Review Nexoc M512 (Clevo W650EH) Notebook

Florian Wimmer (translated by A Kammel), 06/01/2013

Matte - metal look - multimedia. Nexoc offers highly configurable notebooks. This also holds true for the new multimedia laptop M512. So does our test device with a Core i7 processor and an Nvidia graphics card offer a convincing performance?

In Review: Nexoc M512

For the original German review, see here.

The Bavarian company Nexoc allows its customers to choose from quite a number of different components in order to customize their laptops. Nexoc's new multimedia laptop is called the M512; it is available since May 29th, 2013 and is based on yet another barebone of the Taiwanese manufacturer Clevo, the W650EH.

A wide variety of Intel CPUs can be selected, ranging from an Intel Pentium to a Core i7. In addition, the laptop can be equipped with an Nvidia GeForce GT 740M GPU, an mSATA slot with high transfer rates (e.g. for fast SSDs) or even a Wireless WAN module for mobile Internet access.

Our test device comes close to the upper end of Nexoc's range, running on an Intel Core i7-3540M, Intel's fastest mobile dual-core CPU right now, clocked at 3.0 GHz. It also ships with an Nvidia GeForce GT 740M as well as with 16 GB of RAM. The system disk is an mSATA-SSD with 120 GB of memory, while a secondary 1 TB HDD is supposed to serve as the data storage disk.

The Nexoc M512 has to compete against its own sibling, the M507II (running on the older GeForce GT 640M GPU), the Asus N56VB (which sports a GeForce GT 740M as well), Acer's high-performance multimedia laptop Aspire V3-571G, Dell's Inspiron 15R Special Edition, Toshiba's Satellite P855-107 and the Deviltech Fire DTX which offers a great value-for-money ratio.

Case

How we test - Case

Simple, but beautiful: The case is well designed.
Simple, but beautiful: The case is well designed.

It seems as if the barebone sector has finally decided to abandon glossy surfaces, which are extremely prone to fingerprints and dirt. This also holds true for Clevo's barebone used for the Nexoc M512, which features only matte surfaces. The lid has a sophisticated design, looking like brushed aluminum. The base unit surrounding the keyboard, as well as the display frame, sports a dark gray metal look. The hinges are well adjusted, keeping the display firmly in place while allowing it to be opened with just one hand.

Overall, the M512's design is pleasantly modest, but likeable. We especially liked several of its smaller design elements such as a white, dotted bar for decoration right above the keyboard and the fact that the base unit flattens at the front, leading to a slim appearance of the laptop.

Build quality is decent. The keyboard barely wobbles at all, but the same cannot be said for the palm rest. The display lid is sturdy, but not torsion-resistant and susceptible to pressure. Exerting force on the back of the lid almost always leads to visible distortions on the screen.

Connectivity

How we test - Connectivity

Most 15.6-inch multimedia laptops offer pretty much the same variety of ports. The Nexoc M512 is no exception to this rule, but at least there are a decent number of USB ports on board, with the laptop sporting two USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA combo port and a USB 3.0 port.

Most ports are rather awkwardly positioned in the front half of the left and right sides of the laptop, which can be annoying if one wants to use a mouse instead of the touchpad. The rear remains completely unused - even the fan vents are positioned on the left of the case.

At the front: Card reader (SD, MMC, MS)
At the front: Card reader (SD, MMC, MS)
At the left: Power connector, fan grilles, VGA port, Ethernet port, eSATA / USB 2.0 combi port, HDMI, USB 3.0
At the left: Power connector, fan grilles, VGA port, Ethernet port, eSATA / USB 2.0 combi port, HDMI, USB 3.0
At the back: No ports
At the back: No ports
At the right: Line In/Out, 2x USB 2.0, DVD burner
At the right: Line In/Out, 2x USB 2.0, DVD burner

Communication

Both 1 GB/s Ethernet and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi are included, the latter reaching speeds of up to 300 MBit/s while optionally operating in the 5 GHz band as well. Reception quality is good, even 10 meters (~33 feet) and three walls away from the router, we still manage to get four out of five bars. Adding a fourth wall only takes away one additional bar.

