Earlier this year we reviewed the ILLEGEAR SELENITE and we are blown away by its sheer performance at a reasonable price tag. Before the year ends, ILLEGEAR Malaysia manages to pull everything together to release the all-new 17.3-inch SELENITE Pro. This new machine boasts an updated chassis design as well as hardware refresh such as the 240Hz display. Let us dive deep into the laptop and you may decide if this will be your 2020’s gaming laptop.
As usual, ILLEGEAR’s main offering is interesting as the price varies a lot as we customers can customize the specs to however we want. So, the performance that we show here is specific to the configuration that we have for testing.
ILLEGEAR SELENITE Pro Specs
ILLEGEAR Malaysia has sent us a customised SELENITE Pro sample instead of the base model.
- Intel Core i7-9750H
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8GB
- 2x 8GB DDR4-2666
- Samsung 512GB NVMe PCIe 3.0×4 SSD
- Seagate BarraCuda 256GB NVMe PCIe 3.0×4 SSD
- 17.3-inch 1080p 240Hz IPS
- 92Wh battery
What’s in the box
- ILLEGEAR SELENITE Pro
- 230W charging adapter
- Paper documentation
Magnesium Alloy Chassis
Call me a frog in a well, to date, other than Microsoft Surface Pro line up, I have never seen any other laptop that uses magnesium alloy in their chassis construction. Although it adds up to the cost of the manufacturing, magnesium alloy is stronger yet lighter than aluminium. That translates to an ultra-lightweight nature of the SELENITE Pro – at just 2kg, this 17.3-inch gaming laptop easily beats many other 15.6-inch laptops out there.
Opening the lid reveals the 17.3-inch Full HD display. ILLEGEAR has taken a step further with high-refresh-rate display and equipped it with a 240Hz panel. Yes, we know that some triple-A titles are very difficult to push beyond 150 fps even on 1080p resolution with high-end components, but competitive titles are amazing on this display.
The colour reproduction is splendid for a gaming-centric display panel. It has 100% sRGB colour gamut despite our general perception of high-refresh-rate panels has the worst colour profile.
The webcam has been moved to the bottom bezel to make way for the narrower top-bezel. It is an awkward position and I don’t think your conference call partner would appreciate the nostril view either. I personally don’t mind having a slightly thicker top bezel as long as they make good use of the space. Honestly, they might as well as drop the logo on that thick bottom bezel and use a 16:10 display instead.
Back to Membrane
The previous ILLEGEAR SELENITE has a mechanical keyboard that uses ultra-slim mechanical key switches. As a mech-keyboard enthusiast, I love the mechanical feedback of the previous keyboard, however, not that I would say the same to the wacky keycaps. The new SELENITE Pro, however, has dropped the mechanical keyboard altogether in order to achieve an even slimmer chassis build. Now what we have is a standard scissor membrane keyboard.
The keyboard layout could’ve been better if the arrow cluster is slightly separated from the rest of the keys. All in all, it works well, just that it is not exciting in any particular ways. Even the backlight is just a 4-zone RGB instead of per-key-RGB.
On the other hand, the up-sized trackpad allows a better user experience albeit Window’s palm rejection would still need some improvement. The use of the Precision Touchpad driver makes Windows 10 finger gesture and finger tracking smoother than ever. Still, gamers would’ve opted for a gaming mouse.
- Thunderbolt 3 (Type-C)
- HDMI 2.0
- Gigabit Ethernet
- USB 3.1 Gen2 (Type-A)
- 3.5mm microphone jack
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- microSD card reader
- 2x USB 3.1 Gen1 (Type-A)
A generous selection of ports albeit the microSD card reader is kinda odd to consider that there should be enough space for a full-sized SD card reader.
Under the Hood
When compared with ROG Strix SCAR III, one might be wondering why the SELENITE Pro is performing better in games. Well, to put things into perspective, the SCAR III has single stick 16GB RAM while the SELENITE Pro has two sticks of 8GB RAM. That alone is enough to affect the overall gaming performance.
The Intel Core i7-9750H is being notorious for its thermals and the SELENITE Pro handles it without breaking a sweat. The maximum CPU temp we have here is 91 degrees Celcius while averages at 85 degrees Celcius.
There are two SODIMM slots for dual-channel memory configuration. The best part is the dual M.2 slots for the internal storage upgrade.
Usually, we don’t really emphasise on battery life when it comes to gaming laptops because you need to have it plugged in to maximise the performance of the hardware. Not to mention that they don’t really last long even if you’re not gaming on it.
The SELENITE Pro, on the other hand, has made an exceptional impression with me during the review session as it out-performs many of its competitors in terms of the battery life for everyday use. This review article was written entirely on this laptop, including the photo editing done in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. A single full charge gave me roughly 6-hours of battery life, from 100% to 15%. That is an incredible feat for a gaming laptop, a 17.3-inch at that.
ILLEGEAR has once again surprised us with their new product. The SELENITE Pro is without a doubt the coolest running gaming laptop we have ever tested that has Intel Core i7-9750H CPU. Most of the gaming laptops that come equipped with the same CPU will face a hard time at taming the chip’s ridiculous heat output. The SELENITE Pro single-handedly kept the CPU at temps below 91-degrees is a remarkable achievement.
A quick word with the team reveals the use of Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut TIM actually makes all the difference when compared with any other major brands out there. While we can’t tell if the magnesium alloy chassis actually contributes to the excellent thermal performance, however, it is extremely nice to handle thanks to the improved rigidity and lightweight.
Last but not least, the price, our configuration of the SELENITE Pro retails at RM 8,269. We’ve got RTX 2070, 240Hz display, dual SSD and AX WiFi module. Surely you can get the basic model with RTX 2060 and 144Hz panel at the starting price of RM 6,699, depending on your budget and needs. To be honest, it is not cheaper nor more expensive than Acer Helios 300, Predator Triton 500 or ROG Strix SCAR III. Nonetheless, mind you that the competitors are 15.6-inch model while the SELENITE Pro is a 17.3-inch machine. On top of that, the customizability and better thermal performance make the SELENITE Pro stands out from the competition.
- Robust construction
- Thin & light
- Fast display
- Excellent performance
- Cool & quiet
- Excellent battery life for a gaming laptop
- sub-par palm rejection on the touchpad
- Usable but less exciting keyboard