Review of the 17.3" Optimus Pro (Ryzen 4800h, RTX 2060, 16GB) | PCSPECIALIST

Review of the 17.3" Optimus Pro (Ryzen 4800h, RTX 2060, 16GB)

cjohob

Active member
General impressions:

Overall, I’m very impressed with this laptop. The gaming and thermal performance are both excellent. The screen is great. The keyboard is better than average. There is a reasonable selection of ports. There are a few things that remind you this is at the more budget end of mid-range gaming laptops (the all-plastic build, the trackpad, fairly tinny speakers, poor battery life, no thunderbolt or G-Sync), but if like me you're willing to compromise on those things, it’s a great machine.


Case:

The case feels solid, and a lot less cheap than it looked in some of the third-party pictures I've seen. The only slight exception to this is the PCS logo on the lid, which is not etched into the plastic; it's just a rubbery decal, which I predict is likely to rub off over time. Overall, the case feels solid without being heavy. The hinge is pretty stiff. On the upside this means it will hold the lid at any angle. The downside is that it is not possible to open without holding the base in place. The screen does wobble a bit, e.g. when someone stomps across the room. There is a bit of lateral flex in the lid, but not much. The case shows some smudges, but a lot less than the matt finish on my 15.6” Optimus VI did. There is no keyboard shortcut to turn off the screen, which I would have liked (you’ll have to go into the Gaming Center if you want to do that). However, there is one to turn off the Windows key, which is pretty handy. The inbuilt button to switch between different power modes is also a nice feature. This laptop is definitely not slim (31mm), but despite that it manages to feel quite compact. In fact, the very narrow bezels mean that the laptop is only about 15mm wider than the aforementioned 15.6" Optimus VI, and the case is actually about 10mm shorter front to back.


Thermal Performance:

I have been really surprised with how well this case handles heat. This RTX 2060 is the refresh version, so runs at 115w. I thought this might push the cooling of the chassis. In fact, I am yet to see the GPU run above the low 60s C. The CPU gets up into the low 70s. This is playing Metro Exodus and Shadow of the Tomb Raider more or less maxed out on graphics, and using the 'Turbo' setting in the TongFang/PCS Gaming Center, but without the additional fan boost engaged. Even without the boost mode, the fans are not exactly quiet, but with a headset on I don't find them in the least bit off-putting, even when in-game ambient noise is low. I paid the extra for Arctic MX4 Paste, and I guess I might be reaping the dividends of that, but there is no way this is making the 10-20 degrees difference between what I'm getting and what some others have reported. I think those folks either got unlucky with their paste-jobs, or there has been an updated bios that has sorted out the fan curves. I use a stand that raises the back of the laptop, which perhaps also makes some difference.


Gaming Performance:

As I just said, I've played Metro Exodus and Shadow of the Tomb Raider in native 1080p, on more or less maximum settings, including ray tracing, maximum texture filtering, and full vertical sync (Metro I am only running ray tracing settings on high rather than ultra). I've been getting very playable framerates of 50-60fps, with occasional dips down into the mid-40s, and very occasional dips below 40 when there are lots of NPCs and/or light sources around, so lots of complex RTX shadows. I'm sure with a few tweaks those dips could be reduced, but to my eyes these framerates are smooth enough, and so far any dips have only really occurred in non-combat settings. Everything looks really nice, especially Metro. I can't quite believe how far things have come since I bought my last gaming laptop under 5 years ago...


Screen:

The screen is great. It isn't the brightest I've used, but the colours pop very nicely, and the viewing angles really are excellent (virtually no distortion or dimming, to my eye, even from very side-on angles). So far I've only calibrated using the inbuilt Windows colour management settings (I trimmed out a lot of green and red). I might experiment with something more sophisticated at some point. Before I ordered, a webchat agent had told me the panel is the BOE07B6. I did some googling and found that this panel is also used in the XMG Neo 17, which has been reviewed here. They found 18.8ms GtG and 12ms BtW, so I knew to expect some ghosting, but hopefully nothing major. The fastest paced game I play is probably CS:GO. Here the high FPS (up to 200, lol), 144hz refresh rate and better than average response times really come into their own. I barely see any ghosting or motion blur in game. I had a play around on an online ghosting test (https://www.testufo.com/ghosting) and this confirmed there definitely is some at higher speeds. But in my view, a bit of ghosting is a fair trade-off for having a screen with good colour, especially in a laptop of this price.


