The Eluktronics RP-15 REVIEW AND SPECS!
The Eluktronics RP-15 is the best Ryzen basedgaming laptop I’ve tested so far, but it’s not without its faults, in this review I’llshow you everything this machine has to offer and help you decide if it’s worth it. The RP-15 comes with 8 core Ryzen 7 4800Hprocessor, Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics which can boost up to 110 watts with Eluktroboost,and 144Hz screen. My review unit came with 32gb of memory indual channel and 2TB of SSD storage, but you can configure these things and more when ordering. If you buy without Windows or dbrand skin,it starts from $1140 USD, which sounds quite reasonable for this hardware, let’s findout if that’s the case. The lid is normally a clean matte black metal,but mine has the optional dbrand skin skin applied, and the interior is a matte blackmetal. The overall build quality felt ok, there wereno sharp corners or edges anywhere. It wasn’t a premium feeling or anything likethe more expensive Mech-15 G3, but it doesn’t come off as cheap feeling like other plasticmachines.
The weight is listed at 4.3lb, or just under2kg, and mine was a little under this. With the 180w power brick and cables for chargingincluded, the total rises to 5.9lb or 2.7kg. The RP-15 isn’t too big for a 15 inch gaminglaptop, especially with the level of power available, and this smaller footprint resultsin 9mm screen bezels on the sides. The 15.6” 1080p 144Hz screen has a mattefinish, unfortunately there’s no FreeSync, and the integrated graphics cannot be disabled. I recorded average grey-to-grey response timeat 4.8ms, there’s a link in the description if you need an explanation on what these numbersmean. Here’s how the response time stacks up toothers I’ve tested, so one of the best results overall, and the best out of the Ryzen options. I’ve tested the screen with the Spyder 5,and got 98% of sRGB, 68% of NTSC, 73% of AdobeRGB and 73% of DCI-P3. At 100% brightness I measured the panel at305 nits in the center with an 850:1 contrast ratio, so some decent results there for agaming laptop. Backlight bleed was good too, but this willvary between laptops and panels. There was some screen flex when intentionallypushing it, but it wasn’t excessive and it felt fine during regular use. The hinges are out towards the corners andit felt sturdy enough, there was no screen wobble while typing.
There was some keyboard flex when intentionallypushing down hard, but I never noticed any stability issues during normal use. It was just possible to open with one finger,but this may not be the case in the production model as it’s got a larger battery downthe front. As a result of the thinner bezels, the 720pcamera is found below the screen. It’s got infrared for Windows hello support,but you have to tilt the screen back for it to actually see you. The camera and microphone aren’t great,and as it’s a nose cam your fingers do kind of get in the way, and to get yourself inthe frame you’ve got to put the screen pretty far back. This is what it sounds like if we set thefan to maximum speed, so you can still hear me ok over the fan noise. The keyboard has RGB backlighting which iscustomized as one single zone, there are limited effects available in the software or you canset the whole thing to a colour of choice. Key brightness can be adjusted between 4 levelsor turned off, and all keys and secondary key functions are illuminated. Some might not like the smaller right shiftkey, but overall I really liked typing on it, the keys felt a bit clicky, here’s howit sounds to give you an idea of what to expect. The power button is above the keyboard onthe right. There’s also a button to quickly swap betweendifferent performance modes, more on these soon.
The precision touchpad clicks down anywhere,feels smooth, and works fine. You can double tap the top left corner tolock it, and the size was reasonable, using most of the available space. Fingerprints show up fairly easily on thematte black interior, but as a smooth surface they’re easy enough to clean with a microfibercloth. The stock lid is probably the same, but withthe dbrand skin I didn’t notice any. On the left from the back there’s a kensingtonlock, air exhaust vent, gigabit ethernet, USB 2.0 Type-A port, and 3.5mm mic and headphonejacks. On the right from the front there’s a UHS-ISD card slot, two USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, and another air exhaust vent. The back has two more exhausts towards thecorners, then from left to right two mini DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0 outputs, Type-C port,no Thunderbolt or type-c charging here, and power input. he speakers are found towards the front tothe left and right. I’d say they sounded a little above average,there was some bass, but a little vibration in the palm rest at max volume. I thought they sounded loud enough maxed out,and the latencymon results were looking decent. Let’s check out thermals next, this willbe more of a summary as I’ve got a full detailed video covering thermal performancelinked in the description.
The gaming center software lets you selectbetween different performance modes, which from lowest to highest are office mode, gamemode and turbo mode. In office mode you can also toggle standardor ECO which lowers the CPU power limit, while game and turbo modes have a fan boost buttonto set the fans to max speed. Turbo mode also enables Eluktroboost, whichshould get the RTX 2060 boosting up to 110 watts, but none of the modes applied any GPUcore or memory overclocks. Software doesn’t report the boost from 90to 110 watts on the GPU when you enable turbo mode, but by monitoring the power draw fromthe wall it was possible to see the difference, plus the GPU gets hotter too and clock speedrises as a result of the increased power. Thermals were tested with a 21 degree Celsiusambient room temperature. Idle results down the bottom were a bit warm,but no issues there. Worst case stress tests were done with theAida64 CPU stress test with CPU only checked and the Heaven benchmark at the same time,while gaming was done with Watch Dogs 2. Office mode with ECO enabled was the coolest,changing from ECO to standard increases the temperatures as fan noise stays the same butpower limits increase, so better performance at the expense of more heat, but still notreally hot yet. In game mode the CPU gets hotter due to furtherincrease to the power limit, but the GPU gets a bit cooler as a result of the increasedfan speed. In turbo mode the GPU was actually thermalthrottling at 86 degrees Celsius, at least in these particular workloads, so whetherunder stress test or with this game, and as a reminder this is the eluktroboost mode. It was possible to lower the temperaturesby around 15 degrees on the CPU by limiting the processor to base clock speed, or we couldinstead use a cooling pad, which helped nicely too thanks to the large vents underneath. These are the average clock speeds while runningthe same tests.
