Sleek and Minimal
You know how most gaming notebooks these days come with fancy lightshows and accents from the back to the sides of the machine? I’m not a fan of that. The Illegear Onyx is thankfully free of all the nonessential entities and instead is sleek, minimalistic, and clean. Only the keyboard comes with RGB lights, which you can dim down too. The screen, despite being 15.6”, doesn’t make the notebook big and bulky either thanks to the bezelless frame. The best part about the lllegear Onyx however is the overall size and weight. It’s amazingly thin for a machine packing some impressive hardware. You’d never realise it’s a gaming notebook if you just looked at the exterior. The bottom is covered with a cage-like exterior, which means it’ll be kept cool easily.
Looks aside, how does the Illegear Onyx perform you ask? Perfect if I may say so myself. There’s no major issues whatsoever with the hardware it comes with. It passes all the benchmark tests I put it through and while it didn’t give me the best scores possible, when you look at the parts that came with it – such as the GTX 1060 – it does perform well within its expected range. Of course, this is a gaming machine, not just a benchmark tester. The Illegear Onyx does games just as well too, with no major hitches whatsoever. Overwatch for example runs perfectly well. Even after jacking up every possible setting to max possible settings, it still gives me a respectable 70 frames per second.
If you have a gaming notebook, you will know what I mean when I say these things are normally very heavy and bulky. That’s the price gamers pay for having desktop-level performance on the go. Not the Illegear Onyx though. This bad boy is slim and light, and it’s bezelless 15.6” screen means that I can still enjoy a decently-sized screen without the bulkiness. I had it in my bag pack and if I did not know better I would have thought it was just my normal work device in there. Saying that, you might still want to carry around your power brick. The battery life on the Illegear Onyx is only three hours when I’m not gaming. As such, while you can definitely bring it anywhere, you may want to find a power socket too before you start playing.
Not Just for Games
Just because it is called a ‘gaming notebook’ does not mean it can only be used for gaming. This is an entertainment powerhouse all in one. I cannot give the bezelless screen enough praise as it’s great for everything from games to movies to when I need to fiddle around on Adobe Photoshop. The speakers on the Illegear Onyx meanwhile are good and clear, easily filling up the room with a bunch of friends. The Intel Core i7-8750H under the hood is also a respectable piece of hardware, handling multiple heavy programs at once. With Photoshop, Word, Spotify, multiple Google Chromes and Steam downloading in the background, I didn’t feel a single moment of lag nor did I ever had to wait for a program to become responsive.
Minor Nitpicks Here and There
The Illegear Onyx is not without its issues however, the most glaring being build quality. The touchpad stands out the most, as it isn’t put in tightly. This gives it a slight wonky feel to it and can rattle around even when not clicking it. The fan is also noticeably loud; I was asked if it was raining outside when it was actually the fan during a benchmark test. Temperatures can also become mildly warm, but not it isn’t noticeably uncomfortable. The keyboard on it is also loud, very loud in fact. You may be able to bring it anywhere, but the library may not be the best of locations. The screen meanwhile is a little wonky. Anytime I bump the table or the machine itself, the screen wobbles slightly. Again, these are just minor issues.
Worth Every Penny
Overall, other than minor issues and inconveniences, it’s hard to find a gaming notebook in this price range that is better than the Illegear Onyx. The only major issue is the battery life, but most gaming devices I’ve come across don’t have that great of a battery life anyway. For what you’re getting with the Illegear Onyx, at this price it’s more than worth it. In fact, one great thing about Illegear is that every notebook’s specifications can be customised, so for example if you’d prefer to have the GTX 1050 Ti instead of the GTX 1060 to save a few hundred bucks you can do so. If they can iron out the few niggles here and there surrounding build quality, then the Illegear Onyx could really be one of the best bang-for-your-buck gaming notebook out there.
Verdict: This is perhaps one of the best bang-for-your-buck gaming notebook you can get in today’s market.