Metabox P641HK Review – Gaming Laptop and Benchmarks

Metabox P641HK Review – Gaming Laptop and Benchmarks. The P641HK is a 14 inch gaming laptop from Metabox, we’ll take a look at what the laptop has to offer as well as how it performs through a series of gaming benchmarks to help you decide if it’s a laptop you should consider. Inside the box we’ve got the laptop itself, manual and warranty information, power brick and power cable.

To start let’s look at the specs of the model I’ve got here, as you can configure it a bit while ordering. There’s an Intel 7700HQ quad core Kabylake CPU which runs at 2.8GHz and can turbo up to 3.8Ghz. I’ve got 16GB of DDR4 memory running at 2,400MHz here, but the two slots can support up to 32GB. For storage there’s a 256GB SK Hynix M.2 SATA SSD and a 1TB Seagate 5,400 RPM hard drive installed.

For the graphics we’ve got Nvidia’s 1050 Ti in combination with a 14 inch 1080p 60Hz IPS panel, and we’ll see how this performs later in the benchmarks. For the network connectivity there’s a gigabit ethernet port, and Intel 3168AC WiFi which supports up to 802.11ac, as well as Bluetooth 4.0, but this too can be upgraded. The laptop has a black matte look to it on the both the outside of the metallic lid and the plastic interior.

Metabox P641HK Review
Metabox P641HK Review

The physical dimensions of the laptop are 34.9cm in width, 24.7cm in depth, and 2.54cm in height. The total weight of the laptop is advertised as starting at 2.0kg, but this can of course change depending on the selected components. In my own testing I found it to weigh just under 2.1kg, and just under 2.7kg with the power brick and cable for charging, so it’s fairly portable. As mentioned the screen here is a 14 inch 60Hz 1080p IPS matte panel, no G-Sync available here. I’ve also measured the colours produced by the screen using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 98% of sRGB, 71% of NTSC and 76% of AdobeRGB, so in terms of colour reproduction it seems decent.

I’ve performed my usual backlight bleed test on the display, which involves having the laptop show a completely black screen in a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding around the edges. I then take a long exposure photo with my camera to help display any bleed, so basically this is a worst case scenario test. To be honest I could notice some of the bleed in a normally lit room, so the worst case scenario test wasn’t really needed, unfortunately it’s pretty bad in the unit I’ve got here, although this will of course vary from laptop to laptop, I think I was just unlucky here.

I’ve asked Metabox what their policy is regarding backlight bleed, and they said if you’ve got out of the ordinary bleed you can contact them for support, if it’s really bad I suspect they’d be able to replace it. Again this does seem like bad luck, as the 10 other laptops I’ve tested were all fine. While moving the display there was only a little bit of flex, overall it was pretty sturdy owing to the hinges that were placed on the left and right corners, and you can open the laptop with one finger no problems, demonstrating a fairly even weight distribution.

Above the display is a Full HD camera capable of 1080p video. Although the camera does look a bit grainy, it’s definitely noticeably better than all of the 720p webcams I’ve tested. The microphone also sounds really good, but you’ll be able to hear that for yourself. The keyboard seems the same as other Metabox laptops I’ve tested recently, it’s nice to type with and I had no problems with it. There’s white LED backlighting available which can be adjusted through 5 brightness levels, but no RGB with this model unfortunately.

There was a little bit of keyboard flex while pushing down fairly hard, but overall it felt pretty solid and this wasn’t an issue while typing normally. I also found the touchpad to work pretty well, it’s got a light matte surface and there are physical left and right buttons which weren’t too clicky. Moving onto the available I/O on the left there are two Mini DisplayPort 1.2 outputs, hdmi 2.0 port, USB 3.0 Type-A port, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, and three 3.5mm audio jacks for headphones, mic and SPDIF. Over on the right there’s a full size SD card reader, two more USB 3.0 Type-A ports, gigabit ethernet port, and kensington lock. There’s nothing on the front other than some status LEDs, and nothing on the back other than a couple of air exhaust vents towards the corners and power input in the center. Up on the lid there’s the Metabox logo and some lines with a mirrored finish on the sides. Both the lid and the interior show fingerprints fairly easily, but they’re easy enough to wipe away.

Underneath there’s some air intakes to keep everything cool, as well as some rubber feet which both help prevent the laptop from moving around on flat surfaces when in use, and also rise it up slightly to help let cool air in. The speakers are found underneath the display, and I found them to sound pretty good, they have a little bass and still sound clear even at higher volumes. Powering the laptop is a 45 Watt hour 3 cell battery, and with a full charge and just watching YouTube videos with the screen on half brightness, keyboard lighting off and background apps disabled, I was able to use it for 3 hours and 2 minutes with just the built in Intel graphics. While playing the Witcher 3 with medium settings and Nvidia’s battery boost set to 30 FPS the battery lasted for 40 minutes.

Overall I thought the battery life was pretty fair considering the specs and size of the laptop. During normal use with an ambient room temperature of 25 degrees celsius, the CPU idled at 48 degrees celsius while the GPU idled at 47 degrees celsius, and here are the external temperatures of the laptop where you’ll actually be putting your hands. It did feel a little warm getting up to 36c in some places, but it wasn’t too bad. While idling it sat at around 36 decibels, and here’s what it sounded like.

