Let’s not go far this time. Dream Machines laptops are gaming devices, except that the older representatives of the line can be used as workstations. But today I have in my hands a device from the middle segment — a Dream Machines S1660Ti-15UA51 laptop. Let’s figure out what it is.
Dream Machines S1660Ti-15UA51
|Model||Dream Machines S1660Ti-15UA51|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-10750H, 6 cores, 12 threads, 2600 MHz (up to 5000 MHz with Turbo Boost)|
|RAM||16 GB, DDR4-2666|
|Display||15.6″, 1920×1080, matte, WVA|
|Video card||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti, 6ГБ GDDR6 VRAM|
|Disk subsystem||Crucial P1 1 TB (CT1000P1SSD8) 1 ТБ PCIe® Gen3 x4 SSD (NVMe, M.2 2280)|
|I/O ports||USB 3.2 Type C Thunderbolt, 3 x USB 3.2 Gen1 ports (Type A), HDMI, mini-DP 1.4, RJ-45 1 Gb/s, microSD/MMC, combo audio port (headphones/mic), combo audio port (mic/S /PDIF optical)|
|Communications||IEEE 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Multimedia||Audio system 2.0, web camera|
|Power adapter, W||135|
|Dimensions, mm||1980 x 357,5 x 238|
Contents of delivery
The shipping box is quite compact, it does not differ in particular rigidity. Inside is already a native box, which is made of thin cardboard. And the laptop itself is enclosed in two polyethylene foam guides. During transportation, most likely, everything will be fine, but with a strong impact, damage to the laptop itself is possible. I would like to see more reliable packaging in this price segment.
The standard delivery set of laptops, usually consisting only of a power supply and cable, in our case is supplemented with a cleaning cloth and a pair of thermal pads. And it will still come in handy, but first things first.
The complete power supply has a power of 180 watts.
At first I wanted to be ironic about the fact that the fashion for gaming laptops in the style of «Optimus Prime» is gone, but not in this case. Clevo, being an OEM, has always made fairly concise products, so it’s more likely that design has become fashionable again, and not vice versa. The Dream Machines laptop, made on the basis of the Taiwanese company’s chassis, completely repeats the features of the original device.
The surface of the cover is semi-matte, with a white glossy DM logo applied to it. No unnecessary details, everything is strictly and functionally. If you do not like extra attention — this is your option. The entire body of the laptop is metal and this is a significant plus.
The case when the reverse side is more interesting for its constructive content. Air intake grilles occupy a good two-thirds of the entire area. What is characteristic — the difference is palpable. Even on your knees or on a soft surface, the laptop still does an excellent job of cooling itself. A long, full-width rubber foot, along with two smaller, but perpendicular, perfectly hold the device on the table and do not allow it to slide.
The speakers are classically located at the bottom closer to the user and are covered with the same grilles.
The screen is surrounded by very thin bezels — 6 mm on the sides and 10 mm on top. In combination with the same matte graphite color, this allows you to better immerse yourself in what is happening on the screen. And even the inscription Dream Machines on the bottom edge is not striking.
For complete convenience, there is not enough cutout on the front side, but in general the hinges are good, and there are no problems in opening the lid with one finger. In addition, three LEDs are placed on the left. The first indicates the connection of external power, the second indicates the battery status, and the third indicates the activity of the disk subsystem.
The back face in the case of Dream Machines S1660Ti-15UA51 is quite interesting. On the sides are grilles «exhaust» of the cooling system. In addition, the manufacturer brought mini-DP 1.4 and HDMI connectors, Thunderbolt 3 and a charger port here. Such a set and placement features clearly suggest connecting to external screens and using a laptop instead of a system unit.
The left side contains a Kensington Lock slot, a microSD card slot, a USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A port, and two 3.5 mm jacks. The first is combined for connecting a headset, and the second is for a microphone or an optical S / PDIF input. An interesting combination to meet all the needs of the user. Next is the grill for the removal of hot air.
On the right side of the device, there are two USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A ports, an RJ-45 connector, and the last “exhaust” of hot air. Again, no matter how you position the laptop, it will be quite difficult to completely block the inlet and outlet of air from the cooling system, which, of course, is a plus for a mobile device.
The camera and a pair of microphones are classically placed on the top bezel of the screen.
Support for Sound Blaster Atlas is declared and the manufacturer promises «unprecedented sound quality.» But in practice, it turned out that there is no depth, no minimal construction of space, no intelligible and digestible acting out of the basic range. Much better sound can be found in more budget systems, and even in more compact ones (although in the latter it is usually tied to reflection from the working surface). On the other hand, it is hardly possible to write this down in a claim for a mobile device.
Keyboard operation left only positive impressions. The key travel is slightly longer than, for example, in ultrabooks, but for a gaming device, this is just right. There is no backlash, the key travel is precise, clear and fully tangible. I really liked the feel of both typing and gaming. The engraving of the Cyrillic alphabet is made at the factory, the letters are large enough and do not get lost against the background of the Latin alphabet.
Thanks to the factory engraving, the backlight evenly illuminates the entire key from the inside and both alphabets are illuminated equally. The manufacturer used RGB lighting. Using hotkeys, you can turn it off completely, as well as select one of four brightness levels. In addition, with a combination of hot keys, you can go into the software that controls the backlight settings and select the color and mode there. An excellent implementation that allows you to customize the backlight to your taste and usage scenario.
