Dell G7 15 7500  gaming laptop arriving in Malaysia priced from RM6,499

While most gaming notebooks are primarily branded under their enthusiast Alienware brand, the new Dell G7 15 7500 gaming laptop is takes to the stage under the main brand itself and sports a slim and sleek design aesthetic that is perhaps inspired in part from last year’s Alienware M17 R2 with its extended rear housing,  strategic emphasis on rear port placement and angular look that’s just 18.3mm thin.

Dell G7 15 7500  front

Depending on how deep your pockets go, you can kit the Dell G7 15 7500 with a host of high-end hardware. 

Starting in from the ground floor, the base model for Malaysia gives you a 15.6-inch Full HD 144Hz display with 300 nits brightness, a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H, 8GB DDR4 2,933Hz RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM, a 512GB M.2 PCIe NVME SSD and WiFi 6 802.11ax support. This base model sets you back RM6,499. This gives it enough pixel-crunching grunt to handle most games in the current market without issue including all the usual triple-A titles.

Dell G7 15 7500   side
In theory, the Dell G7 15 7500 can be kitted out with up to a 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU, up to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q and 8GB GDDR6 VRAM graphics card, a 4K OLED UHD display with a 60Hz refresh rate, up to 16GB DDR4 RAM upgradable to 32GB out of your own pocket and a 1TB SSD though there’s no pricing or any official word if you can get this super tricked out variant locally.

Dell G7 15 7500  top

In Malaysia, the Dell G7 7500 is slated to arrive this coming 14th July 2020 on Dell’s official website. Stay tuned for more details as we get them!

Acer unveils a slimmer and lighter Predator Triton 300 gaming notebook at IFA 2019

Predator Triton 300

The IFA trade show is traditionally the time that Acer unveils their next range of products to hit the market and this time around they’ve certainly had jaws dropping with a host of new offerings across the range including a slew of monitors, Chromebooks, laptops, a gaming chair and, in particular, a slimmer and lighter Predator Triton 300 gaming notebook.

The Predator Triton 300 weighs around 2.3kg and can be kitted out, depending on market, with up to a 15.6-inch 144Hz 1080P display with 3ms response time,  up to a 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, up to 16GB DDR4 2,666Hz RAM upgradeable to 32GB, up to two 1TB PCIe NVME SSDs in Raid 0 configuration and up to a 2TB hard disk. The usual blinged up RGB lighting is of course available with the Triton 300 along with a set of concave-shaped WASD and arrow keys.

Predator Triton 300

Also joining the Predator lineup is the Predator Triton 500 that hosts a 15.6-inch Full HD display that notably hosts a 300Hz refresh rate and slim 6.3mm bezels. The rest of the hardware is unconfirmed at this point but it can be kitted out with up to a 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processor.

No word on Malaysia prices yet or availability but the Triton 300 is priced at EUR1,299 and the Triton 500 will have prices starting from USD2,799.99. Swing by www.acer.com for more details.

Predator Triton 500

MSI debuts GT76 Titan gaming notebook at Computex 2019

If you’re running a high-end gaming rig packed with cutting edge hardware, you’ll likely run up a lot of heat which ends up slowing it down. MSI’s new GT76 Titan comes with the desktop version of Intel’s Core i9 processor and tackles the problem of heat head on with a unique emphasis on heat venting and cooling to ensure that it stays comfortably cool even when running at full tilt.

Externally, the GT76 Titan bears all the aesthetic hallmarks of an MSI gaming rig. You have the iconic dragon logo on the top lid albeit done up this time in a more subtle monochromatic finish, the matte black finish and their rather blinged up SteelSeries backlit keyboard. What has changed someone are some refinements in terms of the bezel to offer more screen real estate while keeping the dimensions relatively similar.

Of note with the design of the GT76 is that they’ve paid serious attention to heat management with a good chunk of the underside covered by a mesh wire grille paired up with not one nor four but a whopping 11 heat pipes and four cooling fans hooked up to MSI’s Cooler Boost Titan Tech that keeps the GPU and CPU running at full performance without compromises due to increased heat.
While the specifications have yet to be nailed down, we’re looking at a 9th generation Intel Core i9 processor, up to the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPUs with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM, up to a 17.3-inch UHD (3,840 x 2,160) pixel display that is capable of displaying 100% of the Adobe RGB Colour Gamut and a 60Hz refresh rate, up to 128GB DDR4 2,666MHz memory and a SATA/SSD combo that consists of 2.5-inch hard disk backed up by 3 x NVMe M.2 PCIe Gen 3 SSD. Optionally the Titan GT76 can also come with a 17.3-inch 1920 x 1080 panel but a swift 144Hz refresh rate which is tended more for gamers.

 

On top of the impressive specifications, the GT76 Titan also features per-key backlighting for extra bling, four USB Type-A ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, USB Type-C ports, a mini DisplayPort 1.4, Ethernet and WiFi 6 support.

