Review Schenker XMG P701 PRO Notebook

Florian Glaser (translated by Kristopher Ouellette), 09/30/2011

Desktop Replacement. Those searching for a performance-oriented gaming notebook whose technology doesn’t already belong to yesteryear are well served by the barebones manufacturer Schenker. The 17-inch XMG P701 PRO shines with a slick design and high-end components of the first order.

Schenker XMG P701 PRO

Though with other manufacturers one is more or less limited to predetermined hardware configurations, Schenker gives customers carte blanche to choose their own components. With exception of the display, the XMG P701 PRO can be tailored in various ways on their homepage mysn.de.

For gamers the graphics card is, naturally, of great importance. Instead of the standard GeForce GTX 560M, the current reference models from Nvidia and AMD can be substituted. The GeForce GTX 580M and the Radeon HD 6990M are the current category heavyweights for mobile graphics in the notebook market. The processor is also of strong lineage, Schenker offering nearly the complete palatte of Intel’s most current Sandy Bridge processors. With a look at the performance capabilities of the aforementioned graphics cards, we would recommend to you nothing less than a quad-core on the level of the Core i7-2630QM or the 2760QM (the most expensive model is only warranted in certain circumstances).

The memory shouldn’t play second fiddle to the rest of the components—a maximum of 32GB of DDR3-RAM is possible, although for most users 8GB is more than plenty. The greatest variety comes when choosing a hard drive. Thanks to two different bays, the available HDDs, SSD’s and SSH’s (hybrid modules) can be combined in wild fashion.

On the entertainment front Schenker also delivers the goods. Instead of a normal DVD-burner a Blu-ray combo drive or a Blu-ray burner are optional. A radio-module is not part of the standard package—depending on the model one will pay up to 40 euros extra. Lastly, there aren’t any surprises when it comes to the operating system, the 64-bit variants of Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional or Ultimate are available.

For the rather sparsely equipped basis configuration, Schenker is asking 1199 Euro. Those who long after one upgrade or another are quick to land at a measurably higher price: our well-equipped test model (see the specifications sheet on the right hand side) came in at over 2000 Euros.

Case

straightforward case
straightforward case

The matt-black chassis leaves an impression of quality behind on the user. The underlying Clevo P170HM-barebone has, by itself, a very frugal appearance. In comparison to other manufacturers, Clevo has foregone color and design experimentation that wouldn’t have done the notebook justice. The single highlight is the removable XMG-logo on the cover.

Qualitatively speaking the 17-incher is worth a glance or two, as the display lid and the palm rest are made of high-quality aluminium. The shiny (and therefore extraordinarily sensitive) plastic bezel pieces could have been spared, though when it comes to workmanship there is very little to complain about. Disregarding the loosely situated strip above the keyboard and the not-quite-so-perfect way that the battery locks into place, the chassis keeps a tidy figure.

Furthermore, the notebook has a passable solidity to it, though the chassis does demonstrate a little bit of give in the optical drive area when a great deal of pressure is applied. As with most notebooks, the display lid could also be a bit more stable and the relatively heavy-duty looking display hinges weren’t completely confidence-inducing, as the display wiggled back and forth when the base was shook. Positive: the process of opening the lid only allows the base unit to move a marginal amount.

In short: a large number of users will be completely satisfied with the design of the chassis. For routine transport though, the notebook is not as friendly, as it weighs around four kilograms—a number that does not lend itself to those always on the go.

Connectivity

USB 3.0 Performance
USB 3.0 Performance: Transcend StoreJet TS500GSJ25D3 500 GByte USB 3.0 HDD

Interfaces

The ample interfaces available on the XMG P701 PRO are one of its greatest strengths. As long as one is willing to overlook the lack of an ExpressCard slot, users will find all of the interfaces that one can expect these days from a desktop-replacement.

Four sound ports (surround-sound), five USB-ports (2x USB 3.0) join two digital video outputs (DVI and HDMI), as well as a Firewire and eSATA port. The package is rounded out by a 9-in-1 card reader, a Kensington lock and an antenna input (TV card not pre-installed).

