XPG Xenia 15 Review

We Review XPG's Mechanical-Like Keyboard And i7 9750H CPU Gaming Laptop To See If It's Worth Your Money

WePC ADATA XPG XENIA 15 Review Feature Image 01

XPG (a brand of the company Adata) is known in the world of gaming tech for producing some of the best RAM and SSDs available. The XPG Xenia 15 is the brand’s first foray into gaming laptops, and is based on the chassis of the Intel TongFang QC7 but with a mechanical-like keyboard, a relatively unique selling point. The laptop comes in two configurations both aimed at the mid-range gaming laptop market, the only difference between the two being the graphics cards they come with: the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (6GB DDR6) and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q (8GB of GDDR6). Both versions come with an older generation CPU: the 6-core Intel i7-9750H at 2.60GHz, though as you’d expect the 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD are both top draw XPG products.

XPGXenia15 2

For our review we will be testing the RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU model only, for the simple reason that, though on release the cheaper GPU version retailed at up to $1,500 and the RTX model up to $2,200, there have been significant price reductions since which make the more powerful model more appealing: at the time of writing the RTX 2070 Max-Q version can be found for under $1,600 on Amazon US. You can get the 1660 Ti version for cheaper as well (we’ve seen below $1,200 in some sales) but whilst the RTX 2070 Max-Q is capable of respectable performance when playing the latest games at the higher settings, the 1660 Ti will struggle. At these reduced prices, the additional performance (including DLSS and wider Ray Tracing support in games) and greater longevity the RTX 2070 Max-Q will bring before you have to upgrade makes it the better option for gamers, and this is who the laptop is marketed at after all.

If you have never bought a gaming laptop before, and have only ever seriously gamed on desktop PCs then we would advise you take a look at our dedicated guide of all the things you need to consider before reading this product review. Even if this isn’t your first time, refreshing the key considerations in your mind won’t hurt!

That out of the way, let’s take a look at what this machine has to offer.

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  • Gaming Laptop
  • Laptop
XPG Xenia 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q Gaming Laptop

GPU

Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q

CPU

Intel 9th Gen Core i7-9750H

Screen Size

15.6″

Display

1920 x 1080 144Hz IPS

XPG Xenia 15 Specifications And Upgradability

Tech Specs
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GPU

Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q

CPU

Intel 9th Gen Core i7-9750H

Screen Size

15.6″

Display

1920 x 1080 144Hz IPS

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RAM

32GB DDR4

Storage

1TB PCIe x4 NVMe M.2 SSD

Dimensions

14 x 9.2 x 0.8 inches

Weight

4.2 pounds

Webcam

720p InfraRed

Sockets & Ports

1x 3.5mm headphone jack, 1x 3.5mm microphone jack, 1x USB Type-C, 3x USB Type-A, SD Card Reader, HDMI, RJ-45 Ethernet

Networking

802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5

Power Adapter

230W

Battery

93Whr

Operating System

Windows 10 Home

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Pros

Solid gaming performance

Market leading SSD & RAM

Mechanical-like keyboard

Light & slimline

Aesthetic makes it suitable for office use

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Cons

Poor onboard speakers

Older Intel CPU means weak workstation performance

Unfortunately we were under instruction by Adata not to meddle with the innards of the laptop, including taking off the bottom of the laptop to look inside. We do know however that you can undo the screws to remove the bottom of the laptop, enabling you to upgrade the RAM and the SSD storage should you so wish. Both of the two memory slots are already occupied by 2x 16GB sticks of the 32GB DDR4 XPG RAM, though if at some point in the future you decide that you need to improve on this already powerful offering, you can. In terms of hard drive space, there are two M.2 SSD slots, only one of which is occupied in the stock specifications, so there is room for expanding this right off the bat. As ever though, be advised that any such tampering will void your warranty – so think twice before you do!

Warranty and Software

Warranty-wise the XPG Xenia 15 comes with an impressive 2 year limited warranty (most competitors only ship with 1 year). Additionally the laptop comes with one month free for Xbox Game Pass, should you wish to claim it.

In terms of bundled software the XPG Xenia 15 comes pleasingly free of bloatware you might typically expect: a set of branded wallpaper images and an app called XPG Prime SW that installs to the hidden items taskbar of your desktop is all you get. The app in question is actually well designed and enables you to modify the laptop’s power, fan speed and RGB settings for the keys and lighting strip along the bottom, as well as a few display pre-sets.

