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Aftershock Vapor 15 Pro review: Amazing laptop at an amazing price

By Koh Wanzi - 27 Oct 2019
Launch SRP: S$2799

Productivity & gaming performance

Test setup and performance

Here's a full list of the notebooks we're looking at: 

  • Aftershock Vapor 15 Pro
  • Acer Predator Triton 500
  • Lenovo Legion Y740
  • Razer Blade 15

I've chosen to compare the Vapor 15 Pro against the other GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q laptops we've reviewed so far to give you an idea of how it stacks up against the immediate competition.

Test notebooks compared
  Aftershock Vapor 15 Pro Acer Predator Triton 500 Lenovo Legion Y740 (9th Gen) Razer Blade 15 (9th Gen)
  Aftershock Vapor 15 Pro Acer Predator Triton 500 Lenovo Legion Y740 (9th Gen) Razer Blade 15 (9th Gen)
Launch SRP
  • From S$2799
  • From S$3198
  • From S$3599
  • From S$3839
Processor and Chipset
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.60GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
  • Intel Core i7-9750H (2.6GHz, 12MB L3 cache)
Operating System
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10
  • Windows 10
System Memory
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
  • 32GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
  • 16GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel RAM
Video & Display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 144Hz IPS G-Sync display
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  • 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 240Hz IPS display
Storage
  • Phison 512GB NVMe SSD
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Western Digital PC SN720 NVMe 512GB M.2 SSD
  • Seagate Barracuda Pro 1TB HDD
  • Samsung PM981 PCIe 256GB M.2 SSD
Optical Drive
  • None
  • None
  • None
  • None
Connectivity
  • Intel Wireless-AX200
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Killer E3000 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet Controller
  • Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Killer Wireless-AC 1550i Wireless Network Adapter (9560NGW)
  • Realtek PCIe GbE Family Controller
  • Intel Wireless-AX200
  • Bluetooth 5.0
Audio
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Built-in Dolby Atmos speakers
  • Built-in stereo speakers
I/O Ports
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x Audio Jack
  • 1x Microphone jack
  • 1x LAN (10/100/1000Mbps)
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x DC-in jack
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A
  • 2x USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Type-A
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x RJ-45
  • 1x 3.5mm mic/headphone combo jack
  • 1x Thunderbolt 3
  • 3x USB 3.1 (Gen 2) Type-A
Battery Type
  • 92Wh
  • 84Wh
  • 57Wh
  • 80Wh
Dimensions
  • 356.4mm x 233.66mm x 20.5mm
  • 358.5 x 255 x 17.9mm
  • 361.42 x 267 x 22.45mm
  • 355 x 235 x 17.8mm
Weight
  • 1.88kg
  • 2kg
  • 2.2 kg
  • 2.15kg

I ran the notebooks through the following benchmarks:

  • PCMark 10
  • AS SSD
  • 3DMark
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Far Cry 5
  • Metro Exodus
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Tom Clancy's The Division 2

 

How good is it for work?

PCMark 10 Extended evaluates systems based on workloads that can be categorized into four distinct groups, comprising Essentials, Productivity, Digital Content Creation, and Gaming. This includes tests such as app start-up times, web browsing, word processing and spreadsheets, photo and video editing, and rendering and visualization tasks. Finally, gaming performance is evaluated using the Fire Strike benchmark. 

Unsurprisingly, all the laptops performed really close to each other. There aren't really any meaningful differences in terms of performance here, given that they all share the same CPU and GPU configuration. That said, the Vapor 15 Pro was still just under 8 per cent faster than the Razer Blade 15 in terms of overall scores. 

 

What's the storage performance like? 

The Vapor 15 Pro is equipped with a Phison-branded ASE12NVME512 512GB M.2 SSD. It does really well in AS SSD, particularly in the high queue depth workloads, beating out all the other notebooks. 

 

How fast is it in games?

I mentioned earlier that the Vapor 15 Pro offers three different performance profiles. They modify the power limits of the notebook as follows: 

  • Battery saver - PL1: 35W, PL2: 60W
  • Balanced - PL1: 45W, PL2: 65W
  • Performance - PL1: 65W, PL2: 100W

I pulled the information above from HWiNFO, and the difference between even Balanced and Performance mode is quite stark. That's not something I've noticed on other gaming laptops, so it seems like Intel has configured each profile quite differently.

For instance, running PCMark 10 in Balanced mode brought the overall score down to just 5691, a nearly 23 per cent drop from running it in Performance mode. Similarly, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and The Division 2 ran at just 52.3FPS and 57FPS respectively, a massive decrease of over 50 per cent in both cases. 

I think it's safe to say that the Balanced mode isn't as "balanced" as its name suggests. If you're gaming, you should definitely run the laptop in Performance mode, which is what I ran all the gaming benchmarks at. There is also a dedicated benchmark mode, but all that seems to do is run the fans at maximum by default.

Overall, the Vapor 15 Pro was generally slightly behind the other laptops, but the difference is so small as to be negligible. I wouldn't quibble over a few frames, especially not when the laptop offers so much else. 

This is still a very fast gaming laptop, and it'll run any AAA game with no problem today at 1080p. 

9.0
  • Design 8.5
  • Features 9
  • Performance 8.5
  • Value 9
  • Mobility 8
The Good
Lightest gaming notebook ever to feature a GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
Good build quality and magnesium alloy chassis
Great value-for-money
Good thermal performance for a slim and light laptop
Mechanical keyboard with per-key RGB backlighting
Thunderbolt 3 port and SD card reader
The Bad
Large power brick
Non-chiclet-style keyboard may take some getting used to