The placement of the interfaces is something worthy of praise: since all of the ports are situated close to the back or on the back itself there is plenty of room—even with many cables connected—for a mouse. Super!

Communication

Schenker outfitted our test model with the most expensive of the wireless radios on offer. Bigfoot’s Killer Wireless-N 1103 network adapter (WLAN a/b/g/n, 2.4 and 5 GHz) doesn’t have Bluetooth but counters with a comprehensive software suite. For the hardwired, the standard RJ-45 Gigabit LAN connection allows one to dive in to the limitless expanse of the internet.

Further Equipment

Also included on this gaming notebook is a fingerprint scanner, an integrated microphone and a webcam with 2.0 MP of resolution.

Left: Antenna, RJ-45 Gigabit-Lan, 2x USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Firewire, 9-in-1-card-reader
Left: Antenna, RJ-45 Gigabit-Lan, 2x USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Firewire, 9-in-1-card-reader
Back: Kensington Lock, eSATA / USB 2.0, HDMI, DVI, DC-in
Back: Kensington Lock, eSATA / USB 2.0, HDMI, DVI, DC-in
Right: optical drive, 4x Sound, USB 2.0
Right: optical drive, 4x Sound, USB 2.0

Software

Those who order the XMG P701 PRO with the OS included need not worry about superfluous software installations. Apart from the free Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, Schenker only provides the drivers necessary for the chosen hardware. As such, after the initial startup the experience is pleasantly smooth. Other manufacturers who take enjoyment in filling up their devices with useless programs should take a page from Schenker’s book.

Scope of Delivery

In our case, Schenker did not pack any additional accessories into our carton. In normal circumstances, notebooks are packed with a manual and a DVD filled with drivers and tools. Buyers who also specify an operating system also receive an original Windows 7 data stick. The included 220W AC-adapter (circa 1kg) is rather massive.

Warranty

The included warranty is good for 24 to a maximum of 48 months. Should a defect rear its ugly head, the notebook will be picked up for free (though this service is valid only in Germany).

Input Devices

Keyboard

Apart from small details here and there, the input devices left us with a positive impression. Thanks to the free standing and intelligently laid out keys, users can make good headway with the keyboard. A further asset is the crisp action of the keys. The size of the keys themselves, at 14x14mm in size is good, although this sometimes interferes with the lower function key. A dedicated number pad is standard on 17-inch machines.

The WASD-keys marked in red should address gamers. It's disappointing that the keys are not backlit; additionally the loud and ramshackle sound when typing is worthy of complaint as well.

Touchpad

The negligibly sunk touchpad is, at 90x47mm well-dimensioned. Through the lightly roughed surface the touchpad offers a good compromise between feedback and gliding ability.

The supported gestures (multi-touch) enable comfortable zooming and scrolling of pictures, text documents or websites. Classic scroll features on the edges of the touchpad are on board—we were able to attune a fine level of precision with the touchpad. For those gamblers out there that do not want to risk any unintended inputs, there is an option to deactivate the keypad entirely.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Touchpad
Touchpad

Display

When it comes to barebones the display quality of Clevo products is often a complete lottery. Though they use really good panels now and again (see, for example, the XMG P501 PRO), we have also had test products that were outfitted with a cheaper 08/15-model specification (such as the XMG U700 Ultra). Before we clear up which category the P701 PRO’s panel falls under, there are a few basic facts that need explaining.

At the moment the configurations are available with a glossy full-HD model that, less surprisingly, has a 16:9 format and features LED backlighting. 1920x1080 pixels are perfect for a 17-inch panel, as there is enough space for working (two windows at once, etc.)