There’s no compromises here in terms of the pixel crunching power that they’ve crammed into the MSI GT76 and with the impressive amount of cooling that they’ve integrated to keep its desktop CPU and GPU cool, this notebook looks set to break quite a few records indeed. According to MSI, prices start clocking in at US$3,600 and up depending on configuration but there’s no official pricing or availability yet for Malaysia. We’ll keep you posted on any developments.

Beefed up Nitro 5 and Nitro 7 pack 9th Gen Intel processors and 144Hz displays

At Acer’s latest global conference in New York, they unveiled their latest array of hardware for both productivity and gaming with the new Predator Helios 700 taking the limelight with a price to match its impressive specifications. If you’re looking for something a bit more affordable and portable though, Acer has got it covered with revamped incarnations of their Acer Nitro 7 and Nitro 6 which have updated 9th Gen Intel Core processors and 144Hz panels along with their customary slim chassis.

The Acer Nitro 7 has a 15.6-inch 1080P display with a 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time for fast-paced shooters like PUBG and the like, up to 9th Generation Intel Core processors, up to 32GB RAM, up to a 2TB hard disk and, quaintly enough, NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics rather than the latest RTX cards to presumably keep costs within reasonable levels. Externally, the Nitro 7 is exceptionally slim at 19.9mm thin.

The Acer Nitro 5 comes with either a 15.6-inch or 17.3-inch display, both with 144Hz and 3ms response times as well as super slim bezels, up to a 9th Generation Intel Core processor, a similar NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics solution and up to M.2 Gen 3 x 4 PCIe SSDs with NVMe in Raid 0 configuration.

Both the Acer Nitro 7 and Nitro 5 also have their Acer CoolBoost tech that ups the fan speed by 10% to enhance cooling of the CPU and GPU by 9% along with their NitroSense app that enables you to see important notebook diagnostics like temperature, fan speed and power usage at a glance.

The Acer Nitro 7 is slated to arrive in China in May with prices starting from RMB 6,499 which is about RM3,992 while the Acer Nitro 5 will arrive in China starting May with prices from RMB 5,999 which is about RM3,685. There is no official word on local pricing or availability as yet but we’ll keep you in the loop. For more details swing by www.acer.com/nextacer

[Review] Acer Predator Triton 500 – Svelte Gaming Goliath

Gaming notebooks worth their salt are typically massive behemoths that fling mortal concerns such as portability and lightness straight out the window but Acer’s latest gaming notebook is not only powerful enough to tackle the latest titles but is absurdly slim to boot. Enter the Acer Predator Triton 500.

Externally, the Triton 500 has dimensions that are just slightly larger and chunkier than an ultraportable at 18mm thin and at just 2 kg on the weighing scales but it packs some serious gaming hardware including the latest eighth generation Intel Core i5-78300H processor, an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU and a hefty enough cooling setup to keep you gaming well until the cows come home.

The finish on the Triton 500 consists of a matte black paint job embellished with an RGB backlit Predator logo inlaid with blue trim on the top lid along with the brand’s characteristic triangular vent grilles covered by blue wire mesh all around. Build quality is exceptionally sturdy with a combination of light plastic and aluminium across the chassis for weight savings.

The left side sports an Ethernet port, a HDMI out,  a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port and a headphone as well as a microphone jack. The right side comes with a Thunderbolt 3 port, a mini-DisplayPort, a pair of USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports as well as a Kensington lock slot. This array of ports means that you can hook up to three other additional displays via the HDMI port, the mini DisplayPort and the Thunderbolt 3 port if you deign to do so for a multi-screen gaming setup. The underside comes with a quartet of rubber feet to keep it from sliding off a table to oblivion along with a pair of downward firing stereo speakers emplaced near the lower front edge of the bottom panel enhanced with Acer’s TrueHarmony and Waves MaxxAudio software for better aural oomph. The hinge mechanism is well balanced such that you can open the Triton 500 one-handed without undue effort all the way to a 180-degree face-up position if needed with the lid staying where you want it to with minimal wobbling. The top lid is also sturdily built with no give or play.

Flip the lid up and you’re greeted by an RGB backlit keyboard and a generously sized touchpad. Of note is that the W,S, A and D keys have been specially singled out of the whole line-up with teal-hued keys along with the direction pad and a dedicated key that fires up the Notebook’s Predator Sense menu that lets you manipulate the built-in RGB lighting, cooling fan speed for the CPU and GPU and the option to overclock the Triton 500 or alternatively via a hardwired button in the upper left quadrant of the keyboard. The Triton 500 is well equipped on the display front with a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS panel that has a 144Hz refresh rate, a 3ms response time and NVIDIA G-Sync support which allows it to keep pace with more intensive fast action shooters like Overwatch.

The display has exceptionally slim side bezels to offer an impressive 81% screen-to-body ratio though the bottom edge remains rather chunky with the top edge sporting slight beveling for aesthetic reasons as well as a webcam.

One oft neglected aspect of design is a notebook’s power brick with more powerful setups hosting not one but two actual brick-sized chunks that you have to tote around but the Triton 500’s power brick is a surprisingly compact affair that’s slightly smaller than a paperback novel though it is a wee bit denser.

