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.