177
cd/m²
177
cd/m²
171
cd/m²
169
cd/m²
169
cd/m²
172
cd/m²
175
cd/m²
188
cd/m²
182
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Gossen Mavo
Maximum: 188 cd/m²
Average: 175.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Black: 0.87 cd/m²
Contrast: 194:1

After a short look at the returned display values, our euphoria sunk just that much further. With exception of the good brightness (averaging 196.1 cd/m²) the LG Philips sourced LP173WF1-TLC1 panel gives a weak showing in our tests. Due to the high black value (0.8 cd/m²) dark areas in games and movies have the tendency to drift into the grey zone. Or, put another way: a saturated black is simply not accessible to the user. Also quite low is the contrast, at 242:1 these numbers are quite poor (high-quality panels are able to reach values of 1000:1). The picture could definitely be better—colors could have used more saturation.

Schenker XMG P701 PRO vs. sRGB (grid)
Schenker XMG P701 PRO vs. sRGB (grid)
Schenker XMG P701 PRO vs. MacBook Pro 17 (grid)
Schenker XMG P701 PRO vs. MacBook Pro 17 (grid)
Schenker XMG P701 PRO vs. AdobeRGB (grid)
Schenker XMG P701 PRO vs. AdobeRGB (grid)
Outdoor use
Outdoor use

Because of the glossy display surface, usage in the outdoors is only possible in a limited way. Even by moderate brightness the user will be pained by annoying reflections; though indoor usage will mitigate reflections to an extent, implementation of a matt display could have solved the problem altogether.

 

The viewing angle stability is disappointing across the entire range. Those sitting at an inclination to the display will have to—depending on the screen contents— contend with a clear inversion of the colors. All in all such an inferior panel has no place in a notebook that is contending for a position as a desktop replacement. This said, we must defer the blame in this case from Schenker to Clevo, as they are the barebones supplier to Schenker.

Update:  Schenker, shortly after the test, upgraded the model to a Full-HD matt display—excellent.

Viewing Angle Schenker XMG P701 PRO
Viewing Angle Schenker XMG P701 PRO

Performance

Turbo Boost
Turbo Boost

Processor: Intel Core i7-2760QM

The processor on duty in our test model is a quad core—in this case a Core i7-2760QM, based, like its predecessor the 2720QM, on the brand new Intel Sandy-Bridge architecture. The specifications of which would have a few users standing at attention: 995 million transistors, six megabytes L3-cache (Core i5 range: 3MB) and a base frequency of 2.4 GHz guarantee top performance.

Depending on temperature and load the processor is automatically over clocked up to 3.5 GHz. Intel calls this technology "Turbo Boost". "Hyper Threading" is a further keyword. Thanks to the simulation of four virtual cores is it possible for the processor to work on eight simultaneous threads. The Core i7-2760QM is manufactured on a 32mm process, with an overall TDP of 45 Watts. As Clevo did without a GPU switch, the integrated HD Graphics 3000 chip remains inactive—longer battery life is therefore impossible.

System info CPUZ CPU
System info CrystalDiskMark HDD
System info HDTune HDD
System info CrystalDiskMark SSD
System info HDTune SSD
System info HWiNFO
System info GPUZ
System info CPUZ RAM SPD
System info CPUZ RAM
System info CPUZ Mainboard
System info CPUZ Cache
DPC Latenzen
Systeminformationen Schenker XMG P701 PRO

CPU Performance

The CPU benchmarks endow the Core i7-2760QM with certain bravura. In the Cinebench R10 64-bit single-core rendering test the aforementioned processor sprints right by the much-loved Core i7-2630QM with 5471 points—a 17% gain (4665 points @ MSI GT780R). When multiple cores are being used, the dual-core siblings seem old in comparison. With 19747 compared to 11936 points, the dual-core reference i7-2640M falls 65% behind (XMG P701 PRO).

