Ionico 17.3" Laptop (i7, 3080, 1TB SSD, 32GB RAM).

I didn't wanna buy a laptop, I wanted a desktop PC. However, given that trying to find a good desktop graphics card these days is quite tricky, I settled for a laptop. After finding out that a laptop 3080 is roughly the same as a desktop 3060/3060Ti, I was pretty much 100% getting a 16GB 3080 graphics card from the get go. Now compared to what I'd call "branded" laptops (MSI, Asus, Razer etc.), the fact that a fully specc'd out Ionico seemed to be at least £200 cheaper, in some cases almost £1000 cheaper than the higher end equivalent spec laptops, I did have some reservations about reliability and build quality. Nevertheless, almost two weeks later, here I am writing a review for it.

Full specs
Chassis & Display - Ionico Series: 17.3" Matte QHD 165Hz sRGB 100% LED Widescreen (2560x1440)
Processor - Intel® Core™ i7 Eight Core Processor 11800H (2.3GHz, 4.6GHz Turbo)
Memory - 32GB Corsair 3200MHz SODIMM DDR4 (2 x 16GB)
Graphics Card - NVIDIA RTX 3080 - 16.0GB GDDR6 Video RAM
Storage - 1TB SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 3500MB/R, 3300MB/W)
I also specified ARCTIC MX-4 EXTREME THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY COMPOUND, 30 day dead pixel guarantee, and the 5 day build time.
Total price: £2,137.00

Buying & Delivery - 10/10
Buying it was seamless. I picked my specs, clicked buy, and I was done. I was a little worried that I couldn't use my crypto.com debit card as it doesn't work with some sites, but nope, all went though just fine. I ordered it on black Friday (25th Nov). I think that within the day it was in testing? And before the following Monday it was ready to be dispatched. Arrived to me on Tuesday (30th Nov). Couldn't be happier with that build + delivery time, absolutely phenomenal.

Performance - 8.5/10
This is the big one. This is what I wanted in my next computer, and this is what I was after the most. It's great. It really is. So far, all I've done is light multi-tasking and playing Apex Legends & Minecraft, but it's handled everything with ease. Framerate on Apex Legends is pretty much all over 100FPS, this is playing with High settings at 1440p (would play at 1080, but I have to play with a borderless window otherwise the game does not like tabbing out at all). When I did play at 1080p, the framerates pushed 150fps. I don't even notice when my FPS drops, it seems fluid to me, and I'm perfectly happy with it. This was the main test for the laptop, in my eyes, and it passed with flying colours. I haven't yet gotten round to throwing the latest and greatest Visual Studio at it, but I'm not concerned at all; I'm sure it'll handle VS just fine. Exactly what I'd expect from a laptop this thin with these specs.
Speaking of thickness (or lack of), the thermals on the laptop seem fine. Running Apex Legends, Minecraft, Discord, and more than one Chrome tab and the temperatures all stayed fine. CPU was around 80 degrees and the GPU was around 70. This was running in Gaming mode too, not Turbo, so I could have kicked the fans into overdrive for even more cooling.
Also, booting up the laptop doesn't seem the snappiest. I've definitely had laptops that load up quicker when you turn them on, but I still barely notice the loading times.

Display - 8.5/10
Yup, it's great. Just wanted I wanted. Refresh rate is good, colours are good, resolution is good, just what I wanted. Could have pushed for a 300hz 1080 laptop (by GIGABYTE), but honestly I doubt I would have taken advantage of that 300hz, whereas I can take advantage of the higher resolution in single player games.
I went with a 17.3" laptop because I knew that it'd mostly be sitting on my desk as a replacement for an actual monitor + desktop PC combo, and I definitely find myself just moving my head forward ever so slightly to see what's going on sometimes. Not a lot, but if anyone who's reading this is worried that 17.3" is too small, yup, it is.
I would have rated this higher than an 8/10, but I am no photo or video editor, so for those things the display might not be top tier, I've no idea ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Ergonomics & Build quality - 8.5/10
I'm pleasantly surprised. I wasn't sure what to expect with this laptop, but it's very well build. Feels nice and solid. The keyboard is great to type on, despite the layout taking a minute to get used to (I still constantly press the up arrow when trying to hit shift). Trackpad isn't so good. When I tap it, it feels like it moves and is loose. When I click it, I have to hope my fingers aren't tired because it requires quite a bit of force to click. Tracking on the trackpad is good, and it's a great size, but clicking isn't the same story. The sound of the fans isn't too bad. They get loud, obviously, and I need to stick some headphones on when playing games otherwise that's all I can hear, but they're not an annoying sound. Oh, and I also really like how tight the ports are; USBs and headphones are a challenge to get in, it feels like they'll stay tight for a long time.

Reliability - 4/10
Ah, yes, this. Well, for the most part, it's been great. But, there have been one or two hiccups. Firstly, whenever I load up a game or something that causes the fans to properly wake up, it sounds like there's some sort of whining going on. Something that I don't notice 99% of the time because of headphones, and it's quite hard to pick up on, but it's not a noise that inspires confidence. Secondly, while I was literally writing this all up, it just stopped receiving power; FPS in Apex Legends dropped to 30 and unplugging it and re-plugging it back in didn't solve it. Magically, it sorted itself out after 30 seconds, but this is still something that I hope doesn't happen again. Thirdly, and here's the big one, one time it just gave up. I have no idea what happened, but all of a sudden the screen just said "nah", and well, if you see the below images you'll see what I mean. The screen went from "broken" to "broken and dark" to "pitch black" within the span of about 90 seconds. This was very worrying. After holding the power button to force a shut down and turning it back on again, all was well, but I hope that this one doesn't happen again.

A few other things worth mentioning;
- I would have liked if the USB-C port was around the side; I plug my dock into it and it's a hassle having to blindly try and stick it in while it's sitting on my desk
- I really like the ease of which I can switch between `Office`, `Gaming`, and `Turbo` modes, but I am not sure I'll ever even need to use the `Turbo` mode
- Separate ports for audio input and output turned out to be a slight inconvenience to me, thankfully my dock having a combined port for input and output saved the day
- There doesn't seem to be a way to set the keyboard lighting to be just white? I hope that this is just me being a bit thick and not being able to figure it out
- I like the light bar along the front, even though I never ever see it lol
- Here's a video of the fans kicking themselves up to speed, phwoar they like to get loud.
- The speakers are awful. Really bad. Very very not good.

Overall, this laptop is great. It does what I want. Perfect for my needs. Very glad I went with the spec I did. I had some reservations about PC Specialist after some anecdotal evidence from friends, but now I'd happily recommend a PC Specialist laptop to anyone who asks.

If anyone has any questions about the laptop, feel free to ask!
 

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Last edited:

barlew

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
How do you find the screen bleed? The picture where your screen is all black makes it look pretty bad?
 

Tron1982

Rising Star
Did you do a windows clean install ?
It helped a lot in the case of a friend of mine for the audio in particular
 
How do you find the screen bleed? The picture where your screen is all black makes it look pretty bad?
Obviously this is just anecdotal evidence, but I actually haven't noticed any screen bleeding. Not sure if it is just because I haven't watched the right dark videos for it to be noticeable or something, but yeah doesn't seem to be any that I've noticed.

Did you do a windows clean install ?
It helped a lot in the case of a friend of mine for the audio in particular
Nah, haven't done that apart from setting up windows for the first time. Might give that a try in the future.
 

Tron1982

Rising Star
You should try, with your ssd, it will be done in less than 15 minutes
And it may help you ^^
I know there is a tuto on the forum about it ^^
 
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