The ILLEGEAR IONIC TOUCH is the result of the partnership between ILLEGEAR and Intel at bringing quality ultrabook to the market. The initiative started by Intel last year came as a laptop kit made available to their partners to speed up the product development and release cycle. In other words, partners will decide on the storage configurations as well as aftersales service, so don’t be surprised if you find out some other brands are having the same laptop chassis in the market.
There are two different configurations available for consumers to choose from – Intel Core i7-1165G7 with 16GB RAM or Intel Core i5-1135G4 with 8GB RAM. The one we have in our studio is the Core i7 variant paired with a 1TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD.
Design & Build
When I first take the laptop out of the box, I am immediately impressed by the clean design and robust build quality. Granted the design is originated from the folks in Intel, but I still appreciate how they have made a device that should be universally accepted by the mass market.
Some even go to the extent of calling this a budget MacBook. I can see where they’re coming from but from my perspective, this is an alternative to the Microsoft Surface laptop family.
- Thunderbolt 4
- USB 3.2 Gen2
- 3.5mm combo audio jack
- USB 3.2 Gen2
- Thunderbolt 4
One of the key highlights of this laptop is the special lightbar at the front. It is made to support Amazon Alexa smart assistant.
While Alexa is not officially available in Malaysia, but you’re still able to install it on Microsoft Store as long as you’re not logged in with a Malaysia-based Microsoft account. Nonetheless, I was informed by Illegear that they will pre-install Alexa for their customers.
The keyboard is very pleasant to type on. It has great keystroke feedback and each individual keycaps are well-positioned from each another. Just that the touchpad is slightly too small because of the space limitations. Despite so, I don’t see it as a major problem since the laptop has a touch screen.
Display & Speakers
The display features a 15.6-inch Full HD panel with a glossy surface to accommodate the touch feature. Overall, the display has great colour reproduction at 100% sRGB which is amazing not just for entertainment but also for casual creative works.
A notable mention is the hinge design which is right on the sweet spot of easy to open and not wobbly for touch operations.
The pair of stereo speakers found underneath the laptop serve their purpose just fine. They are not mind-blowingly good given the size limitations but nothing much I can complain about it.
We have reviewed a slew of thin and light laptops equipped with the new 11th-gen Tiger Lake CPUs. In short, the CPU is amazing when it comes to its efficiency. You can use it for work as well as casual gaming thanks to the Irix Xe graphics. Of course, you will get better graphical performance if there’s a dedicated GPU but that’s not the entire point of this series of laptop. ILLEGEAR also offering PCIe Gen4 SSD as an option when you purchase the IONIC TOUCH from their laptop customization website.
Speaking of customisation, unfortunately, just like many other thin and light laptops in the market, you can only change the storage option. The CPU and RAM are permanently soldered to the motherboard and Intel only offers 16GB RAM for the i7 variant and 8GB RAM for the i5 variant. In other words, you will have to finalise your decision during the purchase.
A single full charge of the 73Wh battery can last you for about 15 hours of continuous usage. I kid you not, I literally just unplugged the laptop and use it for two days, 7+ hours each session. That is two working days if you plan to use it as a work/office laptop.
All in all, if you’re in the market looking for a premium thin and light laptop for work and entertainment. I think the ILLEGEAR IONIC TOUCH is a strong contender against the other options such as the Surface devices, ASUS ZenBook, Dell XPS, HP Spectre and more. Given that this design originates from Intel you can pretty much expect a great build quality from them. Besides, you don’t often see a decent thin and light from OEMs so I guess that’s a good direction for them to move into.
For the starting price of RM4899 for the i5 option and up to RM5698 for the i7 option, some might comment about how you can get a similar spec device at a cheaper price. Sure, the 11th-gen Intel Core processor is so widely available you can even get the same chip on an affordable laptop. What you’re paying here is for the rest of the laptop’s component such as the robust chassis, beautiful touch screen and most importantly, the user experience.