AF­TER­SHOCK XG13

HWM (Singapore) - - Multi- test -

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.

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