The CPU score in Cinebench R11.5 further illustrates the differences in favor of the Core i7-2760: 5.63 points against 3.17 points is roughly a 78% increase. Ergo: those who aren’t on a rigorous budget should definitely opt for the quad-core model as programs and games will almost always profit from having more than two cores at their disposal.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4474
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
16211
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
9430
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
5471 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
19747 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
9525 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
63.31 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
5.63 Points
Help
Catalyst Control Center
Catalyst Control Center

Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 6990M

As our thorough test confirmed, AMD has an interesting high-end graphics card on offer with the Radeon HD 6990M. Nvidia’s flagship model, the GeForce GTX 580M trumps it with quite a number of features, though on the price side AMD takes the crown. Their flagship GPU carries the classy codename "Blackcomb XTX" and is based on a current 40nm manufacturing process.

Crunching the raw data, the graphics card is more than impressive: 1700 million transistors, 1120 unified shaders and 2048 MB of GDDR5 memory (256-bit interface) are just a few of the key points. 715 MHz core and 900 MHz VRAM clock speed round out the AMD package. HD-video conversion is helped along with the aid of UVD3 video decoders and HD-audio is carried over HDMI thanks to the HD-audio controller. Naturally, DirectX 11 is supported. The deciding factor against the Radeon HD 6990M is its hearty energy consumption: a 100 Watt TDP means that a good cooling solution must be at hand. The GPU driver was Catalyst version 11.5 (Clevo 8.850.0.0).

7.5
Windows 7 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
7.5
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
7.6
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
7.7
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
7.7
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
7.9

GPU Performance

The Radeon HD 6990M itself has no problem with demanding graphics benchmarks. In the DirectX 11-based 3DMark 11 (1280x720, performance preset, GPU-score) it pulls off 3227 points, just exceeding Nvidia’s top model, the GeForce GTX 580M (3191 points @ Alienware M17xR3). The optically gorgeous Unigine Heaven 2.1 benchmark (1280x1024, high, tessellation normal) favors the Nvidia GPU as usual. 43.8 vs 36.6 fps represents a 20% lead. Whether the GeForce GTX 580M also takes the lead in games will be examined shortly.

3D Mark
3DMark 0362353 points
3DMark 0526106 points
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
20744 points
3DMark Vantage14349 points
3DMark 113529 points
Help
AS SSD Benchmark
AS SSD Benchmark

Hard Drives

The hard drive that Schenker has chosen is not inferior. Windows 7 Premium was pre-installed on a 128GB solid state drive from Crucial. The RealSSD M4 (CT128M4SSD2) is still relatively young and brings out a wonderful performance. The sequential read rate of 413 MB/sec and a sequential write speed of 196 MB/sec (AS SSD benchmark) can only be dreamed of by standard drives. Thanks to a SATA III interface there is nothing holding the solid state drive back, as older SATA II models are limited to 300 MB/sec. Access times of 0.1ms (read) and 0.2ms (write) are excellent.

Additionally, Schenker mounted a 1000GB hard drive in our test model. Samsung's Spinpoint M8 (HN-M101MBB) belongs, despite a speed of only 5400rpm, to the faster of the models. The established CrystalDiskMark benched the HDD as having sequential read and write speeds of over 100 MB/sec. In comparison: average HDDs return around 80 MB/sec. According to HDTune, access times of 17.2ms are possible—a good value. As both hard drives are user-accessible, an exchange/upgrade is possible even for amateurs.

Crucial RealSSD M4 CT128M4SSD2
Transfer Rate Minimum: 147.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 231.9 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 184 MB/s
Access Time: 0.1 ms
Burst Rate: 63.9 MB/s

System Performance

The combination of a high-end CPU/GPU and a quick SSD/HDD results in system performance that is downright impressive. 20113 points are possible in PCMark Vantage, though most gaming notebooks have to make do with under 10000 points. The recently tested Toshiba Qosmio X770-10J (Core i7-2630QM, GeForce GTX 560M) just cleared 7895 points.

In the new PCMark 7 the XMG P701 PRO also comes out as formidable—our test model reached 4601 points (Qosmio X770-10J: 3001 points). It isn’t so often that one finds more power than this in the mobile sector—here Schenker certainly scores brownie points for future proofing.