Design Aesthetics

The XPG Xenia 15 is based on the same design as Intel’s TongFang QC7. The models we were sent to review were matte black though apparently it comes in a gray/silver option as well. The laptop has a matte finish overall, with the exception of the shiny black triangle featuring the embossed XPG logo on the back of the lid. The overall look of the laptop is subdued and minimalist and would certainly not look out of place in an office if you fancy a sneaky game (behaviour I would never personally condone of course). The only indication of the Xenia’s “gaming” aspirations is if you decide to switch on the RGB effects which can underlight the keyboard and also appear in a thin strip on the front edge of the laptop beneath the trackpad. As mentioned the RGB settings can be controlled using the XPG Prime app in the hidden items taskbar of your desktop, which gives you various options for the lighting pattern including: reactive (where only your keypresses are illuminated) breathing, wave, ripple, in time to your music, your own custom presets, and more.

XPG Game to the Extreme

Looks are obviously subjective, and if you’re looking for a flashy piece of hardware that screams “gamer” this isn’t it, but I found the overall appearance of the laptop to be fairly tasteful, the exception being the “GAME TO THE XTREME” sticker on the bottom right under the keyboard but this is easily removed. The only issue I had was that the matte finish on the body of the machine really seems to attract smudges like nobody’s business, and the reflective triangle around the logo on the back of the screen gets easily marked with fingerprints: after only a day of usage the machine I was testing looked like I’d owned it for a week. You can effectively use the back of the screen like a low quality chalkboard, with your finger being the chalk (knuckles work best), and whilst this provides some brief amusement I’m not sure it’s an intended feature. All of this can be cleaned off pretty easily of course, and personally its not really much of a negative, but for some it could be an irritant. Finally, the bezels on the side and top of the screen look fairly thin and subdued (at least on the black version of the laptop).

Build Quality And Ergonomics

The magnesium alloy construction of the laptop feels relatively sturdy compared to most plastic builds, and the screen hinge is not flimsy, but ultimately it doesn’t feel comparable to a fully aluminum body in terms of toughness and durability. There is quite a lot of flex in the screen, which personally I’d feel concerned about, though how much this will bother you will depend on how rough and tumble you tend to be with your hardware.

Weight wise the 1.85kg XPG Xenia 15 is very respectable for a gaming laptop, and this is of course the major benefit of using the magnesium alloy material, it’s certainly lighter than the aluminium 2.09kg (4.6 lbs) Razer 15 base model, the big name competitor. The XPG Xenia is also impressively slimline, with a depth/height when closed of 20.5 mm (0.81”) – not far off the 19.8mm (0.78″) deep on the Razer 15 “the world’s smallest gaming laptop”.

Generally the size and weight of the Xenia make it easy to carry about in a rucksack or similar, even when you include the classically hefty power adapter. When the laptop is closed and left on a desk it looks quite unobtrusive and the matte black look adds to this.

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The track pad proved adequate for us for both of our test models in terms of input responsiveness and ergonomics. We have read of one reviewer who had issues with trackpad delay and intermittent responsiveness (though they resolved this by downloading a driver), for us though there were absolutely no problems on either of the two laptops we received. The pad is the classic all-in-one design i.e. left and right mouse buttons are not separated but engaged through depressing the bottom left or bottom right of the pad. There is also an option to double click the top left of the touchpad to lock/unlock it (this is indicated as locked by a small white light illuminating in the top left).

Keyboard

The mechanical-like keyboard the XPG Xenia 15 comes with is one of the key differentiators between it and the competition. These are still optical keys, but are designed to simulate the feel of typing with the tactile Cherry MX Brown mechanical keys with a 2mm travel distance on each key depression.

Generally I found the keyboard to be nice to type with, not overly clacking sounding but with a satisfying responsiveness. The keyboard felt quite well built and like it could withstand prolonged aggressive typing, unlike some of the cheaper and flimsier mechanical keyboards you might come across.

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Ultimately the level of interest you have in this keyboard depends entirely on your personal preference. Some prefer the feel of mechanical keys, other prefer optical. One more objective downside of having keys like this over say a Macbook, whose optical keys are not raised above the body of the laptop with a gap like the Xenia 15’s, is that it’s easier for dirt / food to get their way in between and underneath the keys. Unlike a conventional mechanical keyboard on a desktop PC, you won’t easily be able to remove the keys to clean underneath them, or indeed replace any damaged keys. Again, whether this bothers you or is completely inconsequential depends on your preferences.

