XPG Xenia 15: This Intel-designed laptop is light and fast

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XPG Xenia 15: This Intel-designed laptop is light and fast

The XPG Xenia 15 may not look “new” to you if you’ve been conditioned to consider “old hardware” obsolete the day the new models come out. But it’s actually proof that prior-generation parts can be perfectly relevant, and even as fast as the latest generation of hardware.

The Xenia XPG 15’s main specs consist of the Intel 9th-gen Core i7-9750H and the  Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q. Both CPU and GPU are technically eclipsed by the newer 10th-gen Intel CPUs and Nvidia’s new Super line of RTX GPUs, but if you think about the power and thermal limitations of laptops, the picture gets more complex.

xenia 3 Gordon Mah Ung

The Xenia 15 was primarily designed by Intel and even has its logo on the bottom.

Intel designed it

Another unusual aspect of this laptop is its branding. Flip the laptop over and you’ll see an Intel logo where you might expect to see XPG’s. XPG is a gaming subsidiary of memory and storage maker Adata), but in this case Intel did much of the design work of the laptop and then tasked Chinese white-label PC maker TongFang with producing it.

Intel has long developed laptop and other PC hardware, which it shares with various companies, which in turn add their own finishing touches. This gives smaller players an opportunity even though they could never pay for the development costs themselves. As a result, you will see other laptops that look a lot like the XPG Xenia 15.

What’s special about the XPG Xenia 15

Because XPG’s parent company is Adata, naturally the company slips its own SSD into the Xenia 15, a 1TB XPG SX8200 Pro. OEM versions of SSDs often offer less performance than their retail counterparts by using higher-density, but slower QLC NAND drives. Not in this case: The SX8200 Pro is a 3D TLC drive with an SLC cache and DDR3 memory. The warranty on the SSD is five years, which is longer than a typical OEM SSD.

The other part XPG adds is a pair of 16GB Adata DDR4/2667 modules. Yes, we know, 32GB seems excessive for a gaming laptop. XPG said it opted for a minimum of 32GB for “future-proofing.” XPG tries to sweeten the deal by saying the memory in the laptops use “hand-picked” Samsung dies, which are all rated with a CAS latency of 19. While it’s true very few laptop vendors ever state the latency of the RAM they use, we should point out that CL19-rated SO-DIMMS are easy to buy on the open market. 

Xenia 15 Specs

When you look at the whole spec list, you can see that if you set aside any bias toward last-gen parts, there’s nothing “wrong” with this configuration:

  • CPU: 9th gen Intel six-core Core i7-9750H
  • GPU: nVidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
  • RAM: 32GB ADATA DDR4/2666  CL19 in dual-channel mode
  • Storage: 1GB ADATA SX8200 Pro NVMe SSD
  • Display: 1920×1080 144Hz AHVA
  • Networking: Realtek Gigabit ethernet, Intel Wi-Fi 6
  • Battery: 94 Watt-hour battery
  • Dimensions: 14 x 9 x 0.8 inches
  • Weight: 4.1 pounds, add 1.7 pounds for the power brick.

Xenia 15 Ports

For ports, we’ll let the photos do the talking, but the main takeaway is you get just about everything you want. The first picture shows the spectacular Dell XPS 15 9500 next to the Xenia 15 for a size comparison. The right side of the Xenia 15 gives you two properly marked USB-A 5Gbps ports and an SD card reader. We have a longer story planned on SD card performance, but we’ll say speed of the Realtek card reader in the Xenia 15 is underwhelming. The unit is plumbed to the laptop’s PCIe, but it’s only USB 3.0, so we saw read speeds of about 91MBps and write speeds of 64MBps in Crystal Disk Mark 7, using a Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-II SD card rated for 300MBps reads and 260MBps writes. The same card in the Dell XPS 15 9500 will reach 275MBps reads and 217MBps writes. So yes, if you’re copying a 40GB video to the Xenia, go grab a cup ‘o joe while it’s copying over.

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