AVADirect Clevo W230ST Review

by Michael Wall Reads (84,282)
Editor's Rating
9.00

TG Ratings Breakdown

    • Software & Support
    • 9
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 9
    • Usability
    • 9
    • Design
    • 8
    • Performance
    • 10
    • Features
    • 8
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 10
    • Total Score:
    • 9.00
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Overview

  • Pros

    • Excellent Performance
    • Affordable
    • Easy to Transport

  • Cons

    • Small Palm Rests
    • Fan is Consistently Loud

Quick Take

The AVADirect Clevo offers exceptional performance and portability at an attractive price, though consumers will need to concede on all the bells and whistles offered from high-end competitors.


Don’t let its small frame fool you; the AVADirect customizable Clevo W230ST packs a punch. Equipped with a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, ample RAM and an NVidia GeForce GTX 765M GPU; the customizable Clevo W230ST offers strong performance. Best of all, that power comes in a portable 4.1 lbs. frame and is offered at affordable price.

Matching the performance of most high-end machines at a much lower price point, the AVADirect Clevo W230ST may be one of the most attractive portable gaming machines on the market.

Build and Design

The 13.3-inch gaming device offers a black rubber lid that is resistant to fingerprint marks and provides a firm textured grip. Along the top edge of the display case runs a thin grey metallic strip, the same metallic casing also houses the front end of the display case and deck. The bottom half portion of the chassis is outfitted with durable plastic. The Clevo W230ST isn’t comprised of the highest grade materials, but the rubber lid offers a comfortable grip making the device easy to hold, and the plastic and metal chassis combo proves both lightweight and durable. It’s not the flashiest design, but it will get the job done.

Measuring in at 12.5″ x 8.44″ x 0.88″ and weighing in at 4.10 lbs. the Clevo W230ST proves to be one of the lighter gaming machines on the market, with a weight comparable to that of the sleek Razer Balde. However, it is worth mentioning that the Razer Blade is thinner and offers a larger 14-inch display … albeit at $500 more than the AVADirect Clevo W230ST.

As expected the amalgamation of plastic and metal affords the Clevo W230ST an impressive amount of durability. The bottom half of the chassis proves resilient holding its form even when extreme pressure was applied. The display proves less durable flexing slightly to pressure and noticeable rippling did appear on screen. While the flexible display case is somewhat discerning, the sturdy hinge design reassures that this device will hold up under the normal wear and tear of travel.

 

Ports and Features

The Clevo W230ST offers an impressive amount of connectivity despite its small frame. The left side is outfitted with a USB 2.0 port, a headphone jack and a microphone jack. The right side offers a power jack, an Ethernet connector, a VGA connector, an HDMI connector, and three USB 3.0 ports.

Left: USB 2.0, headphone jack, microphone jack Right: power jack, Ethernet connector, VGA connector, HDMI connector, three USB 3.0 ports

 

Display and Sound

The Clevo W230ST offers a 13.3-inch LED LCD Display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. The bright 307 nits display provides crisp image quality that proves ideal for both watching media and reading text. Notebook Review noticed the display’s robust color contrast while playing Crysis 3, as the screen was able to accurately detail the dark aesthetic in the game’s opening sequence. The small 13.3-inch display may give some gamers pause, but the Clevo W230ST offers such an exceptional viewing experience that the smaller display never came into mind when using the device.

The Clevo W230ST boasts some pretty flexible viewing angles. The AAS (Azimuthal Anchoring Switching) display is a variant of IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology and delivers exceptional viewing angles on the horizontal axis with images starting to appear dulled at around 180 degrees. The screen holds up just as well on the vertical axis, though images again can appear dulled when the display is titled forward at an extreme angle. The display also holds up well in heavily lit areas. In direct lighting a noticeable glare does appear on screen, but reflections are limited and shouldn’t prove more than a minor annoyance. With flexible viewing angles and a high-quality viewing experience the Clevo W230ST provides the perfect display for users looking to play games on the go.

The Clevo W230ST houses a pair of Onkyo speakers located on the bottom of the chassis at the top left and right corners. The two speakers offer decent sound levels certainly adequate for a small group of people, though the device may struggle to offer audio to an entire room. While playing Crysis 3 Notebook Review noted that the speakers provided clear consistent audio; capturing both the high action sound effects found in gunfights and the more subtle ambient noises such as the rainfall looming in the background.  While the speakers are able to capturer everything clearly the lack of bass can make experience feel somewhat shallow. However, that is to be expected from a pair of built-in speakers, users looking for high-grade audio quality will want to turn to an exterior device.

 

Ava Direct Clevo W230ST KeyboardKeyboard and Touchpad

The Clevo W230ST incorporates a full-sized Chiclet-style keyboard with LED backlighting. The rounded keys employ a plastic finish that makes them feel smooth to the touch. Key travel distance is decent given the small frame of the machine and the responsive tactile feedback quickly snaps keys back into place after being struck. Typing normally on the Clevo W230ST proves to be not be an issue; however, the limited deck size can make using WASD controls while playing games somewhat uncomfortable. Often when using these controls I found my palm resting on the edge of the chassis’ face. Users (especially those who have larger hands) may find the Clevo W230ST uncomfortable to play games on for an extended period of time. It’s great that Clevo offers a generously sized keyboard with ample spacing, but there is limited remaining space as a result.

Ava Direct Clevo W230ST TouchpadThe Clevo houses a modestly sized touch-pad directly below the keyboard’s spacebar. The small touchpad features two mouse-buttons located at the bottom of the pad and utilizes a smooth surface that allows for travel with limited friction and added sensitivity. Equipped with Synpatics drivers the touchpad works much better than most gaming notebooks, boasting quick response times with consistent accuracy and no noticeable lag.

 


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