling of the 27. While it does cost almost half the price at RM659, some sacrifices had to be made -  namely, its smaller size (only 23.6” wide), lower resolution (1920 x 1080 Full HD), and no HDR support. However, depending on your requirements, this might be all that you need. You still get the high refresh rate, funky backlighting and a curved display that uses a Samsung VA panel.

While the monitor does perform well, it does have some caveats - 144Hz refresh rate is only available through DisplayPort, due to the monitor using HDMI 1.4. Unlike the Bolt 27, which has HDMI 2.0 support, you’ll need a DisplayPort capable GPU in order to enable the highest refresh rate, if not you’ll be stuck at 120Hz. Something to take note of if you have limited DisplayPort outputs available. Fortunately, like the Bolt 27, it does come with a DisplayPort cable included. The Bolt 24 has the following I/O ports: 2x HDMI 1.4, 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x Headphone.

The Bolt 24 comes with a very limited mounting stand as well, with the monitor tilt being the only thing that’s adjustable. Fortunately, it also comes with VESA mounting support so you can rectify those issues. One thing I didn’t like about the default stand is that it attaches to the back of the monitor via a single screw. I felt that two should have been the minimum because a single screw for such an important job seems questionable to me.

Lastly, the recessed ports on the Bolt 24 are a double-edged sword - they keep your connectors hidden, but this also means that they are quite troublesome to remove (not an issue for most people but it does slow down the job of a reviewer). It also makes it hard to keep the cables out of sight since they are forced to exit downwards.

All in all, if you’re looking for a curved, high refresh rate 23.6" monitor at a reasonable price, the Bolt 24 might be right up your alley.

Both of the monitors are available now, on the official Illegear website:

Stay tuned to eGG Network for all the latest news and reviews on tech and gaming products!

Disclaimer: We were loaned a review unit, courtesy of Illegear in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are the author’s own and not influenced by Illegear, and/or its affiliates, in any way.

For the longest time, people have been streaming games on their desktop computers. Usually due to how intensive the process is and how expensive it is to build a computer that is capable of doing so. However, as time passed and technology became more powerful, cheaper, and small enough to fit into a small form factor device like a laptop. Enter the Illegear Onyx V - a Ryzen-powered gaming laptop with beefy enough specs to handle everything thrown at it, including streaming.

Here are the specs of the review unit:

At this point in time, we know that the laptop’s specs are good enough to run any game you throw at it, so I won’t spend any time on it and get right to the meat of this article - is this machine good enough for your streaming needs? In short, yes. I installed two popular, intensive games on the laptop, set up a stream and put it to the test.

Streaming Setup:

Here are the results:

Dota 2

Dota 2 [SEA]

Testing Illegear Onyx Black for streaming

Posted by GNG live on Sabtu, 10 Oktober 2020

Under normal conditions, I had Dota 2 running in high settings, at 120 FPS. When I started streaming the game, it dropped to around 60 FPS - still playable, but not optimal. However, during the stream, there were no other issues. The game ran smoothly, and there were no hitches with performance at all.

Fortnite

Fornite 😂

Testing Illegear Onyx Black for streaming

Posted by GNG live on Sabtu, 10 Oktober 2020

I decided to limit the frame rate to 60FPS for Fortnite, and during streaming, I didn’t notice it drop, so it looks like 60FPS might be the sweet spot to stream at. Depending on where you’re streaming to, that’s usually the max frame rate you’ll be able to stream at, so it shouldn’t be a problem. The game looked and played great, no performance issues at all either.

Conclusion

I was impressed by the results. Based on my tests, it’s safe to say that the Illegear Onyx V is perfectly capable of being a streaming machine.

However, the machine is not perfect - during heavy load, the fans get extremely loud, to a point where I got worried about the laptop. Fortunately, the CPU/GPU never got too hot when I monitored them, but parts of the laptop were extremely warm to the touch. If you don’t plan on using the onboard keyboard, this heat isn’t going to be a problem (something I’d recommend anyway, as laptop keyboards aren’t the best to use) but I would recommend a keyboard stand of some sort to cool the laptop while it is in use. Most importantly, it didn’t affect gaming performance or cause any crashes.

The laptop works best when it’s connected to a power-outlet - not a huge issue, but if you’re planning to game on the go, expect framerates to drop if you don’t lower your settings.

The Onyx V is also noticeably heavy (1.85kg with the battery), but that’s a given seeing how it’s a desktop replacement. But for what it’s worth, it’s much lighter than desktop replacement laptops I’ve used in the past.

My favourite feature of the Onyx V is its 120Hz FHD display - high refresh rate displays aren't very common on laptops, and the one on this machine was a joy to use. Everything felt buttery smooth - even dragging around windows and scrolling through websites. If you don't plan to stream with this machine, I would say the gorgeous display would be its next best selling point.

If you’re buying a laptop for regular wordprocessing and email usage - there are more suitable and lightweight machines out there. But if you want a laptop that is capable of gaming and streaming, the Illegear Onyx V is definitely one of the best devices for the job.

The starting price for the Illegear Onyx V is RM3,499 and can be purchased through their official website.

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