The touchpad is a standard size. The keys are placed separately, clearly considering the gaming focus. Moreover, membrane mechanisms are used, as in the main keyboard, which allows you to more accurately and clearly control your actions. It may not be as convenient to use as a touchpad with under-screen buttons, but on the other hand, unlike under-screen placement, I never caught misclicks. And, of course, it is worth noting the presence of a fingerprint scanner in the touchpad.
The opening angle of the lid is about 130 degrees, which is done, of course, to maintain greater compactness. But in some cases I would like to have a larger angle.
The screen diagonal, as we see from the name of the Dream Machines S1660Ti-15UA51 model, is 15.6 inches. Used matte WVA matrix with Full HD resolution and a refresh rate of 144 Hz. Thanks to the matte finish, reflections are not disturbing.
The device uses a matrix Panda LM156LF1F02 (NCP004B). Nothing special in the characteristics could not be found. 16.7M colors, 144Hz, Full HD, 178-degree viewing angles, G-Sync/FreeSync support. Most importantly, we turn to the declared brightness of 300 cd / m² and move on.
And this is where it gets interesting. How often do we see a gaming laptop with a fast matrix, but at the same time having the correct color gamut out of the box? In my memory, very rarely. Usually these are either matrices that cannot be reached by any means to the reference, or an option that requires a one-time calibration. In our case, the color gamut is 97.5% sRGB and 72.6% Adobe RGB.
And finally, a significant weak point is the maximum brightness of the matrix. Brightness adjustment ranges from 16.82 cd/m² to just 148.43 cd/m². And the contrast is not stable. Starting at 1190:1 at 0% brightness, it rolls down to 743:1 by 50%. But, if the contrast in this case is the reverse side of the coin called «matte matrix», then the maximum brightness level is small. Perhaps now, in winter, and with low solar activity, the problem is not evident, but in the open bright sun you are unlikely to be able to work comfortably.
The average deviation of DeltaE is 4.62, the maximum reaches 13.79. Well, we initially knew that this is not a device for professional work with color — the white point is far from ideal. Although, calibration is quite capable of leading to a reference average deviation of DeltaE.
Viewing angles are the «chip» of WVA matrices. Basically, WVA is a variation of TN and has nothing to do with *VA or IPS. Nevertheless, they are excellent with color reproduction, as we have already noted above, and viewing angles practically do not differ from IPS.
Let’s turn our gaze inward. Thanks to the manufacturer — the user will not have any problems opening it, there are no tricky and dangerously breaking latches — just ordinary screws.
A capacious battery of 73 W / h is used.
Five heat pipes are responsible for the removal of heat from the processor and the discrete video core to the heatsinks and cooling «turbines».
Two memory slots are occupied by Samsung M471A1K43CB1-CTD modules.
The dual-band Intel AX201NGW is used as a wireless adapter.
Installed Crucial P1 1 TB (CT1000P1SSD8) with PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 interface. In our case, for ease of use, it is divided into two logical drives — 200 and 731 GB.
General information on the installed hardware is available in the screenshot from the HWiNFO64 utility.
We have already entered the age of full utilization of multi-core in games — the results of Cyberpunk 2077 benchmarks are evident. Therefore, a six-core / twelve-thread Intel Core i7-10750H processor with a base clock frequency of 2.6 GHz and the maximum declared for TurboBoost — 5 GHz and 35 W TDP, will obviously not be superfluous.
The manufacturer installed 16 GB of DDR4-2666 RAM, working with timings of 19-19-19-43-2T. At the same time, installation of up to 64 GB of RAM in dual-channel mode is available.
GPU-Z informs about the presence of an integrated Intel UHD 630 video core in the processor, as well as a discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti card.
Cooling System Efficiency and Noise Level
The laptop was tested at an ambient temperature of about 20 degrees. During the stress test of the AIDA64 utility, the case temperature was measured.
In a combined CPU + GPU load, processor throttling does not appear. At the moments when the fan speed was adjusted, the throttling value rose up to 50%, but this, in fact, happened in the first minutes of the load — during the CO output to the operating speed. In this mode, the CPU keeps the frequency of 2300 MHz, and the average frequency reached 2485 MHz. At the same time, do not forget that the discrete video accelerator 1660 Ti stably holds 1810 MHz. Excluding the GPU from the burn-in test allows you to safely hold the Intel Core i7-10750H already at 3400 MHz.
Thus, we can state that the cooling system copes well with loads and allows you to work while maintaining frequencies that are quite high, as for the mobile segment.
The metal case allows for an even distribution of the heat load, and we see a peak value of 43.9 degrees. These are quite tolerable indicators, and together with the above frequencies — even excellent. But everything has its price. To achieve such figures, I chose the «Performance» mode, which mercilessly accelerates the fans. And, it should be noted that the sound range of CO is still not very successful. The moment of transition from “virtually inaudible” to “let me put on my headphones” is very short and abrupt. But again, this is the maximum performance. In the “Quiet” mode, everything will be more pleasant, although this does not change the overall impression of the CO timbre.