Clevo Horize W246 14" with AMD Fusion C-30 1.2GHz, ATI Radeon HD6250, 4GB DDR3 RAM: User Review

Discussion in 'Sager/Clevo Reviews & Owners' Lounges' started by Thisisalamp, Nov 21, 2011.

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  1. Thisisalamp

    Thisisalamp Notebook Deity

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    _________________________________________________________
    .:INTRODUCTION & OVERVIEW:.

    Hello and welcome to This is a Lamp’s review of the Clevo Horize W246! This is my second review on something…so well if there are any shortcomings, please do tell. Feel free to read my other review on the Sager/Clevo Horize NP8150 (P150HM) here:


    [​IMG]

    With me basing in Australia, my reseller, Logical Blue One kindly provided me with today’s test unit; the first Clevo AMD Fusion laptop, the Clevo Horize W246. My experience with Logical Blue One has always been very favorable, and there are no doubts on my end. Not many Clevo Resellers adopted this laptop, but LBO has decided to include this little machine into their ranks.


    [​IMG]

    This 14” inch Clevo is an entry level laptop, pricing at AUD$350 / USD$358.50, sporting the AMD Fusion technology of the Ontario 40nm line, up to 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz RAMs and a 14” 1366x768 HD Backlit Screen. The AMD Fusion is special that it combines a dedicated GPU in its processor (APU), which somewhat differs from Intel Integrated GPUs; the Clevo W246 is equipped with the AMD C-30 alongside a Radeon HD6250 with DX11 support. From the news and articles I’ve been reading, the processor itself isn’t strong but makes up for the higher powered APU of the Radeon HD6250; I’ve seen videos of AMD Fusion laptops playing games and playbacks with less effort than Intel Atom processors with their Intel Integrated GPUs. But how does it actually fare?

    Specifications:
    Processor - AMD Accelerated Ontario C-30 1.2Ghz Processor
    RAMs – SuperTalent 4GB DDR3 1333 MHz System Memory
    Hard Drive – 500GB 7200RPM, Super-Multi DVD+/-RW Burner
    Screen Size - 14.0-inch HD LED BACKLIT (1366x768)
    Graphics Card - ATI Radeon HD6250 Graphics DX11 up to 1496mb with DX11 support
    Networking - 802.11b/g/n WLAN, 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN, Bluetooth
    Other Features - 3x USB 2.0, VGA Port, HDMI Port, Headphone Jack, Microphone Jack, RJ-45 Jack, 9 in 1 Card Reader, A4 size floating keyboard, Built in Microphone, Built in Webcamera. High Definition Audio. Kensington lock port. Multitouch touchpad.
    Weight- 2.1KG

    Unlike the higher end Clevos, the W246 is not really customisable in both processor and GPU options. However, the laptop is very accessible for cleaning and maintenance and the optical bay could be taken out to make way for other options. This will be briefed later.

    [​IMG]

    Like most Clevos, BIOS and Firmware updates are plenty and can be obtained from your intended reseller, Sager website or the Notebookreview Clevo BIOS thread:


    My personal opinion though, I could say that something of this size could’ve accommodated a C-50 processor, so shrugs off to Clevo in not putting the AMD C-50.


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    .:pACKAGING:.

    A medium sized solid brown cardboard was designated as the laptop’s packaging with black masking tape providing extra protection and visual appeal.

    [​IMG]


    Included are driver discs, Windows 7 Professional, and Cyberlink Power DVD. And chocolate (again)! Resellers should start shipping chocolate with their laptops too…

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Battery, power adapter and scissors comparison.

    [​IMG]



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    .:VISUAL & BUILD:.

    The Clevo W246 comes with a glossy finish on its top with some art form on the bottom right corner, much like HP laptop designs together with the word “Horize,” imprinted on the bottom of the LCD (Logical Blue One’s Clevo models); my NP8150 did not come with the logo, suggesting that LBO had just recently imprinted the brand names. The art form is snazzy, and I quite like the look. The fact that the top is glossy, paves way for smudges to appear e.g. my fingerprints get easily printed on it and dust sticks. The area around the LCD is also glossy, and therefore visible fingerprints and dust could be seen yet again. On the other hand, the overall feel of the laptop is a plastic based material, with no flex on the corners of the laptop when force was applied.

    And here we have my Sager/Clevo P150HM (15”) and my overused ASUS EEE PC 1018P (10”) in comparison with the 14” Clevo W246.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The Clevo W246 comes with 3x USB 2.0, VGA Port, HDMI Port, RJ-45 Jack and a 9 in 1 Card Reader.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The power adaptor has a small form factor, similar to my netbook’s but much much smaller than the NP8150’s gargantuan adaptor.

    [​IMG]


    The keyboard, surprisingly, isn’t a Chiclet/island styled keyboard. Keys are neatly spaced within one another. Clevo retained their FN hotkeys on the F buttons (e.g. disable touchpad, up/down brightness, wireless) so no surprises there. The numpad is non-existent though, and gives a bit of extra room for the keyboard. However, I can point out that this keyboard is one of the weak points of this laptop; it flexes quite a bit when applying just regular typing force.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    The keyboard is not a backlit compatible keyboard. Typing can be more or less noisy, but I’m more concerned about the flexing of the keys rather than the noise. And again, Clevo has a trend of having the touchpad being mediocre; the touchpad has the same material as the plastic casing and can be quite wonky at times, although this is a minor issue.


