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

Introduction

While there are many high-performance gaming laptops available on the market out now, most of them are large and bulky and aren't ideal for usage as a travelling device. However, times are changing - a lot more companies are putting out high-performance gaming machines suitable to bring around with you. Introducing the Legion Slim 7i, Lenovo's take on a high-performance laptop in a slim, lightweight, form factor.

There are plenty of reviews out there already benchmarking this laptop and pushing it to its limits, so we decided to take a different approach for this piece. Since the selling point of the laptop is its form factor and weight, for over a week, I used the laptop as my work machine on days I was not at my desk.

For reference, my regular laptop is an Intel-powered Ultrabook with no discrete GPU. It's gone through its fair share of wear and tear over the past three years but still functions great as a work device, I expect the Legion Slim 7i to outclass it in multiple ways.

If Looks Could Kill

Right out of the box, I was impressed by the Lenovo Legion Slim 7i. I had seen it in pictures previously, but this machine looked amazing in person. It has a very unassuming look. Instead of bright lights, sharp edges and loud styling - under its corporate-ish attire, lies a beast of a machine. I'm not a huge fan of the whole 'gamer aesthetic' and I'm glad Lenovo went in this direction.

Though the device is slightly heavier than my own laptop that I'm used to bringing around, I only noticed its heft when I was holding the laptop (i.e. taking it out of my backpack). When I was carrying it around my backpack, it didn't feel that much different. On the other hand, the laptop's power adapter is one heavy unit. Fortunately, the laptop has a reasonable battery life (at least 4-5 hours running in high-performance mode) based on my usage habits, so I didn't need to need to lug around that chonky accessory if I wasn't going to be out for the whole day.

The laptop's power button also works as a battery indicator for the machine - if you see it flashing, you'll know it's time to charge. The glowing symbol on the Legion logo behind the laptop display is also a nice touch, giving a subtle hint of its gaming-capabilities.

Power...

The Legion Slim 7i is the portable version of the Legion 7i, a powerful gaming laptop. But by making it slimmer and lighter, a few sacrifices had to be made. On the Legion Slim 7i, you'll find that it's missing the ethernet, HDMI and side USB A port. Although I could get by without using them, your experience may differ if they are necessary for your workflow.

The Legion Slim 7i only has 4 USB ports - 2x USB C, 2x USB A. Due to the limitations of the slim chassis, the USB A ports are located on the rear of the laptop, which makes them tedious to reach in a pinch. Fortunately, if you have USB C peripherals, those are located on the right side of the device. While it is troublesome if you are used to frequently changing your USB devices (i.e. switching out thumb drives), it can be solved with the use of an external USB hub (not ideal, but it is a solution - or make sure your devices use USB C).

My workflow relies heavily on internet-based apps, so a lot of it is done via a web browser (Chrome), Notion, and Teams. As predicted, I had no issues here, in fact, I would say that using this as a daily machine has been fantastic.

The laptop performs as well as expected - launching programs feels snappy, quick, and effortless. The ultra-responsive touchpad combined with the large 144hz display (which I love) made working feel almost as good as working from my home desktop. My productivity wasn't hampered at all when I was out and about with this device. It felt good to know that I had a device that I could reliably work with and had the ability to run resource-hogging games when the occasion called for it.

...Overwhelming

The numpad was a nice addition (I don't normally use one) - it made entering two-factor authentication codes a breeze, and the keyboard itself is one of the nicest keyboards I've ever used on a laptop (high praise from someone who's very picky when it comes to input devices). In fact, most of this review was written on the Legion Slim 7i's keyboard itself!

If you use your laptop in dark conditions, the keyboard's RGB lighting will make sure you don't get lost. I appreciated the fact that pressing the FN key will light up specific keys on the laptop to inform you of the key combos you can use. Though it was expected to perform well for regular day-to-day tasks, it was nice knowing that the laptop was also capable of playing intensive games at the highest quality settings. I benchmarked and played a few rounds of GTA V on the laptop just to be sure, and was not disappointed. With everything set to High or Very High, I was consistently able to reach over 100 FPS, sometimes jumping up to 120+.

