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Illegear Raven – Review

Sleek and Unassuming.

94

I must admit, Illegear is one of those unique choices that people tend of forget when buying a new gaming laptop. Especially when their price of 4-ish thousand ringgit includes an awesome spec that makes most overly expensive PC builds shameful. But are there any drawbacks with this? Not really.

Hardware Features

For it’s large size,the Raven is quite light to hold and carry. The steel-style color brushing makes it look like it far more expensive that it is and bar their PS4-esque lightbar below the laptop, the cliché gamer aesthetic isn’t prevalent right until you boot it up.

Now for the bits and bobs around the Raven. It has a whopping 7 USB ports, including one USB type C port ( which is not Thunderbolt, sadly ) and one HDMI port for all of things you need plugging into, be it external HDD, Monitor,etc. Battery life is quite average at best, with 5 hours in normal usage, 3 hours for gaming, be it intense or even casual games like Pony Island and VA-11 HALL-A, which was curious. But the fan-sync is working quite well when played in intense moment with the best part is that the fan speed is controllable but more on that later.

The Keyboard is one of the best mechanical keyboards I’ve used in quite sometime, very clicky and I did had some trouble getting used with the layout of the small numpad. but that’s just a nitpick from me. Trackpad-wise, it’s just works as intended but having a mouse can make it a far better experience.

The screen is also quite nice, although it is not HDR but the Wide Colour Gamut Display that they have is a good substitution, makings some gameplay colorful and vibrant on the 1920×1080 screen.

   

 

Software Features

The Raven has a one interesting software feature that might improve your gaming performance in the form of the Raven Command Center. Basically acts like a switch for how you would want the laptop to run power-wise,also control the fan without the need to enter the BOOT menu and turn off the light-bar below. So it is very useful indeed.

Gaming And Benchmark

For now, it’s game time and boy does the Raven doesn’t disappoint. The specs alone are quite beefy for it’s price range:

  • CPU: 8th Gen Intel i7-8750H (6 cores, 2.2GHz to 4.1GHz)
  • GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050Ti  4GB (aka Pascal)
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • Storage: 1TB Hard Disk Drive, 120 M.2 SATA Solid State Drive

An i7 with Nvidia Pascal plus the highly required SDD with a 8GB RAM, a good combo for something that is VR ready mind you (which I didn’t get to try because VR headsets are expensive),you can run anything with this combo, especially those in-need for some good esport games friendly laptops but I didn’t really test with them. Instead, I tested on four high-demanding games and one casual games that is it a bit on the lighter side.

So the first game that I tried to push it’s limits is none other that our GOTY, Nier Automata, notorious due to it’s PC port being quite shoddy and it performs quite well on the highest settings without the need for the FAR mod. It does stutter during the first boss fight when they drop missiles but going onto the open-world later on keeps it smooth. But stick to 30fps lock for better gaming experience on this one.

Speaking of open-world, GTA V is also incredible on it, but cranking it to Ultra does make it hard to process all those memories needed so High or Highest with a 60fps/30fps lock is suitable as it fits the cinematic feel of the game.

Racing games like Project Cars 2 and F12017 runs smooth as butter, crank it up to Ultra and the Raven will do it’s job perfectly with 60fps and no such stuttering, bar some hiccups for PCars2 in Snowy weather but all-in-all, this game is perfect for this genre.

Last on the list is XCOM 2, which I tried during their free weekend and like those two racing games, just cranking it to high without any such tweaks makes it run smooth already. Though it doesn’t help me save my troops faster, the game looks incredibly good.

While playing through these selection of games, only the two open-world games that made the internal fan quite loud so it’s going to get really hot under the place where you would put your gaming laptop but it won’t hurt you so it’s fine.

To get a more interesting feel of how it stacks up with other laptops, it’s does alright on the 3dmark test which curiously marks the vendor as “unknown”.

Value

Pricing wise, if you’re looking for a below 5k lappy that can do high-end games, then the Raven could be consider. Coming in at around RM 4,100 (at time of writing), it’s a bit more expensive than it’s most of it’s competitors but well worth the price on what it is capable of and with more variations coming like the Raven Elite and Kabylake, the price might go lower.

Verdict

The Raven is quite a gaming laptop, powerful yet looking sleek and slim in it’s design. While it can’t really beat Illgear’s other powerful laptop,the Onyx, it is a great entry-level one (if entry level means having a GTX1050Ti under the hood) if you’re in the market for a good priced machine. Like it’s spirit animal, the Raven stalks quietly and gets things done.

8
Awesome
  • Hardware 7
  • Software 8
  • Performance 8
  • Price 9