15.6-inch Full-HD gaming notebooks have been available for a couple of years, but they haven’t been exactly affordable – an Acer Predator or Dell Alienware notebook with Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU will cost you around SGD2,500 or more, which is steep compared to what a regular notebook cost these days. This is why we were quite happy to review the MX-15 Pro, made by Singaporean company Aftershock PC, and its a gaming notebook that we think is quite suitable for enthusiast gamers looking to enjoy better graphics and a smoother gaming experience without breaking the bank.
The MX-15 Pro has a host of features that we really like – no less the fact that it retails below SGD2,000. For your hard earned cash you get quite a bit of good hardware – 15.6-inch Full-HD IPS Matte Display, 7th Gen Quad Core i7-7700 3.6GHz processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB GDR5 RAM, 8GB of DDR4 RAM plus 120GB SSD with 1TB HDD. There’s also a generous number of ports including 1x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0 (Type A) and 1x USB 3.0 (Type C). There’s also a single HDMI and two miniDisplay ports so you can connect to up to three external monitors!
On the portability side the MX-15 Pro is just about average for a 15.6-inch gaming notebook and weighs in at 2.5kg, so we’ve no complaints. Now we know there’s been a move towards slimming down gaming notebooks to near ultrabook dimensions and weight, but the ones we’ve tried in the past tend to run pretty hot (to the point where heat bleed made the function keys too hot to touch) when you’re pushing the processor. With the MX-15 Pro there’s size does make cooling easier, and though there’s some fan noise you’ll barely notice especially if like us you’ve switched over to using surround-sound headsets.
In terms of looks our test unit came with a matte black cover, but overall it looks like a generic black gaming notebook with some styling accents. Now that’s perfectly fine as we like stealthy setups, but if you want to add some personalised bling to your gaming rig Aftershock actually have a custom paint shop where you can add in anything from simple detailing to a full-on airbrush of the entire chassis. Oh speaking of custom colours, the keyboard has RGB backlights which you can set to up to highlight your hotkeys and controls in different colours. It’s also quite good to type on – there’s about 2mm of travel when you depress a key and while it doesn’t feel as good as a desktop keyboard it actually feels pretty decent for typing and I had no qualms using it to type out my articles.
How does it play
While the MX-15 Pro is a gaming notebook we reckon most users are more than likely going to use it as a desktop replacement most of the time, and only occasionally use it on the go. Coincidentally we happened to have two large gaming monitors in the office when this notebook came in we hooked it up via the two miniDisplay Ports to test out if this notebook could handle them and it did without issue. In fact, one of those monitors was the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q pro-gamer monitor that has a superfast 240MHz panel, and after a little setting changes and setting up NVIDIA G-Sync we were playing Counterstrike: Global Offensive at [email protected]! That’s actually quite a bit over the top for that game but showed us that the MX-15 Pro is no slouch as a gaming rig.
PCMark 10 Scores
|PCMark 10 Extended Score||5363|
|PCMark 10 Essentials Score||7527|
|PCMark 10 Gaming Score||7948|
|PCMark 10 Productivity Score||6902|
|PCMark 10 Digital Content Creation Score||5416|
For more details on the test you can click here but overall we were actually pretty impressed with performance of the MX-15 Pro. It’s not going to set the gaming world alight but considering how affordable it is the MX-15 Pro still scores just about a hundred points below the mark for a gaming notebook – and all you really need to add to hit that benchmark in performance is an additional 8GB RAM.
We mentioned this at the start but it does bear reinforcing – the Aftershock MX-15 Pro gives you plenty of bang for your buck. Its priced well below more similar machines using the same NVIDIA GPU from more illustrious brands but offers almost exactly the same performance.
Affordable for a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB gaming notebook
Excellent number of ports including two miniDisplay ports
Generic design (though with custom options)
Specifications (as tested)
Custom Paint and Wrap Options: Matte Black Back Cover
CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ Processor (Quad Core 7th Gen)
Display : 15.6-inch FHD IPS Matte Display (1920×1080 resolution)
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5
Thermal Compound: GELID SOLUTIONS GC-PRO Premium Thermal Compound CPU+GPU
Memory (RAM): 8GB DDR4 2400mhz (1×8)
M.2 SSD BAY (PCIE 2X/4X): 120GB WD M.2 SSD (530MB Read / 430MB Write)
Hard Drive: 1TB 7200RPM HGST HDD
WiFi/Bluetooth: Intel AC 3165 WIFI+BT
Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Keyboard: RGB Keyboard