Eluktronics MAX-15 Review – The Lightest RTX 2070 Laptop?
Lets check it out in this detailed review and find out just how well it holds up.. My MAX 15 has an Intel. I7 9750H CPU Nvidia RTX, 2070 graphics. This is NOT Max Q, 16gb of memory in dual channel: a 15.6 1080p 144Hz screen and a 512gb NVMe M.2 SSD. For network connectivity, its got gigabit ethernet, WiFi, 5 and Bluetooth 5.. The MAX 15 is also available with different specs, like RTX 2060 or different storage and memory options. You can find examples and updated prices linked in the description. If 17 inches is more. Your thing then make sure youre subscribed for my upcoming comparison between the MAX 15 and larger MAX 17.. The laptop is made out of magnesium alloy. The lid is a matte silver with the Eluktronics logo in the center, while the interior has the same feel and colour.. Overall, it felt quite solid and well built. The corners are rounded, however, the front edge felt a little sharp if you rub it on the wrong angle.. The weight is listed 3.82 pounds, and this is what I got or 1.7kg. With the 230 watt power brick and cables for charging included. The total rises up to almost 2.6kg or 5.7 pounds.. This makes the MAX 15 lighter when compared to other 15 inch laptops, Ive tested with the same RTX, 2070 graphics.. The dimensions were also smaller when compared to most other 15 inch gaming laptops, and although it wasnt the thinnest Ive tested under 2cm for this level of power is quite impressive.
. This smaller footprint gives it just 7mm screen bezels on the sides.. The 15.6 1080p 144Hz IPS screen has a matte finish. Viewing angles: looked fine and theres; no G, Sync. Theres no option of disabling Optimus, so that will always be on.. Ive tested the screen with the Spyder 5 and got 95 of sRGB 65 of NTSC and 70 of AdobeRGB. At 100 brightness. I measured the panel at 346 nits in the center, with a 6101 contrast ratio, so fair results for a gaming laptop bit lower on the contrast than Id like though. Backlight bleed seemed fine in my unit. I never actually noticed any problems when viewing darker content, but this will vary by laptop and panel.. There was some screen flex when intentionally trying to move it, but it felt quite sturdy due to the magnesium alloy build, and this is further aided by the hinges being out towards the corners.. It was possible to open it up with one finger demonstrating an even weight distribution, no problems using it on my lap. As a result of the thinner bezels, the 720p camera is found underneath the display in the center. Its got IR for Windows, Hello, support., The cameras Down the bottom, so when you type your fingers, do kind of get in the way and Ive got to put the screen right back if I actually want to be in the frame. Heres what it sounds like when you set the fan to max speed.
So it does get pretty loud and you can still can kind of hear me over the fan, but its not really isolating my voice.. The membrane keyboard has RGB backlighting, which is controlled in 4 separate zones, its got 7 different lighting effects and it lights up all keys and secondary key functions.. Key brightness can be adjusted between 4 levels or turned off completely using either the software or F6 and F7 shortcut keys.. It looks a bit cramped as its got a numpad too, but I didnt personally have any problems using it. It felt good to type with heres how the keys sound to give you an idea of what to expect. Theres an extra button next to the power button above the keyboard, which can be used for cycling between the different performance modes, more on those soon. Keyboard flex Was on the lower side when intentionally pushing down hard overall, it felt quite solid due to the metallic body. Absolutely no issues during normal use., The glass precision touchpad physically clicks down when pressed. It worked very well, was very smooth to the touch, and I was happy with the overall size.. You can double tap the top left corner to disable or enable the touchpad., Fingerprints and dirt dont really show up theyre harder to see on the silver finish, but as its a smooth surface, its quite easy to clean, with a microfiber cloth. On the left. From the back theres, a Kensington lock air exhaust vent, gigabit ethernet, USB 3.