Keyboard:

Travel feels alright. There is a decent amount of give, without being too spongey. Typing feels pleasantly bouncy. This is not a mechanical keyboard (and doesn't claim to be) and using an online keyboard ghosting checker I did detect some missed strokes, but only after 5 other buttons are being held. This is the case at least around WASD, left ctrl, shift etc.. I don't think this will ever effect games that I play. The RGB I could care less about. I'm not going to be changing the colours much. It seems to work fine.


Trackpad:

This is a whole other story. It is bad. The buttons often fail to register clicks, especially the right click. The pad itself is a reasonable size and sensitivity, but the fairly smooth shiny finish creates quite a lot of friction, and can make an annoying squeaking/rattling noise. Overall this seems fine for occasional use, but I think I'll almost certainly be using a mouse for work now, as well as gaming.


Ports:

For me it has a fine selection of ports. I'm pleased that these are spaced out around the machine, in a way that feels intuitive: USBs on each side, display ports and power situated at the back. The USB 3.0s on the right side were initially very tight, but are already loosening a bit with use. The USB 2.0 on the left causes a lot of stuttering when I try to plug my mouse in there. I haven't tried any other devices there yet. Perhaps this could be resolved with a driver update.


Fan Noise:

As I said above, the fans run fairly loud when gaming, but are fine if you're using over-ear headphones (mine aren't even noise cancelling). On the office profile things are more or less silent most of the time, only whirring up very occasionally for a few seconds.


Speakers:

Not very loud. Pretty tinny. No noticeable bass. Fine for watching a few shows, but for anything more cinematic you're going to want external speakers or headphones.


Out of the box setup:

I got the laptop without an OS because I could get a free Windows License Key through my university. Windows installed super quick from a pen drive, and all drivers sorted themselves out through the Windows update utility. The only thing I had any issue with was the TongFang/PCS Gaming Center, which hadn’t been added to my list of available downloads in my PCS account. A webchat agent was able to send me a link to download it.


Battery life:

Save the worst for last. 46WH is never going to be enough if you're going to be spending long periods of time away from the mains. And the relative power efficiency of the Ryzen 4000 series does not turn that around. I reasoned that the most I'm ever likely to need on battery is 3 hours of MS Office use (the length of a long train journey, or an afternoon in the library). This battery seems like it can just manage that. But when video streaming it seems to manage only about 2 hours of playback time. It is perhaps a bit unfair to be reviewing this after less than a week, because I know batteries can take a little while to settle into their full capacity. If anything changes drastically I'll post an update.


Anyway, that's my review. If there's anything else you'd like to know, feel free to ask. Here's my full spec:

Chassis & Display
Optimus Series: 17.3" Matte Full HD 144Hz 72% NTSC LED Widescreen (1920x1080)
Processor (CPU)
AMD Ryzen™ 7 Eight Core Processor 4800H (2.9GHz, 4.2GHz Turbo)
Memory (RAM)
16GB Corsair 2666MHz SODIMM DDR4 (2 x 8GB)
Graphics Card
NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2060 - 6.0GB GDDR6 Video RAM - DirectX® 12.1
1st M.2 SSD Drive
Change to: 512GB PCS PCIe M.2 SSD (2000 MB/R, 1100 MB/W)
Memory Card Reader
Integrated 3 in 1 Card Reader (Full Size SD / SDHC / SDXC)
AC Adaptor
1 x 180W AC Adaptor
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre Cloverleaf UK Power Cable
Battery
Optimus Series Integrated 46WH Lithium Ion Battery
Thermal Paste
ARCTIC MX-4 EXTREME THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY COMPOUND
Sound Card
2 Channel High Definition Audio + MIC/Headphone Jack
Wireless/Wired Networking
GIGABIT LAN & WIRELESS INTEL® Wi-Fi 6 AX200 (2.4 Gbps) + BT 5.0
USB/Thunderbolt Options
1 x USB 3.1 PORT (Type C) + 2 x USB 3.1 PORTS + 1 x USB 2.0 PORT
Keyboard Language
OPTIMUS SERIES RGB 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 365® (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Microsoft® Edge (Windows 10 Only)
Keyboard & 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)