As far as build quality goes, the Triton 500 does not disappoint with top notch quality and a superb fit in every aspect of its build with novel additions to its design like its teal-hued mesh covers that make it distinctive out of the plethora of gaming notebooks out there. What’s most important though is that it’s slim enough that you can feasibly load it along with its power brick in your backpack for a day out without having to put your physiotherapist on speed dial afterwards.

Predator Triton 500 Specifications

Under the hood, the entry level variant of the Acer Predator Triton 500 intended for the Malaysia market comes with a respectable array of hardware that makes it both portable and powerful. Powering the whole affair is an eighth generation Intel Core i5-8300H processor paired up with 16GB DDR4 RAM, a 512GB PCIe NVME SSD that consists of a pair of 256GB SSDs in Raid 0 configuration and a spanking new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card.

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 incorporates the new Turing architecture that features a number of enhancements like Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and Real Time Ray Tracing (RTRT) for more realistic lighting effects in supported games of recent vintage such as Battlefield V and Anthem as well as 60% better performance than the last-gen GTX 1060.

In keeping with many gaming notebook brands these days, the Triton 500 has its own customised Predator Sense app that helps you to customise your notebook’s lighting profile, manipulate fan speed, overclocking and also see internal temperatures at a glance. To keep it cool, the Predator Triton 500 has a grand total of three fans and five heat pipes which go a long ways to keep heat under control. Taken as a whole, the Triton 500 has a pretty solid spec sheet though you’ll likely have to rotate your library of installed games fairly often as most high-end titles easily have install sizes averaging 30-50GB or more. Still, what you have in its stock configuration is more than adequate to have a dozen high-end titles installed with space to spare.

Predator Triton 500 Performance and Benchmarks  

When taken for a whirl around the block, the Triton 500 proved to be delightfully fast and responsive. In terms of synthetic benchmarks, we took it for a spin with its Turbo mode off and on to see what it can tackle in its full glory.

Without Turbo mode, the Triton 500 was still pretty beastly and handled most non RTRT titles without undue trouble at 1080P with decent frame rates.   Turn Turbo mode on though and the Triton 500’s built in cooling fans ramp up in speed from a whisper to a terrifyingly impressive wail  even as it overclocks the hardware akin to an Airwolf attack chopper (look that up kiddos).

The Predator Triton 500 has a potent overclock mode that ramps up the fan temperature and clock speed to tackle demanding games
The Predator Triton 500 has a potent overclock mode that ramps up the fan temperature and clock speed to tackle demanding games

With Turbo mode off, the Triton 500 got a single-core score of 4,447, a multi-core score of 13,295 and an OpenCL score of 59,120 points in GeekBench 4. In Cinebench R15, it got an OpenGL score of 29.38fps and a CPU score of 542cb. In PCMark 10, which tests for real-world productivity usage, the notebook got a respectable score of 4,945 while in 3DMark’s TimeSpy test it got 5,470 points. The Triton 500 is VR ready too for current hardware and score 6,962 points in the VRMark Orange Room test meaning that it ought to be able to tackle a HTC Vive or Oculus Rift rig without too much trouble. In Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey’s internal benchmark test with very high graphic quality at 1080P resolution with Turbo off, it scored an average of 55fps with a maximum of 90fps and a minimum of 19fps.  

With Turbo mode on, the Triton 500 managed 5,835 points in 3D Mark’s TimeSpy test and 4,874 points in the PCMark 10 test. It also managed to achieve a stunning 204,715 points in the OpenCL test, a single-core score of 4,873 points and a multi-core score of 16,966 points in Geekbench 4. In Cinebench R15, the Triton 500 got 103.58 fps in the OpenGL score and a 799cb CPU score. In VRMark’s Orange Room, it managed a score of 6,791 points. In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at similar 1080P resolution with very high graphics quality, it got an average of 56fps with a maximum of 116fps and a minimum of 20fps.

All these benchmarks test its capabilities to tackle conventional gaming but 3DMark’s Port Royale benchmark which tests real time ray tracing capabilities delivered rather interesting results. Without turbo on, the Triton 500 measure a very middling 821 points and chugged its way through the test. Fire up Turbo though and it yielded a very respectable 3,172 points which shows its ray tracing chops.

Benchmarks aside, we put it through several hours of gaming with titles across a variety of genres. In Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock and Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, both space strategy titles that can be somewhat taxing when you involve large fleets of capital ships and fighters duking it out with particle effects, the Triton 500 managed to keep things ticking along nicely without noticeable lag or frame rate drops. In Far Cry New Dawn, CS:GO and Apex Legends on full HD on high settings, the Triton 500 ran them all smoothly even with a large number of targets and explosions onscreen.  

There’s a dearth of games that support ray tracing and DLSS at the time of this review was published though the Triton 500 comes with a free game with your choice of either Bioware’s Anthem or EA’s Battlefield V both of which take advantage of NVIDIA’s potent ray tracing technologies and the power of the GTX 2060 GPU. Our test unit had Anthem installed and playing it was a real treat indeed with smooth frame rates and luscious visuals with RTX and DLSS enabled though we weren’t able to discover a discernible different in lighting with or without RTX on and the dearth of games that use these features means there isn’t much of a sample size to compare with at this point in time.  