Webcam and Inbuilt Microphone

The inbuilt webcam for the XPG Xenia 15 is situated in the bezel on top of the screen and is of good quality overall. The camera is 720p resolution and even has Infra Red capability, enabling it to be used for Windows Hello identification. Color reproduction and frame rate were both quite impressive and offered good quality during video calls, though image quality did suffer in low-light.

The inbuilt microphone, whilst not the best we’ve seen, proved perfectly adequate for video call usage, with clear quality voice audio.

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Ports, Sockets And Other Features

The XPG Xenia 15 comes with a good array of ports and sockets. The power cable port is located at the back of the laptop, along with the HDMI out connection, the RJ-45 Ethernet port and the USB Type-C port (through which you can utilise DisplayPort, Thunderbolt and USB 3.2 Gen 2 connections).

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Down the left side of the laptop there are two 3.5mm audio jacks: one for a microphone, and one for a headset – this is a feature that might interest those gamers operating separate dedicated microphones and headphones, which is a large section of the market, but one which is underserved by most other gaming laptops that just have the one port for both. There is a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A port on the left side of the laptop as well as two Gen 1 on the right side.

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The laptop also comes with a 2-in-1 SD card reader located on its right side, which can read both SD and MicroSD cards – another welcome feature compared to many laptops which just have MicroSD capability.

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Throughout around one week of usage, I noticed no issues with maintaining Wi-Fi connection, and the BlueTooth connection was similarly absolutely fine when tested using remote earbuds.

Screen

The display is a matte/anti-glare finish IPS panel. Matte screens reduce reflections at the expense of contrast and the general pop of colors that you get more with glossy panels, and in some instances they can look a bit too “grainy”. On the XPG Xenia 15’s we tested we’d say the screen was pretty standard in this regard – not amazing but not bad either: the level of grain is more noticeable at lower brightnesses but if you up the brightness whilst gaming you get an improved amount of color pop. Contrast still leaves a bit to be desired overall however. In terms of viewing angles anything above 45 degrees and the colors appeared washed out.

Our results when testing the screen for color gamut, accuracy, contrast ratio and brightness can be seen below. Overall we’d say these results are above average for a laptop at this price point, but not among the best either. To note: 120 cd/m2 represents natural light, so is the standard brightness we test all screens at.

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As mentioned the bezels around the display are adequately thin and unobtrusive on the top and sides. The 1080p resolution absolutely is fine for gaming on this size of screen, but some may feel they’re losing out compared to 2K and 4K laptops when watching films or doing design work or other workstation tasks – if this is the case though then be prepared to pay a lot more money. Ultimately the Xenia 15 is for gamers and in this regard 1080p is still the standard, and personally I find details become too small to really be appreciated on most games on a 15.6 inch display above 1080p.

In the games we tested we didn’t notice any problems at all with the refresh rate of the 144Hz screen when playing on higher FPS – no tearing or input lag was visible.

Brightness

100% brightness0% brightness38% brightness
314 cd/m²11.45 cd/m²120 cd/m²

Color Accuracy

 whiteblackcontrastaverage delta
(x100)
maximum delta
(x100)
gamma
out the box7837K0.2821 cd/m²1113.6:13.359.22.3
calibrated7964K0.1086 cd/m²1097.8:10.311.242.2

Audio

Audio quality from the speakers of the XPG Xenia was generally atrocious, the maximum volume being disappointingly low, tinny, and devoid of bass. Whilst it’s common for gaming laptops to skimp on speakers, as it’s assumed most gamers will be using headphones, the Xenia’s were particularly bad, and if you’re looking for a machine you can watch TV or films on with your significant other, then either invest in a headphone splitter or look elsewhere.

Audio quality from the audiojack with a decent set of headphones was perfectly fine.

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  • Gaming Laptop
  • Laptop
XPG Xenia 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q Gaming Laptop

GPU

Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q

CPU

Intel 9th Gen Core i7-9750H

Screen Size

15.6″

Display

1920 x 1080 144Hz IPS

Battery Life

We did our typical test for battery life in a non-gaming, general productivity scenario (i.e. not including video editing or graphic design). This test is more demanding than that used by many other reviewers as we want to give you an idea of how long you can reliably expect the machine to last even if you’re throwing a lot at it. Given the prevalence of YouTube and streaming in today’s user experience we keep Wi-fi on and incorporate heavy online media playback.

