ADATA has long been known for its popular storage and RAM, but the Taiwanese company has recently begun a foray into the gaming hardware world under the XPG brand. Our XPG Invader PC case review was my first experience with the new hardware, and I've since shifted my focus to the XPG Xenia 15, a mid-to-high-range gaming laptop with some tasty hardware and a fair price.
It's based on an Intel-TongFang QC7 reference design, so it might look similar if you've checked out our Maingear Vector review (which is actually a TongFang GK5 but still quite similar) or something like the CyberPowerPC Tracer III. There are myriad great gaming laptops sitting right in the middle of this price range; does the Xenia 15 do enough to set itself apart from the competition? This Xenia 15 review focuses on design, features, hardware, and performance to determine whether or not it's worth your money.
Bottom line: XPG's Xenia 15 has a solid, understated design with an attractive RGB keyboard inside, and it comes with the performance to handle modern games at high frame rates. The Prime app needs some work, and hardware could be better balanced to avoid throttling, but overall, this is a lot of laptop (including 32GB of RAM and a 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD) for the asking price.
- Good value for what you're getting
- Excellent display
- Tons of RAM and storage, both upgradeable
- No bloatware
- IR camera, Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt 3
- Beta software (understandably) needs work
- Runs hot and throttles under load
- Audio is bad
Decent specs for the price
XPG Xenia 15 at a glance
ADATA supplied Windows Central with a Xenia 15 review model. It has inside a 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H processor (CPU), 32GB of DDR4-2666MHz RAM, a 1TB ADATA M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drive (SSD), and an NVIDIA RTX 2070 Max-Q dedicated GPU with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM. For the asking price of about $1,400 (opens in new tab) for this exact model, that's some respectable performance hardware.
Models with a GTX 1660 Ti GPU and otherwise identical hardware cost only about $100 less, so it's no doubt worth getting all that extra RTX 2070 power if you can swing the relatively small price difference. All models also come with some fancy features, like Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, an IR camera for Windows Hello, and per-key RGB lighting for the keyboard, and a secondary RGB light strip along the front edge of the laptop.
There is also now a refreshed version of the XPG Xenia 15 KC for 2021. I recently reviewed it and came away quite impressed with the upgrades to performance and features. A model with 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H CPU, 32GB of dual-channel RAM, 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD, and NVIDIA RTX 3070 Laptop GPU costs about $2,400. Be sure to check it our first if you're considering one of these gaming laptops.
Here's a closer look at the exact specs found in the Xenia 15 model I'm reviewing.
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
|Processor||9th Gen Intel|
4.5GHz Turbo clock
Two 16GB modules
|Graphics||NVIDIA RTX 2070 Max-Q|
8GB GDDR6 VRAM
|Storage||1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD|
ADATA SX8200 Pro
144Hz refresh rate
3.8ms response time
Two USB-A 3.2 (Gen 1)
USB-A 3.2 (Gen 2)
SD card reader
|Audio||Dual down-firing speakers|
|Connectivity||Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200|
|Security||IR camera for Windows Hello|
Kensington lock slot
|Dimensions||14.03 x 9.2 x 0.81 inches|
(356.4mm x 233.6mm x 20.5mm)
|Weight||4.08 pounds (1.85kg)|
Not exactly unique
XPG Xenia 15 design and features
ADATA didn't branch out too much with the design here, opting to partner up with Intel and use its TongFang QC7 reference design for the Xenia 15. It's relatively thin at 0.81 inches (20.5mm), and it sits in the average weight for gaming laptops this size. You might notice it when it's riding around in a backpack, but it's far from unportable. Just watch out for the mammoth AC adapter that comes with it.
The laptop has a matte black finish with a flat feel to it. I like the understated look, and there's not a whole lot of ornamentation here. The lid has a small glossy triangle with the XPG logo inside, and the front edge of the laptop has an RGB light bar that can be customized to light up even when the laptop is asleep. Otherwise, sitting closed, you might mistake the laptop for a standard, if chunky, productivity machine. The laptop is also quite rigid and well-balanced; at no time did I feel like durability was lacking.