PC Mark
PCMark Vantage20113 points
PCMark 74601 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Wie wir testen - Leistung

The practical gaming benchmarks as carried out here center around the following two questions: 1) How strongly can the Radeon HD 6990M distance itself from its own predecessor, the HD 6970M. 2) How large is the difference in performance with respect to Nvidia’s reference model, the GTX 580M. While the results of the Radeon HD 6970M will be based on the Eurocom Racer, the results from the GeForce GTX 580M will be based in large part on the XMG P501 PRO. Hint: as the previously mentioned notebooks make use of the weaker Core i7-2720QM, the results will not be 100% comparable.

Crysis 2

We begin with Crysis 2, one of the current heavyweights when it comes to breaking down hardware. The Ego-shooter includes high-resolution textures and DirectX 11 activated—even high-end graphics cards are sure to break a sweat. When playing at 1920x1080 pixels on the "ultra" preset, we arrive at an fps of 29.4—not the most playable experience. Without high-resolution textures, deactivated DirectX 11 and the "extreme" preset turned on, the action title runs a bit more fluid—the FRAPS tool returns a result of 33 fps. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 580M managed to be about 10% faster at 36 fps (Alienware M17x R3). The Radeon HD 6970M must contend with circa 30 fps (XMG U700 ULTRA). We therefore recommend the "very high" preset.

Crysis 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Ultra DX11 High Res Textures25.4 fps
 1920x1080Extreme33 fps
 1366x768Very High94.3 fps

Dirt 3

The slick racing gaming Dirt 3 was played back-to-back with Crysis 2 with maximum details. 1920 x 1080 resolution, 4xAA and the "ultra" preset turned on yielded 40.4 fps. The Radeon HD 6970M had a little more difficulty at these settings with a non-optimal 33.2 fps (Alienware M18x). With a GeForce GTX 580M users are smoothly underway with 44.2 fps, 9% above the Radeon HD 6990M.

Dirt 3
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080Ultra Preset, 4xAA, -AF40.4 fps
 1360x768High Preset, 2xAA, -AF107.1 fps

Call of Duty: Black Ops

The most current iteration of the Call of Duty franchise runs very well thanks to lower hardware requirements. With very high details, 4x anti-aliasing, 8x anisotropic filtering and 1920x1080 we arrived at an excellent 90.2 fps. Nivida’s flagship was slightly behind, at 87.3 fps—the difference grows even larger with respect to the Radeon HD 6970M, achieving „only“74.5 fps.

Call of Duty: Black Ops
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080extra, 4xAA, 8xAF90.2 fps
 1360x768high, 2xAA, 4xAF112.6 fps

StarCraft 2

The realtime strategy game StarCraft2 is pushed along effortlessly by the Radeon HD 6990M. In the intro to the “For the Swarm” challenge the AMD graphics card managed 63.5 fps—with 1920x1080 resolution and “ultra” preset checked off. The GeForce 580M and the Radeon HD 6970M steam along at a slight weaker 59 fps. One must not worry—a smooth experience is still entirely possible, as each high-end graphics card is well-equipped to handle the intensity of multiplayer skirmishes.

StarCraft 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080ultra63.5 fps
 1360x768high94 fps

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

Hardly a game out there is currently so eagerly awaited as Battlefield 3. Whether a Radeon HD 6990M is best suitable from an optical point of view will have to be shown, though the (indirect) predecessor Bad Company 2 presents the AMD-GPU with a solvable task. High details (incl. HBAO), 4x anti-aliasing, 8x texture filtering and 1920x1080 pixels returns 56.1 fps. Both the GeForce GTX 580M (50.9 fps) and the Radeon HD 6970M (49.7 fps) get the nod here.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1920x1080high, HBAO on, 4xAA, 8xAF56.1 fps
 1366x768high, HBAO on, 1xAA, 4xAF99.5 fps

Verdict: Gaming

For a notebook GPU the gaming performance of the Radeon HD 6990M is simply phenomenal. Apart from highly demanding titles like Crysis 2 or Metro 2033, modern games with all the bells and whistles are a cakewalk. High resolutions and quality improvements hardly force the graphics card to break step—many gaming PCs will be surpassed by the performance of the XMG P701 PRO.