The provided display was excellent with good viewing angles while delivering pin-sharp detail and colour rendition with the 144MHz refresh rate ensuring that it kept pace with fast-paced gaming like Apex Legends. The provided speakers are pretty decent and while they don’t have a particularly wide soundstage, they are fortunately loud and have a sufficient amount of bass to make more action-laden games a treat to play.  

As with many other gaming notebooks,  keyboard quality is paramount for an optimum typing and gaming experience and the Triton 500 does not disappoint in that regard. The keys proved responsive and well spaced enough that touch typing was very viable indeed though you’ll still need to get a decent mouse for serious gaming. Alas, you can’t individually control the RGB lighting on a per key basis with the whole keyboard acting as a single colour zone albeit one that you can customise to some degree.

If your pockets are suitable deep enough, you can also opt for the higher specced variants of the Triton 500 with the mid-tier variant which retains all the hardware of the entry-level variant we tested but which upgrades the CPU to an Intel Core i7-8750H processor for RM7,599. If you have RM8,699 in change lying around, you can get the top of the line variant that keeps the Intel Core i7-8750H of the midtier version but upgrades the GPU to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with 8GB GDDR6 VRAM.

Acer Predator Triton 500 Price, Battery Life and Conclusion

While the Triton 500 is an exceptionally portable and powerful gaming rig, it still doesn’t quite resolve the classic problem befalling gaming notebooks – battery life. Without turbo on, the Triton 500 lasts slightly north of four hours of battery life with basic productivity work. In any case, turbo mode won’t work until you’re hooked up to the mains though the Triton 500 is still way ahead of the curve and outguns most ultraportables even without turbo mode on.


As it stands, the Predator Triton 500 is a premium notebook that is both good looking and powerful though it still pales to its better specced and pricier sibling with an eighth gen i7 processor and an RTX 2070 GPU. There’s a dearth of games that take full advantage of ray tracing and DLSS but it does help to future proof the Triton 500 to conceivably tackle games for the next few years down the line in a capable fashion. If you’re looking for one of the slimmest and lightest gaming notebooks with an NVIDIA RTX card, the Predator Triton 500 is well ahead of the pack.

What we liked Superb specifications and performance, responsive and generously sized keyboard, good 144Hz display, svelte and light for a gaming notebook
What we didn’t Fans get a bit noisy under heavy loads
We say  The Acer Triton 500 manages to cram impressive gaming hardware into a light and slim chassis. If you need a slim gaming rig that you can tote around for your next gaming match this comes highly recommended.

Specifications
Price RM6,799
Display 15.6-inch IPS LCD panel, 1920 x 1080 pixels 144Hz refresh/3ms response time
OS Windows 10 Home
Processor Intel Core i5-8300H 2.3GHz
Memory 8GB DDR4 RAM/512GB NVME PCIe SSD ( 2 x 256GB in Raid 0)
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 with 6GB GDDR6 dedicated memory
Battery 5,400mAh
Size/Weight 17.9 x 358.5 x 255mm /2kg
* Review unit courtesy of Acer Malaysia

Acer Predator Triton 500 gaming rig lands in Malaysia with prices from RM6,799

Acer aims to take portable gaming up a notch as their exceptionally light yet powerful Predator Triton 500 gaming notebook is now available in Malaysia.

The Predator Triton 500 weighs just 2.1 kg and is 17.9mm thin with a host of top-shelf hardware shoehorned into the machined all-metal chassis.

The notebook also offers Acer’s fourth generation Aeroblade Cooling technology that has 35% less noise and 45% more airflow compared to normal fans on account of an intricate series of 0.1mm machined blade fans in tandem with 5 heat pipes to efficiently vent heat. Also of note with the Predator Triton 500 is a 3-zone RGB keyboard that lets you tweak the colours on demand in three broad demarcated zones.


The notebook comes with a 15.6-inch IPS Full HD display with 144Hz refresh rate, 16GB DDR4 RAM split between two DIMM slots upgraded to 32GB RAM, a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD and a battery rated to offer about 8 hours of gaming. From there on in, the Predator Triton 500 appears in three different variants that differ based on what processor and GPU it packs.


The entry-level variant comes with an Intel Core i5-8300H processor paired up with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM for RM6,799. The midrange variant uses an Intel Core i7-8750H processor and a similar GeForce RTX 2060 GPU as the entry-level variant for RM7,599.

The top of the line variant of the Predator Triton 500 comes with the midrange variant’s Intel Core i7-8750H but upguns the GPU to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM for a princely RM8,699.

Starting today the Predator Triton 500 is available at Acer official online stores and all authorised resellers nationwide and if you hustle and get one before 4 April you can get one of three games – Battlefield V, Anthem or Metro Exodus. For more details visit www.acer.com.my

 

Asus Republic of Gamers Zephyrus S GX531 gaming notebook is the world’s slimmest gaming notebook

Gaming notebooks aren’t usually considered to be the slimmest offerings around the block by virtue of their design that requires beefy graphics and the immense amounts of cooling needed to keep them ticking along nicely but the spanking new Asus Republic of Gamers Zephyrus S GX531 bucks that trend as it is not only a throughbred gaming laptop that can take on the best of them in the proverbial ring but it’s also, at this point in time, one of the thinnest gaming rigs on the planet.

