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GeneXiS_X

[REVIEW] Level51 Slate-15, Slate 17 Laptops (i7-8750H, RTX 2060)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi everyone. This is my eighth review in LTT forum. I will be reviewing the Level51 Slate-15 and Slate-17 laptops. I decided to combine 2 laptops in a single review since both models are very similar. Main specs of both laptops are as below:

Spoiler

i7-8750H

RTX 2060 6GB

16GB 2666MHz RAM dual channel

512GB NVMe M.2 SSD

144Hz IPS

Intel 9560

W10 Trial

Kryonaut repaste and display colour calibration (free)

 

Slate-15: based on Clevo P960ED/EF/EN chassis

Slate-17: based on Clevo P970ED/EF/EN chassis

A few notes before reading:

1. This is a quick review; thus, not everything will be covered in here

2. This review will mainly focus on thermals instead of performance

3. My English Language is not that great since it's not my native language. I apologize if you find the review too simple and boring.

 

Product page:

https://www.level51pc.co/welcome/Productinner/slate15

https://www.level51pc.co/welcome/Productinner/slate17

 

Part 1: Build quality, input devices

Build quality in both models is almost excellent. The lid has aluminium brush on top of it. There is some flex when the lid is twisted, and when force is applied on the middle of the lid, but nothing worrying. The lid has a bit of wobbling (more wobbling in Slate-17) but not a big deal since the hinge feels well tuned. You can open the lid with 1 hand. The body looks like aluminium brush+plastic chassis but it’s full metal build. You cannot twist the body with moderate force. The keyboard deck has little to no flex when pressed down hard. The part between keyboard and touchpad has a bit of flex.

 

The keyboard is a standard Clevo membrane keyboard (which is widely used in many Clevo models). It has good actuation force (50-55g?) and key travel (~1.5mm). Typing feels comfortable, however I can feel a bit of mushiness in the Slate-15 (probably due to QC). Slate-17 keyboard feels slightly clicky as a result despite the same keyboard. You can set keyboard lighting via Clevo included software: Control Center.

 

The touchpad is surprisingly good since it’s a glass touchpad. Precision driver, adequately sized and very smooth surface for gestures and multi finger operation. Only minor thing is fingerprints will show up easily on the touchpad surface. The dedicated L/R clicks are very tactile and feel high quality. The touchpad is slightly aligned to the right of spacebar to make it more centered. One highlight to note is, there is a hidden fingerprint scanner located on the top part of touchpad for Windows Hello, which can be used to unlock the device.

 

Part 2: Display, Audio, Battery

Slate-15:

Spoiler

The 16.1 inch uniquely sized display is a 144Hz IPS panel from Chi Mei – CMN1602. (I believe that it’s made specially for Clevo 16.1-inch models). As you can expect from a high refresh rate panel, everything feels smooth, although there is minor ghosting (not as good as high quality 15.6-inch 144Hz 7ms panels). It gets bright enough and colours are vibrant. Contrast is OK.

Slate-17:

Spoiler

The 17.3 display is a 144Hz IPS panel from BOE – BOE07B6. As you can expect from a high refresh rate panel, everything feels smooth. It gets bright and colours are vibrant. Contrast is good. It has thinner bezels too compared to Slate-15.

 

Additional testing: sRGB 98%, ARGB 73%, NTSC 67%

The 2 down firing speakers has good enough audio. There is no bass, however the volume is quite loud. Mids and highs are a bit imbalanced. You need to tune the audio via Sound Blaster software to improve the audio quality.

 

Example of tuned audio profile: surround 65, crystalizer 80, bass 85, smart vol 91, dialog+ 50

 

I don’t have time to test the battery life, however you can expect 4-5 hrs of battery life from the 62Wh battery (actual size is 56.24Wh).

 

Part 3: Cooling performance

The cooling design consists of 3 heatpipes with 1 shared on CPU+GPU. The heatsink is stretched to the left. There are 2 fans to cool the GPU, 1 fan for CPU.

 

Notes on all thermal testing:

Spoiler
  • PL1 – 45W, PL2 – 78W (standard)
  • GPU driver tested is 417.59
  • Test is conducted in an A/C room (ambient 24C)
  • Entertainment (balanced) profile and auto fan control are used (default)
  • BD PROCHOT for CPU is 87C (90C in Slate-17)
  • Max fan noise is ~55dBA
  • Laptop is plugged in
  • The fan speed changes quite fast according to the load
  • You cannot change CPU power limit settings via any software

For some reason, the GPU has locked voltage (factory locked). There is no way to customize the voltage curve via MSI Afterburner (empty inside, tried many settings but no luck).