Different from Nvidia, AMD is not charging an arm and a leg for its top model; despite similar performance the GeForce GTX 580M costs more than 300 Euro more. AMD has hence created a coherent and attractive high-end graphics card with the Radeon HD 6990M. Future blockbusters like Skyrim or Rage should be pristine in reproduction.

low med.high ultra
Need for Speed Shift (2009) 86.874.7fps
Resident Evil 5 (2009) 130.190.7fps
Risen (2009) 71.652.3fps
CoD Modern Warfare 2 (2009) 112.782.4fps
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (2010) 99.556.1fps
Metro 2033 (2010) 5419.6fps
StarCraft 2 (2010) 9463.5fps
Mafia 2 (2010) 89.562fps
Fifa 11 (2010) 336.1212.7fps
Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010) 112.690.2fps
Crysis 2 (2011) 94.333fps
Dirt 3 (2011) 107.140.4fps
Deus Ex Human Revolution (2011) 205.7110.650.6fps
F1 2011 (2011) 127837748fps
Fifa 12 (2011) 471.1265.8217.1156.1fps

Emissions

System Noise

Emissions-sensitive users are going to have to cut the XMG P701 PRO a little bit of slack, as even at idle the notebook turns things up with both chassis fans turning away.

In 3D applications the level of noise reached an unnerving level. Though sound-intensive films and game sequences are not drowned out by the noise, quieter scenes are overtoned by the background of the fans. The AC adapter may also be a “Monday model”—annoying whistling noises can be heard during operation.

Noise Level

Idle 40.8 / 41.2 / 41.6 dB(A)
DVD 41.9 / dB(A)
Load 45.1 / 48.8 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft SL-320 (15 cm distance)
Stress test
Stress test (Furmark & Prime)

Temperature

The temperature development, on the other hand, leaves little opening for criticism. During normal operation the chassis surfaces remain comfortably cool, averaging about 30°C—entirely reasonable. Under stress it is primarily the back part of the notebook that warms up. A maximum of 44°C was seen on the upper surface and 43°C on the underside, these values are also within normal ranges. Remarkable that the palm rest remains continuously under 30°C.

The graphics card does not fare as well in the stress test (Furmark & Prime), after some time the Radeon HD 6990M heats up to around 100°C. Throttling remains out of the question, though heat emission of other components varies a bit.

Max. Load
 44.0 °C42.6 °C37.2 °C 
 33.9 °C34.9 °C34.0 °C 
 28.0 °C30.4 °C29.8 °C 
Maximum: 44.0 °C
Average: 35 °C
40.9 °C43.3 °C34.6 °C
38.0 °C38.0 °C32.6 °C
29.3 °C32.0 °C27.8 °C
Maximum: 43.3 °C
Average: 35.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  39.2 °C | Room Temperature 24.0 °C | Voltcraft IR-550

Speakers

The sound quality did not shake us to the core. Despite having five speakers and a subwoofer the sound quality is rather paltry. For one, the speakers completely lack precision, volume and dynamics. Secondly, the sound comes through as hollow and tinny. Even the maximum volume could be higher. Taken against the speakers on the Dell XPS 17 or Toshiba Qosmio X770, the XMG P701 PRO doesn’t have a chance.

Battery Life

The energy requirements lie far above the levels of a typical middle-class notebook. 129 Watts in 3DMark 06 (average) and 204 Watts under load (maximum) deliver the message with maximum clarity. Really surprising to us was the idle-consumption: 53.8-63.5 Watts are, even for a gaming notebook, unnatural at the least. For comparison: the similarly equipped XMG P501 PRO (Core i7-2720QM, GeForce GTX 580M) only uses half as much electricity at idle. As the Radeon HD 6990M doesn’t downclock itself under light load, it could be responsible for the excessive consumption.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.7 Watt
Idle 53.8 / 55.8 / 63.5 Watt
Load 129.2 / 204.2 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC-940
Readers Test
Maximum Battery Life (Readers Test)
Classic Test
Minimum Battery Life  (Classic Test)

Although the XMG P701 PRO has a potent 8-cell battery (76.96 Wh, 5200 mAh) the battery life is hardly worth mentioning. Under load, the lights go out rather quickly: with maximum brightness and deactivated energy-savings options we arrived at a paltry 27 minutes of battery life.