The GPU clock speed only really changes oncewe enable turbo mode, as this boosts the max power limit of the 2060 up to 110 watts, andit was a little lower prior to capping the processor to base clock or using a coolingpad, presumably due to that GPU thermal throttle in turbo. The CPU was otherwise hitting 4.0 to 4.1GHzon all 8 cores at stock in game or turbo modes, a good result when you consider the ASUS TUFA15 with same CPU and GPU was 3.5 to 3.7GHz. Of course capping to base clock limits thisto 2.9GHz, which was only a little below using ECO mode. Honestly the GPU in the RP-15 still appearsto be hitting good speeds and performing well, personally I’d prefer what we’re seeinghere compared to 95 to 100 degrees on the processor, which was the case in the TUF A15and Dell G5 SE, not to mention the A15’s 2060 was only 1 degree behind the RP-15, whilethe G5 was far hotter as the 5600M seems to have a higher limit. When we look at how an actual game performsin these modes, the cooling pad only boosted us by 1 frame with the GPU thermal throttleremoved, so it really does seem to just be a borderline GPU thermal throttle. Otherwise the quieter office mode still performedquite well comparatively. Here’s how the different modes perform inCinebench, limiting to base clock isn’t as useful compared to using office mode, asthat doesn’t cap single core speed.
We can see how much better the RP-15 is doingagainst others, it’s scoring around 10% higher in multicore than the next best Ryzen7 4800H laptop that I’ve tested, and is only beaten by much thicker and more expensivemachines. As for the external temperatures where you’llactually be putting your hands, at idle it was a bit warmer than others. With the stress tests going it’s warm inthe center but never hot to the touch, and you can see how this changes with the differentmodes in use, let’s have a listen to how fan noise is affected. It sounded silent at idle. The fan was audible when browsing in Chrome. Stress tests in standard mode were the sameregardless of whether ECO or standard modes were selected, then game and turbo modes werethe same and maxed out in these particular tests, so no difference if I enabled fan boost. Let’s also take a look at how the RP-15compares with other laptops in games. I’ve tested with turbo mode, so eluktroboostenabled with max fans for best results. In Battlefield 5 I’ve got the RP-15 highlightedin red. I found it interesting that the ASUS TUF A15with the same CPU but lower wattage GPU was a few frames ahead, but I suppose the A15does have a small overclock by default. I mean it’s not enough to make a differenceyou’d actually be able to notice while playing, but the RP-15 should technically be able topull more power to the GPU. The average frame rates in Far Cry 5, whichwas tested with the games benchmark tool, were ahead of the A15 this time, though the115 watt 2060 in the MSI GL65 was ahead, however there is also a processor difference there. The 1% low from the RP-15 was above most ofthe other machines, as the CPU performance in this machine is excellent, as we saw earlier.
These are the results from Shadow of the Tombraider with the built in benchmark at highest settings. The TUF A15 with the same CPU and GPU wasjust 1 FPS ahead now, again not a difference you’d care about or notice in a practicalsense. If you’re after more gaming benchmarks checkthe card in the top right corner or link in the description where I’ve tested 20 gamesin total on this machine. As the display ports connected directly tothe Nvidia graphics, I’ve also tested with an external monitor to see what sort of performanceimprovement is possible, and in Shadow of the tombraider there was more of a boost atthe lower setting levels. Now for the benchmarking tools, I’ve testedHeaven, Valley, and Superposition from Unigine, as well as Firestrike, Timespy and Port Royalfrom 3DMark, just pause the video if you want a detailed look at these results. I’ve used Adobe Premiere to export one ofmy laptop review videos at 4K, and the RP-15 was a little behind some of the A15’s withlower specced GPUs, but same CPU. I’ve also tested Premiere but with the Pugetsystems benchmark which also accounts for things like live playback rather than justexport times, this time the RP-15 was further ahead and close to much more powerful andexpensive systems. Similar results in Adobe Photoshop, The SD card slot was on the slower side, butI still prefer having one at all compared to not, and the SD card sticks out a fairbit when inserted. Alright with all of that in mind, let’sconclude by summarising the good and bad parts of the Eluktronics RP-15 gaming laptop tohelp you decide if it’s worthwhile. Overall the RP-15 is a good option for themoney, and is the best Ryzen based gaming laptop that I’ve tested so far. It’s not perfect and there are some issues,but compared to the TUF A15, Zephyrus G14, or Dell G5 SE, the compromises that have beenmade may be preferable. The screen has better colour gamut and responsetime compared to those other Ryzen machines, and there was basically no bleed in my unit.
It’s unfortunate that there’s no FreeSynclike most other AMD based laptops, but apparently this was one such compromise in order to geta panel with decent brightness, colours and response time, I think the tradeoff is worthit. The performance in games was good, but lowerthan what I expected from a 110 watt 2060. In most games I tested, the RP-15 was similarto other 2060 laptops, which means it’s still quite good and able to take on any gamewith good settings. Outside of gaming in CPU heavy tasks, theRP-15 is on another level, performing significantly better compared to other Ryzen laptops dueto high processor power limits. Despite these higher limits, the CPU doesn’tget too hot either. Under combined CPU plus GPU load, it was oftencooler than those other machines.