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Hyundai Kanabo 15 Gaming Laptop Review: Expensive Excellence

Gaming Benchmarks

The GTX 1060 is an excellent GPU that will deliver great performance in most titles. However, it won't maintain 60 FPS in every popular title. Some of the games in our benchmark will stress even the most powerful systems. In cases where the performance falls below 45 FPS, we'll provide an additional benchmark at reduced settings.

Alien: Isolation

Alien: Isolation is the perfect title to ease us into our gaming benchmarks since it has a light workload that any low-end laptop can handle. The Hyundai Kanabo blows Alien: Isolation out of the water, delivering close to 140 FPS at maximum settings and matching the venerable Acer Predator Helios 300. Even the Dell Inspiron 15 7000, which has a power-restricted Max-Q GTX 1060, surpasses 120 FPS with ease. If you don’t plan on playing more demanding titles, you can easily save a few hundred dollars with the Inspiron, but our subsequent titles will show that even the standard GTX 1060 has its limits.

Ashes of the Singularity

Ashes of the Singularity is an absolute resource hog, and even the high-end MSI GE63VR Raider cannot reach 60 FPS without tweaking the settings. The previously reviewed Aorus X7 DT v7 comes close, but it’s still a couple frames shy. As such, neither the Kanabo nor the Helios come close to optimal performance; they hover in the low-to-mid 30s and will need considerable performance tweaks to reach 60 FPS.

Luckily, we’re not limited to Ashes’ Crazy preset. The Kanabo's performance surpasses 60 FPS while using the Standard preset. By comparison, the Dell Inspiron doesn’t break 40 FPS, even with the massive graphics reduction.

DiRT Rally

DiRT Rally imposes a moderate platform-based workload favoring well-balanced performance. Given that the Hyundai Kanabo and Acer Helios have similar configurations, both deliver the same performance with about a frame of difference. However, the GTX 1060 isn't enough to deliver a smooth 60 FPS without minor performance tweaks, whereas the MSI Stealth Pro breezes by with its Max-Q GTX 1070. On the other hand, the Dell Inspiron underscores the Kanabo because of its less powerful Max-Q GTX 1060, pulling its frame rate below 50 FPS. Given the Kanabo's price, its performance sits in a comfortable spot.

Grand Theft Auto V

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Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) is one of the most demanding titles in our suite, but this doesn’t impede Max-Q performance much. The Inspiron is capable of over 30 FPS almost across the board; the only instance otherwise is the Vinewood Sign scene, which is notorious for dropping even high-end gaming laptops to their knees with its long draw distances. The Max-Q GTX 1060 delivers 92 percent of the Acer Helios and its standard GTX 1060 at best and 87 percent at worst. In some cases, the Max-Q GTX 1060’s performance means the difference between 30 FPS and lower. The Asus doesn’t reach 30 FPS in any scene, and the Sager only reaches 30 FPS during the Del Perro Pier scene.

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Performance improves significantly after reducing GTA V's settings to Normal; in fact, the Kanabo delivers over 60 FPS on average across all benchmark scenes, whereas the Inspiron's average frame rate dips below 60 in three scenes.

GRID Autosport

Like our other racing title, GRID Autosport has a platform-based workload. However, it seems to favor high clock rates over raw GPU power, which can give even low-end GPUs an impressive boost in performance. As a result, the Kanabo delivers performance, giving the Stealth Pro and even the Raider a run for their money. But keep in mind that the MSI laptops have 120Hz refresh rates, allowing them to take advantage of their ever-so-slight lead over the Kanabo. On the other hand, the clock-rate boost allows the Dell Inspiron to threaten the Kanabo. If your budget is tight, the Inspiron would be the path to take. 

Hitman

Hitman is yet another platform-based title, but it favors CPU performance heavily. The telling factor is the relatively minimal performance difference between the MSI Raider's GTX 1070 and the MSI Stealth Pro's Max-Q GTX 1070. This is because both share the i7-7700HQ. In comparison, the Kanabo outperforms the Inspiron by a 28% margin. This is undoubtedly due to the latter's i5-7300HQ. There are many titles that demand adequate CPU performance, and the mobile i7 is the minimal requirement to play these games smoothly.

Metro: Last Light Redux

Metro: Last Light Redux is considerably more demanding than Hitman because its performance is determined by GPU horsepower. This time around, the performance gap between the Kanabo and Inspiron shrinks to about 5 FPS, or 11%. Meanwhile, the MSI Stealth Pro's Max-Q GTX 1070 delivers just enough performance to maintain 60 FPS at maximum settings. GTX 1060-based laptops don't offer compelling performance in Metro: Last Light Redux for the price, so unless you're willing to step up to a Max-Q GTX 1070, you can save your money and opt for the lower end Max-Q GTX 1060 and tweak the graphics settings accordingly.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider is undoubtedly the most demanding title in our suite and brings even high-end systems like the MSI Stealth Pro far below 60 FPS. The performance tax pulls the Inspiron’s frame rate below 30 FPS due to the Max-Q GTX 1060’s reduced power draw. Comparatively, the Acer Helios runs 6 frames faster, allowing it to deliver 30 FPS at maximum settings with a handful of frames to spare.

Being one of our more taxing titles, gamers will find it hard to maintain 60 FPS, even at Medium settings. The Kanabo just barely maintains 60 FPS, making the unrestricted GTX 1060 the bare minimum required at Medium.

The Division

Thankfully, The Division doesn't hog as many resources as Rise of the Tomb Raider, and any laptop with at least a GTX 1060 can deliver great performance at max, or even 60+ FPS with a few tweaks. Once again, the MSI Stealth Pro edges by 60 FPS with a couple of frames to spare, but the Hyundai Kanabo isn't very far behind. Comparatively, the Inspiron's frame rate falls below 45 FPS and will require additional tweaks to reach similar frame rates.

Thief

Our final gaming benchmark is Thief, which has a platform-based workload. It’s also on the easier end as far as our gaming benchmarks go. The Inspiron’s Max-Q GTX 1060 just barely scrapes by 60 FPS, solidifying it as the absolute minimum requirement to max out Thief with smooth performance. The Sager and Asus miss the mark by 7 and 18 frames, respectively, and will need graphical tweaks for optimal experience.

If you’re willing to shell out several hundred more dollars, you can buy a laptop with a high refresh rate to take advantage of Thief’s relatively light workload.

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  • Firion87
    Isn't anybody wondering since when does Hyundai build laptops throughout this entire article?
    Reply
  • mrmez
    I was actually thinking how small the trackpad is and how big the screen bezel is.
    Reply
  • AgentLozen
    This thing looks really cool. I wish there was a 17" version of it.
    Reply
  • dxkj21
    http://www.eluktronics.com/MECH-15/ This isnt even a new chassis design, the MECH-15 and Im sure others have used this for a while
    Reply
  • dxkj21
    Clevo, Sabre, etc
    Reply
  • dxkj21
    wth
    Reply
  • dxkj21
    http://www.eluktronics.com/MECH-15/ also Cleov, Hyundai, Sabre, etc
    Reply
  • Yuka
    Ugh... I would love to like this, but I can't.

    The Asus GL502VS-FY385T is a 15.6" with a 1070 within striking distance in price and not of the bulk (I have it) shown here. It's more often than not with massive discounts, so if you can shell the extra shekels, by all means get it instead.

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • fullauto2009
    ne1 paying 1200 bux for a 7700 hq with a 1060 is on drugs. I always lol at how toms advertises tech at way high price points.
    Reply
  • flyrobot27
    Is this the same Hyundai that makes cars?
    Reply