The M512 also comes with Bluetooth 4.0 and a slot for a Wireless WAN module, which was not in use in our test device. According to Nexoc, this will be available in the future.

Accessories

The laptop ships with barely any accessories except for the obligatory power adapter and a recovery DVD. It is however possible to add numerous additional items in Nexoc's configurator, e.g. different operating systems, laptop bags, power adapters, universal docking stations and external hard drives. The prices are decent, but then again, none of these accessories are built specifically with the M512 in mind.

After just two screws have been loosened, the majority of the internal components can be accessed.
After just two screws have been loosened, the majority of the internal components can be accessed.

Maintenance

After the two warranty seals are broken, only a few screws have to be loosened before the interior of the case - and with it almost all relevant components of the system - can be accessed. Now the fans can be cleaned, the HDD or SSD can be swapped and another RAM module can be installed. Its accessibility can thus only be called commendable. Great: It is absolutely okay to break the seals - it does not void the warranty. In order to prevent misunderstandings from occurring, Nexoc suggests that you send them an email if you plan to open the case so that this can be marked down.

Warranty

On its website, Nexoc claims to offer great customer service. On first glance, 24 months of bring-in service look rather like standard procedure. Things only start to get interesting when a closer look is taken at the details of the warranty conditions: For the first six months, Nexoc guarantees a repair within the first three business days - or, alternatively, another unit on loan. In addition, the standard warranty can be modified for a fair price: 24 months of pick-up service only cost 24.87 Euros (~$32) while another year of warranty comes in at 65.45 Euros (~$84).

Input Devices

How we test - Input Devices

Keyboard

The chiclet-style keyboard makes use of almost the entire width of the laptop, and includes a full numpad. The letter keys measure 16 x 16 millimeters, sporting a distance of 3 millimeters. In addition, the input device barely wobbles at all, sitting firmly in the midst of the base unit. Together, this leads to a productive typing experience, although key travel falls a bit short of our expectations.

It is easy to type fast with this keyboard. Also, thanks to their stability, the keys have a solid, premium feel to them. We were also quite fond of the full-sized arrow keys (which are often reduced in size on similar laptops).

Touchpad

The touchpad is gigantic, sporting a diameter of 12.5 centimeters (~4.9 inches) - one more than the massive 17.3-inch Alienware M17x R4. Thanks to its large area, it is possible to cross the entire screen without lifting the finger once, even on low sensitivity settings. The surface is also very smooth and works reliably. Unfortunately, the touchpad does not support any multitouch gestures - this would have been a nice feature, especially when using Windows 8.

The two separate touchpad buttons sport some clearances, lacking any premium feel. They even sound hollow while clicking, but at least they work reliably and offer a well-defined pressure point.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

How we test - Display

Nexoc M512 vs. sRGB
Nexoc M512 vs. sRGB
Nexoc M512 vs. Adobe RGB
Nexoc M512 vs. Adobe RGB

We are happy that more and more manufacturers go back to matte displays. Although colors seem a little bit less vivid, the reduction in glare and reflections is more than enough to compensate for this drawback. The matte TN LED screen used in the Nexoc M512 is made by LG Displays, sporting just 1366x768 pixels.

In addition, screen brightness leaves quite a bit to be desired, coming in at an average value of only 209.6 cd/m². Many competitors offer more (Dell Inspiron 15R SE: 278.7 cd/m², Acer Aspire V3-571G: 279.4 cd/m²) and even the Nexoc M507II gets slightly brighter at 218.7 cd/m². In addition, brightness homogeneity levels of just 77% are mediocre as well, leading to darker and brighter spots that are visible to the naked eye.

Neither the sRGB color space nor the Adobe RGB color space is covered, as can be seen at the right hand side of this section. While this may only be truly relevant to professional users, it does not reflect well on the M512's display quality.

