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Illegear Selenite Pro Gaming Laptop Review: Proper Heavyweight Gaming

Illegear Selenite Pro

The Illegear Selenite Pro is one of the company’s latest in its higher end lineup of customised gaming laptop. We’ve had a chance to take the Selenite Pro out for a spin. I’ve been using it for the past two months as my daily driver, let’s see how it performs.

Specifications

  • 9th generation Intel Core i7-9750H CPU
  • Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 GPU
  • 16GB DDR4-2666MHz RAM
  • 17.3-inch 1080P 240Hz Display
  • 512GB NVMe SSD
  • 256GB Seagate Barracuda NVMe SSD
  • 92Wh Battery
  • 2.5cm Thin / 2.35KG Weight

Design

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The Illegear Selenite Pro features a large but slim body. It’s only large due to the 17.3-inch display that it’s packing, but its body is still considerably thin at 2.5cm. It has a nice matte texture to it, and it feels really nice to hold. It’s made to be sturdy and you can feel the effort Illegear put into assuring the build quality of the Selenite Pro.

That being said, the laptop does have some weight to it. Weighing 2.35KG, my passenger seat actually took it for a “person” and beeped to remind it to wear seat belts. Of course, the laptop was in a backpack along with my other things. But, I’ve never encountered such a situation before with other laptops.

On the outside, the Selenite Pro packs an almost adequate amount of connectivity ports. Why adequate? It’s missing a card reader. Yes, it does have a microSD card reader, but I would have preferred if they swapped it for a full-sized SD card reader instead. A microSD slot only limits it to accepting microSD cards. But if they were to use an SD card reader instead, the Selenite Pro would then be able to take on both SD and microSD cards (via adapters).

Illegear Selenite Pro

On that note, I would have also preferred for the charging port to be on either sides of the laptop instead of the back. This is because everytime I try to plug the charger in, I cannot “blindly” do it. You know how you get used to a laptop’s port that your hand automatically knows where it is to plug it in? It’s not the case for the Selenite Pro. I have to stand up, look behind the display, and find the hole to plug it in. It gets pretty frustrating at times.

Illegear Selenite Pro

On the front, there is a really unique RGB light panel. It doesn’t increase any of the performance on the laptop,but it is fully customisable, and just really nice to stare at.

Display

Illegear Selenite Pro

Of course, another nice thing to stare at on the laptop is the native 240Hz display. Sure, it may just be a 1080p display, but that’s good enough for me, good enough for most games for that matter. Everything looks so fluid and smooth. From the movement of the mouse cursor, transition of windows, graphic animations. It’s all just so satisfying to look at.

The Selenite Pro’s display has the right amount of brightness at maximum, and the colour reproduction is quite accurate. It could’ve handled blacks better, but it does suffice for the regular gamer.

User Experience

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I’ve been using the Illegear Selenite Pro as my daily driver for the past two months, and I must say it’s a love hate relationship. I love that it’s got such a slim profile, but I dislike that it has that much heft to it. Opening it up, I love staring at the 240Hz display, but I dislike the typing and navigation experience on the laptop.

Because the keycaps are all big and cramped into a specific rectangular area on the laptop, there isn’t any travel between keys. I find myself making a lot of typos, especially with the right key being so short and the arrow cluster cramped right beside it.

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The keyboard is also supposed to have an RGB-lit keyboard, but that is only partially true. That’s because the RGB lights are only lit by four zones throughout the keyboard. So, the RGB lights flow by blinking and changing colours from one zone to another, instead of flowing smoothly like the ones you see on Razer’s keyboards and etc.

And now, for the trackpad. This was the most disappointing part for me when using the Selenite Pro. I’m sure it could be fixed by upgrading a software or something, so please Illegear if you’re reading this, please do it. The trackpad was so bad I had to use a mouse with it no matter how trivial a task I was doing. Navigating on one finger, it works just fine. But when I put on two fingers to scroll, it starts registering as a right click. So, there I am trying to scroll a webpage, but I just find myself right clicking throughout the entire page.

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Another thing with the Selenite Pro is the power button. For some reason, I always have to press on it twice to get it to boot up. If i click it once, it would just have a short notification light then nothing happens. I have to click, wait, then click again. Only then will it start booting up.

Apart from that, the Illegear Selenite Pro works like a charm. And by work, I mean the next part of this review. Performance.

Performance

Despite the poor user experience I’ve had with the keyboard and trackpad, the performance on the Selenite Pro is where it redeems itself. A keyboard and mouse can easily be replaced with an external equipment of your choice. But when it comes to internal hardware, you’re pretty much stuck with what you have. The good thing about Illegear’s laptops is that you are able to customise it with parts that you like. You want a high refresh rate display? Go for it. Want the fastest GPU on the market? Install that right in. You want the best processor? Pack it in.

Illegear Selenite Pro

Our unit of the Illegear Selenite Pro came with an Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, paired with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2070 GPU. That’s already a killer combo right there, and the performance doesn’t disappoint at all. When the laptop is turned on, I could always count on it to perform the tasks I need it to.

  • Writing articles
  • Handling heavy Excel files
  • Handling 40+ concurrent tabs on Opera GX browser (work, am I right?)
  • Editing video
  • Editing photo
  • Gaming
  • Watching movies
  • Listening to songs

We ran some tests using SuperPosition benchmark and here are the results. We tested the Selenite Pro on 1080p High, 4K optimized, and even 8K optimized. The laptop performed exceptionally well on 1080p and 4K, getting average 74fps and 44 fps respectively. But when it came to the 8K test, it suffered a bit. You could notice the dropped frames, churning out only an average of 18fps.

Battery

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Having a large 92Wh battery on the Selenite Pro really does help with the battery life. On average daily use, I could get about 5 hours of continuous use. That is with the constant article writing, web browsing, and playing music with its speaker. In my use case, it’s pretty hardcore. But if it’s just casual browsing and simple document creation, it should perform the whole day.

When it comes to gaming, you would definitely want to plug it in because you’d want that extra performance boost in Turbo mode. I tried playing Devil May Cry 5 on 1080p settings, it only lasted me 1 and a half hours.

Audio

The Illegear Selenite Pro has a dual speaker stereo system. It’s definitely loud, but it lacks the bass that I’m looking for. But that’s understandable considering how thin the laptop is. On that note, it was loud enough that I could just depend on the speaker to play my music instead of my usual USB dekstop speakers.

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Conclusion

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The Illegear Selenite Pro is great for its customisability. Pack it with whatever you feel is best for you, from their wide range of options. Once that’s done, you’re ready to take on any document, browser, work, video, or game thrown at you. It might be a little heavy, but that’s only because you’re carrying a tonne of performance with you as well. No compromises.

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Chief Content Developer at The AXO

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