Review: Cosmos VII-I7 (17.3") for Linux | PCSPECIALIST

Review: Cosmos VII-I7 (17.3") for Linux

OldLady

Member
First, since many seem to play games these days: I don't play games and the on-board graphics is fine for me.

This is my first purchase from PCS and I'd like to describe why it wasn't just because the purchase price was the most competitive I found. The forum helped too! But even before I joined the forum, I'd already exchanged emails with PCS.

The majority of sites do not show a clear, overhead image of a laptop keyboard. My (now) old latop is missing the Break key and I'd heard of one Linux user who realised just in time the PrtScr button was missing from a laptop he was considering (Linux users know we sometimes need to use Ctrl + Alt + PrtScr and REISUB). So...

Pre-sales email communications (about two laptops) with a couple of PCS folk were timely, friendly and informative. But one person went the extra mile and took his mobile to where the keyboards are stored and sent an excellent image - thank you again Andrew (Kearney). I'm not an expert on keyboards but I haven't found anything missing so far!

The online order was placed Saturday afternoon and delivered three working days later Wed 19 Sep. I was genuinely shocked by the speed - hadn't even prepared an installation LiveUSB.

I use PCLinuxOS MATE (KDE is too involved for my simple brain) and remastering an OS is a built-in function, followed by another built-in function to create the installation LiveUSB. I knew the Cosmos would need a very recent kernel not suitable for the old laptop, so quickly used VirtualBox to update a MATE OS with the latest kernel and create the iso.

Neutered Win10 secure boot and the LiveUSB loaded smoothly on the Cosmos - phew! After wiping Win10, the re-partitioning and installation also completed well. One niggle (excessive screen flashing when logging in) was solved by using a different Display Manager.

I knew to expect two things about the keyboard:

1. No Caps Lock led. I still miss it and probably always will.

2. Personal opinion, but the keyboard backlight is foul. Thank goodness all the leds are white but Fn + F4 works properly. I have to press F4 five (yes 5) times to go through the brightness cycles before eventually getting to "off". Hopefully the gurus will come up with a proper solution soon - I detest stupid and repetitive actions!

What price a keyboard with one sensible led? sheesh.

On the other hand, I enjoy how quiet the keyboard is, and tactile feel. I use a mouse and don't know how to use the keypad properly, but it works if the mouse battery runs out and I need to quickly finish someting.

The SSD is as fast as everyone describes them, installing a re-mastered OS really does flash by! For the second drive, the 7,200rpm is significantly faster than any 5400 I've experienced before.

I sometimes hear the fan revving when doing something intensive, but it settles down immediately the job is finished. Battery life is fine at the moment, but I won't cry if/when it degrades 'cos they all seem to.

Post-sales communications were equally willing and friendly. Keeping in mind I don't use Windows, it took a few days before it was agreed the Aptio Setup Utility is pre-configured to hide the CSM/Legacy boot option. I'm familiar with GPT/EFI or GPT/Legacy so it's not a real issue for me.

Finally... the matte monitor is an absolute delight after years of a "mirror" on the old laptop; I'm not a pretty old lady. :)


Chassis & Display
Cosmos Series: 17.3" Matte Full HD IPS 60Hz 72% NTSC LED Widescreen (1920x1080)

Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™ i5 Quad Core Processor 8300H (2.3GHz, 4.0GHz Turbo)

FREE PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Battlefield 1 & More! w/ select Intel CPUs!

Memory (RAM)
16GB Corsair 2666MHz SODIMM DDR4 (2 x 8GB)

Graphics Card
INTEL® HD GRAPHICS 630 - 1.7GB Max DDR4 Video RAM - DirectX® 12

1st Hard Disk
1TB SEAGATE 7mm SERIAL ATA III 2.5" HARD DRIVE WITH 128MB CACHE (7,200rpm)

1st M.2 SSD Drive
250GB SAMSUNG 970 EVO M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 3400MB/R, 1500MB/W)

Memory Card Reader
Integrated 6 in 1 Card Reader (SD /Mini SD/ SDHC / SDXC / MMC / RSMMC)

AC Adaptor
1 x 90W AC Adaptor

Battery
Cosmos VII Series 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery

Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre Cloverleaf UK Power Cable

Thermal Paste
COOLER MASTER MASTERGEL MAKER THERMAL COMPOUND

Sound Card
2 Channel High Def. Audio + SoundBlaster™ Cinema 3

Bluetooth & Wireless
GIGABIT LAN & WIRELESS INTEL® AC-9260 M.2 (1.73Gbps, 802.11AC) +BT 5.0

USB Options
1 x USB 3.1 PORT (Type C) + 2 x USB 3.0 PORTS + 1 x USB 2.0 PORT

Keyboard Language
SINGLE COLOUR BACKLIT UK KEYBOARD

Operating System
NO OPERATING SYSTEM REQUIRED

Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language

Windows Recovery Media
NO RECOVERY MEDIA REQUIRED

Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft® Office® 365 (Operating System Required)

Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE

Browser
Microsoft® Edge (Windows 10 Only)

Notebook Mouse
INTEGRATED 2 BUTTON TOUCHPAD MOUSE

Webcam
INTEGRATED 1MP HD WEBCAM

Warranty
3 Year Silver Warranty (1 Year Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)

Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)

Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 5 to 7 working days
 
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Oussebon

Moderator
Moderator
Great to hear all's well, and thanks for posting the review + Linux impressions.

No pressure to, but if you feel it would be helpful for others to see what the keyboard looks like you could always post a pic of yours :)
 

ubuysa

Moderator
Moderator
Again, Thank you for the very detailed, informative, and balanced review. This is a model review for others to follow I think, these reviews really do help other customers thinking of buying a similar laptop. +rep deserved and given. :)
 

OldLady

Member
As suggested by Oussebon, I'd like to post a pic of my keyboard because pre-purchase fears were immediately dismissed. I've prepared the image - cropped but still large - but would like to reduce it to a sensible size for viewing.

Do I use the following to control image width in the PCS forum, or something else?

Code:
[img [I][COLOR="#FF0000"]width=800[/COLOR][/I]]url[/img]
 

Oussebon

Moderator
Moderator
If you upload the image ("insert image" button) it will appear as a thumbnail and then people can choose to view it full size or not by clicking on it. The forum will also compress the image in my experience to reduce to the file size (made a mess of some of my nicer screenshots from games, bah!).

Or you can upload to imgur etc and link it.

I imagine anyone who is bothered about what the keyboard looks like will not mind larger/more detailed pictures.
 

OldLady

Member
Thank you Oussebon. I'll give it a go and hope the image survives!

I promise the keyboard IS matte black - not the khaki green shown in the image - and it's definitely not crooked or wonky like my photgraphy skills!!

I'd also like add that while trying to keep my emailed questions as simple as possible, I didn't give the detail of exactly WHY a clear image of the keyboard was important to me. Andrew explained PCS did not have a stock image so providing a custom photo was faultless.

On my system, the Fn + F4 combination has to be used to turn the leds off again after lifting the lid from suspend, but not when rebooting (the leds remain off on reboot).

PS:
I previewed the post and populating the image was painful. I've left it as is, but please let me know if I should reduce it or use a different method.
 

Attachments

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Oussebon

Moderator
Moderator
pcs1004kbd01.jpg

I tend to use the attach image button rather than
Code:
[IMG]www.picture.com/image.png[/IMG]
The forum also seems to turn the image from a 4MB+ png to a 367kb .jpg file.
 
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