Crammed into a 14.95mm thin machined aluminium and magnesium alloy chassis is a massive 15.6-inch display with super slim bezels, a 144Hz refresh rate and a 3ms response time; quite an achievement seeing as the Zephyrus S GX531 has a footprint about the size of a 14-inch notebook. Added to this is an Intel Core i7-i8750H processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, an NVIDIA GTX1060 GPU with 6GB GDDR5 VRAM and a 512GB PCIE SSD for storage.

Gaming notebooks generate a lot of heat but the Zephyrus S GX531 tackles this with aplomb as it sports a revamped take on Asus and Republic of Gamer’s Active Aerodynamic System (AAS) tech from its predecessor. The air intakes are 22% larger on the GX531 and the whole affair has five heat pipes to vent heat away from the CPU and graphics card to four heatsinks and the aforementioned exhaust vents. The cooling fans  have also been beefed up with more blades for more efficient cooling and essentially better gaming.


The keyboard hasn’t been neglected as well and it is a full-sized affair complete with a numeric keypad. Of note is that it has four-zone backlighting, their Aura Sync tech to sync it to your ROG gaming mouse and keyboard and N-key rollover to minimise button mashing hijinks.

All this gaming goodness clocks in at RM7,999 but Asus is throwing in a special bundle programme that throws in a free BP1500G ROG backpack worth RM159 to carry it in if you are one of the first 30 buyers.

For more details on this sweet gaming rig swing by https://rog.asus.com/

 

[Review] Asus FX505 – Glorious Gaming Goodness

As part of their TUF line-up of gaming notebooks, the Asus FX505 epitomises the ideals of the line as it’s not only affordable, with entry-level specced units retailing from RM3,699 and up but capping out to about RM5,000, but it is also inordinately durable as well with a MIL STD 810G durability rating, allowing them to survive damage that would turn a less resilient notebook into kibble.

Externally, the ASUS FX505 strikes a look that is both milspec chic and which is also unmistakably Asus issued. Our test unit consists of a matte, non-reflective black finish all around and a gunmetal gray top lid which has a series of aesthetic grooves forming an X-shape with the Asus logo emblazoned in the middle that glows with gold backlighting when activated.

What is especially pleasing here is that Asus has kept the RGB lighting frippery to a minimum and concentrated on the important stuff – namely ensuring that the casing is both hard-wearing, and durable in equal measure. Unlike many other competing notebooks, the FX505’s matte finish resists fingerprints exceptionally well. The fact that it can survive a grown man jumping on it a couple of times is icing on the cake.

If you look closer, the FX505 also optimises other aspects of its design to cater to gamers. Rather than the usual ergonomic mess, the notebook concentrates all its ports on the left side of the notebook with a power charging port, an Ethernet port, a HDMI port and a trio of USB Ports along with an audio jack, leaving the right side open for a mouse to roam unimpeded. Unfortunately, the ports are clustered quite tightly together, which makes plugging in peripherals a bit of a bother. The right side is otherwise bare bar a Kensington Lock while the back of the notebook primarily consists of vent cutouts to facilitate cooling.


The base of the notebook holds a series of additional ventilation ports as well as the usual quartet of rubber pads to keep it from sliding off a table when in use.

Flip the lid open and you’re greeted by the full-sized backlit keyboard which has a numeric keypad as well as a quaintly positioned direction pad offset slightly south from the main keyboard array. Unfortunately, this results in a rather cramped layout though this is hardly an issue for gamers who are reliant on a dozen keys at most. According to Asus, each key is rated to survive over 20 million key presses, which in practical terms should be the contents of War & Peace several times over.
The W, S, A and D keys are differently marked from the rest of the keys with transparent keycaps and the whole affair also has full asssignable RGB backlighting albeit with just a single zone so all you get is essentially one colour at a time displayed across the entirety of the keyboard.

The 15.6-inch NanoEdge 1080P display is a thing of beauty with a matte finish that makes it ideal for indoors use while boasting of exceptionally slim bezels along every edge save the bottom.

Perhaps as an inside joke, the outward corners on each edge of the bezel framing the notebook are cut, which lends the FX505 a unique angular silhouette. The panel itself is ideal for FPS gamers as it also sports a 144Hz refresh rate on top of the added bonus of 100% reproduction of the sRGB colour gamut for colour accurate visuals when gaming.

The FX505’s understated and practical design is breath of fresh air amidst a plethora of notebooks that boast so much bling and RGB lighting that they end up as garishly gaudy displays rather than an effective means to trounce the competition and hopefully Asus continues and extends this design language to their other notebooks as well.