202
cd/m²
209
cd/m²
188
cd/m²
221
cd/m²
244
cd/m²
208
cd/m²
194
cd/m²
219
cd/m²
201
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 244 cd/m²
Average: 209.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 77 %
Center on Battery: 185 cd/m²
Black: 0.83 cd/m²
Contrast: 294:1

Contrast and black levels are below average as well. A contrast ratio of 294:1 is just a third of what Acer offers with the Aspire V3-571G, and the same holds true for its black levels as well. At least, contrast and black levels have been improved considerably over the Nexoc M507II, which was even worse, by a factor of two in both regards.

Both the screenshots of our colorimeter-based color analysis and the CalMAN software clearly show a very strong blue tint. On the color saturation screenshot, the difference between the actual and ideal yellows can even be seen clearly with the naked eye. The grayscale is also way off when compared to the definition of sRGB, sporting an average Delta-E value of 12.58.

CalMan color accuracy
CalMan color accuracy
CalMan greyscale
CalMan greyscale
CalMan color saturation
CalMan color saturation
Outdoor usage
Outdoor usage

The M512's matte display should make it an ideal companion for outdoor usage. Unfortunately, brightness and contrast are so bad that direct sunlight makes it very difficult to read the screen, despite no reflections occurring. This problem lessens when the laptop is used in the shade or in bright rooms. Under these conditions, it should not be a problem to get some proper work done with the Nexoc M512.

Viewing angles Nexoc M512
Viewing angles Nexoc M512

Horizontal viewing angles are great: Even from a narrow angle, the contents of the screen can still be made out. Vertical displacement is more of a problem: Screen brightness is quickly distorted and for viewing angles of more than 30 degrees, only inverted colors remain visible.

Performance

How we test - Performance

As we have already mentioned, a large number of Intel processors can be chosen for the M512. Our test device comes equipped with a strong dual-core processor, the Core i7-3540M, as well as a current mid-range graphics card, the Nvidia GeForce GT 740M. Next to lavish 16 GB of RAM, it ships with a 120 GB mSATA-SSD as well as a 1 TB HDD. All of these components - with the exception of the GPU - can be replaced with others using Nexoc's configuration tool.

 
System information Nexoc M512

Processor

Right now, the Core i7-3540M is Intel's most powerful mobile dual-core processor. Its clock speed of 3 GHz can be boosted to 3.5 GHz for both cores or 3.7 GHz for just one core, if necessary. When compared to quad-core Core i7 CPUs, every single core is decidedly more powerful due to the higher clock speed. Only when all cores are required for a certain task can quad-core CPUs outpace their higher-clocked dual-core counterparts.

This can easily be seen during our Cinebench benchmark: If just one core is active, the Nexoc M512 takes the lead, while just reaching the penultimate position during our multi-core tests. Still, its performance should be sufficient to run most tasks quickly and smoothly, even in the foreseeable future. We are measuring the same results while running on battery, so users do not have to fear a performance reduction when the laptop is not plugged in.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5041
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
10628
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6689
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
6502 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
13562 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6776 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.54 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.41 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
39.02 fps
Help
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Nexoc M512
3.41 Points ∼19%
Acer Aspire V3-571G-53238G1TMaii
2.9 Points ∼16% -15%
Dell Inspiron 15R SE
5.57 Points ∼32% +63%
MSI GE60-i789W7H
6 Points ∼34% +76%
Toshiba Satellite P855-107
6.2 Points ∼35% +82%
Nexoc M507II
5.52 Points ∼31% +62%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
6.41 Points ∼36% +88%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Nexoc M512
1.54 Points ∼83%
Acer Aspire V3-571G-53238G1TMaii
1.22 Points ∼66% -21%
MSI GE60-i789W7H
1.35 Points ∼73% -12%
Toshiba Satellite P855-107
1.36 Points ∼74% -12%
Nexoc M507II
1.41 Points ∼76% -8%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
1.41 Points ∼76% -8%

Legend

 
Nexoc M512 Intel Core i7-3540M, NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, Mushkin Atlas 120 GB mSATA
 