1 Gen2 Type, A port and 3.5mm mic and headphone jacks. On the right from the front theres a MicroSD card slot, two USB 3.1 Gen1 Type, A ports and an air exhaust vent. On this side, too., The back has air exhaust vents towards the corners, then for IO from left to right. There are two mini DisplayPort outputs, HDMI, 2.0 output, and these are connected directly to the Nvidia graphics, USB 3 Type C port. No Thunderbolt, though, and power input. Theres an RGB light bar on the front which can be customized with some effects through the software. You can control all 23 of the lights individually too., Underneath there are plenty of air vents towards the back half for intake, otherwise its quite clean.. The bottom panel was extremely easy to remove just take out 11 Phillips head screws and it basically pops out by itself., Once inside weve got the two PCIe NVMe M.2 slots in the middle towards the left, two memory slots in the middle, the WiFi card to the Right of that and battery down the front., The speakers are found on the left and right sides near the front.. They sounded a bit above average, still a bit tinny, but that seems normal for most laptops.. They got loud enough at maximum volume. However, the latencymon results werent looking good., The MAX 15 is powered by a 4 cell 62wh battery. Ive tested it with the screen brightness at 50 background apps, disabled and keyboard lighting off.
, While just watching YouTube videos, it lasted for 4 hours and 55 minutes, which is A pretty average result compared to most other laptops, Ive tested, but a better result when compared to the other i7 plus 2070 machines.. Unfortunately, the gaming test didnt work.. Normally I test how long The Witcher 3 can run at medium settings with the 30 FPS frame cap from Nvidia battery boost. However, as soon as I unplugged it, the frame rate held at just 13 FPS, which wasnt really usable. While an unusual result, I never recommend gaming on battery power anyway, for a number of reasons, Ill leave a link to a post. I recently wrote in the description explaining this further. Now lets find out how hot the MAX 15 gets and see if this causes any issues to performance. The control panel. Software lets you select different performance modes which, from lowest to highest, are office mode, game mode and turbo mode. In office mode. There are three different fan options, but you can also customize the curve. In game or turbo mode. You can enable fan boost which sets the fan to maximum speed.. Turbo mode also enables Eluktroboost. However, the difference with the 2070 model wont be as much as the 2060 version, as the thermal headroom for the GPU is close to the 115 watt cap.. If thermals permit, though it is possible for the maximum power to rise above this., The MAX 15 has a 0.05v undervolt to the CPU by default.
This can be changed in BIOS or software, and my unit has stock thermal paste. Inside. There are 3 heatpipes shared between the processor and graphics, along with two fans on either side that exhaust out of the back and sides. Thermals were tested with a 21 degree Celsius. Ambient room, temperature. Idle results down. The bottom were ok. Worst case. Stress tests were done with the Aida64 CPU stress test, with CPU only checked and the Heaven benchmark at max settings. At the same time and gaming was tested with Watch Dogs 2, as I find it to use a good combination of processor and graphics. With Office mode enabled. The CPU was capped to a thermal throttle limit of 80 degrees Celsius, and this limit was being hit in both of these tests. With game mode enabled the CPU thermal throttle limit, increases up to 85 degrees, and again this is now being reached. With the highest turbo Mode enabled the cap raises another 5 degrees to 90 and again this limit was still being reached, even with the cooling pad in use.. Gpu, temperatures were also on the warmer side, averaging 84 degrees at the highest point. However, the graphics werent thermal throttling.. These are the clock speeds for the same tests. The CPU difference is pretty small between office and gaming modes, despite the 5 degree difference and strangely enough, the performance actually dropped back in the stress. Test. CPU clock speeds increase further in turbo mode, but even with the cooling pad were not hitting the full 4GHz all core turbo boost speed of the 9750H.