On the left is a USB-A 3.2 port (Gen 2), along with a 3.5mm mic jack and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There's also a Kensington lock slot if you like to game in public. The right side has two more USB-A 3.2 ports (Gen 1) and an SD card reader for removable storage. I love a gaming laptop that moves some ports to the rear edge for easier cable management, so the Xenia 15 gets extra marks. There you'll find Thunderbolt 3 (a very nice addition if you want to add one of the best Thunderbolt 3 docks), HDMI, and RJ45 Ethernet. The barrel charging port also resides here, well out of the way.
It's great that you can connect a monitor, power, and internet and still have the laptop's sides clear for accessories. Rounding out the connectivity features are Wi-Fi 6 connectivity and Bluetooth 5.1, two additions that set you up nicely for the future.
Opening the lid, you're treated to the same matte black finish around the RGB keyboard. The flat feel is nice under your palms, but it does pick up oil from your hands. You'll want to keep a cleaning cloth close by if you hate a dirty device. The dual-hinge setup is firm but allows the lid to be opened with one hand, a nice added touch. The lid goes back to about 150 degrees.
Just above the keyboard in the top-right corner are two lighted buttons. One handles power, while the other handles preset power modes for quick switching without opening included management software (more on that later). Other than that, the laptop's interior is clean. Yes, you can remove the garish "Game to the Xtreme" sticker without leaving behind any sticky residue.
A wide camera array is embedded above the display. It has a glossy exterior, so it's quite noticeable, worsened by a gap in the lid gasket across the array. In any case, the payoff is an IR camera for Windows Hello facial recognition. It worked as it should in my testing, providing speedy logins without lifting a finger. It's paired with a regular 720p camera that's really not that bad. If you aim to stream, you'll still want to check out some of the best webcams for Windows PCs, but I've seen a lot worse in work meetings.
Two down-firing speakers are included, situated on either side of the laptop. Gaming laptops generally try to make you believe you're going to be blown away by the sound whether or not the claims are true, but XPG remains quiet in documentation. The speakers in the Xenia 15 work, and they seem to be tuned for voice. If you're not listening to someone talk — like if you're gaming or listening to music — you'll likely be unsatisfied. They're not particularly loud, and there's hardly any bass. You'll definitely want to connect one of the best gaming headset options.
A good look
XPG Xenia 15 display
The Xenia 15's display is more than I expected at this price, both in terms of specs and look. The bezel around the top and sides is thin, and even the chin is a lot thinner than plenty of other gaming laptops. It all adds to the understated look. The only option here is 1920x1080 (FHD), so you'll have to look at some of the other best gaming laptops for other options. No G-Sync, but it has a smooth 144Hz refresh rate and 3.8ms response time.
Testing with my Spyder X Pro (opens in new tab) colorimeter, the display managed 96% sRGB, 74% AdobeRGB, and 75% DCI-P3 color reproduction. That's a bit lower than the claimed 99% sRGB, but still an OK result. The matte finish helps reduce glare, and the display can reach up to 326 nits brightness. Games overall look great on the screen, and it'll serve you well if you're not connecting to an external monitor.
Love it or hate it
XPG Xenia 15 keyboard and touchpad
Many gaming laptops in this price range will throw in a single-zone backlight with a few presets, but the Xenia 15 goes all-out with customizable per-key RGB, a backlight intensity slider, optical, mechanical switches, and anti-ghosting keys. It looks fantastic set into the matte black finish, and I definitely get Razer Blade vibes looking at it all lit up. The top row has Function keys for volume, key backlight, display brightness, touchpad toggle, and display projection.
Typing on the Xenia 15's keyboard is satisfying. Keys are raised quite high off the deck, which, combined with the thin keycaps, makes for a lot of travel. Presses are more on the mushy side of things, but you get an actuation feel and an audible click without the more traditional mechanical switch. Gaming with this keyboard poses no problem, and it'll work well for word processing.
Accompanying the keys is a sizable Precision touchpad with a glass top. It tracks well, it's smooth to touch, and there's only just a slight rattle when clicking the bottom-right corner. Otherwise, it's a great addition for when you don't have a mouse connected.
Handles modern titles