We’re going to check out the 14” P640RE laptop from Metabox, so don’t go anywhere! Inside the box we have the laptop itself which is protected by some foam, there’s also an instruction manual, driver CD, power brick and cable as well as a micro fibre cloth which can be used to keep the laptop clean. The P640RE is the entry level laptop in the Prime series from Metabox, an Australian company that specialise in custom high-end laptops.
This laptop is similar to the P650RE model that I recently reviewed with very similar specs, however they are packed into a smaller, lighter and cheaper package here, so let’s investigate further and jump right into the specs of the laptop. Keep in mind that you can customise these pretty drastically when ordering online so you can select the components that you want.
In my configuration, for the CPU we have an Intel Skylake i7 6700HQ CPU @ 2.6GHz which can turbo up to 3.5GHz. This is a quad core processor with 4 cores and 8 total threads with hyper threading. For memory we have 16GB of DDR4 memory @ 2133MHz. In regards to storage there’s a Samsung 850 EVO 250GB m.2 SSD with room for additional storage, and finally for the graphics there’s a Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M with 3GB of GDDR5 RAM, I’ll provide some benchmarks later on.
The display is a 14” IPS 1080p LED-backlit display with a matte finish, and for network connectivity there’s a gigabit ethernet port, Intel Dual Band 8260 Wireless-AC card and Bluetooth 4.0. As for the physical aspects of the laptop, the case is plastic with a black metallic look to it which looks pretty cool in my opinion. I found it to be mildly fingerprint resistant, nothing a quick wipe with the included microfiber cloth couldn’t fix.
The total weight of the laptop including power brick is just 2KG which is definitely portable, I’m pretty happy with the overall size and weight for the most part, however I did notice that the laptop cannot easily be opened with one finger as it simply isn’t heavy enough, though this may be a good thing for you if you want a light yet powerful laptop! The dimensions of the laptop are 34.9cm in width, 24.7cm in depth, and 2.54cm in height.
I was pretty impressed with the lightweight and small size of the laptop as the specs inside are pretty good. The 14” display looks great, the brightness can easily be adjusted and the viewing angles look stunning no matter where you are viewing from, even on extreme sharp angles everything is still perfectly clear. I like that the surface of the screen is a matte finish which I do prefer over glossy as you don’t get any unwanted reflections showing up.
When viewing a pure black image I did notice a little backlight bleed, which is to be expected to a degree with an IPS panel, however this was only noticeable in a dark room, under normal lighting conditions it wasn’t even noticeable. Sitting just above the display is an inbuilt 2MP camera capable of 1080p video at 30FPS, the quality is fairly average for an inbuilt laptop camera.
The keyboard was nice to type on, I found that the keys were quite spaced out from each other due to the lack of numpad on the right which is fine with me as I never personally use it. The keyboard also has 5 levels of optional backlighting available, and I found the touchpad to work quite well, no issues there. The left and right click buttons were nice and tactile to press, but not too noisy. Despite the smaller size of the laptop there’s still plenty of space for resting your wrists while typing. After my recent look at Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 I’d almost forgotten how nice it is to have so many ports available again.
The P640RE has a lot of great I/O options which is awesome to see, I’m not a fan of the current trend towards being as minimalist as possible.. I’m looking at you, current gen Macbook, with your single port. So let’s check out what’s available. The front only has some status LED lights toward the left. On the left there are two Mini DisplayPort 1.2 ports, one HDMI 2.0 port, two USB 3.0 type A ports, a headphone jack, a microphone jack, and a S/PDIF output jack. While on the right we have a 6-in-1 card reader, which supports MMC, RSMMC, SD, Mini-SD, SDHC and SDXC cards.
Following that there’s another two USB 3.0 ports, the first of which is powered, followed by the RJ-45 gigabit ethernet port and Kensington lock. Over on the back there’s just the AC power input for the included battery brick to plug into, as well as some fan exhausts. The bottom is pretty clean with some holes for air intake, as well as large rubber feet which do an excellent job at stopping the laptop from moving on flat surfaces, and also raise it just a little bit to allow air underneath into the intakes which helps keep things pretty cool, as you can see here the idle temperatures are pretty good considering my ambient room temperature was 20c.
They increased a bit during my benchmarking however I didn’t really notice the laptop warm up too much, it felt fine. The fans do get quite audible when you’re pushing things to the limit, however I didn’t consider them to be too loud. So with all of that in mind, how is the laptop to actually use day to day? Everyday real world performance has been really great, which I expected based on the somewhat high end specs inside.
I’m running Windows 10 with all updates in place and everything is nice and smooth, opening programs and performing normal tasks such as browsing the Internet worked great with no issues or slowness at all. In terms of synthetic testing I’ve run some benchmarks which should help you see how the laptop performs. During the benchmark process the CPU temperature rose to around 50c.
The PassMark CPU benchmark resulted in a score of 8819. In Crystal Disk Mark the SSD performed around 540MB/s of sequential reads and 517MB/s of sequential writes which was great to see. I ran the Fire Strike benchmark from 3DMark and got an overall score of 6531, I’ll leave a link to the full results page in the video description. During the test I noticed a little bit of screen tearing, however this is to be expected without a g-sync style display.
The P640RE does not currently appear to be upgradable to G-Sync, however Metabox offer plenty of other models with this available if you’re after it and serious about getting the absolute best performance while gaming. The included battery is a 3 cell Lithium-Ion polymer battery rated at 45 Watt hours, the battery claims to last for around 290 minutes, and with a full charge and just doing web browsing with the screen on half brightness, Windows 10 estimated that it would last for a bit over two hours which is less than half.
I didn’t want to work on estimates, so I timed how long the battery took to use during average use and it lasted for 2 hours and 25 minutes. If you plan on running high end games purely on battery power this will reduce significantly, so you may want to look at a bigger model with a larger battery if this is important to you, otherwise keep the power supply available when gaming if possible. Based on the fairly high end specs of the machine and the small form factor, I think the battery life that I experienced is a little on the low side, however it did allow me to get plenty of work done off of a full charge, hardcore gaming aside.
I was pleasantly surprised upon testing the speakers here, normally laptop speakers aren’t that great, however I’d put these as above average in terms of laptop speakers. I noticed that the speakers were running under the monitor, which exposes them even when the laptop is closed. They sound alright and are not too obscured when the laptop lid is closed, allowing you to listen to music with the case shut with only a very small volume reduction.
The P640RE comes with a 1 year warranty which includes Australia wide pickup and return, with the optional upgrade to 2 and 3 years available. As I’ve mentioned before, a work colleague of mine has previously had to contact Metabox support to resolve a problem in the past and they covered the cost of the return delivery after fixing the problem which was awesome. The support team were very helpful and they got the problem resolved fast.
The Metabox P640RE laptop offers powerful mobile gaming and could easily act as a desktop replacement while also remaining very portable, light and quite thin considering the fairly beefy specs inside. The P640RE starts at $1,599 AUD and most of the components can be modified based on what you’re after which is awesome, so the final price will depend on your custom selection. You can check out their website at metabox.com.au and customize your own high-end laptop, I’ve left a link in the video description for this specific model.
So what did you guys think of The P640RE laptop from Metabox? Considering the specs inside are very similar to the 15” version that I’ve reviewed in the past, but come in a smaller 14” package here at a cheaper price, I’m actually pretty impressed. At just 2KG it’s very portable yet still decently powerful, it would have been nice to have some more battery life, however this would be part of the trade off of having such a light and powerful laptop.