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Review: DS xm15 LVL 2

Post Date: 2011-06-03

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Bloodluster1 View Drop Down
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  Quote Bloodluster1 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Review: DS xm15 LVL 2
    Posted: 03 Jun 2011 at 1:47pm
Review: Digital Storm's xm15 Level 2

Hello Digital Storm fans, customers, and customers to be. I bring you a review of Digital Storm's xm15 Level 2 Laptop.

To begin, here are some dates everyone likes to know.

Ordered - May 9th 2011
Stage 1 - May 10th 2011
Shipped - May 17th 2011
Received - May 20th 2011
Opened - May 21st 2011
Sent Back Wrong OS - May 24th 2011
Received New Correct OS - May 30th 2011

The last two dates are included because of a little problem/mishap/mix-up or whatever you would call receiving the wrong OS on your new machine. No worries though, Digital Storm handled the mix-up very well and I received the correct OS fairly quickly. (Ordered Win7 Pro - Laptop came with Win7 Home Premium) Besides the OS mix-up, I didn't have any other negative experience with Digital Storm.

Customer Service:
Customer service was excellent. Thanks go out to Craig for answering my father's and my own questions about ordering and so forth. Thanks to Cassandra for getting the message about the OS predicament to the right people.

Shipping:
Shipping was fine, the box was not damaged at all and everything inside arrived without damage.

Packaging:
Packaging was excellent, though I never did see any mention or emblem of Digital Storm on either the outside or inside box (besides shipping label on outside box obviously). There were foam blocks suspending the laptop inside the inner box (outer box = shipping box, inner box = actual product box). The laptop itself was inside a plastic bag. The laptop had a hefty, anti-scratch, plastic sheet on the top of it while the screen and other laptop parts had a more standard anti-scratch plastic covering. There was also a foam strip between the laptop screen and the hand rest area.

Laptop:
Processor - Intel Core i7 2630QM
GPU - NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M (2GB)
Display/Screen - 15.6' (16:9) Full HD (1920x1080) LED-Backlit / Super Clear Glare Type Screen
RAM - 6GB DDR3 1333MHz (Dual Channel)
Hard Drive - 500GB (7200rpm - SATA)
Sound - THX TruStudio PRO
Misc. - Integrated Fingerprint Reader

Setup of the laptop was quite easy and it was very pleasant to use the track-pad. The screen is beautiful and glare isn't bad for it being a glossy screen (about the same as my old glossy screen laptop). The styling of the laptop is very nice. The laptop isn't just matte black, the black parts either have a grain in them (with a little bit of silver sparkle), a little silver sparkle, or have a semi-carbon fiber pattern. The keyboard has a responsive feel and has lots of great features on it, one being the number pad. One thing that may seem trivial is that the laptop still has full-fledged arrow keys. This may not seem very surprising given this laptop is billed as a gaming laptop, but I have begun to see many laptops with half-sized arrow keys and think that is completely dumb - especially on 17' models. The startup and shutdown speed of this laptop is quite pleasing and faster than my older laptop. The speakers of the xm15 laptop are as loud as or louder than the speakers on my old laptop even though they are not on the top of the laptop. The fingerprint reader actually works very well and it's kind of fun just swiping one of your fingers for the login every now and then. I enjoy having two USB 3.0 ports especially since many laptops don't even have one port.

Game performance is great. I played Rift for about an hour and saw framerates between 28 and 80. That said, I was playing on 1366x768 resolution with neutered Medium graphics. The visuals were beautiful nonetheless and a lot better than the visuals I could get on my old laptop. Heh, my old laptop could only handle Rift (and Rift only) on the Low Quality Render setting Rift has (which is lower than the Low setting). I have hit 91°C on CPU, but that was with the air conditioning off. With the air conditioning on, I think 86°C is the highest I have hit. Oh yeah, that's with just a pack of note cards under the battery holding the back up. Cool





I am very pleased with my Digital Storm xm15 Level 2 laptop. The xm15 performs well, looks stylish, and makes other 15.6' inch laptops bow before it. For the xm15 Level 2 to have the same price tag that my old laptop did when it was new is just, well, awesome.