The total price was £1,144 including the sub-orders I made.
 
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Indeed, many thanks for the review. I am looking at the same system and have been holding off waiting for reviews to start to come in.
 

Willow78

Bronze Level Poster
That's a great review, Thank You. I have just ordered the other week a 17.3" Optimus Pro to replace my 2012 Skyfire laptop that has served me very well! The specs you have selected are very similar to what I have ordered with the difference being the SSD's

I did expect the sound to be not very good, the Skyfire I have has the speakers facing up on the keyboard so it was good but I have a headset and I am thinking of getting some speakers, for this new laptop
 
Just a few questions.

I've noticed that Asus has software called Armoury Crate to change the CPU mode. For example it has Silent, Performance, Turbo and Manual. Does this Laptop has any dedicated software for the CPU. For example can you change it to 'Turbo' to get the maximum out of the CPU?

Would be great if you could run some benchmarks for this. Especially Cinebench/Firestrike/Geekbench while maxing out the CPU (Turbo Mode)?

Would love to see some photos too!

I've dropped you a message asking if there is room next to the trackpad to use a Mouse if you could let me know that would be great.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

JamieHands

New member
Hi,

I've just ordered the a similar spec to this; Optimus Pro XI 4800h, RTX2060, 32gb DDR4 2666mhz and 1tb Samsung Evo with Arctic.

Seen a few issues on temps as you've mentioned, but all relate to the i7 variant rather than 4800h Ryzen 7. Seen that the Ryzen variant is less than a month old. Main issue has been fan control on the i7 variant but It would be a different mobo for this CPU. I'd say from this review it looks like the Ryzen model is better from a thermal perspective too (AMD is the better CPU in everyday tasks with neglible difference in gaming).

Just throwing my two cents on, I'll confirm findings when I receive also.
 
Hi,

I've just ordered the a similar spec to this; Optimus Pro XI 4800h, RTX2060, 32gb DDR4 2666mhz and 1tb Samsung Evo with Arctic.

Seen a few issues on temps as you've mentioned, but all relate to the i7 variant rather than 4800h Ryzen 7. Seen that the Ryzen variant is less than a month old. Main issue has been fan control on the i7 variant but It would be a different mobo for this CPU. I'd say from this review it looks like the Ryzen model is better from a thermal perspective too (AMD is the better CPU in everyday tasks with neglible difference in gaming).

Just throwing my two cents on, I'll confirm findings when I receive also.
Could you see my questions above. Would really appreciate it when you get your system if you could let me know the answers :)
 

Willow78

Bronze Level Poster
just got a message back to say the network card with the laptop is not compatible with the laptop even though it was the only one selectable at the time due to listing error the card needs to be a AX200 not the AX201 that was in the order. Just done a quick search they are mainly the same except the 201 is only compat with Intel chipsets
 

cjohob

Active member
just got a message back to say the network card with the laptop is not compatible with the laptop even though it was the only one selectable at the time due to listing error the card needs to be a AX200 not the AX201 that was in the order. Just done a quick search they are mainly the same except the 201 is only compat with Intel chipsets
Yeah that happened with mine. But they only spotted it after it had gone into testing... Not great service. Probably delayed my dispatch by a day or two. Hopefully they spotted yours earlier and so the same doesn't happen to you
 

Willow78

Bronze Level Poster
luckily they have not started building it yet but I also noticed they only sell the 200 version now with either Intel or AMD which makes sense, with these configuators things like this can happen I guess
 

EmiD A

Member
I can confirm they will replace your AX201 with the AX200 due to it being an intel proprietary component.