During DVD playback the battery life about doubles (our test film played for 67 minutes) though this is still a tragedy in many ways. Even at minimum brightness and maximum energy-savings options the battery doesn’t have much extra wind in its sails. The unsophisticated Readers Test from Battery Eater christened the 17-incher with 81 minutes of life. You get the point: this notebook isn’t meant to be a portable tool.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
1h 21min
DVD
1h 07min
Load (maximum brightness)
0h 27min

Verdict

Schenker XMG P701 PRO
Schenker XMG P701 PRO

The Schenker XMG 701 PRO exemplifies exactly what is possible today in the realm of mobile gaming. Intel’s quad-core processor and AMD’s high-end graphics card deliver class-leading performance. Whether we are talking games or other applications, the bleeding-edge components have brute force behind them. With an SSD hard drive things just escalate upwards from there—the operating system reacts with pep and load times are nice and short.

Apart from the pure power the connectivity is also quite impressive, as one is presented with just about every important interface currently out there. On the positive side of things we would also have to add the good input devices, the clean Windows installation (no bloatware here!) and the various configurations and upgrade possibilities.

Naturally the energy-hungry components lead to limitations when it comes to mobility. The battery life of the 3.8 kilogram heavy and 5 centimeter high P170HM-barebones is simply meager. Adding to this we have the borderline unbearable noise development. The two fans scurrying air out of the case turn at a fierce speed when gaming under load.

Of everything, we were most disappointed by the display. The picture quality remains behind that of our expectations of a 2000 Euro desktop replacement; most of all in the areas of black value, color and contrast. Barebones producer Clevo should follow a clear upgrade path and not upgrade the panels when the whim strikes them. Those who are lucky might find themselves with a better panel post-purchase.

Passionate gamers should look past the few defects—though gaming notebooks of similar caliber are also available from Alienware and other barebones vendors.

In Review: Schenker XMG P701 PRO
In Review: Schenker XMG P701 PRO

Specifications

Schenker XMG P701 PRO

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel HM67
:: Memory
16384 MB, 4x 4096 MByte SO-DIMM DDR3-RAM (1333 MHz)
:: Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon HD 6990M - 2048 MB, Core: 715 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, Clevo 8.850.0.0
:: Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, LG Philips LP173WF1-TLC1, Full-HD, LED-Backlight, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
Crucial RealSSD M4 CT128M4SSD2, 128 GB + Samsung Spinpoint M8 (HN-M101MBB), 1000 GB, 5400 rpm
:: Soundcard
Realtek ALC892 @ Intel Cougar Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
3 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 1 Firewire, 1 DVI, 1 HDMI, 1 Infrared, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 eSata, Audio Connections: Headphones, Microphone, Line-In, S/PDIF-out, Card Reader: MMC,RSMMC,MS,MS Pro.MS Duo,SD,Mini SD,SDHC,SDXC, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Antenne (CATV)
:: Networking
JMicron PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Adapter (10/1000MBit), Bigfoot Networks Killer Wireless-N 1103 Network Adapter (a b g n )
:: Optical drive
Optiarc DVD RW AD-7710H
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 52 x 412 x 276
:: Weight
3.842 kg Power Supply: 1.008 kg
:: Battery
76.96 Wh Lithium-Ion, 5200 mAh, 14.8 V, 8 Cells, 0.42 kg
:: Price
2024 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 2.0 Megapixel, AC Adapter: 220 Watt, Handbook, Driver- Tool-DVD, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, 24-48 Months Warranty

 

