Metabox Alpha-X NH58RC (9750H/1660Ti) Full Specs Review – The Metabox Alpha-X NH58RC is a well-priced laptop for the specs that you get, and it’s using one of the best Clevo models I’ve tested to date with excellent thermals for the performance on offer, so let’s find out just how well it performs in this detailed review.
Beginning with the specs, my unit has an Intel i7-9750H CPU, Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti graphics, 16GB of memory working in dual-channel, a 15.6” 1080p 144Hz display, and a 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD. It’s also got gigabit ethernet, 802.11ac WiFi, and Bluetooth 5. However, hardware can be customized while ordering. You can check the options as well as updated pricing using the link in the description.
The laptop has a silver body with a metallic lid while the interior seems to be plastic. The edges are smooth, but I found the front corners a bit rough if you push up against then. Otherwise, overall, it feels quite well built. The weight is listed at 2.2kg, so expect differences based on hardware selection, though mine was under this. By the 180-watt power block and cable for charging included, the total weight rises to 2.7kg. The dimensions of the laptop are 36.1cm in width, 25.8cm in-depth, and just under 2.8cm in height, so not precisely thin but not quite thick either. The smaller overall footprint gives us thin bezels around the screen, which are about 8mm based on my own measurements.
The 15.6” 144Hz 1080p IPS screen looks ok, all viewing angles were excellent though there’s no G-Sync available here. I’ve measured the color gamut of the screen using the Spyder 5 Pro, and my results returned 96% of sRGB, 67% of NTSC, and 72% of AdobeRGB. At 100% brightness I covered the board at 304 nits in the center, and with a 630:1 contrast ratio, so overall about average for a gaming laptop and still decent for other tasks like photo or video editing, though the lower contrast was occasionally noticeable, but this is for the 144Hz panel, expect different results with the 60Hz option.
Despite the thin screen bezels, the camera is found above the display in the center. The camera is pretty average, not excellent, while the microphone sounds alright. The keyboard in my unit has RGB backlighting. However, you can only customize the entire thing in one zone with the included control center software. Overall I liked typing on the keyboard, the small shift on the right may annoy some, but I don’t personally use it, so I didn’t notice.
On the left, there’s a Kensington lock, air exhaust vent, USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A port, USB 2.0 Type-A port, and a 3.5mm microphone and headphone jacks. The right, there’s a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-A port, mini DisplayPort 1.2 output, SD card slot, and air exhaust vent. And on the back there’s one air exhaust vent on the left corner, the right isn’t actually a vent, then from left to right we’ve got a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port with DisplayPort 1.3 support, no Thunderbolt though, HDMI output, the version isn’t specified but I could run an external 4K monitor at 60Hz which seems to indicate 2.0, gigabit ethernet port and the power input. I like that they’ve got the bulky I/O, such as HDMI, ethernet, and power on the back and out of the way.
Meanwhile, the front just has some status LEDs towards the right-hand side. On the lid, there’s the Metabox logo in the center. And the bits on the side light up white from the screen’s backlight. Underneath it looks like there are heaps of ventilation holes. However not that many of these cutout areas actually allow air through, but we’ll see how well the cooling does soon.
They sounded ok for laptop speakers, perhaps a little above average. Here’s what we’re looking at in terms of maximum volume with music playing. And the Latencymon results were looking good. The bottom board can be separated by taking out 12 screws with a Phillips head screwdriver. And the two screws in the back corners are slightly longer. The battery is also easily removable. So if you have a spare, you can quickly swap in a fully charged one. A beautiful and uncommon feature these days. Underneath the battery, there are three more Phillips head screws to take out before the bottom panel can be removed. So 15 screws all up.
I had a look underneath the keyboard. And while it looks like there are screw holes here none of mine had screws in them. So when taking the bottom panel off just be careful. Once in, from left to right, we’ve got access to the WiFi card, single 2.5-inch drive bay, two memory slots, and two M.2 slots. I believe one M.2 slot accepts either SATA or PCIe. But to use the second PCIe only slot.
