REVIEW Clevo P650SE (aka Horize, Logic Blue One)- Sleek, Budget, Serious Gaming

Discussion in 'Portable & Small Form Factor' started by mcfee03, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. mcfee03

    mcfee03 Member

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    Hi all,

    Here's a quick review of my latest laptop purchase- the Clevo P650SE. Any questions about it reply below.

    Specifications:
    • 15.6" 1920x1080 Matte IPS (AUO B156HAN01.2)
    • i7 4720HQ [apparently this is now standard- 4710 is phased out)
    • 3GB GDD5 GTX 970M (N16E-GT) | Intel 4600
    • 8GB DDR3 1600Mhz
    • 1TB 5400rpm
    • 128GB M.2 SSD X110
    • Sound Blaster® X-FI® MB3
    • Fingerprint reader
    • Stock WiFi [looking for BCM94352Z card as it’s the only OS X compat. one]
    • Embedded TPM Security chip for Encryption
    • 4 Cell 60 WH Built in Battery
    • 180W Power Supply (19v 9.5a) (uses non-standard plug- not the clover leaf style).
    • Windows 8.1 + Mac OSX Yosemite (Clover bootloader)
    • 385(W) x 271(D) x 25(H)mm 2.5kg
    • Adapter ~70 (W) x 150 (D) x 29 (H)mm 990grams

    [​IMG]

    Build
    Metallic case giving a premium look and feel (brushed aluminium)
    Although on the heavier side (2.5KG), easy to manage due to slimness and disbursement of weight
    Thin
    Speakers are good (far superior to the W230SS). Are exposed even when lid closed which is handy.
    Runs cool (OC potential)
    Quiet/silent operation (but my mech. SATA drive can be heard-otherwise general operation is silent)
    Easily accessible ports for adding drives (note 2x extra RAM slots are under the keyboard)
    Great variety of ports (3x USB 3.0, USB/E-Sata combo, 2x Mini-Display ports, LAN, Card reader, Sim Card slot)
    Expandability (3x M.2 card slots [one used for WiFi], 2x SATA slots)
    Two ram slots are hidden under the keyboard (other two are with everything else)

    [​IMG]

    Screen
    Overall it is a very good IPS screen. Good brightness, and viewing angles are wide. Good Gamut coverage. Screen is the same as the Asus N550JK (but in a Matte finish- which is a must for me as it blocks out glare). For those in Aus, JB sell this model if you were wanting to see the screen before you buy.
    I considered the 3 or 4k versions- but this was too big a tax on battery life. I’ve heard reports of only just 3 hours on the 4k screen. A good thing to note.

    Other
    ANSPTM 3D sound technology on headphone output- boosts
    Battery life is impressive (even before undervolting/throttle limiting) I get around 4 hours doing normal browsing/word-processing/multi-tasking
    Touchpad is tactile and responsive
    Keyboard does the job- it is responsive (but I had to get it replace- faulty)
    [​IMG]

    Compared to W230SS (my former laptop)
    • Screen size (13” vs 15”). This is merely my personal choice. 15.6" feels a world apart from the W230SS. I can actually sit comfortably and use it without hunching over. My W230SS spent 99% of its’ life plugged into a monitor because of this.
    • The P650SE is heavier (0.5kg), BUT feels easier to manage/carry due to disbursement of weight
    • P650SE has better speakers (slightly louder but not great)
    • P650SE has a better touchpad (feels more solid/less bouncy, and is more responsive)
    • P650SE has a much stronger, better looking and more durable build (except for the
    screen)

    Not great:
    Lid flex & screen wobble
    Speakers- not loud enough (Work around: Letasoft Sound Booster which increases vol is a necessity)

    Not quite negatives, but unfortunate...

    Power adapter is cumbersome (solution suggest below). 180W, weighs 990grams
    Keyboard was faulty (spacebar was missing strokes). Very annoying. Reseller sent a replacement.

    Who’s it for:
    This laptop ticks all the boxes for me. This strikes a perfect balance between portability, looks and power. It does not look like the beasty gaming laptop (which it certainly is).