The setup we used was as follows: Steam open but not downloading, 30 tabs open on Google Chrome including 3x 720p and 1x 1080 Youtube videos playing simultaneously as well as a mix of news and gaming review sites, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth both turned on, laptop on full volume, half brightness and set to power saver mode, with Fan Mode set to “Standard”. Under these circumstances the Xenia 15 managed 4hrs 25mins of battery life from fully charged before powering down, which is decent performance. If you were to turn off the BlueTooth and Wi-Fi and stick to word processing tasks, expect to be able to squeeze a couple more hours out of the battery.

As with most gaming laptops, you’re going to have to plug the laptop in if you want any kind of decent performance when running games. On the various AAA titles we ran FPS (Frames Per Second) benchmarks for, unplugging the machine led to a drop of up to 75% FPS, rendering many games unplayable; this was even after we modified the power settings in Windows and Nvidia Control Panels to prioritize performance over battery saving, and attempted to force the machine to use the 2070 Max-Q at all times instead of the onboard Intel graphics.

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Performance, Noise And Temperature

General Productivity

During the aforementioned battery-only test we had Steam open but not downloading, 30 tabs open on Google Chrome including 3x 720p and 1x 1080 Youtube videos playing simultaneously as well as a mix of news and gaming review sites, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth both turned on, laptop on full volume, half brightness and set to power saver mode. Under these conditions the Xenia 15 performed well, with some slight stuttering when scrolling through advert heavy web pages, but generally offering a smooth experience, the machine clearly benefiting from its powerful RAM.

Under these conditions (with Fan Mode set to “Standard”) the surface of the laptop got warm, but not hot, measuring around 27 degrees Celsius on the keyboard after a few hours use – slightly above average but not by much. Underneath the laptop quite a bit of heat was expelled, and after a couple of hours use we measured approximately 42 degrees Celsius, which is noticeably above average. On a warm or even a mild day you wouldn’t want to rest this device directly on your legs if putting it under this level of strain.

As with many gaming laptops the fan noise is typically loud. With a few tabs open doing word processing and the fans set to “Quiet” on battery saver mode then they’re barely noticeable, but under the conditions of our test (with Fan Mode set to “Standard”) the noise reached a distracting volume.

Workstation Performance

For workstation tasks the Xenia 15 suffers somewhat from having an older generation CPU. The 2.90 Ghz Intel i7 9750H is passable for most games which rely primarily on single-core performance, but for workstation software that typically relies on multi-core performance the machine suffered in our benchmarks.

The benchmark scores we achieved on 3D Mark, Blender, Cinebench 20, Cinebench 15, POV-Ray, V-RAY, and Corona can be seen in the below slides. Generally speaking these results are below what you could get for similarly priced gaming laptops on the market with newer generation CPUs, but XPG has clearly made sacrifices in this area, deeming multicore performance of lesser priority for gamers compared to other features. If you’re looking to do some video editing or graphic design alongside your gaming then the XPG Xenia 15 probably won’t be for you, even with the 32 GB RAM.

When running all the above tests on performance mode, the fans kicked out quite the racket. If you were to use the machine for workstation use, expect it to be noisy. Temperature wise the laptop’s results were similar to during our productivity test, reaching 27 degrees Celsius on the keyboard and 42 degrees Celsius on the underside – above what you’d ideally want but an acceptable temperature for the actual body of the laptop – the temperature ejected below the machine is not as much of a concern (providing the surface it’s on can take the heat).

Gaming Performance

Gaming is obviously what this machine is designed for, and in this area the XPG Xenia 15 (with the Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q graphics card option) impressed. We intentionally selected demanding games for our benchmarks and in each of the games we tested the highest three (sometimes four) graphical options available, all on the laptop’s native 1080p resolution. Cyberpunk 2077 on the highest possible settings suffered frequent and severe stuttering and crashes, though this is potentially more of a comment on the optimisation of the game itself at this stage of patching rather than the laptop, on every other setting though the game was quite playable.

For a decent experience when playing anything other than a competitive shooter (which requires higher FPS) or a non-real time strategy game (which require lower FPS) we’d recommend aiming for as close to an average of 60 FPS as possible, and on the other titles (with the exception of WatchDog Legions, a notoriously badly optimised game) 60 FPS was achieved in at least one of the graphics pre-sets we used. You will likely be able to squeeze out extra frames by tinkering with the advanced settings yourself in game.