With the CPU and GPU maxed out for half an hour using the heaven benchmark and Aida64 with the same room temperature, the CPU reached a maximum of 77 degrees celsius, while the GPU peaked at 73c, so overall it actually stayed fairly cool compared to other larger laptops I’ve tested. The keyboard area got a fair bit warmer, up to 51c in some areas and was noticeably warm to type on. With the default fan profile the laptop was sitting at around 51 decibels, and here’s what it sounded like. With the fans manually maxed out the CPU and GPU dropped by around 1 and 2 degrees celsius respectively.

The keyboard area temperature didn’t really change, and the maximum noise the laptop was making rose slightly to 53 decibels which is pretty standard for a gaming laptop under full load, here’s how that sounded for comparison. Overall temps were pretty good, likely due to the 1050 Ti which doesn’t get as hot as more powerful graphics options, although I didn’t expect the cooling to perform so well considering the 14 inch form factor, it held up quite well and no thermal throttling was observed, and I also didn’t notice any coil whine while testing.

Finally let’s take a look at some benchmarks, we’ll first cover some real world gaming benchmarks followed by tests with various benchmarking tools. All tests were run at the 1080p resolution with all Windows and Nvidia updates to date installed. I’ve tested Overwatch for 5 minutes at each setting level just playing with the bots, even at max settings we’re able to average over 60 FPS and the 1% lows weren’t too bad, it was a smooth experience while playing even during intense fights.

Dota2 isn’t too demanding and I’m testing with a fairly intensive replay, and we’re not seeing too much of a difference between the different setting levels, it’s definitely very playable. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was tested with the latest 1.0 version using the replay feature. We’re not really getting great results in my testing, with very low settings required in order to average above 60 FPS, although as usual take these results with a grain of salt as the performance can vary quite a lot based on what’s going on in game. Shadow of war with the built in benchmark required medium or lower settings to average 60 FPS.

Battlefield 1 felt nice and smooth regardless of the setting level used, as shown by the fairly even 1% lows which aren’t too low, even ultra settings aren’t too far below 60 FPS. The Witcher3 averaged a fair bit lower on ultra settings compared to the others here, and it felt a bit stuttery while playing, as shown by the much lower 1% low results, it was a lot better at the other setting levels. Watchdogs 2 is a fairly resource intensive game, and from my experience you don’t really need a high frame rate to enjoy it, I found it to run well on high or lower settings. Rise of the Tomb raider is running alright with above 60 FPS averages at medium or lower settings with the built in benchmark.

Ghost recon is another fairly resource intensive game, and probably not something I’d be looking to play on the 1050 Ti. Ultra settings are way too overkill for these specs with the built in benchmark tool, with 60 FPS only achievable at minimum settings. DOOM performs mostly the same regardless of the setting level used, and even with ultra settings we’re averaging close to the 60 FPS sweet spot, it felt nice and smooth the whole time while running, as shown by the fairly high 1% lows. While most games tested ran at acceptable frame rates at lower settings you may want to look at getting a 1060 instead for solid 60 FPS gaming with high settings in more graphically demanding titles, however the 1050Ti is capable of providing an acceptable experience, especially with lower demanding games such as Overwatch, it comes down to what sort of games you plan on playing.

Now onto the benchmarking tools, while a useful indicator note that these results are less practical compared to the real world gaming results previously shown. We’ll start with the Unigine benchmarks, this is how the laptop performed in Heaven benchmark with the tessellation set to extreme, and anti-aliasing set to x8, here’s how Valley benchmark performed with anti-aliasing on x8 at various graphics settings, and finally these are the 1080p results from their newest Superposition benchmark.

For the final graphics benchmarks I ran Fire Strike and Time spy from 3DMark and got scores of 6,709 and 2,505 respectively, so about what you’d expect from a 1050 Ti. In Crystal Disk Mark the 256GB SATA3 M.2 SSD performed around 550MB/s in sequential reads and 270MB/s in sequential writes, so fairly typical for a SATA3 based SSD. The 1TB hard drive gets around 110 MB/s in sequential reads and and 100 MB/s in sequential writes, again pretty typical for a 5,400 RPM hard drive. At minimum specs, so without the 1TB hard drive and with 8gb of RAM, the laptop starts at $1,499 AUD, so about $1,180 USD for my international viewers and will of course vary based on your final hardware selection. For the exact configuration I’ve got here with the extra disk and ram it’s an additional $170 AUD.

So what did you guys think of the P641HK gaming laptop from Metabox? Overall I think it’s pretty nice, it’s got decent specs for the 14 inch form factor, making it a fairly portable gaming laptop with fair battery life considering the size for a fair price. It’s been over a year since I’ve tested a 14 inch laptop and this is definitely a nice improvement, and a good in between option from the usual 13 and 15 inch options, although it was a bit unfortunate about the backlight bleed I had in this unit.

Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments, or simply leave a share if it useful.

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