Metabox P650HP-G 15″ Laptop Review
Metabox P650HP-G 15″ Laptop Review. We’re going to check out the new Kabylake and Pascal based P650HP-G laptop from Metabox. The P650HP-G is a newer and higher end laptop in the Prime series from Metabox, an Australian company that specialise in custom high-end laptops. This laptop is similar to some of the previous models that I have previously reviewed with similar specs, however we now have Intel’s 7700HQ Kabylake CPU here.
How does this change affect performance? We’ll find out in our upcoming benchmarks. Inside the box we have the laptop itself, user guide and driver CD, as well as the power brick and power cable. So let’s jump right into the specs of the laptop. Keep in mind that you can customise these when ordering online so you can select the components that you want which may differ to what I have here. In my configuration, for the CPU we’ve got an Intel Kabylake 7700HQ @ 2.8GHz which can turbo up to 3.8GHz.
This is a quad core CPU with 4 cores and 8 total threads with hyperthreading. For memory there’s 16GB of DDR4 RAM @ 2400MHz. For storage there’s a Intel 540S 240GB SATA 3 M.2 which runs the Windows 10 Home edition operating system and for graphics there’s an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 with 6GB of GDDR5 memory.
The display is a 15.6” 1080p IPS WVA 120Hz LED-backlit panel with a matte finish. This model also has Nvidia’s G-sync technology, which keeps the refresh rate of the display in sync with the graphics card, removing screen tearing which results in a much better experience with games. For network connectivity there’s a gigabit ethernet port, and Intel 3165 wireless AC card which also provides Bluetooth.
All of this hardware is placed into a Clevo case which has a black brushed metallic look to it and is made out of an aluminium alloy, making the overall build quality really nice. The physical dimensions of the laptop are 38.5 cm (w) x 27.1 cm (d) x 2.5cm (h), so it’s pretty thin for the amount of power that you get inside.
The total weight of the laptop is listed as being 2.6KG for the base model, mine weighs in here at 2.7KG which is still fairly portable in my opinion. When combined with the power brick it goes to around 3.6KG. The laptop has enough weight to allow you to easily open the lid with one hand which was also nice. The screen looks great, one of the first things I noticed was just how smooth everything was, as this one has been upgraded to the 120Hz 1080p panel.
By default the laptop comes with a 60Hz 1080p panel, and can also optionally be upgraded to a 4K panel at 60Hz, though personally I can’t recommend this on a 15” screen, I’ve run into all sorts of scaling issues in Windows with 4K at 15 inches, a lot of programs just end up looking terrible.
The screen looks nice under normal conditions, even in the dark. I did my usual backlight bleed test which involves making the laptop show a black screen in a dark room to help emphasize any bleeding around the edges. I then take a long exposure photo with the camera to help display this, however in this case there was no observable backlight bleed which was awesome, even in this worst case scenario test the whole panel looks much the same with no bleed.
The brightness can be adjusted quite a bit, and the viewing angles on the screen are very good, I can easily see details clearly from any sharp angle which has been the case with all Metabox laptops that I’ve looked at so far and is still impressive each time.
The surface of the screen has a matte finish to it which I prefer over a glossy screen, as you can more easily see what you’re doing regardless of the lighting situation as there’s much less distracting reflections shown. As mentioned, this model also comes with Nvidia’s G-sync technology. I found that G-Sync significantly helped in reducing screen tearing while playing games and should definitely be considered if you’re planning on playing a lot of games on the laptop and want the smoothest possible experience.
I’ve done a whole video talking about if G-Sync in a laptop is worth it, so check that out for further information. Above the display is the inbuilt 2MP camera which is capable of FHD 1080p video. While the quality isn’t amazing, which seems to be pretty common with inbuilt laptop cameras, it’s definitely good enough to get the job done for things like video chat.
The microphone also sounds fairly average. The keyboard appears to be the same as the one in the P650RS-G video I did previously, which is great as it’s quite a good laptop keyboard. The keyboard looks good and feels nice to type on. It’s a full sized keyboard with numpad included, and all of the keys are RGB backlit allowing you to customize how it looks. I also found very little flex when pushing down hard on the keys which was nice, the whole thing feels nice and sturdy.
As I’ve mentioned before, I found the included Flexikey software installed to be a little difficult to work with, though that seems to be fairly standard with keyboard software for changing colouring from my experience. In particular it seems that you can only specifically customize different groups of keys together rather than individual keys, and the available effects were a little limited with some of my favourites missing, though these points could probably be all addressed in a software update and aren’t really a problem regarding the laptop itself.
The touchpad also appears to be the same as previous models I’ve reviewed, it works well, is a decent size and is easy to use. I’ve found the physically separate left and right buttons which are either side of the fingerprint scanner to work well, they’re clicky without being too loud. Just above the keyboard are the front facing ONKYO speakers, which sound fairly decent for laptop speakers, though I did notice the absence of any bass. Now let’s take a look at the available I/O on offer.
On the left there’s a HDMI port, a powered USB Type A 3.1 port, and 2 Mini DisplayPorts with version 1.3. On the right there’s an S/PDIF, microphone and headphone jack, 6 in 1 card reader slot, 2 USB Type-C ports with 3.1 gen 2 support, a single USB type A 3.1 port, gigabit ethernet, and Kensington lock.
The front only features some status LEDs. Over on the back there’s the DC power port that the included power brick plugs into, as well as a single USB 3.0 Type-A port. Underneath there’s a bunch of air intakes to help keep all the components cool, as well as some rubber feet which both stop the laptop from moving around on flat surfaces when in use, and also rise it a little to let cool air in.