 

CPU undervolt profile: -100mv on core and cache

Blue highlighted part is CPU undervolted result

 

Slate-15:

Spoiler

CPU temp - Cinebench R15 multi core

Max 88C, starting 70W, drop to ~55W, then 45W (PL1), ~1100cb

Max 88C, starting 67W, drop to 52W, then 45W (PL1), ~1200cb

~45dBA for both. Prolonged test will cause PL1 to activate earlier

 

CPU temp - Aida64 FPU 45W

Max 86C, ~2.75GHz

Max 86C, ~3.02GHz

~44dBA for both

 

GPU temp - Unigine Valley (extreme HD profile)

Clock speed fluctuates, +200-500 higher than boost clock (1200MHz)

Max 71C, ~80W

~46dBA

 

FPU (with undervolt) + Valley (extreme HD) with max fans

CPU: Max 88C, 2.8+GHz, ~38W

GPU: Max 75C, same clock speed behaviour, ~80W

 

Apex Legends 1080p all max, 6GB budget, 90 FOV, training map (with undervolt)

CPU: Mostly low 80s, mostly 3.9GHz with some rare dips, 23-33W

GPU: Max 77C, clock speed fluctuates at least +200MHz from base clock, ~80W

~47dBA

 

Unigine Valley benchmark (extreme HD, 1 run only)

FPS: 62.6

Score: 2618

 

The chassis does get warm (but not burning hot) while under load especially on the left side (entire left side) where the CPU is. Middle part also gets a little warm. Uneven core temp recorded is 9C max.

Slate-17:

Spoiler

CPU temp - Cinebench R15 multi core

76-91C, starting 74-76W, then 45W (PL1), ~1100cb

75-87C, starting ~67W, then 45W (PL1), ~1200cb

~41dBA for both. Prolonged test will cause PL1 to activate earlier

 

CPU temp - Aida64 FPU 45W

Max 77C ~2.75GHz

Max 77C ~3.03GHz

~40dBA for both

 

GPU temp - Unigine Valley (extreme HD profile)

Clock speed fluctuates, +200-700 than boost clock (1200MHz)

Max 66C, ~80W

~48dBA

 

FPU (with undervolt) + Valley (extreme HD) with max fans

CPU: 83+C, 2.8+GHz, 38+W

GPU: Max 70C, same clock speed behaviour, ~80W

 

Apex Legends 1080p all max, 6GB budget, 90 FOV, training map (with undervolt)

CPU: 77-82C, mostly 3.9GHz with some rare dips, 24-30W

GPU: Max 72C, +200-300MHz from base clock, ~80W

~48dBA

 

Unigine Valley benchmark (extreme HD, 1 run only)

FPS: 63.3

Score: 2647

 

The chassis does get a bit warm while under load especially on the left side (entire left side) where the CPU is. Middle part also gets a little warm. Uneven core temp recorded is 10C max.

There are 3 power profiles to choose from:

- Performance (not recommended since it will cause higher temps without any performance improvement)

- Entertainment

- Power Saver

 

The included power adapter is a 180W unit from Chicony. Take note that temps will be a little higher when running dual channel memory. 

 

Part 4: Miscellaneous

Both models are very portable:

Slate-15: 2.09kg, 20mm thickness

Slate-17: 2.5kg, 20mm thickness

  

Ports (from back to front):

L: Power, HDMI, mDP, x2 USB C, USB A

R: RJ45 (will block mouse movements), full sized SD card reader, USB A (will block mouse movements if plug in wired mouse here), Headphone, Mic

No TB3

 

Other settings in Control Center software besides power modes and led keyboard setting:

- Flexikey for Macros

- Fan speed control (2 points only, can drag anywhere to adjust fan speed and target temperature)

 

Default fan speed: 25%: CPU 41C GPU 45C, 72%: CPU+GPU 60C, 73%: CPU+GPU 80C, 100%: CPU+GPU 100C. Fans do run while idling (cannot turn off)

 

Conclusion: Decently priced thin and light RTX gaming laptops with good build quality+cooling

 

Pros:

Spoiler

Almost excellent build quality

Good enough cooling performance

Good display

Good input devices (except for the slight key mushiness in Slate-15), including fingerprint scanner

Plenty of ports

Cons:

Spoiler

CPU cooling is just OK (Slate-15 only)

No bigger battery option for longer battery life (sacrifice 2.5 inch bay)

Audio quality is OK but could be better

Some ports positioning could be improved

Thanks for reading! Let me know if there are mistakes in the review.


Laptop recommender and enthusiast

 

My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]

How to undervolt CPU and GPU in laptops

 

Laptop Reviews:

Specs of my Y530:

Spoiler

Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050TI 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHZ DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) Samsung PM981 256GB NVMe SSD+Seagate ST1000LM035 1TB 5400RPM HDD (spare)

My Phone: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Snapdragon 625, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM)

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