Acer Aspire V3-571G-53238G1TMaii Intel Core i5-3230M, NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
 
Dell Inspiron 15R SE Intel Core i7-3612QM, AMD Radeon HD 7730M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT-75A1Yt0
 
MSI GE60-i789W7H Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-22HXZT3
 
Toshiba Satellite P855-107 Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M, Toshiba MK7575GSX
 
Nexoc M507II Intel Core i7-3630QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
 
Asus N56VB-S4050H Intel Core i7-3630QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3

System Performance

Thanks to its fast SSD, the Nexoc M512 offers far better system performance than all of its competitors. This can be seen in the PC Mark 7 Storage results where our test device tends to be at least 70% faster than the other devices.

5.9
Windows 8 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
7.3
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
7.6
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
5.9
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
6.6
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
8.1
PC Mark
PCMark Vantage17424 points
PCMark 75671 points
Help
PCMark 7
Score (sort by value)
Nexoc M512
5671 Points ∼86%
Acer Aspire V3-571G-53238G1TMaii
2532 Points ∼38% -55%
Dell Inspiron 15R SE
2318 Points ∼35% -59%
MSI GE60-i789W7H
2532 Points ∼38% -55%
Toshiba Satellite P855-107
2484 Points ∼38% -56%
Nexoc M507II
2545 Points ∼38% -55%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
3065 Points ∼46% -46%
System Storage (sort by value)
Nexoc M512
5203 Points ∼73%
Dell Inspiron 15R SE
1502 Points ∼21% -71%
MSI GE60-i789W7H
1471 Points ∼21% -72%
Toshiba Satellite P855-107
1369 Points ∼19% -74%
Nexoc M507II
1491 Points ∼21% -71%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
1348 Points ∼19% -74%

Legend

 
Nexoc M512 Intel Core i7-3540M, NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, Mushkin Atlas 120 GB mSATA
 
Acer Aspire V3-571G-53238G1TMaii Intel Core i5-3230M, NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
 
Dell Inspiron 15R SE Intel Core i7-3612QM, AMD Radeon HD 7730M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT-75A1Yt0
 
MSI GE60-i789W7H Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-22HXZT3
 
Toshiba Satellite P855-107 Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M, Toshiba MK7575GSX
 
Nexoc M507II Intel Core i7-3630QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
 
Asus N56VB-S4050H Intel Core i7-3630QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3

Mass Storage

It is not only Mushkin's 120 GB SSD that speeds up the system. Considering that it is just a conventional hard drive, Hitachi's 1 TB HDD for mass storage is rather quick as well. Everything runs smoothly thanks to the combination of these two fast disks - even more so thanks to the modest hardware requirements of Windows 8. We are especially impressed by the great results in the 4K-tests that measure reading and writing speeds on randomly chosen 4K-blocks, indicating constantly high reading and writing speeds no matter where a file is located on the disk.

Mushkin Atlas 120 GB mSATA
Transfer Rate Minimum: 192.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 361.9 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 310.6 MB/s
Access Time: 0.2 ms
Burst Rate: 138 MB/s
CPU Usage: 4.5 %

Graphics Card

Nvidia's mid-range GeForce GT 740M model with a core clock speed of 810 MHz has only been available for two months. It is based on the Kepler architecture and has been manufactured using the 28nm-process.

Thanks to Nvidia Optimus, the GPU is automatically and smoothly deactivated whenever the slower, yet less power-hungry integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU within the CPU is sufficient for a given task. Concerning its performance, the Nexoc M512 with its GeForce GT 740M is on par with its competitors, but it is unable to yield much better results than the preceding generation of GeForce graphics cards. Again, GPU performance is the same while running on battery.