Also, if you selected a SSD, you will be asked to select an NVME instead. I'm not sure why we can select those components if they have known issues. Disappointing
 

JamieHands

New member
Hi all,

Here's an update from me. I've taken delivery of my Optimus Pro XI 17.3" today. Here's the specs I had;

AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
32GB DDR4 Corsair 2666mhz
1TB Samsung EVO Plus M.2 NVME
17.3" screen with 72% NTSC
RTX2060

Not the complete specs I know. I chose to have the Arctic compound with 2x Optimus battery (spare is out of stock ATM). I opted to have no OS but 30 day dead pixel and silver warranty. Total came to £1376.

Form factor is only a few cm bigger in width and depth than a regular 15.6" laptop from a years ago, and is surprisingly slimmer than I expected. I'd say no room for a mouse or mouse mat next to the trackpad. Trackpad wise, it's not the best, but it's not terrible either and more than fits the purpose.

I opted for the above spec as I'm a developer, from apps through to games so wanted something I could take away to make the most of my time. Gaming performance wise, I tested for am hour with Death Stranding and didn't see GPU temps above 63 degrees and the CPU I didn't see go above 79 degrees. I'll aim to get some more benchmarks done and some pics over the next few days. Frame per second on Death Stranded and recommend settings for laptop were around 90 frames per second, a very smooth experience.

Bit to early for me to put recommendations in at the moment, but I'll feed back over the next few days. But hope this mini review helps.
 

Willow78

Bronze Level Poster
in testing mine seems to have a problem it says "in testing - problem"

hopefully its nothing serious so I hope it arrives in the next few days hopefully!
 
Hi all,

Here's an update from me. I've taken delivery of my Optimus Pro XI 17.3" today. Here's the specs I had;

AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
32GB DDR4 Corsair 2666mhz
1TB Samsung EVO Plus M.2 NVME
17.3" screen with 72% NTSC
RTX2060

Not the complete specs I know. I chose to have the Arctic compound with 2x Optimus battery (spare is out of stock ATM). I opted to have no OS but 30 day dead pixel and silver warranty. Total came to £1376.

Form factor is only a few cm bigger in width and depth than a regular 15.6" laptop from a years ago, and is surprisingly slimmer than I expected. I'd say no room for a mouse or mouse mat next to the trackpad. Trackpad wise, it's not the best, but it's not terrible either and more than fits the purpose.

I opted for the above spec as I'm a developer, from apps through to games so wanted something I could take away to make the most of my time. Gaming performance wise, I tested for am hour with Death Stranding and didn't see GPU temps above 63 degrees and the CPU I didn't see go above 79 degrees. I'll aim to get some more benchmarks done and some pics over the next few days. Frame per second on Death Stranded and recommend settings for laptop were around 90 frames per second, a very smooth experience.

Bit to early for me to put recommendations in at the moment, but I'll feed back over the next few days. But hope this mini review helps.
Great stuff! Thanks for the Mini Review! I've put a order in for mine today.

Another helpful useful got in touch and showed me some photos and ran Cinebench etc. Be great to see your results and photos also to help out other users. Can't wait to get my hands on it!

Out of curiosity how long did it take to arrive after you put the order in?
 

SpyderTracks

Huntsman
Moderator
Great stuff! Thanks for the Mini Review! I've put a order in for mine today.

Another helpful useful got in touch and showed me some photos and ran Cinebench etc. Be great to see your results and photos also to help out other users. Can't wait to get my hands on it!

Out of curiosity how long did it take to arrive after you put the order in?
Laptops are generally a lot quicker than desktops, so when you see around 20 days atm for desktops, it's around 9 or so for laptops I believe.
 
I chose the exact same specification except I made my M.2 ssd a 2TB one instead, I'm really glad you wrote this review because I was sceptical at how it would turn out since this will be my first gaming setup. Now I can't wait for it to arrive. :)
 
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