Now, what we all want to see...


Who is this package from...Digital Storm!!!Excited


The Inner Box


Top Packing of the Inner Box


Hefty Plastic on top of laptop protecting Digital Storm Monogram


Digital Storm Monogram on top of laptop...bad pic, but that thing is hard to photograph


The foam strip on hand rest area and the standard plastic coverings. Also some of the included discs in the background.


The HDMI and THX TruStudio PRO stickers. The only stickers on the laptop front, and if I do say so myself, they are pretty beautiful.


My laptop's new home, right next to my old laptop. Oh, and say hello to my little helper in this review.


Here is another shot of my laptop. Oh look! My little helper is typing up the review.


Windows Experience: Comparison between the old (top) and new laptop (bottom).


Some Unigine Heaven Benchmarks.



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Overall, Digital Storm was 100% committed to providing 100% satisfaction. Digital Storm's xm15 LVL 2 laptop is amazing and their customer support and service is outstanding. I definitely look forward to purchasing a desktop from them, and would purchase from nowhere else. Good job Digital Storm, you have a loyal customer for life.

Well, that does it for my review and I am thoroughly happy and enjoying my new laptop from Digital Storm. Post questions if you have any. Big%20Smile

Bloodluster1


Edited by Bloodluster1 - 13 Jun 2011 at 9:48pm
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Unlicensedhitman View Drop Down
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  Quote Unlicensedhitman Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 03 Jun 2011 at 7:37pm
AwesomeWelcome to the DS xm15 club!




Edited by Unlicensedhitman - 03 Jun 2011 at 7:37pm
Digital Storm xm15 laptop
-15.6" (1366x768)
-Windows 7 HP 64-bit
-Intel Core i5 2.4 Ghz
-Nvidia GeForce 330GT 1GB + Intel HD w/ Nividia Optimus
-6GB DDR3 ram
-Intel 80GB SSD
-Intel Wireless N 6300
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  Quote Tidgxor Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 03 Jun 2011 at 9:41pm
Congrats! Big%20Smile

Nice review and an even nicer looking laptop!

I like the picture with your "Little Helper" typing up the review, be careful, he may steal the laptop from you LOL
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  Quote Bloodluster1 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 Jun 2011 at 1:01am
Thanks guys!

And yeah, that little guy could try to take the laptop...but I really doubt he could be able to lift it. LOL
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 04 Jun 2011 at 5:57pm
@Bloodluster1,

Thanks for posting the great review! I'm glad that you love the awesome laptop. I'm sorry again about the operating system request. Our technicians were too eager to get you the laptop as soon as possible, so your request of an OS upgrade didn't get to them in time. I'm glad we were able to swiftly take care of you.

Cheers!
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  Quote Bloodluster1 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Jun 2011 at 12:47pm
Some temps I hit while playing Rift. Mind you the AC was off in the house. Any problems/concerns for CPU temps?


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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Jun 2011 at 3:33pm
The CPU does seem to be getting pretty warm. Is this on a desk or on your lap? The xm15/xm17 units are very thin units that don't have the most powerful cooling system inside, you may want to invest in a notebook cooler to keep the laptop cool during your intense gaming sessions.

The CPU will throttle down to protect itself, and so will the graphic card. You won't damage your system at all.
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  Quote Bloodluster1 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 05 Jun 2011 at 4:00pm
@Alex

The xm15 is on a desk and the back is held up (see the pic with note cards above).

I was thinking about getting a laptop cooler. I really don't know which to get though. Any suggestions anyone?

Thanks for the reassurance. Big%20Smile
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 06 Jun 2011 at 12:12am
I'm a big fan of the Cooler Master Notepal U2 which can be found for a little under $25 on Google.

Edited by Alex - 06 Jun 2011 at 12:12am
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  Quote Bloodluster1 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 13 Jun 2011 at 8:37pm
Alex, got the Notepal U2 cooler. That was the one I was thinking of getting the first place. Does help with temps.