Asus FX505 Performance and Specifications

The Asus FX505 comes in a variety of configurations for the Malaysia market though our test unit is one of the better specced ones with an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2GHz processor paired up with 8GB DDR4 RAM, a 128GB PCIe Gen3 SSD along with a secondary 1TB 7,200rpm hard disk for storage as well as an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060 graphics card. It’s not exactly the bleeding edge of gaming but this hardware setup is more than sufficient to handle every current gen game thrown at it in a playable fashion.

In terms of benchmarks, the FX505 proved competent indeed as a gaming rig. CrystalDiskMark served up respectable read/write speeds for the primary PCIe Gen3 SSD, which facilitated fast boot-ups while the secondary 1TB hard disk was well within the norm for others of its ilk.

In PCMark, the FX505 got a decent score of 3,469. In CineBench R15, it got an OpenGL rating of 82.05fps and 1058cb for the CPU. In 3DMark’s Fire Strike Ultra, it got a score of 982 while in Time Spy it garnered a score of 3,822. We even put it through the ringer through one of the most graphically demanding games available today, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey through its internal benchmark with Very High graphic quality at 1080P where it got an average of 33fps.

In practical field tests, we subjected it to Player Unknown: Battleground where the fast 144MHz refresh rate and solid hardware performance proved to be a boon with the fast pace of the game. While our kill/death ratio towards a chicken dinner remained predictably dismal, it was nonetheless an enjoyable experience with the colours looking suitably delightful onscreen.

This was better borne in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s lush epic vistas of ancient Greece which enjoyed a healthy draw distance, beautiful colours and scads of detail, making Ubisoft’s epic hack-and-loot extravaganza a joy to play.

On the audio front, the notebook’s speakers did not disappoint with sufficient volume and clarity to wandering through the beautiful melodies of Far Cry 5’s folk music as well as the booming staccato report of small arms fire. Joanna Wang’s dulcet sweet voice across a selection of her work were also rendered due justice. Where it fares less well is on more subtle orchestral tracks but that’s hardly an issue seeing the intended purpose of the FX505 as a gaming notebook.

Even after a good five or so hours of intensive gaming, the FX505 ran relatively cool though its rear cooling fans proved rather audible with a low-pitched whirring sound especially during quiet lulls in a gaming session. Fortunately, during otherwise non-intensive work like web browsing, paperwork and the like, the FX505 was relatively silent.

The FX505’s keyboard proved ideal for gaming with a crisp responsiveness that lends it well towards playing FPS games though it proved less than ideal for typing out long tracts on account of the somewhat unorthodox, cramped layout that resulted in a marked number of typos even after field testing with other users.

Asus FX505 Price and Conclusion

In keeping with its contemporaries, the Asus FX505 has middling to poor battery life . Away from the mains, the notebook has about three hours of viable gaming time before you need to hunt for a power plug. The fact that the power pack is a chunky, heavy affair makes porting it around a logistical challenge indeed.

As it stands, the Asus TUF FX505 ticks all the right check boxes for a gaming laptop intended for enthusiasts. Granted, there are some quibbles like a dearth of ports, all of which are tightly clustered together along with a cramped keyboard but they the FX505’s benefits outweigh its downside. It offers a great display, a solid array of hardware complemented by an otherwise excellent cooling array and solid build quality while ditching non essential frippery like gaudy multi-zone RGB lighting to keep the price just slightly north of RM5,000.

What we liked Impressively sturdy build quality, excellent hardware for price, responsive keyboard, great 144Hz matte Nano-edge display
What we didn’t Keyboard layout is a bit cramped, more ports would have been welcome, modest battery life
We Say The Asus FX505 hits that elusive sweet spot of performance versus price with enough pixel crunching power for enthusiast gamers to viscerally enjoy the latest AAA titles while offering an impressively durable casing to make it one of the best gaming notebooks of its class

Specifications
Price RM5,599
Display 15.6-inch Full HD IPS panel, 1920 x 1080 pixels, 144Hz
Processor Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2GHz
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 w/ 6GB GDDR5
Memory 8GB DDR4 / 128G PCIe 3×2 M.2 SSD + SATA 1TB 7,200RPM 2.5″ HDD
Battery 48Wh 4-cell polymer battery
Size/Weight 360 x 262 x 25.8 mm / 2.2kg
*Review unit courtesy of Asus Malaysia

Alienware 17 R4 – Out of this World

The Alienware brand name has an impressive pedigree behind it and their refreshed Alienware 17 R4 has a lot to live up to though it fortunately justifies its reputation and then some as an outstanding gaming rig.

Externally, the Alienware 17 R4 is a massive obsidian behemoth hewn of matte black plastic that dials the bling up to 11 by including customisable LED lighting on the left and right edges as well as the Alienware logo inset into the top lid and the lower flanks of the notebook. This LED backlighting extends to the touchpad and the backlit keyboard too which creates an unearthly glow if you turn it on at night.

The design is all about aggressive angles with angular edges on the corners all around. While it makes for an eye catching stylistic choice, the sharp angles at the bottom edges of the notebook make for an uncomfortable typing experience over long durations of time as they tend to poke at your wrists. This may vary depending on your typing style of course though a modest adjustment by placing the notebook slightly lower than our normal waist height resolved the problem handily.