    I needed a laptop- mainly for work. Looking professional is essential. Work doesn’t confine me to a desk, and I don’t want my laptop to either (thus 15.6”). Doing production work (photoshop, video editing, coding) is a must. And on the rare occasion that I get to game- I want to enjoy it to the fullest. Being portable and getting decent battery life were key factors in my decision. A 3 or 4K screen would have been nice- but not at the sacrifice of battery life.

    Why did I choose it?
    • 15.6” form factor (comfortable working on the go, numpad)
    • 970M GPU (I don’t need one this powerful- but this set’s me up for the future)
    • Portable for gaming class (thin’ness, weight, battery life)
    • Price

    Additional info:
    Overclocked the 970M to 980M specs (around 30% OC). Boost by 135MHz (1059MHz) and vRAM increase to 1172MHz (6000MHz). Doesn't get too hot I can report back if there's interest.

    Smaller power adapter (90W) possible when undervolting the CPU (and disabling Turbo Mode) and disabling the GPU (970M draws 75W alone)

    Battery efficiency (may be controversial)- Using Intel XTU I set a dynamic undervolt of -141mV and multiplier of x18. This kind of undervolt is rare (just got luck with the chip). Batterylife is exceptional (using Wifi, 30% brightness, multiple tabs I am getting ~ 5-6 hours [I will update once I’ve used it a few more times]).

    PremaMod bios installed. Huge amount of options given

    Clover boot loader installed and running a multiboot (OSX Yosemite and Windows 8.1). Will report on this if there’s interest.

    What’s left to buy: 1TB SSD would be the icing on the cake. Just waiting for prices to drop

    Finally
    In conclusion, this is a very hard laptop to fault. It encompasses a huge amount of power in a small, neat, practical, and small package. At ~2.5Kg (including built-in battery), and at about 2.8cm thin- it really makes you wonder why Alienware/MSI get away with such chunky/ugly/thick machines. I'm very comfortable taking this around cafes, uni and work especially with its subtle look.

    The added security features are a nice addition. Biometric scan (such as to log-in) and the TPM chip add yet another layer of security to your data.

    Competition:
    • MSI Ghost GS60- pricey, reports that it gets hot
    • Asus G751JT- chunky/heavy
    • MSI GT60- chunky/heavy
    • Gigabyte P35W v2- pricey/personal bad experience with Gigabyte

    Tips:
    Don't like the branding on the lid? Carefully apply Acetone with a cotton bud to the printed on text and it will remove it very easily.

    Latest drivers (in case Clevo's page is acting up as it often does)
    Note: XMG P505 = P650Sx
    http://www.mysn.de/secure/userarea/...010&show=Support&source=webgains&siteid=54264

    For others to answer (will update this thread):
    Battery maintenance. As it's no removable, there's no way to limit between 30-80% to reduce wear on the battery as I normally do to maintain a heathy battery. I've heard others say you should totally discharge the battery to 0% once a month to keep it healthy. Can anyone clarify?

    My bios loads really slowly (takes while to get to operating system). Has happened since I changed from a single partitioned MBR to a multi-partitioned GPT drive. Could be because of my drive (X110) or because the Clevo bios doesn't like multi-partitioned GPT drives.
    Solved M.2 slot 2 is very slow to load (unknown reason). I moved the drive to M.2 slot 1 and it loads instantly (see pic above to identify slot)/

    Thanks for reading
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
  2. Andy3008

    Andy3008 Member

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    Nice review and nice looking laptop.

    Being the owner of an Asus G751 i think comparing it to a 15.6" laptop is unfair, and for a 17.3" laptop weighing about 1.5kg more ain't to bad.
     
  3. OP
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    mcfee03

    mcfee03 Member

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    Cheers Andy,

    I used to own the Asus G73Jh (which looks like was roughly the same \form as your G751).

    In terms of size- they are worlds apart. I couldn't take my Asus anywhere without a car to lug it around, and a huge table to sit it on. I can almost 'thrown' this into any of my bags and it isn't a major hindrance.

    In saying that, if it existed, the ultimate laptop for me would be a 100% bezel free 17.3" laptop under 2.5kg's. Being bezel free, it wouldn't be too much bigger a footprint than the 15.6"s.
     
  4. Andy3008

    Andy3008 Member

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    The thing i like most about the Clevo/Horize/Metabox is that all components are available under the cover. No pulling motherboards out to access the cpu/gpu. Yeah I'm looking at you Alienware.