. My usual 0.15v undervolt to the CPU almost got us there, but it wasnt stable. The GPU clock speeds are all over the place. Turbo mode actually saw lower results until the cooling pad was added.. When looking at the power limits, we can see. The RTX 2070 was averaging around the 115 watt limit, regardless of the mode being used, so this means well probably expect excellent gaming performance even with office mode. More on that shortly. We can see the CPU power increasing with the clock speed as the thermal cap boosts, as we shift between the modes its going to draw more power as a result, as more power equals more heat. In CPU, only workloads like Cinebench the 9750H Would power limit throttle at its 100 watt limit, which is pretty impressive, given this is stock settings for the MAX 15. As a result, even in the lowest office mode were seeing excellent Cinebench scores with over 3000 points being hit in game mode and above. Heres how It looks in the areas where youll actually touch at idle. It was in the mid 30s in the center a bit above the usual 30, or so I typically see with most other machines., With the stress tests going in office mode. The center of the keyboard gets to 50 degrees, however, as air is pulled in through the keyboard, the WASD keys are much cooler, comparatively. Stepping up to game mode. The keyboard gets a few degrees warmer now, and some of the keys were pretty warm to the touch, but the sides were still cool and then turbo mode was pretty much the same.
No notable differences. Lets have a listen to how loud the fans get.. The fans were still quite audible at idle, even with the quiet fan mode enabled., With the stress tests going, the fans were louder than I expected with the fans set to quiet mode, at least in this worst case. Workload., Game mode and turbo mode were a little louder and there was no difference between leaving the fans on the automatic speed or manually enabling fan boost, as they were already maxing out in auto mode, which is why I didnt separately test thermals for max fans. Earlier. Ive tested Shadow of the Tomb Raider to see how the different modes actually affect game performance and office mode with quiet fans is still performing quite well. So you can definitely get acceptable gaming performance with lower temperatures, though, as we just heard, the fans arent that much quieter. Next lets find out just how well the MAX 15 actually performs in games. Ive tested with turbo mode and fan boost, enabled for best results. Red Dead Redemption 2 was tested using the games built in benchmark tool. High settings was still able to give decent average frame rates. Considering this is a resource. Heavy game. Battlefield, 5 was tested in campaign mode. Ive got the results with RTX enabled shown by the green bars and RTX off shown by the purple bars.. It was pretty playable with RTX on, though, as a first person. Shooter game youll probably want the higher FPS that can be obtained with RTX off, which ran much better.
Control was also tested with and without RTX enabled.. The game still plays ok with lower frame rates for the most part, so RTX, even with the highest setting, was usable, but I personally preferred high settings with RTX off, which averaged above 60 FPS. Apex Legends was tested with either all settings at maximum or all settings On the lowest possible values, as it doesnt have predefined setting presets. The 144 FPS frame cap was being hit at minimum settings and even maxed out. It was still running well easily. Above 100, FPS. Call of Duty, Modern Warfare was tested in campaign mode and Ive also tested it with the settings either maxed out or at minimum.. Minimum settings was almost at 100 FPS in this test. However, it still played pretty well even with everything at maximum.. Fortnite was tested with the replay feature and as a less demanding game. Epic settings wasnt too far behind the refresh rate of the screen, so no problems playing it all. If youre after more gaming benchmarks check the card in the top right corner where Ive tested 20 games in total on the MAX 15. Lets also take a look at How this config of the MAX 15 compares with other laptops use these results as a rough guide only as they were tested at different times with different drivers. In Battlefield, 5 Ive got the MAX 15 highlighted in red near similarly specced machines.. The performance is ahead of the thicker ASUS Scar III, which also has RTX 2070 graphics.