The right side of the notebook comes with a Type-A SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port and extensive heat ventilation grilles. The left side of the notebook comes with more ports than the left including a USB Type-C port, a Type-A USB 3.0 port, a headphone port and an audio out for attached headsets.

The rear of the Alienware 17 R4 comes with a Gigabit Ethernet port, a mini-display port 1.2 output, a HDMI 2.0 output, a Thunderbolt 3 port and the obligatory power port to jeep it juiced with the rest of the space taken up by extensive grilles that allow the notebook to efficiently vent heat.

Of note is the inclusion of an Alienware Graphics Amplifier port that effectively future proofs it as it allows you, sometime down the line, to augment the notebook with external graphics.

Popping the lid open reveals the massive 17.3-inch Full HD display. If you have cash to spare, you can upgrade this panel to UHD resolution though our review unit was the stock configuration which consists of a 1080P resolution panel that has a matte finish with somewhat chunky bezels surrounding it and the LED-backlit Alienware logo as well as Tobii eye tracking hardware at the base of the display. The top comes with a webcam.

Interestingly enough, the hinge for the display is set not at the every edge of the notebook, which is the norm, but slightly forward of the edge. According to their boffins, this was a conscious design decision for better ventilation even under heavy loads and for better organisation of the notebooks extensive array of ports which are mostly plonked on the rear. The hinge mechanism itself is built like a tank and is exceptionally sturdy without any perceivable wobble. It is also surprisingly smooth as well, allowing you to actually open it one-handed. The top-lid itself has similar build quality and while thick and somewhat chunky, exhibited no play or flex.

The full sized LED-backlit keyboard comes with the works including a numeric keypad on the right as well as a customisable array of keys set in a vertical row to the left of the keyboard and the upper right. The keyboard itself also supports n-key rollover and integrates a reinforced steel backplate that ensures structural integrity over the long term. Inset at the base of the notebook facing forward are a pair of stereo speakers.

Bar the somewhat uncomfortable edges on the palm rests, the Alienware 17 R4 is a proven design with an otherwise soundly designed gaming rig that has a fingerprint resistant finish and a well considered, relatively ergonomic layout with most of the ports and ventilation arrayed around the back to keep it neatly out of sight. The external LED backlighting combined with its aggressive angular aesthetic lends it a distinctive look that will appeal to those looking for a unique looking rig.

Alienware 17 R4 performance

In terms of hardware, the Alienware 17 R4 is loaded for bear with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card and a combination of a 256GB PCie SSD paired with a 1TB 7200rpm hard disk for storage. Granted, it’s not the latest eighth generation Intel Coffee Lake processor but the i7-7700HQ remains one of the more potent options from the existing Kaby Lake generation of processors.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divideds internal benchmarks
Deus Ex: Mankind Divideds internal benchmarks

When subjected to synthetic benchmarks, the notebook yielded a score of 5265 on 3D Mark’s TimeSpy benchmark and a score of 4,071 on 3D Mark’s Fire Strike Ultra. In PCMark 10, the notebook got a score of 4,312 while in PCMark 8’s Creative Accelerated test it got a score of 4,717. In CineBench R15, the Alienware 17 got an OpenGL score of 84.34fps and a CPU score of 725cb. In the Far Cry 5 benchmark, the notebook got an immensely pleasing average 86fps, dipping down to a minimum 71fps under heavy loads and maxing out at 103fps on High graphics quality settings. In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, it yielded a respectable 59.8fps on average and maxes out at 60.7fps.

Far Cry 5s internal benchmarks
Far Cry 5’s internal benchmarks

The benchmarks aren’t a definitive indicator of overall performance though they paint a very positive picture of it as an immensely capable gaming rig that can handle the latest games today without faltering and serious paperwork up to and including a decent amount of enthusiast video rendering too.

When put to the test, the Alienware 17 R4 capably handled the likes of Far Cry 5 at Full HD with most of the settings on high without a hitch with exquisitely beautiful textures and smooth framerates without lagging even with heavy firefights involving multiple combatants happening onscreen. Other games including Deus Ex: Mankind Divided were handled without issue with equally smooth frame rates and nary a pause to the action onscreen.

The Alienware 17 lets you tweak the lighting and the shortcuts to your personal specifications
The Alienware 17 R4 lets you tweak the lighting and the shortcuts to your personal specifications

The Tobii Eye Tracking feature tracks where your eyeballs are pointing at and helps add another level of interactivity when gaming but it only works with certain games such as Tom Clancy’s The Division and the aforementioned Far Cry 5. Alas, it proved to be a novelty more than a compelling enhancement to gameplay during our time tinkering with it.

The matte display proved a treat for watching movies and gaming alike with beautifully vibrant hues and pin sharp detail under all the usual indoor scenarios including under direct overhead neon lighting. The notebook’s front-firing stereo speakers proved rather capable and had enough breadth and depth to handle Ramin Djawadi’s varied work in the Westworld soundtrack which spans everything from his robust rework of Paint it Black to subtle tracks like Dr. Ford.