3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
11107 points
3DMark 112018 points
3DMark Ice Storm63035 points
3DMark Cloud Gate6005 points
3DMark Fire Strike1027 points
Help
3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Nexoc M512
63035 Points ∼42%
Acer Aspire V3-571G-53238G1TMaii
47879 Points ∼32% -24%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
67664 Points ∼45% +7%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Nexoc M512
6005 Points ∼25%
Acer Aspire V3-571G-53238G1TMaii
6018 Points ∼25% 0%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
8226 Points ∼34% +37%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Score (sort by value)
Nexoc M512
1027 Points ∼10%
Acer Aspire V3-571G-53238G1TMaii
1032 Points ∼10% 0%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
1269 Points ∼13% +24%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Nexoc M512
2018 Points ∼15%
Acer Aspire V3-571G-53238G1TMaii
1887 Points ∼14% -6%
Dell Inspiron 15R SE
1677 Points ∼13% -17%
MSI GE60-i789W7H
2215 Points ∼17% +10%
Toshiba Satellite P855-107
1709 Points ∼13% -15%
Nexoc M507II
2127 Points ∼16% +5%
Asus N56VB-S4050H
2238 Points ∼17% +11%

Legend

 
Nexoc M512 Intel Core i7-3540M, NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, Mushkin Atlas 120 GB mSATA
 
Acer Aspire V3-571G-53238G1TMaii Intel Core i5-3230M, NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
 
Dell Inspiron 15R SE Intel Core i7-3612QM, AMD Radeon HD 7730M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVT-75A1Yt0
 
MSI GE60-i789W7H Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-22HXZT3
 
Toshiba Satellite P855-107 Intel Core i7-3610QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M, Toshiba MK7575GSX
 
Nexoc M507II Intel Core i7-3630QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 645M, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
 
Asus N56VB-S4050H Intel Core i7-3630QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3

Gaming Performance

Even recent 3D games such as Metro: Last Light are well playable on high details and with the native resolution
Even recent 3D games such as Metro: Last Light are well playable on high details and with the native resolution

As expected, the results of our synthetic benchmarks hold true in real games, too. The Nexoc M512 is very well capable of handling most games on medium or even high settings in its (low) native resolution. Gaming in Full HD (on an external display) would only be possible with much reduced details, if at all. The M512 even fares worse than the Asus N56VB, which sports the same graphics card, exhibiting noticeably lower frame rates in games such as "Bioshock Infinite".

Overall, Nexoc's multimedia laptop is only suited for occasional gaming- which is a pity, since its fast SSD and the large amount of memory enable extremely fast loading times, as can be noted for example when playing "Anno 2070".

low med.high ultra
Battlefield 3 (2011) 4131259fps
CoD: Modern Warfare 3 (2011) 91675139fps
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) 46.339.228.512.3fps
Anno 2070 (2011) 59.945.530.915.2fps
Mass Effect 3 (2012) 3729.620.8fps
Risen 2: Dark Waters (2012) 3929198fps
Diablo III (2012) 112.574.664.740.2fps
Dirt Showdown (2012) 43.631.525.315.3fps
Max Payne 3 (2012) 47.238.526.510.3fps
Sleeping Dogs (2012) 58.739.824.33.2fps
Counter-Strike: GO (2012) 89.269.865.248.3fps
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 11029.69.8fps
F1 2012 (2012) 1561027224fps
Fifa 13 (2012) 311.5206.8145.991.9fps
Dishonored (2012) 82.573.460.835.2fps
Medal of Honor: Warfighter (2012) 63373513fps
Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012) 58.637.214.54.4fps
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (2012) 75.464.348.424.3fps
Hitman: Absolution (2012) 52.129.815.35.4fps
Assassin´s Creed III (2012) 42.534.29.63fps
Far Cry 3 (2012) 63.242.319.65.2fps
Dead Space 3 (2013) 131.269.246.229.5fps
Crysis 3 (2013) 46.825.614.33.6fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 91.743.9247.1fps
SimCity (2013) 42.330.119.210.2fps
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) 216.576.941.215.2fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 70.4338.0831.319.19fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 30.6222.7914.086.05fps
Nexoc M512
Intel Core i7-3540M, NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, Mushkin Atlas 120 GB mSATA
Asus N56VB-S4050H
Intel Core i7-3630QM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD7500BPVT-80HXZT3
BioShock Infinite
31%
1280x720 Very Low Preset70.4390.4
28%
1366x768 Medium Preset38.0849.9
31%
1366x768 High Preset31.3141.9
34%
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)9.1912
31%

Stress Test

Stress test
Stress test

During our stress tests, both the GPU and the CPU are put under extreme strain with two separate benchmarks. This is done in order to find out whether throttling occurs, which temperatures are reached and whether the system even crashes.

