Illegear Ares X: Insane Size, Insane Raw Power

Light Summary

I find it funny to say that there’s a light summary for such a heavy duty laptop. The Ares X is a monstrous slab that’s nearly 5 kg. It’s able to dish out striking amounts of raw power with some headroom for overclocking and future upgrades. It’s a big, bold statement piece that’s meant for ultimate, serious gaming and the heaviest media workloads. Let’s dive in and see if it’s worth breaking the bank (and your back) for.

To Love

  • Best in class gaming and video rendering performance “on-the-go”
  • Fans weren’t terribly loud
  • Great thermals
  • Actually good upgrade paths

What didn’t work for me

  • Control Center Software needs a visual rehaul
  • Can’t charge with just 1 power brick

Price (For this config) : About RM 18,xxx

Minimalistic XL Design

I like saying that the Ares X has a minimalist design language, but just in XL size. In short, it’s a giant slab of simplicity. 

Popping open the lid, you’ll see a full keyboard complete with numpad, but strangely in a size that’s fit for a 15.6-inch laptop. The keyboard is tactile and pleasant to type and game on, with RGB lighting that’s configurable via Illegear’s own control center software. The lighting also extends all the way to the sides and the back, giving it some additional flair and style points, being able to light a completely dark room up. The keys however, could benefit from slightly brighter LED’s but it’s still not too shabby. 

The touchpad is just below the keyboard, decent in size. and has a satisfying click. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

17.3-inches of 240Hz G-Sync Goodness!

The display game on the Ares X is strong. From navigating, gaming and watching shows, everything was smooth and tear-free. It can definitely satisfy the gamer in you as well as the creative professional. The panel has a decent 72% of NTSC color gamut coverage, adding a bit more color and vibrancy to the overall picture.

Maximum Specs

If you wanted to be as extra as you can be, then the Ares X’s spec sheet alone would please you:

  • 17.3-inch Full HD 240Hz G-Sync display (AU Optronics AUO509D)
  • Intel Core i9-10900 CPU(upgradable)
  • 128GB DDR4-2666 dual-channel Samsung RAM (32×4, support up to 2933 MHz)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Max-P (upgradable)
  • 1TB NVMe PCIe (4 x 256GB Seagate Barracuda SSD) combined storage, up to 8TB 
  • 97 Whr Battery Pack
  • KIller Wifi 6 AX11650i 2×2 Antenna

Ports and ports and ports and…..

The Ares X comes with quite the amount of I/O ports and isn’t shy to show it:

  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen2x2 port (Type-C)
  • 1 x DisplayPort 1.4 over USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Type-C)
  • 3 x USB 3.2 Gen2 ports (Type A) (1 x powered USB port, AC/DC)
  • 1 x Thunderbolt™ 3 port (Type-C)
  • 2 x Mini DisplayPort 1.4
  • 1 x HDMI™ output port (with HDCP)
  • 1 x 2-in-1 Audio jack (Headphone / Microphone )
  • 1 x 2-in-1 Audio jack (Microphone / S/PDIF optical output)
  • 1 RJ-45 LAN
  • 2 x DC-in Jack
  • 1x full sized SD card reader

Yeah, you’re going to need to use 2 chargers to keep this beast running. I’ve tried using just one and it just won’t work. You’re given 2 x 280W chargers, pushing more than enough juice to feed the machine with some headroom to overclock if that’s your thing. You can pretty much connect as many extra things as you want here, along with multi-monitor connectivity. It’s also unusual to see S/PDIF optical output on a laptop at all which I found quite surprising. Guess it’s an added touch that only a specific number of people would appreciate.


Work

You don’t have to wonder. You can definitely run any kind of work apps you wish on the Ares X. I’m terrified of you if you were just looking for this laptop to just use Office and Chrome.

You get 4 m.2 2280 slots for you to fill up to 8TB of storage. I hope that’s enough.

The review unit came with 4 x 256GB SSD’s, essentially starting me off with 1TB of fast storage. Again, the upgrade path is good here, and if for some reason you did want 8TB, at least you don’t have to spend all your money at once. You are given slots to slowly fill up at your own pace, and that’s a good thing. There’s 128GB of DDR4 RAM pre-installed as well. My Filmora’s timeline loaded in mere seconds and rendering my STM Backpack video (about 10 minutes, 4K), took less than 10 minutes to complete. Machine’s so fast I barely had time to think and go through my list of tasks. 

Battery life is not very long. The Ares X started to cry for its charger at the 2 hour mark from just YouTubing and typing this review. The 97Whr battery pack is big, but the hardware is simply too powerful for the battery to sustain. It’s fine, considering the fact that if this is your desktop replacement you would be plugging as much as you can for maximum performance. The pack’s detachable too, a nice touch for easier replacements. 


Play

Listen, friend. This is a dream boat for gaming. 240Hz, with upgradable CPU and GPU, you’re not going to be having low – average frames anymore (for the next decade at least if you’re following the upgrade path accordingly). 

Temps were good, given the amount of pipes, fans and air space the ARES X has to offer. No game stood a chance against the might of the Ares X in this respect. Modern Warfare reached a peak of 77 degrees and Red Dead Redemption 2 went nearly 80, and this is in an air-conditioned environment. Strangely enough, I barely felt any heat on keyboard area but felt the jet of warm air blowing out the sides where there exhausts are, which falls within expectations.

Here are some of the my gaming benchmark results on 1080P:

Star Wars Battlefront 2 EA

1080P Ultra [185 FPS – Single Player] [~140 FPS – Multiplayer, Supremacy Hoth]

1080P Medium [~200 FPS – Single Player] [ ~165 FPS – Multiplayer, Supremacy Skarif Beach]

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019

1080P Ultra with Ray-tracing [ 200 FPS – Single Player] [~160 FPS – Multiplayer, Headquarters Azhir Cave]

1080P Medium with Ray-tracing [188 FPS – Single Player] [ ~180 FPS – Multiplayer, Team Deathmatch Shoothouse]

Red Dead Redemption 2

1080P Ultra Max [~100 FPS]

1080P Medium [~135 FPS]

Hitman 2

1080P Ultra [~110 FPS]

1080P Medium [~140 FPS]

Conclusion: Raw Power for Mobility. It’s your call.

It’s a big boy, I get it. Well that’s the trade-off if you desire ultimate power on-the-go. Be it for gaming or intense professional work, the Ares X is mighty. It’s not mobile but it’s definitely movable. It’s worth all the raw power it has to offer if you have the Ringgit.

It starts from RM 9999 on base configuration, and this review unit’s specs is going to make you part with RM 18xxx. If you’re willing to commit, the Ares X will commit to you too. 

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