    Sager/Clevo laptops had always been impressive in their layout, and this laptop is no exception; although not upgradable, the insides of the Clevo W246 are a very neat layout, with a fan cooling the GPU actively. The AMD core is cooled passively with an aluminium heatsink, RAM slot are in the middle and the HDD bay located beneath the palm rests. The GPU fan directs hot air through the left side of the laptop, similar to my EEE PC. When considering for a laptop cooler, the fan intakes of the cooler will have to be aligned with the left side, and possibly the middle (AMD Core). The 500GB 7200RPM drive that sits on the palm rest has not contributed to any warmth or vibration, so that’s a plus. SSD anyone?

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


    The laptop can be opened easily by unscrewing 4 screws and lifting off the faceplate. Be careful when taking the faceplate off however; the faceplate has the GPU fan connected, and a sudden pull may damage the connector to the motherboard. I have not planned to upgrade the optical bay right now, but LBO has stated that this model can be upgraded from its DVD drive to something else; maybe in the future I will consider an SSD + HDD combo like my NP8150. The laptop is decently light (2.1KG) and with the power brick and pack being small, it is quite portable for a 14”. The NP8150 is obviously much heavier than this, and my previous Sager NP8690 is even heavier.
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    .:LCD SCREEN:.

    The LCD screen model is an AUO Optronics 213C Glossy 14". It isn’t really outstanding when compared to the 95% Gamut Screen B156W05 V4 Matte/Glossy in the NP8150 but the colours are still crisp and sharp. Viewing angles are somewhat small. Below, playing the movie “9”, BlueRay.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]


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    .:GAMES & BENCHMARKS:.

    Comparing to the NP8150 or other dedicated gaming laptops; the W246 has no position or right to say anything. The AMD 6250 GPU it has though is quite passable when playing some games; Intel Atoms can NOT play games…and the only games I have ever run on my EEE PC 1018P with an Intel Atom N455, is Mechcommander Gold and Black & White. Mind you that this laptop is not for gaming and the results are merely to show what it is capable of doing. The laptop is commendable in video playback though; I was able to play 1080P videos without any stuttering and comparing to the Intel Atoms, the AMD Fusion laptops are more than capable of playing videos without hitching so it’ll be interesting to see how it fares in the gaming department.

    I have not completed this stage yet...but will try to fill it in later and may redo some benchmarks :)

    3DMark Vantage:
    [​IMG]

    3DMark 11:
    [​IMG]

    Furmark:
    [​IMG]

    Unigine Heaven:

    WEI:
    [​IMG]

    Starcraft 2:
    [​IMG]

    I was very surprised on how playable it was even though the settings were on low. Game was on 1v1 map but I was able to play properly with a few minor stutters. Compare this to my Intel Atom powered ASUS EEE PC 1080P...playing only Black & White and Mechcommander...

    Devil May Cry 4:
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    .:SPEAKERS:.

    The speakers are quite alright, and are located on the left and right sides on the keyboard. There is no subwoofer present and no programs to enhance the sound (e.g. THX Studio). I like the placement of the speakers though.

    <width='420' height="315"><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/UbU5w7-vEGA?version=3&hl=en_US&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" height="315" width='420'>
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    .:TEMPERATURES, BATTERIES & FANS:.

    In the land down under (Australia), it tends to get pretty hot and humid. Currently we’re approaching summer too, so the ambient temps are about 24C+-, air conditioned room. I did not use a cooler throughout the tests and mix activities were done with a certain idle time in between. Fans ramp up occasionally, but nothing too severe and is actually quite quiet most of the time.

    [​IMG]

    Somehow, the laptop idles at 70C~, both GPU and CPU. Quite surprising though. I felt the body of the laptop during the course of the review, it does not seem that hot.

    Battery life stands at about 5 hours, pretty decent. The numbers below are when the wireless was on, playing Blueray movies and doing non-intensive work with medium-high brightness.

    [​IMG]
    __________________________________________________
    .:CONCLUSION:.

    Well, the AMD Fusion is actually a great investment, especially if they are fitted into light and portable solutions. The Clevo W246 is still considered light in the 14” department and the AMD C-30 really boosts the value up. However I’m still surprised that Clevo did not implement the C-50, which by far is quite superior to the C-30 or even the higher tiered AMD Fusions. If you ever need a portable, lightweight solution under 500$ then this laptop is a nice budget choice to have, despite its keyboard shortcomings and mediocre touchpad. What would complete it though is a fingerprint reader; for a portable laptop, I think this is quite a good feature to have for added security.

    The Clevo W246 serves as a lightweight, entertainment system but I have seen 10”-12” that are able to fit the AMD Fusions (e.g. HP DM1Z). So, still in my opinion, Clevo could have done just a bit better and release a small netbook fitted with an AMD CPU. But for a first implementation, it does leave an impression…although not by a big margin. The current issue stands; it still idles quite high...a very surprising issue but maybe something could be wrong with my configuration.

    Special thanks to Logical Blue One for providing the test unit and delivering it to my doorstep.</width='420'>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2015
  2. jack-lbo

    jack-lbo Company Representative

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    Thanks for the really good review, very in depth as per usual.

    It seems strange that you got an idle of 77 degree's? Can you re-run this? Our demo model only shows about 25-35 degree's or there abouts depending on airconditioning. I see it shows a minimum of 25 there as well.
     
  3. Thisisalamp

    Thisisalamp Notebook Deity

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    Ah yes, I was fumbled about this as well. I will re-check this again because I do not think it should idle that high. I reconnected the fan, and it's gradually going down (the minimum C). So I presume that the fan wasn't connected properly...hence the warning about the fan attached to the backplate :eek:. Think I'll re-run some benchmarks as well.
     
  4. jack-lbo

    jack-lbo Company Representative

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