Naturally, it excels at its primary task of rendering gaming audio and was a dab hand with all of Far Cry 5’s diverse array of explosions and gunfire. Should the default settings not appeal, you can open up the Alienware Sound Center and tweak the treble, bass and other minutiae to your exact specifications.

The Alienware Sound Centre on the Alienware 17 lets you tweak the sound profile to your personal tastes
The Alienware Sound Centre on the Alienware 17 R4 lets you tweak the sound profile to your personal tastes

When tackling paperwork, the Alienware 17 R4 is sheer overkill with the ability to open a dozen browser windows in Chrome simultaneously, run iFlix in a window on the side and also render a short video too.


All this would be for naught though if the notebook had a naff keyboard. Fortunately, the Alienware 17 R4 was up to the task and it’s full sized TactX keyboard was a delight to type on as it had a short 2.2mm of key travel and excellent tactility that allowed for a fairly robust typing speed to crunch through reams of text.

We initially thought the shortcut keys were placed in a somewhat quaint position, being as it is plonked on the extreme left row on the keyboard in a vertical row but after several weeks of field testing, found them to be in exactly the right place. It’s close enough that the majority of the shortcut keys can be reached with a pinky finger if needed and just far enough away to prevent an accidental misfire. The touchpad itself proved equally swift and responsive as well though you still need a decent gaming mouse if you aim to play competitively.

Alienware 17 R4 Price and Battery Life

The Alienware 17 R4 has a number of power settings on a slider that let you choose between performance or power efficiency. The test unit was set at just a notch below maximum performance levels and managed to eke out a decent 4 hours of battery life on a heavy albeit non-gaming workload that included streaming videos on iFlix and a spot of writing too. Heavy gaming however drained the battery in under a couple of hours. Naturally, your mileage may vary on your own usage settings. Like many gaming rigs, you still oughtn’t wander far from the mains with this.

As it stands, the Alienware 17 R4 is a solid gaming rig that ticks all the boxes that a gamer would want – a good display, solid hardware than can tackle any game currently available, a great keyboard and solid speakers too.

While your individual tastes towards bling can vary, the fact that the Alienware 17 R4 has the option to light things up with LED strips on its chassis is a welcome one. All this clocks in at a fairly pretty penny though and the Alienware 17 R4 doesn’t come cheap. What you do pay for though is solid build quality and Dell’s usual impeccable after sales service. If you have the cash to spare and are in need of a solid (and blinged up) gaming rig, the Alienware 17 R4 is well worth your consideration.

Specifications
Price RM10,699
Display 17.3-inch, Full HD with Tobii Eye-tracking
Processor Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8GHz
OS Windows 10 Home
Storage 16GB DDR4 RAM / 256GB PCie SSD + 1TB 7200rpm hard disk
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5
Battery 68Whr
Size/Weight 424 x 332 x 29.9mm / 4.42kg

What we liked Powerful hardware, great performance, responsive keyboard, good display
What we didn’t Middling battery life, immensely heavy, some ergonomic niggles with the palm rests
We say The Alienware 17 R4 is an immensely powerful and weighty gaming rig that proves to be exceptionally capable at tackling some of the most demanding games in the market today.

MSI’s GS65 Stealth Thin sells out in a week; restocks now available

The MSI GS65 Stealth Thin is one of the brand’s most impressive examples of engineering of late as it was a bona fide gaming notebook crammed into a svelte machined casing that’s just 17.5mm thin and weighing 1.8kg which is waifishly light by gaming notebook standards. When it launched a few weeks ago, sales were strictly cash and carry with no preorders. Even so, every last one of them were snapped up which is quite an achievement and retailers nationwide ran out of stock in a week. Fortunately, MSI has heard the call and is issuing a special restock order for customers.


To recap, the GS65 Stealth Thin is one of their thinnest gaming notebooks ever made. The top of the line configuration clocks in at RM10,699 and comes with the latest eighth generation Intel Coffee Lake i7-8750H processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX1070 GPU, 16GB DDR4 RAM, a 512GB NVMe SSD and a 15.6-inch 1080P panel with 144Hz refresh rate.

Another variant is available which is similar bar a slightly lower specced GTX1060 GPU for RM9,699. To reward loyal fans, MSI is also issuing an MSI dragon statuette with each purchase.

To get in on the restock order, you can visit the official MSI stores at BB Park, at Plaza Lowyat and at Digital Mall, PJ to place an order for the notebook. The reordering window is open from now till the end of May 15 and units will arrive in-country sometime in mid-May. Should all these locations be too far away, you can swing by their official website at http://mystore.msi.com

Just in case, here are MSI’s store locations:
1. MSI Store @ BB Park
Address: GL-013, BB Park (Plaza lowyat), Jalan Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur,
Wilayah Persekutuan

2. MSI Store @ Plaza Lowyat
Address: Lot 2.79, 2nd Floor, Plaza Low Yat, Off Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah
Persekutuan, Malaysia

3. MSI Store @ Digital Mall
Address: Lot G-03A, Ground Floor, Digital Mall, 2, Jalan 14/20, Seksyen 14, 46100 Petaling Jaya,
Malaysia