    What extra features are there with the premamod bios ?

    At 2.8cm it's very tempting.
     
  5. 2SHY

    2SHY Member

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    Nicely specced laptop.

    I think they could work on the external design and fit and finish of the laptop a bit more.
     
  6. ikonz0r

    ikonz0r Member

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    Looking at Metabox you can get the 3k or 4k screen option for a couple of hundred extra... very tempting this might be my next laptop after all.

    Can't afford an Asus NX500 :(
     
  7. hippyhippy

    hippyhippy Member

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    Tell us the price son!
     
  8. ikonz0r

    ikonz0r Member

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  9. OP
    OP
    mcfee03

    mcfee03 Member

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    That's right. Mine only ended up being a few hundred cheaper, but means my warranty is in Canada... I hope I don't need it.

    $1,685.00 with the 1080p & 8GB Ram (no hard drives) is a very reasonable starting price (Affordablelaptops)

    Not sure about the value proposition of the Asus NX500... Build and look would be solid- but it's still a heavy laptop (2.26kg's) for something only packing an 850m.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  10. Kosti

    Kosti Member

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    So like the fact you can pop the hood on these!!

    Great review, will be looking for one on the 2nd market :thumbup:
     
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    mcfee03

    mcfee03 Member

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    Cheers.

    It's great being able to upgrade it so easily. The CPU is soldiered on tho so it can't be upgraded. I'd say the GPU too.

    This guy posted in price check recently selling this laptop-
    http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?t=1163434

    So keep an eye out
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  12. ikonz0r

    ikonz0r Member

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    Has anyone managed to find reviews on the 3 screen options ?
    As much as I'd love the Sharp IGZIO screen $450 is a little steep.

    Wondering how the 3k IPS version they offer for $150 fairs ?
     
  13. AfterBurner1

    AfterBurner1 Member

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    a few months ago i manage to scoop up a Horize (Clevo) P370EM this models bigger brother. it's a pretty solid little beast about the same spec as my MacBook Pro 17" in the CPU department. but that's about where the similarities end.

    It has a ripper screen and Dual 7970m's with 16GB of RAM and Dual mSATA 1TB SSD's she going to be murderously quick. just waiting for the SSD's to come down in price.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  14. OP
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    mcfee03

    mcfee03 Member

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    The 'honeymoon' period is over as I've had this laptop a few months now.

    Can't beat the price/performance/portablity points this laptop hits.

    Still a very happy camper (which is rare for me after such a long while)
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2015
  15. proffesso

    proffesso Member

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    coming back to this, still all good? how big is the power brick?

    im considering this with the 4k igzo option vs msi ghost / hp omen / acer nitro. would you recommend over those? screen quality is a very big issue for me and I would like to find some srgb/contrast/black level measurements for the screen options as well, but cant seem to?
     
  16. OP
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    mcfee03

    mcfee03 Member

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    I'm still very very happy with this machine. Mainly appreciating the portability/power ration. Like being able to work on it

    Screen options I can't comment on- my major priority was battery life, and from what I know the higher-res screens drain faster. Loving the 1080p AUO I've got- colour very crisp, angles great etc (even next to my Dell U2713H PremierColour).

    Well the power brick isn't small (I was finicky about this)...But I got around this by using a spare 90W (19v 4.74a) adapter which I bring with my when I know I won't be gaming much.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. proffesso

    proffesso Member

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    yeah thats not small...a 90w will work? interesting. maybe a compact 120-150 might do the trick then.

    the IGZO screens are meant to be less power hungry arent they? im opting for that one since the other 4k only does 48khz

    I could also drop back to the 960/965 version to save power? what are the undervolting options like? i have a workstation at home for the heavy lifting, this is just more a portable 3d workstation for the lighter stuff.
     
  18. OP
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    mcfee03

    mcfee03 Member

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    I should specify- I only use the 90W when I'm NOT using the 970M (so only when I'm on the iGPU).

    Don't know about the IGZO screens- but I hear they're a bloody good looking screen.


    I struck gold with my chip- I've been able to undervolt ~114mV @ x18. At the undervolt, I do squeeze more battery out (but it's not huge). I need a non-mechanical drive to reduce power (and noise).
     

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