The P170HM barebone is relatively plain.
The P170HM barebone is relatively plain.
Those not shy of the investment should look into an SSD.
Those not shy of the investment should look into an SSD.
The processor on duty is an Intel from the Sandy Bridge series.
The processor on duty is an Intel from the Sandy Bridge series.
Two of the four RAM slots are hidden under the keyboard.
Two of the four RAM slots are hidden under the keyboard.
Schenker endowed our test machine with 16GB DDR3-RAM.
Schenker endowed our test machine with 16GB DDR3-RAM.
The graphics cards come from either Nvidia or AMD.
The graphics cards come from either Nvidia or AMD.
Despite a subwoofer, the sound just doesn't cut it.
Despite a subwoofer, the sound just doesn't cut it.
A practical backlit keyboard is also missing.
A practical backlit keyboard is also missing.
The WASD-keys are specially marked.
The WASD-keys are specially marked.
Between the touchpad keys one finds a fingerprint scanner.
Between the touchpad keys one finds a fingerprint scanner.
External monitors may be connected via DVI or HDMI.
External monitors may be connected via DVI or HDMI.
The 17-incher features five USB ports (2x USB 3.0).
The 17-incher features five USB ports (2x USB 3.0).
Four sound ports enable the use of surround sound equipment.
Four sound ports enable the use of surround sound equipment.
Around 77 Wh battery capacity disappears in the blink of an eye.
Around 77 Wh battery capacity disappears in the blink of an eye.
Under stress both of the fans are ever-present.
Under stress both of the fans are ever-present.
Those who desire a lot of control are well-suited to a barebones chassis.
Those who desire a lot of control are well-suited to a barebones chassis.
Clevo doesn't attempt a design statement here.
Clevo doesn't attempt a design statement here.
Lid and upper surface are made of aluminum.
Lid and upper surface are made of aluminum.
Three panels are removable from the bottom.
Three panels are removable from the bottom.
At almost four kilograms the notebook isn't quite light.
At almost four kilograms the notebook isn't quite light.
The device measures more than five centimeters at the back.
The device measures more than five centimeters at the back.
The shiny bezel is very sensitive to dust and oils.
The shiny bezel is very sensitive to dust and oils.
The silver XMG logo won't be to everyone's liking.
The silver XMG logo won't be to everyone's liking.
Your surroundings will be reflected in the display.
Your surroundings will be reflected in the display.
The chassis vents are on the back side.
The chassis vents are on the back side.
Almost all of the components are comfortably accessible.
Almost all of the components are comfortably accessible.
The notebook clicks audibly when typing.
The notebook clicks audibly when typing.
The orientation of the connections is itself prize-worthy.
The orientation of the connections is itself prize-worthy.
A Blu-ray drive is an optional extra.
A Blu-ray drive is an optional extra.
The 220-Watt AC adapter is as long as a DVD case.
The 220-Watt AC adapter is as long as a DVD case.

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Pro

+Numerous connection possibilities
+Intelligently laid-out connections
+Outstanding performance
+Excellent input devices
+Clean installation
 

Cons

-High degree of noise in operation
-Average display
-Meager battery life
-Massive AC adapter
-Ramshackle keyboard
-High electrical consumption
-

Shortcut

What we like

The class-leading performance of the high-end components.

What we'd like to see

Quieter operation.

What surprises us

Clevo once again ignores the display.

The competition

17-inch gaming notebooks based on Sandy Bridge like the Asus G74SX, the MSI GT780R or the Toshiba Qosmio X770.

Ratings

Schenker XMG P701 PRO
09/21/2011 v2
Florian Glaser

Chassis
80%
Keyboard
82%
Pointing Device
80%
Connectivity
86%
Weight
59%
Battery
40%
Display
68%
Games Performance
97%
Application Performance
100%
Temperature
82%
Noise
54%
Add Points
84%
Average
76%
82%
Gaming *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Schenker XMG P701 PRO Notebook
Author: Florian Glaser, 2011-09-30 (Update: 2013-06- 6)