At idle in the quiet mode, the temperatures were pretty good. Considering the fans were utterly silent. The rest of the results are combined CPU and GPU workloads and are meant to represent worst-case scenarios. As I tested them for extended periods. The gaming tests in the upper half were done with Watch Dogs 2. While the stress tests were done with the Aida64 CPU stress test with only stress CPU checked and the Heaven benchmark at maximum settings to fully load the system. As you’ll hear soon under these workloads it ran up to max speed anyway so I didn’t need to test with it manually raised.
Starting with the stress test with everything default. The hottest CPU got was 84 degrees Celsius. Which is honestly an impressive result for the i7-9750H these days. Under this same workload in most other machines, I’ve covered it easily rises above 90 degrees. Keep in mind all these tests are with the default -0.05v undervolt. So we could probably improve them further by pushing this more. Though my particular unit didn’t like going much also. So haven’t tested with other levels, it would vary by chip though. The cooling pad improved thermals by 5 to 6 degrees in the stress tests. And by 7 to 9 degrees while gaming, a bit more than I expected considering the fewer vents underneath.
The standard clock speeds for the same tests just shown. Not only are we getting excellent thermals. But no power limits are also preventing us from reaching the full 4GHz all core turbo boost speed under this stress test. During the stress tests, the CPU was averaging a 51-watt TDP and peaked at 56 watts.
Just quickly, here’s what we’re looking at in Cinebench at stock. So pretty average results for the 9750H based on the few machines I’ve tested so far. As for the external heats where you’ll really be putting your hands. At idle, it was in the low 30s, reasonably average. While under stress test. The results were basically the same as gaming. Getting to low to mid-40s in the center, so a little warm but still fine.
At the time of writing in Australia, the base model goes for about AUD 1,550. Though about one hundred and sixty more to get dual-channel memory and the 144Hz screen like I’ve got here. In the US. This is the same price as the Acer Helios 300. Which I think I would lean towards personally if they’re the same price. However here in Australia, I’m expecting the Helios 300 to be a fair bit more expensive. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Helios 300 is around the AUD 2000 mark. Given they’re still selling the last-gen model here for that price. So at least here in Australia, the NH58RC is probably going to offer better value.
So what do you think about the Metabox Alpha-X NH58RC laptop? Let’s summarise the good and the bad. While having decent specs to play basically any modern game with proper settings. The laptop has a clean and professional design without the typical “gamer” aesthetic. The performance is honestly quite impressive once you consider the thermals and fan noise. I was seeing some very nice results with regards to the thermal testing when compared to other machines with the same specs that cost more money.
I liked that the large I/O, including HDMI, ethernet, and power. The I/O is otherwise pretty decent, with SD card slot and Type-C port, though USB 2.0 in 2019 is a bit odd. And as is usually the case with these Clevo units, no Thunderbolt 3 support. The removable battery is also nice to have, you could buy spares and very quickly swap in a fully charged one if you want. Which would be useful as outside of gaming battery life was on the lower side.
As usual with most of these Clevo units. I’ve tested screen bleed seems to be more present when compared against other machines. Otherwise again I just have to mention how impressed I was with the thermals considering the higher 60 watt CPU power limit. Which allowed us to maintain stable turbo speeds under combined CPU and GPU stress test. There’s not really enough else to tell, overall I found it quite useful.
If I had to pick some more negatives it would be that the 144Hz screen had a lower contrast ratio than what I’d consider average. And the keyboard lighting can only be set to one color, though I don’t think these deal-breakers. I just can’t find much else to fault. Like the other Alpha-X model, I’ve covered the Metabox Alpha-X NH58RC. This is easily one of the best Clevo units from Metabox I’ve tested so far. Based on the specs, overall performance, and the price I think the Metabox Alpha-X NH58RC is offering great value for money. Especially here in Australia where more prominent brands cost way more than they do in the US.