The included battery is a 4 cell Lithium-Ion Polymer battery rated at 60 Watt Hours. With a full charge and doing basic tasks such as web browsing with the screen on half brightness and keyboard lighting off, Windows 10 estimated that it would last for around 8 hours, which I think is pretty decent for a laptop with these specs. This was an accurate measure, after 4 hours of use the battery still had 50% left which was pretty impressive for a laptop with these specs, definitely the best battery life I’ve seen from Metabox so far.
So with all of that in mind how is the laptop to actually use? While using the laptop normally I’ve found the performance to be really good which is to be expected based on the high power specs within. Windows 10 Home edition is running here and I’ve not had any slowness or delay at all while using the OS or installed programs at all, everything has performed well with no issues.
I also haven’t had any issues with heat, during normal use it stays quite cool, with an idle CPU temperature of 25 degrees celsius and an idle GPU temperature of 41 degrees celsius with an ambient room temperature of 23 degrees celsius. During benchmarking with the same room temperature, the CPU reached a maximum of 56 degrees celsius and the GPU peaked at 74 degrees celsius. I left the tests going for over half an hour and the temperatures had stabilised by that time.
Despite this the base of the laptop didn’t feel too hot. During normal operation the laptop is pretty quiet too, at idle it sat around the 30 decibel mark as you can see here. While running my benchmarks it went up to around 45 decibels, and then when I manually maxed out the fans it peaked at around 50 decibels. Note that I had the microphone pretty close to the exhaust vent of the laptop, at complete idle I could barely hear it at all, and even at maximum with my closed back headphones on I could barely hear the fan noise.
Now let’s get into those benchmarks, I was excited to do these as this was my first experience with an Intel Kabylake CPU in a laptop, and I was keen to find out how it performed. First we’ll cover some gaming benchmarks followed by tests with benchmark tools. All tests were done with all Windows updates to date applied.
The Nvidia graphics drivers were version 378.49 and also the latest available at the time of testing. In GTA 5 I have disabled VSync and tested with FXAA on with MSAA set to x8 with a 1080p resolution. We can see that even with these settings we still averaged 55 FPS. In the Witcher 3 I used the Ultra preset, disabled VSync and NVIDIA Hairworks, and again ran at the full 1080p resolution. With these settings I was able to get an average of 51FPS While in Shadow of Mordor with ultra settings at 1080p we averaged 95FPS, so we were finally starting to take advantage of that 120Hz display.
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. In Heaven benchmark with the quality set to ultra, tessellation set to extreme, and anti-aliasing set to x8 at 1080p, the 1060 averaged 58FPS. It’s a similar story in Valley benchmark, with the quality set to ultra and anti-aliasing on x8 at 1080p, the 1060 managed to average 59FPS.
The PassMark benchmark resulted in a score of 8372 for the CPU, 6880 for the 3D graphics, and 4250 for the overall score putting this laptop into the 87th percentile of results, pretty impressive. I ran the both the Fire Strike and Time Spy benchmarks from 3DMark and got scores of 11,682 and 3,768 respectively, I’ll leave a link to the full results in the video description. I performed these tests with G-Sync disabled. With G-Sync enabled things are noticeably smoother with no screen tearing, for further information on this I suggest checking out my video regarding laptop G-Sync.
As for the CPU I ran a few different benchmarks to compare it against the older 6700HQ, we can see it only performs a little better. So it’s a small incremental upgrade, but still nice to have. I’ve also done a full video comparing these two CPUs in detail using this laptop, so check that out if you’re interested. Based on the results from these games we’re not really going that far above 60 FPS, which makes it hard to justify the optional upgrade to a 120Hz panel here.
If you’re instead looking at the model with the Nvidia 1070 then a 120Hz panel would be a lot more useful there, as this card can push higher frame rates, as we covered in my 1060 vs 1070 video. Of course with that said, you could always lower the graphics settings and get higher FPS with the 1060, making the higher refresh rate panel more worthwhile. It depends on whether or not you want to sacrifice graphics quality a bit for higher frame rates, however the higher frame rates do look nice and smooth, however the higher frame rates do look a lot smoother with the 120Hz panel.
In Crystal Disk Mark the SSD performed around 550MB/s in sequential reads and 350MB/s for sequential writes. This is to be expected from a modern SATA based SSD, you can optionally upgrade to a PCIe based SSD which should perform better, and there’s expansion for a 2nd M.2 drive, as well as 2 2.5” drives, though of course note this will increase the overall weight of the laptop, as well as power draw.
The laptop comes with a 2 year warranty with the option of extending to 3 years, and in the past I’ve found dealing with Metabox support to be a great experience overall. They were helpful over the phone when troubleshooting a problem, and the first year of the platinum warranty includes the shipping cost if you need to send the laptop back for any reason for repair. The Metabox P650HP-G is a quite a powerful laptop which is capable of running current games at respectable frame rates with high settings thanks to Nvidia’s GTX 1060. The kabylake CPU also gives us a slight edge over the older skylake series. The P650HP-G starts at $1,979 AUD and most of the components can be further upgraded to suit your needs, 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 P650HP-G laptop from Metabox? Considering the decent specs I think it’s a pretty powerful and yet still portable laptop. Let me know what you guys thought down in the comments or simply leave a share the post. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to bookmarm for future posts like this one.