One thing to point out is that the fan noise increased substantially during gaming sessions but it kept the laptop running smoothly, with no hiccups. The case did heat up significantly, but again - it won't be an issue if you plan to use an external keyboard and mouse or gamepad (which you'll probably want to when gaming).

The laptop also features unobtrusive Lenovo software and it didn't come loaded with bloatware (except McAfee antivirus - it's 2020, who needs anything else besides Windows Defender and good browsing habits?). It also has iCUE if you need to adjust the RGB on the keyboard (I turned the lights off because it's not for me). A 1TB SSD also meant that I wouldn't be running out of space any time soon, and 16GB of RAM is plenty for most people. The front-facing camera is passable - it works well enough but can be a bit grainy even in brightly lit conditions. For those who are worried about their privacy, it features a slider to block the lens when not in use.

Speaking of privacy, the laptop features a fingerprint reader for security purposes. With the built-in Windows 10 security options, it was quick and easy to set up a fingerprint password to unlock the device. I set it up to replace the PIN on the login screen without a hitch. No more fumbling for keys when trying to access your laptop quickly.

Bluetooth and wireless connectivity worked great. I had no issues with the speakers or onboard microphone - they were loud and clear. But as usual, you'll want to use your favourite headphones/mic anyway, especially if you work in public.

Conclusion

Using the Legion Slim 7i for the past week has been a pleasure, and I'll be sad to part with the machine. That being said, the laptop isn't perfect - the hard to reach USB A ports in the rear (a problem that will be solved eventually when more devices transition to USB C), the heavy power brick and the less-than-stellar battery life are all points to consider before picking this machine up.

While it is very powerful, the machine does seem a tad overkill if you're planning to use it as a daily driver for non-GPU-intensive work - there are more affordable laptops out there for that purpose. However, if you're looking for a machine that's great for travelling and powerful enough to game with when you need to, the Legion Slim 7i is hard to pass up, especially if you want one of the sleekest-looking machines on the market.

The Legion Slim 7i is going to cost a pretty penny, with a retail price of RM7,599 (but at the time of writing, Lenovo does have some web deals to bring the price down). The laptop comes installed with Windows 10 Home edition, and from now till 31st March, will come preinstalled with Microsoft Office Home & Student 2019 (worth RM529). You can purchase it from Lenovo Exclusive Stores nationwide and Lenovo authorised online sellers.

Pros: Amazing performance, great keyboard, trackpad, gorgeous high refresh rate display, sleek design

Cons: Poor placement of USB A ports, lack of HDMI port, heavy power brick, gets hot and noisy under heavy load

Tech Specs

With PC gaming being one of the most popular hobbies of this day and age (due to us having to stay at home all the time), the gaming machine space has been growing increasingly competitive. Latest to enter the fry, is HP with new versions of their Omen and Pavilion Gaming laptops. With specs that should easily let you blow through the latest games requirements, you could say that they are an omen - of good times to come!

First up is the brand new Omen 15 - featuring a redesigned chassis with a smaller footprint and minimalist aesthetics (death to gamer aesthetics!), it features a GeForce RTX 2070 Super with MAX-Q Design, is powered by 10th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 H-series processors, packs an FHD 300Hz display, and ensures it stays at reasonable temperatures thanks to OMEN Tempest Cooling Technology. While we're not sticklers for specs over here at eGG - just know that it's going to have no problems running whatever you throw at it. Its best feature - expansion capabilities. Say, if you don't feel like splurging on upgrades from the get-go, the Omen 15 will allow you to open it up to customize the hardware inside so you can make it a beastlier machine at a later date!

Next up we have the Pavilion Gaming 15 - a laptop that's designed with entry-level gamers in mind (people dipping their toes into the hobby and don't want to spend as much as an enthusiast). While it only has a GeForce GTX 1660TI, it still has a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and an FHD 144Hz display, so it's no slouch in that department either. If you're not gaming on it, it also serves as a perfectly capable work machine.

Both laptops, and HP's new accessories - the Omen 27i Gaming Monitor, HP Citadel Gaming Chair, Omen Vector Mouse and Omen Blast Headset are all available now from HP's Online Store.

Pricing and Availability

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