Would appreciate this being put in the reviews sections. Big%20Smile
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 13 Jun 2011 at 8:42pm
Awesome! Sorry about the delay in moving this thread over, our team has been busy with adding the new configurator to the site. Could you provide a summarized response with your overall review so our team can quote something in it and put your thread over to the reviews section please?
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  Quote Bloodluster1 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 13 Jun 2011 at 9:50pm
Here ya go Alex, I added this to the end of my review. Hope it works. Big%20Smile

"Overall, Digital Storm was 100% committed to providing 100% satisfaction. Digital Storm's xm15 LVL 2 laptop is amazing and their customer support and service is outstanding. I definitely look forward to purchasing a desktop from them, and would purchase from nowhere else. Good job Digital Storm, you have a loyal customer for life."

Bloodluster1
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  Quote Bore-dome Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 12:32am
Two questions for you Bloodluster1

you said that there was a monogram on the top of your laptop (you pictured it) does that come standard on the laptops now? or did you ask for it because on the gallery of the XM15 there is no monogram.

THX TruStudio PRO; does the sticker come with?

I'm going to join the XM15 'club' as Unlicensedhitman said, just dont want to miss anything thank you in advance.
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  Quote Bloodluster1 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 2:06pm
Hello Bore-dome,

The monogram came with the laptop. Big%20Smile I didn't specially ask DS to add it so I am guessing that it comes standard on laptops now.

The THX TruStudio PRO has a sticker and it came pre-applied. See the pic above (HDMI/THX stickers).

Can't wait to see your XM15 review! You'll definitely enjoy your laptop. Awesome

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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 2:50pm
The laptops all now com with our logo on the chassis. We were having some badge issues before, but, that's all taken care of now.
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  Quote Bore-dome Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 3:26pm
O ok, sweet!


But where exactly on the chassis is the logo now?
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 4:03pm
Exactly how they are on the laptop in this review. Big%20Smile
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  Quote Bore-dome Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 4:09pm
wow i'm dumb... doesn't look like its very big. but i can't wait untill i have 1,234$ haha
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  Quote Bore-dome Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 4:34pm
how does this game play some FPS, such as W@W or BFBC2?
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  Quote Bore-dome Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 4:40pm
Laptop*


and play games..,.
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 5:29pm
With the new GT 555M 2GB graphic GPU, this laptop is fairly good at gaming. It's not the best, compared to our x15, but, for a hybrid unit, it's great as long as you don't try to use it with max visuals at high resolutions.
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  Quote Bore-dome Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 5:45pm
alright, what if you do though?
like 8fps?
lol
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  Quote Dragoonseal Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 6:10pm
Originally posted by Bore-dome

alright, what if you do though?
like 8fps?
lol

Well, it's a laptop. We have a saying here on the forum, about gaming laptops being an oxymoron. You'll have to do some Googling to look up benchmarks, but don't expect it to max out Crysis or anything.
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  Quote Bore-dome Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 6:20pm
lol, no doubt haha. ill google it up, im not expecting anything amazing here.
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  Quote Bloodluster1 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Jun 2011 at 8:03pm
For some benchmarks of the GT 555M, check out http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-555M.41933.0.html

Pretty good resources, but remember that they probably have a different test environment (ie. laptop chassis, installed software, running software like Anti-Virus or Anti-Spyware {we run, but benchmarkers usually don't}...that sort of stuff)
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  Quote Timmyny Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Jun 2011 at 3:18pm
how much did the temps go down with the Cooler Master Notepal U2  ??
 
I am thinking of replacing my DS desktop with a x17 laptop :)
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  Quote Unlicensedhitman Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Jun 2011 at 5:06pm
Originally posted by Timmyny

how much did the temps go down with the Cooler Master Notepal U2  ??
 
I am thinking of replacing my DS desktop with a x17 laptop :)


If you get the x15 or x17 laptop, the temperatures will be much lower than the xm15 or xm17 because it has separate coolers for the CPU and GPU.

With the xm15 and xm17, the CPU and GPU is connected with one heat sink and has one fan to cool it, so this is why it runs a bit hotter.