Both the CPU and GPU clock speeds never exhibit throttling, but the processor gets hot quickly, plateauing at around 90 degrees Celsius (194 Fahrenheit). While not being overly problematic, these temperatures may damage the CPU in the long run. The graphics card remains cooler at around 70 degrees (158 Fahrenheit). Luckily, the system never crashed even after hours of continuous attempts to force it to its limits.

Emissions

How we test - Emissions

System Noise

The Nexoc M512 is approximately as loud as its competition when idle: 32.8 dB(A). Unfortunately, the fan starts to crank up after around 10 minutes, reaching up to 46.5 dB(A), although it is not even used yet. The fan control software seems rather buggy, neither the M507II nor some of the other laptops such as the Dell Inspiron 15R SE or the Acer Aspire V3-571G have this problem.

We also were not fond of its maximum noise emissions of 48.6 dB(A) under full load. Overall, the Nexoc M512 is rather mediocre in this regard. A glance at the Dell Inspiron 15R SE shows how things could have been better: Although being almost as powerful as the M512, the Dell notebook stays far calmer. Even its maximum noise level registers 5 dB(A) lower.

BIOS update might help improve the fan control software. According to Nexoc, this is planned for the beginning of June. It is very likely that the first laptops to hit the market will already ship with the improved version.

Noise Level

Idle 32.8 / 32.8 / 46.5 dB(A)
HDD 34.1 dB(A)
DVD 34.4 / dB(A)
Load 45.9 / 48.6 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

It should seem sensible to think that the noisy fan manages to keep the case rather cool, shouldn't it? Unfortunately, this is not the case: With a maximum temperature of 53.6 degrees Celsius (128.48 Fahrenheit) under full load, the M512 gets hotter than all of its competitors.

Even when it is not used, it may get as warm as 38.5 degrees (101.3 Fahrenheit). Overall, heat management is mediocre as well, particularly so since the power adapter also reaches more than 55 degrees (131 Fahrenheit) under load.

Max. Load
 44.5 °C38.2 °C25.6 °C 
 43 °C32.1 °C25.2 °C 
 33.3 °C36.7 °C26.3 °C 
Maximum: 44.5 °C
Average: 33.9 °C
25.2 °C47 °C53.6 °C
25.5 °C42 °C52.2 °C
28.2 °C34 °C32.6 °C
Maximum: 53.6 °C
Average: 37.8 °C
Power Supply (max.)  55.2 °C | Room Temperature 21.6 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

The speakers are important for every multimedia laptop. Still, we are not that happy with the performance of the M512 in this regard. The stereo speakers are located beneath the front rim (a dotted white bar above the keyboard is just decoration, having nothing to do with the speakers), but since the rim is strongly chamfered, the speakers are not aimed at the table, but at the air.

Unfortunately, the M512's sound quality was not convincing. The stereo speakers lacked richness, highs and lows, instead focusing almost exclusively on the mids. A Sound Blaster Cinema Software made by Creative is supposed to improve audio quality, but it did not ship with our test device. Still, there are far better sound systems out there, for example on the Dell Inspiron 15R SE.

Energy Management

How we test - Battery Life

Energy Consumption

The high base clock speed of the CPU seems to lead to a problem with the excess heat removal system. So far, we have only tested one other laptop with the exact same CPU, the Toshiba Tecra R950. However, the Tecra manages to remain far cooler than the M512. The problem can be seen looking at the energy consumption while idle: 17.1 Watts for the M512 is 3 to 4 Watts more than for laptops with Core i7 quad-core CPUs like the Dell Inspiron 15R SE.

