In the market for a new gaming laptop? If so, XPG has one that is definitely worth checking out.
It’s notoriously hard to stand out as a mid-range gaming laptop. There are dozens of different brands, each with their own designs, and each claims to be the best in their price range. The new XPG XENIA 15 Gaming Notebook separates itself with its light frame, exemplary components, and optical-mechanical switches. It has a simple but attractive design and a beautiful 15.6″ IPS screen.
There are two variations of the XPG XENIA. One comes with a GTX 1660 TI, retailing at $1,299.99. The other has an RTX 2070 Max-Q and goes for $1,399.99.
Zoom In: Specs
- Processor: Intel i7 9750H
- GPU: Nvidia GTX 1660 TI OR RTX 2070 Max-Q
- Memory: 32GB DDR4 2666MHz
- Storage: 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD
- Display: 15.6” IPS (1920×1080)
- Refresh Rate: 144Hz
- Keys: Optical-mechanical switches
- Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
- I/O Ports: USB3.2 Gen 2, 2 USB3.2 Gen 1, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI
- Network: Intel Wi-Fi 6, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.1
- Price: $1,299.99 OR $1,399.99
The XPG XENIA Gaming Notebook comes in an unassuming black and red box. The first thing that stood out to me after removing the laptop was how thin and light it was. I’m used to seeing giant, brick-house bases for gaming laptops, but this thing is less than an inch tall and weighs about four pounds.
The housing is made of plastic, but it doesn’t feel cheap. There is some structural rigidity to it, which I appreciate — it’s never a great sign when your tech feels like it was made by Fisher-Price.
The box contains the laptop, charging chord, a quick start guide, and some XPG branded stickers.
Do XPG’s Specs Stand Out?
There are so many gaming laptops on the market now that it’s easy to get tunnel vision when looking to make a purchase. You eventually start scanning them for CPU, GPU, and price, hoping to whittle them down to the best bang for your buck.
It’s important to remember that laptops are all-in-one computers, though. You can’t swap out the monitor like you would with a desktop. Nothing’s worse than realizing an amazing graphics card is hooked up to a 60Hz-refresh display.
This is where XPG manages to stand out against its competitors. The XENIA comes equipped with an Intel i7 9750H and either a GTX 1660 Ti or RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics card (depending on whether you choose to spring an extra $100 for the upgrade). These are powerful components for 1080p gaming, but are relatively standard for the price point. There are cheaper laptops with these components available, but the XPG distinguishes itself in every other area.
32GB of DDR4 RAM is double the standard for this price range. Admittedly, it’s excessive and unnecessary in most modern games, but you might be glad to have it if you like titles with big open worlds like Cyberpunk 2077, GTA 5, Cities: Skylines, and Flight Simulator.
The XENIA also has a 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD, meaning you’ll have a lightning-fast OS, quick load times on your games, and enough space to hold more than a handful of them on your computer at a time. This is important if you’re the kind of person who likes to have multiple titles ready to play at the click of a button.
It also has up to ten hours of battery life. You’re still not going to want to game unplugged, but it’s a serious step up from most gaming laptops.
The other areas where the XENIA stands out are more peripheral. The display is a 15.6″ IPS with a 1080p resolution. It looks gorgeous, with deep blacks and beautiful color accuracy. The 144Hz refresh rate means you won’t be wasting any of the frames produced by your GPU, keeping motion smooth and preventing blurring.
The best thing about the XMP XENIA is its keyboard. It has optical-mechanical switches with a 0.2ms response time and 100% anti-ghosting. These are a delight to type on! They have tactile feedback similar to the Cherry MX browns that I’m used to using on my desktop, and they’re almost completely silent. You’ll be especially grateful to have these if you plan on using your laptop for any productivity and not just for gaming.
The keyboard also has per-key RGB, giving an otherwise simple design a bit of gamer flair.
Using the XENIA
The XENIA 15 comes with a control panel that allows the user to customize the keyboard RGB, lightbar, power settings, and monitor system analytics. It’s simple, but a nice touch.
I tested it using a series of games known for their ability to challenge a PC’s capabilities. This “stress test” included Grand Theft Auto V, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and Civilization VI.
All of these games ran smoothly, with high framerates at low to medium settings. GTA 5 and Civ 6 did well at high settings, while Tomb Raider and Andromeda struggled.
All-in-all, the laptop performs within expectations for the components involved. The speakers aren’t the best, but most laptop gamers will want to invest in a decent set of headphones anyway.
The one major downside was the fan. These games quickly put the GPU under load, and the fan is very loud. It got to the point that I could hear it through my headphones. You wouldn’t want to play it on speakers or even in a public place where you were worried about disturbing people nearby.
It’s worth noting that I tested the 1660 Ti variant and that the 2070 Max-Q is 22% faster. The 2070 variant may not require as much cooling and would therefore run quieter at the same settings. I have not tested this, however.
So, should you buy the XPG XENIA or not?
It’s biggest competitors are probably the Acer Predator Helios 300 and the MSI GL65 Leopard. Both of these are cheaper and outperform the 1660 Ti variant, but only the GL65 Leopard matches the 2070 XENIA-variant in terms of gaming performance. The XENIA outclasses both of them in RAM, storage, battery life, and keyboard quality.
The memory and storage are nice additions, but I feel the keyboard is the laptop’s biggest selling point. The tactile feedback from using it is immensely satisfying both in gaming and in productivity workflows.
The biggest downside is definitely the fan noise. You’re going to need some quality headphones if you’re planning on playing any GPU intensive games. I won’t lie — it’s not great.
I recommend going with the 2070 Max-Q variant if you plan on getting the XPG XENIA. The 22% boost in performance is well worth the extra $100, and it may help with the cooling noise issue.
Zoom Out: Verdict
The XPG Xenia is a great laptop that performs well and has a fantastic optical-mechanical keyboard. It is somewhat expensive, though the 2070 Max-Q version is the better value for this price point. It has a very loud fan under load, so only buy it if that won’t bother you.
- Great keyboard
- Lightweight design
- Good memory and storage
- 9th gen CPU
- Loud fan noise