However, its a little behind the thicker GP75 granted that does have a GPU overclock by default.. The MAX 15 is behind the GX502 here, as that one gets a boost from G Sync. However, its also worth noting the GX502 weighs more than 320g or 0.7lb more than the MAX 15.. Definitely a fair result for the weight and size coming in just a couple. Fps behind some of the far more expensive, 2080 Max Q laptops.. These are the results from Far Cry 5 with ultra settings in the built in benchmark. This time the results are very similar to the GP75 and probably, as this is a CPU sensitive test, so I suspect the small undervolt would be aiding it here.. The GX502 is still ahead, though. The ability for it to bypass Optimus typically gives it an edge. However, its extra weight is probably additional cooling material.. These are the results from Shadow of the Tomb raider, with the built in benchmark at highest settings.. Like the other games, the MAX 15 was a little ahead of the Scar III with same specs. However, as more of a GPU heavy test, the overclocked GP75 was in front. However, its still a fair improvement when compared to the 2060 laptops.. It would be interesting to see how the MAX 15, with Eluktroboosted 2060 compares. With the RTX 2070, the performance is comparable to other 2070 based laptops, Ive tested, despite the MAX 15 being on the thinner side and easily lighter when compared against all the other options.
. In terms of power to weight ratio, the MAX 15 would be ahead.. Ive used Adobe Premiere to export. One of my laptop review. Videos at 4K., As generally seems to be the case once you have an i7 and GTX 1660 Ti diminishing returns, are pretty heavy with higher specs in this particular workload.. Now, for the benchmarking tools, Ive tested, Heaven Valley and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike Timespy and Port Royal from 3DMark just pause. The video, if you want a detailed look at these results. Ive, used Crystal Disk Mark to test the storage and the 512GB NVMe M.2 SSD was performing fairly for both reads and writes. For updated pricing check the links in the description as prices will change over time. At the time of recording in the US, the MAX 15, with RTX 2070 that Ive tested here goes for 1600 USD or you can get the RTX 2060 configuration for 1400 USD. Theyve also recently started selling on Newegg and ship internationally to quite a few different countries. So thats worth checking out too.. This seems like quite a good price for what youre getting. For comparison. The ASUS GX502 with same specs is closer to 2000 USD.. It performed a bit better in most titles due to having G Sync but its over 300g or 0.7 pounds heavier. Its marginally thinner, but for 25 more money Id get the MAX 15.. With all of that in mind, lets conclude by looking at the good and bad aspects of the MAX 15 gaming laptop.
. The most impressive aspect of the MAX 15 was just the sheer amount of power that can be packed inside a 15 chassis, while being so much lighter compared to other options out there.. It doesnt feel that heavy and, along with slimmer dimensions its quite a portable machine.. The build quality was also excellent. The entire thing is magnesium alloy, with a clean finish., Despite being on the lighter and slimmer side, the performance was fairly similar when compared to other heavier 2070 laptops that Ive tested.. This does, however, seem to come at the expense of thermal throttling.. Now to be fair, the CPU thermals are hard capped to 90 degrees Celsius, so it wont get hotter than this.. This does mean that performance is lost. However, it also means that the internals arent going to get crazy hot. I think it offers a good balance between temperatures and performance. All things considered., If it were my money Id definitely pay the extra for the liquid metal upgrade as improving thermals in the MAX 15. Should directly correlate to increased performance, which we saw when using a cooling, pad. Theres a decent port selection. However, I would have personally preferred a full sized SD card slot rather than micro, and I know some people would have also wanted Thunderbolt 3. However, that is an option with the larger MAX 17.. The screen was decent for a gaming laptop bit lower on the contrast, but fair colours and brightness with minimal bleed in my unit.
, The battery life outside of gaming was about average. However, when you take the specs into consideration its one of the best Ive tested., Unfortunately, when actually playing games, though the battery cant seem to hold a stable playable framerate in resource heavier titles.. All things considered, the MAX 15 is a great laptop for the money, especially for those that want power without having to carry around a larger and heavier machine or otherwise paying more money to get the same. Specs in a similar form. Factor like the more expensive and heavier GX502., Let me know what you thought about the Eluktronics MAX 15 gaming laptop down in the comments and, if youre new to the channel, consider getting subscribed for future laptop reviews and tech.