In addition, there is an extreme power demand during standby, something we have also observed to a lesser degree with the Toshiba Tecra R950: 2.6 Watts are required by the Nexoc M512 - mathematically, its 48.8 Wh battery would not even survive 19 hours of standby.

At least, maximum power consumption under full load of 69.3 Watts is better than what most of its competitors offer. Even the Acer Aspire V3-571G, with its weaker CPU and GPU, needs 6 Watts more. So, what kind of battery life can we expect with this unusual energy consumption pattern?

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.2 / 2.6 Watt
Idle 12.6 / 17.1 / 17.6 Watt
Load 55.7 / 69.3 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

With its unusual energy consumption values ​​and a 48.8 Wh battery, the Nexoc exhibits mediocre battery life, which is quite similar to that of the competition. Under full load, for example, our test device clearly beat the Dell Inspiron 15R SE while somewhat falling flat when just being idle.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
4h 32min
WiFi Surfing
3h 14min
DVD
3h 06min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 14min

Verdict

How we test - Verdict

We have ambivalent feelings about the Nexoc M512. The laptop has a lot of potential and it offers a great value-for-money ratio, considering its powerful internal components such as a high-end dual-core CPU, plenty of RAM and a lot of hard disk real estate. Together with its sleek case, (which does not at all look like a boring standard barebone), good input devices and even an optional Wireless WAN module, working with the device should be great fun.

Still, there are several annoyances with the Nexoc M512, specifically the half-baked fan control system and the high case temperatures (which, to a lesser degree, has also been a problem for other laptops with the higher-clocked Intel Core i7-3540M). The display is a disappointment, despite its matte surface, as is the speaker setup. Audio quality is mediocre, especially in times when speakers in multimedia laptops become both better and more important. In addition, gaming with full details is not truly possible even in the (low) native resolution of the display.

Despite these flaws, may this laptop be the right choice for you? If you do not mind about the noise, are well-equipped with decent external speakers and wish to own a fast workhorse at a great price, then the answer is yes. However, those looking for a multimedia laptop should probably look elsewhere.

 

 

In Review: Nexoc M512
In Review: Nexoc M512

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In Review: Nexoc M512
In Review: Nexoc M512

