- Beautiful 4k display
- Market leading performance
- Rich sound quality
- Plastic build
- Keyboard is located towards the back of the chassis
The Eurocom Sky X9 is a well rounded desktop replacement that excels in most arenas, however, the price point may be too steep for some, especially with a few cheaper alternatives on the market.
Desktops have been the undisputed king when it comes to PC gaming, and while the platform isn’t quite ready to relinquish the crown yet, the gap between desktops and laptops is shrinking rapidly. Helping to bridge that divide is the Eurocom Sky X9, a powerful gaming rig with an optional desktop-grade Nvidia GeForce 980 GPU. It’s a desktop replacement in truest sense of the word. Armed with an Intel Core i7 CPU, up to 64GB of RAM and a cornucopia of storage options including RAID 0 configurations, the Sky X9 is capable of tackling almost anything you throw at it. The sky’s the limit for this gaming behemoth, the only issues is that the price tag soars just as high.
Build and Design
Similar to the AVADirect Avant P870DM-G the Sky X9 is built around the Clevo P870DM-G notebook chassis. The chassis is quite large measuring 1.77-inches thick and weighing a whopping 10.62 pounds. Add in the sizeable power brick and the total package weighs closer to 13 pounds. Needless to say it’s not all that portable, but considering the extensive list of high-end specs hiding under its interior, the Sky X9 is more comparable to most desktops, and it certainly beats lugging one of those around.
While the Sky X9 isn’t the most travel friendly laptop, the large bulking hard plastic design does have its merits. Plainly put the Eurocom Sky X9 is built like a tank. The thick black plastic feels incredibly durable refusing to budge under pressure and the large rubber pads at the bottom of the chassis help anchor the device in place when setting it down on a surface.
Despite its plastic construct the Eurocom Sky X9 has a premium feel and look to it. The device fits well within the same motif as other gaming laptops, sporting an aggressive aesthetic with sharp cutting angles and loud eye-catching LED lighting across the display lid. Another feature sure to catch your eye, is the single bar hinge design. The hinge stretches across the middle of the chassis giving the notebook a stylized look, as the edges of the display suspend in the air. Located below the hanging edges of the display re two sizable grill speakers, and a prominent power button at the top center of the notebook’s deck.
Ports and Features
The Eurocom Sky X9 boasts a wide selection of ports and some noteworthy connectivity features that should prove highly beneficial to hardcore gamers and power users. The left side of the device features two, yes you heard me correct, two Ethernet ports. The reason being that the Sky X9 ships with the Killer DoubleShot Pro network card, which allows users to split their network activity between two simultaneous connections, allowing users to separate and secure high priority traffic such as online gaming, while sending standard traffic such as web browsing to the other interface. The left side of the chassis also features three USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, a microphone jack and a S/PDIF output jack. The right side of the chassis has a Kensington lock slot, two mini DisplayPort connectors, a Thunderbolt/USB-C combo port, a USB 3.0 port and a card reader. Finally the back of the chassis offers, an HDMI connector, another USB 3.0 port and the power connector. With a flexible array of ports the Sky X9 should fit comfortably into almost any gaming or office setup .
Screen and Speakers
One of the gems of the device has to be the 17.3-inch 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160 resolution) matte IPS display. With a brightness of 400 nits the the panel offers a clear crisp image perfect for everyday tasks such as web browsing, but where the panel really excels is media presentation. I’ve played quite a bit of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, but booting the game up on the Sky X9’s 4K display was like seeing it again for the first time. The color detail was astonishing, as the heavy hues of the red cracked stonework and the rich browns of the oak furnishing bathed in the amber glow of a nearby fire.
Users who feel they don’t need the 4K resolution display can opt for 300nit 1080p IPS display, helping to shave roughly $624 off the notebook’s steep price tag. The 1080p panel also offers optional built-in NVidia G-SYNC support helping to improve rendering, unfortunately that feature is not available with the 4K display.
With excellent brightness and matte finish it comes as a little surprise that the Eurocom Sky X9 offers excellent viewing angles. Images hold up well past 100 degrees without any noticeable distortion or color loss. As a gaming-centric device chances are you’ll be spending most of your time with the X9 viewing it from a dead-on angle, but it’s nice to know that the display will hold up, even when you don’t.
The two torster speakers are located to the back right and left corners of the laptops deck. The subwoofer is a welcomed addition the soundscape as it helps to give life to many of the gaming sound effects such as the distinctive twang of two swords clashing or the low rumble of a magical explosion. Our review team was pleased by the laptop’s ability to accurately clearly capture the audio, effects and background music in the Witcher 3 with no noticeable distortions.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Eurocom Sky X9 features a full-sized keyboard complete with LED backlighting and a number pad. The keyboard itself is great with solid travel and forceful feedback. The keys quickly snap back into place after being struck, making it easy to input commands quickly and efficiently.
While the keyboard performs well NBR did have issues with it’s placement. The keyboard is located towards the back of the deck and given the size of the chassis I had to stretch out my arms farther than i would have liked to reach the keyboard. The placement wasn’t too bothersome when simply typing, but when playing mechanically demanding games such as CSGO and League of Legends having to extend to the reach the keys was uncomfortable.
Located below to the bottom right of the space bar is a sizable Synpatics touchpad. The pad has two sizeable left and right mouse click buttons at the bottom of the pad along with a fingerprint scanner in the middle. The mouse buttons have great action producing a nice audible pop when struck. The plastic pad sports a rough textured surface, but still allows for smooth travel. As a gaming device, most users will opt for a USB connected mouse, but the pad performs well accurately reading swipes, clicks and multi-finger gestures without delay.