In addition to the below we tested the machine on less demanding competitive games as well. On the CS:GO FPS Benchmark Test we were able to achieve the following average FPS at each setting:

Highest (8X MSAA, Anistropic 16x, Multicore Rendering Enabled): 238.47
Medium (4X MSAA, Anistropic 4x, Multicore Rendering Enabled): 251.07
Low (2X MSAA, Trilinear, Multicore Rendering Enabled): 255.4
Lowest (Bilinear, Multicore Rendering Enabled): 257.24

Unsurprisingly under prolonged gaming the laptop heats up a bit, though as before the heat felt through the keyboard and body of the laptop is what you’d expect from a typical gaming laptop, even if the underside runs quite hot. The results were similar to those during our Workstation test: 28 degrees Celsius on the keyboard and 42 degrees Celsius on the underside.

In terms of fan noise, set to performance mode and on high fan settings whilst gaming, the volume got quite loud. “Sounds like a server farm” was a phrase uttered at one point in the office. In this regard the Xenia XPG is not worse than many of its competitors, we’d put it at about average, but it is a consideration first time gaming laptop buyers need to be aware of.

In Summary

The XPG Xenia 15 is respectable mid-tier gaming laptop. Performance wise the older gen Intel CPU does not match up to AMD laptops like the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 on processor-heavy tasks, but the RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU option gives it the edge in gaming. If you’re looking for a machine that can comfortably handle demanding workstation tasks (video editing, graphics design etc.) then this laptop isn’t designed for you. In games though the laptop performs admirably even in the most demanding of titles, though you may wish to opt for the second highest graphics preset rather than the highest, depending on how much you prioritise Frames Per Second.

The 1TB XPG SSD is one of the fastest available on the market, and the 32GB RAM makes the majority of general productivity tasks a breeze. If you’re a fan of mechanical-like keyboards for typing and/or gaming then this feature makes the Xenia 15 fairly unique among its competitors. Though a bit too prone to gathering smudge marks, overall the tasteful aesthetic and slim profile of the laptop as well as the anti-reflective screen mean it can easily double as a work machine, particularly if the keyboard suits your needs.

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The display is fine for gaming and work usage, slightly above average compared to its competition, though for watching films and tv programmes the contrast may feel a bit lacking. The onboard speakers on the machine are very sub par, so don’t expect to enjoy watching Netflix with a friend unless you’ve got external speakers or a headphone splitter.

Battery life for the Xenia 15 is around average, though don’t expect to be able to play many games at a worthwhile FPS without the machine plugged in.

Ultimately the key factor in whether or not we would recommend buying the XPG Xenia 15 is the price (as with many things in life). At the original RRP for the 1660 Ti version we would have definitely said this machine was overpriced compared to say the HP Pavilion Gaming 15 laptop, which retailed at around $200-$300 cheaper but with the same CPU and GPU. Similarly the RTX 2070 Max-Q model (the version we tested) retailed for significantly above $2,000 when it was released and this was too much of a markup over competing brands when you’re essentially paying several hundred dollars extra for a mechanical-like keyboard, top-tier SSD and RAM, but worse speakers. However, since this time prices have come down a lot and we have seen the RTX 2070 Max-Q version selling for under $1,600 on Amazon US. At this sort of price, or even for $100-$200 higher, we can heartily recommend the XPG Xenia 15, provided you go with the RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU option.

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  • Gaming Laptop
  • Laptop
XPG Xenia 15 RTX 2070 Max-Q Gaming Laptop

GPU

Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q

CPU

Intel 9th Gen Core i7-9750H

Screen Size

15.6″

Display

1920 x 1080 144Hz IPS

0 /5
Editor's Rating
4/5

The XPG Xenia 15 with RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU is a respectable mid-tier gaming laptop. The older gen Intel CPU means it underperforms in workstation tasks but in games it performs admirably. The 1TB XPG SSD is one of the fastest available on the market, and the 32GB RAM makes the majority of general productivity tasks a breeze. If you’re a fan of mechanical-like keyboards then this feature makes the Xenia 15 fairly unique. The display is slightly above average compared to its competition, though for watching films and tv programmes the contrast may feel a bit lacking. The onboard speakers are unfortunately very sub par but the laptop comes with a good range of ports.