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AVADirect Whitebook 16K2 Gaming Laptop Review

Price Analysis & Conclusion

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The AVADirect markets the Whitebook 16K2 as a thin-and-light gaming notebook, and it covers all of the criteria such a notebook should. It’s sleek. It’s light. It’s portable. It's unassuming. And despite all of this, the Whitebook 16K2 doesn’t sacrifice performance. But there are a few drawbacks.

The AVADirect performed nearly as well as the similarly configured Sager NP8165. However, we noticed that the Whitebook fell slightly behind the NP8165 in GPU-reliant workloads such as 3DMark’s benchmarks and CompuBench’s Bitcoin Mining test. This foreshadowed the major issue with the Whitebook’s slim design, which is inefficient cooling. However, in platform-based tests, the AVADirect held its own. Another great strength is the 250GB Samsung 960 EVO NVMe SSD, which produced the fastest storage speeds. Our only gripe is that this particular configuration didn’t include a 1TB HDD, which is standard on most gaming laptops.

Gaming performance is almost exactly what you'd expect from a laptop with a GTX 1060, with one huge caveat: the thermal throttling. Most of the time the difference was negligible, such as in Alien:Isolation or Thief, but inBioshock Infinite, it amounts to almost five less frames on average. Still, the Whitebook can play most of our games at Full HD without compromise, unlike the GTX 1050 Ti-based Sager NP6852.

The thermal throttling finally reared its ugly head during our thermal imaging test. The AVADirect maintains cool at idle, but the GTX 1060 rises to 83°C at max during the 15 minute Furmark stress test. The NP8165 is much thicker but sports a wider cooling solution, although that also experienced its own cooling challenges. Perhaps we’re asking too much of the Whitebook; we want power, but we also want a small form factor. The only way to accomplish this is by sacrificing thermal efficiency.

To illustrate the Whitebook in a more positive light, we found that it outperformed the competition in battery longevity, delivering nearly two hours of uninterrupted play time. What’s particularly impressive about this is that the less power-hungry NP6852 scored behind the Whitebook. Meanwhile, the heavier Alienware and NP8156 laptops landed closer to one hour and 30 minutes.

Unfortunately, the AVADirect’s display leaves much to be desired. Its contrasts are rather flat, and the RGB balance is skewed heavily in favor of blues. The grayscale and average color accuracy is incredibly low as well, and the only other display the Whitebook decisively defeats is the Alienware’s, and that’s because the Alienware uses a TN panel!

AVADirect Whitebook 16K2’s chassis stands apart in the gaming laptop market because of its sleek aesthetic and luxurious metal finish, an approach laptop vendors are slowly warming up to. Unfortunately, we found a few weak points, notably the bottom panel, the area surrounding the touchpad, and the touchpad itself. However, the Whitebook makes up for this with an excellently built lid, well-positioned keys, velvet lining, and RGB lighting.

If the heat and poor display weren’t deterrents, perhaps the price will be. This particular configuration of the AVADirect Whitebook 16K2 comes in at $1, 849, which is quite expensive for a laptop with a GTX 1060. Laptops already face a markup for their portability, and slim laptops impose an even steeper tax. Meanwhile, the Sager NP8165 usually costs around $1,600, but can be found for as low as $1,329 on XoticPC. In this case, you sacrifice battery life and weight, but save several hundred dollars. Even cheaper options exist with GTX 1050 Ti laptops, but you’ll have sacrifice additional performance.

As far as ultra-slim gaming notebooks go, the Whitebook is priced competitively. The latest Razer Blade starts at $1,900, the Gigabyte Aero 15 is $1,950, and the MSI GS64VR Stealth Pro is $1,800. However, in this price range you can buy a laptop with a GTX 1070, such as the Asus Strix GL502VS, which is $1,650 on Newegg at the time of this writing. It won’t be nearly as sleek, light, and portable as the Whitebook, however. Such are the constant trade-offs buyers must make with gaming laptops.


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  • webdevsam
    Is it possible to install your own 2.5 SSD in the space provided? Are the connections present?
    Reply
  • Kursem
    well, if you really that thight on budget but wan to game, then I suppose you should get Acer Helios 300 (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1060 6GB, 250GB SSD, FHD IPS), which is only $1,050 on Amazon
    Reply
  • ledhead11
    Nice review. Nice looking laptop. I'll echo the same thing most say about "gaming' laptops, way, way, overpriced. Pretty sure the marketing and visual design people are laughing all the way to the bank on thing like this.

    I have to agree with Kursem. Just checked it out and for nearly a $1000 less you'll have pretty much an identical system. It'd take some serious obsession to choose the Whitebook over the Helios. I'd actually recommend that Helios as a good general all-purpose non-4k laptop, pretty solid looking for the price.
    Reply