With the x15 and x17, the CPU and GPU has their own heat sink and fan to cool themselves, so there are two heat sinks and two fans.

Even if the xm15 and xm17 are running at those high temperatures, it wouldn't BSOD or shut off because these Clevo laptops have excellent cooling compared to other laptop brands that cheap out of the cooling.

The notebook cooler can lower the laptop temperatures by 5C to 15C, and it depends on which one you get, but it can also increase the laptop temperature by blocking the CPU and GPU intake vents on the bottom of the laptop.
Digital Storm xm15 laptop
-15.6" (1366x768)
-Windows 7 HP 64-bit
-Intel Core i5 2.4 Ghz
-Nvidia GeForce 330GT 1GB + Intel HD w/ Nividia Optimus
-6GB DDR3 ram
-Intel 80GB SSD
-Intel Wireless N 6300
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  Quote Bloodluster1 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Jun 2011 at 9:16pm
@Timmyny

The U2 has kept my temps down by ~5°C approximately. My temps after running Rift for 2-3 hours are still around the +80°C range. These temps are semi-artificial because my family and I are trying to save on the electric bill by not running the AC as cold and by letting the house get a little warmer at night (which is when I play). The U2 is great since you can move the fans around, but it would be more effective if my laptop had more than one air intake. As it stands I am using one fan on the intake and the other to push a little air through some of the bigger air slits located above the fan area intake.

These are the spots I am cooling. Mind you the fans are not directly over each spot as I try and get as much of the fan blade above the opening as possible because the center of any computer fan has a sort of "dead zone" while above the blade is where all the air is moving.


Anyway, my temps would be lower if we kept the AC cold and steady when I play games. And yes, the U2 would be a good investment. You may even consider the U3 if you're going with the x17 just because you could use all 3 fans it has to offer (plus it's bigger than the U2, which is just slightly smaller than my xm15 laptop [from side to side]).

Bloodluster1
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  Quote Bloodluster1 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Jun 2011 at 9:26pm
Oh, one more thing. I haven't hit the 91°C max temp I posted above ever since I got the U2 cooler. Never hit above 90°C actually, max temp usually hits around 85~87°C during gameplay.
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  Quote Unlicensedhitman Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Jun 2011 at 10:43pm
I have to admin that your HDMI sticker on the palm rest area is much nicer than the one I had on my ds xm15. Mines was fugly, so I peeled it off.
Digital Storm xm15 laptop
-15.6" (1366x768)
-Windows 7 HP 64-bit
-Intel Core i5 2.4 Ghz
-Nvidia GeForce 330GT 1GB + Intel HD w/ Nividia Optimus
-6GB DDR3 ram
-Intel 80GB SSD
-Intel Wireless N 6300
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  Quote bcake Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 27 Jun 2011 at 3:43pm
How are the speakers when having the laptop in your lap/on a bed?

Edited by bcake - 27 Jun 2011 at 3:43pm
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  Quote Bloodluster1 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 27 Jun 2011 at 8:57pm
Listening to my laptop's speakers on my bed atm. Have the laptop on top of a pillow (memory foam if that makes a difference). The laptop speakers don't seem distorted or muffled at all. If they are, it is a slight difference because my music still sounds clear. Maybe it's just me, but I don't notice much of a difference. Also tried listening on my lap; same thing. The speakers are able to be pretty loud. I usually listen on a desk with the Coolermaster U2 laptop chill-pad. The speakers aren't distorted when the U2's fans are on or off. The only real difference of having the laptop on my bed or in my lap is the loudness of the speakers, which is minimal, but noticeable. The sound is still pretty clear.

Hope this helps!

Bloodluster1
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  Quote Alex Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 28 Jun 2011 at 3:04pm

@Bloodluster1,

 
Thank you for your feedback. I just didn't want to over promise and under deliver. Cool
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  Quote Bloodluster1 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 28 Jun 2011 at 9:15pm
@ Alex

I gotcha ya. It's always a good thing to have a customer field test stuff and then report back. Just hope my short test helps clear up some customer questions. Big%20Smile
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