Aftershock is a custom notebook maker based right here in Singapore. As befits a Singaporean startup, their ethos is to make value-for-money products that appeal to gamers. The XG13 is their take on the new breed of ultra-slim, ultra-portable notebooks. Apart from the 13.3-inch Full HD display and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M discrete GPU, nearly everything else about the XG13 can be customized to your exact requirements, including processor, storage, and even the type of thermal compound used.
Our test unit came with a quad-core Intel Core i74700MQ processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB Samsung SSD Pro SSD. This particular model of SSD is widely regarded as one of the fastest in the market.
If that is not enough, demanding users can swap the Core i7-4700MQ processor out for the more powerful Core i7-4800MQ or Core i74900MQ processors. As for storage, the XG13 has a single 2.5-inch hard disk bay and two mSATA bays. So the ideal configuration would therefore be two mSATA SSDs in RAID 0 configuration and a single high capacity hard disk drive in the 2.5-inch drive bay for photos, music and movies. This would be costly, but users would get the best of both performance and capacity.
Design has never been one of Aftershock’s strong suits and the XG13 is no different. Overall, the XG13 looks industrial and slightly bulky. It comes in at around 32mm thick and weighs around 2kg, which makes it one of the heavier notebooks in its class.
In an attempt to spice things up, Aftershock provides wrapping services allowing users to wrap their notebooks in a variety of automotive wraps. This is a nice touch, but does not detract from the fact that the XG13 is hardly a looker. It does not help that the XG13 uses plastic extensively for its chassis, presumably in a bid to keep costs down. Fortunately, in spite of this, the XG13 feels solidly constructed, with no noticeable flex in the chassis and over the keyboard.
Speaking of the keyboard, the Chiclet-style keyboard is excellent but could do with a little more travel to improve tactility. It has white backlights by default, but for a small fee, Aftershock can customize them to the color of your choice, right down to the individual keys.
The XG13 does not have a clickable trackpad, instead going with two separate buttons for the left and right click functions. The buttons offer a reassuring click and are well-sized, but at the expense of the trackpad, with the latter a little too small for comfort. On the flip side, the trackpad is very responsive and accurate.
Amongst its competitors, the XG13 offers the most number of USB ports - three USB 3.0 ports and a single USB 2.0 port - along with an Ethernet jack and HDMI and VGA video outputs.
Since the XG13 is highly customizable, some other components worth including in your build include Killer Wireless connectivity for better online gaming performance, special IC Diamond thermal compound for improved cooling, and if you intending to use the notebook for design work, professional monitor color calibration.
“NEARLY EVERYTHING ABOUT THE XG13 CAN BE CUSTOMIZED TOYOUR EXACT REQUIREMENTS.”
The wrap on our notebook changes from purple to brown depending on the light. LED enthusiasts will be happy to know that colors for the backlights are fully customizable.