Specifications

Nexoc M512

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel HM76 (Panther Point)
:: Memory
16384 MB, + St 2 S/O 8GB DDR-III PC-1600 Kingston KVR16S11/8 N18525
:: Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M - 1024 MB, Core: 810 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, ForceWare 311.12, Nvidia Optimus mit Intel HD Graphics 4000
:: Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, LG Display LP156WH3_TLF1, TN LED, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Mushkin Atlas 120 GB mSATA, 120 GB + 1 TByte Hitachi HTS721010A9E630 2.5 inches 7200rpm
:: Soundcard
Intel Panther Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
3 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 eSata, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm Line In/Out, Card Reader: SD, MMC, Memory Stick,
:: Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 (a b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Optical drive
PLDS DVD+-RW DU-8A2S
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 26.8 x 374 x 252
:: Weight
2.458 kg Power Supply: 0.458 kg
:: Battery
48.8 Wh Lithium-Ion
:: Price
902.60 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 1,9 MP Webcam, Speakers: 2 stereo speakers, Keyboard: chiclet-style keyboard with numpad, Keyboard Light: no, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
Nexoc's laptops are highly configurable.
Nexoc's laptops are highly configurable.
The M512 is no exception to this rule.
The M512 is no exception to this rule.
Our test device comes with a Core i7 dual-core CPU and a GeForce GT 740M.
Our test device comes with a Core i7 dual-core CPU and a GeForce GT 740M.
The case is a barebone made by Clevo.
The case is a barebone made by Clevo.
We are quite fond of the matte surfaces, the high build quality and the nice design.
We are quite fond of the matte surfaces, the high build quality and the nice design.
The multimedia laptop sports a metal look.
The multimedia laptop sports a metal look.
Unfortunately, the lid is not as stable as the rest of the chassis.
Unfortunately, the lid is not as stable as the rest of the chassis.
Thanks to its clever design, the laptop appears to be very slim.
Thanks to its clever design, the laptop appears to be very slim.
The fan is positioned at the rear (on the left side).
The fan is positioned at the rear (on the left side).
Most of the ports are at front, which might be inconvenient.
Most of the ports are at front, which might be inconvenient.
We did like the input devices, though.
We did like the input devices, though.
The keyboard even sports a numpad.
The keyboard even sports a numpad.
And the arrow keys are full-sized.
And the arrow keys are full-sized.
Even the power button is well-designed.
Even the power button is well-designed.
The touchpad is large and responsive, but the buttons sport some clearances.
The touchpad is large and responsive, but the buttons sport some clearances.
This is just for decoration. The speakers...
This is just for decoration. The speakers...
... are positioned beneath the front rim.
... are positioned beneath the front rim.
Unfortunately, they are not really good enough for a multimedia laptop - as is the screen.
Unfortunately, they are not really good enough for a multimedia laptop - as is the screen.
The webcam offers 2 megapixels - not bad.
The webcam offers 2 megapixels - not bad.
The GeForce graphics card...
The GeForce graphics card...
... automatically switched back to the energy-saving onboard solution if required, thanks to Nvidia Optimus.
... automatically switched back to the energy-saving onboard solution if required, thanks to Nvidia Optimus.
The warranty seal has to be broken before the laptop can be opened.
The warranty seal has to be broken before the laptop can be opened.
After this is done, only two screws have to be loosened.
After this is done, only two screws have to be loosened.
Now the fan can be cleaned, for example.
Now the fan can be cleaned, for example.
Nexoc uses generous 16 GB of RAM.
Nexoc uses generous 16 GB of RAM.
The WiFi module is made by Intel. Supposedly, Wireless WAN will be available as well.
The WiFi module is made by Intel. Supposedly, Wireless WAN will be available as well.
The BIOS battery can be replaced as well.
The BIOS battery can be replaced as well.
Overall, the Nexoc M512 offers a great value-to-money-ratio, but it gets rather warm and loud.
Overall, the Nexoc M512 offers a great value-to-money-ratio, but it gets rather warm and loud.
Maybe a BIOS update can help in this regard.
Maybe a BIOS update can help in this regard.
Is this a real multimedia laptop?
Is this a real multimedia laptop?
We say: Nexoc should improve the speakers and the display, ...
We say: Nexoc should improve the speakers and the display, ...
... in order to turn this into a truly useful multimedia device.
... in order to turn this into a truly useful multimedia device.
The potential is there - and some of its problems can be bypassed by resorting to another configuration.
The potential is there - and some of its problems can be bypassed by resorting to another configuration.

Similar devices

Links

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Pricerunner n.a.

Pro

+Overall solid build quality
+Beautiful design elements
+Good input devices
+High application performance
+Versatile configuration options
+Matte display...
 

Cons

-... but faint and with a low resolution
-Fan gets noisy at times, even while idle
-Case gets uncomfortably hot...
-... and the power adapter as well, under full load
-Mediocre speakers

Shortcut

What we like

The modest, yet well-designed case and the great application performance

What we'd like to see

A multimedia laptop needs better speakers - and a better fan control software.

What surprises us

How slim the case appears to be thanks to clever design.

The competition

Nexoc M507II, Asus N56VB, Acer Aspire V3-571G, Dell Inspiron 15R SE, Toshiba Satellite P855, MSI GE60

Ratings

Nexoc M512
05/24/2013 v3
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
83%
Keyboard
80%
Pointing Device
82%
Connectivity
70%
Weight
81%
Battery
84%
Display
74%
Games Performance
88%
Application Performance
99%
Temperature
76%
Noise
68%
Add Points
75%
Average
80%
80%
Multimedia *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Nexoc M512 (Clevo W650EH) Notebook
Author: Florian Wimmer, 2013-06- 1 (Update: 2013-07- 6)