Review: JOI Amazer (MAG15)

Background

JOI Amazer GL7000

RM6600 (MRSP)
8.3

Design and Build

9.0/10

Performance

9.0/10

Value

7.0/10

Pros

  • Balance of performance, mobility and price (with 11.11 discount)
  • Good fit, finish and solid build
  • Per-Key RGB 4th-Gen Opto-Mech keyboard with Project Aurora support
  • Thunderbolt 3
  • Good battery life (93Wh)
  • Customizable options in BIOS
  • 115W-boost capable 90W 2070MQ
  • Continual software/driver support (from Eluktronics/XMG/Intel)
  • Good thermal management
  • Battery charge limiter (Flexi-charge)

Cons

  • 9th-Gen i7 with no upgrade option
  • Relatively loud full load fans (no adjustable curves)
  • 75c GPU thermal cap (can be overridden with tweaks)
  • Average built-in speakers
  • Screen locked at 144Hz
  • Picky with TB3 docks/display adapters
  • Huge AC adapter (FSP 230W)
  • Very limited support from JOI

TongFang is not exactly a name that easily comes to mind when one discusses “Gaming Laptops” in general. The China-based ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) has been a relative unknown before this. But they started steadily expanding into global markets since early 2018 with their widely-rebranded GK5CN5Z model, also known as the “ID-Z“.

In September 2019, US boutique brand Eluktronics announced the Eluktronics MAG-15, a “thin-and-light” gaming device aimed straight at the Razer Blade 15. The MAG-15 was said to be developed with aid from the chipmaker Intel themselves, and promised Blade-slaying specs at much better prices.

Soon, it was clear that the “true” manufacturer of this new model was indeed TongFang. They named this new model the “ID-T“, with an unassuming Intel co-designation “QC7“. Many other boutique brands quickly joined the QC7 fray, including Maingear (Element), AfterShock (Vapor 15 Pro) and XMG (Fusion 15).

Enter JOI, a local Malaysian notebook brand. Despite having many netbooks and budget models to its name, JOI has never had a “gaming” model in their lineup before this. So it was pretty surprising when they decided to bring in the QC7 as the Amazer GL7000 in early March 2020. For some reason though, the Amazer never really did end up being all that popular. The release of Comet Lake and the new Ryzen 5/7 processors around mid-2020 didn’t help. Not to mention, there’s also that whole COVID-related MCO situation.

So 2020 rolled past, with the Amazer continuing to languish in relative obscurity. A few units did end up being offered with rather curious “clearance” discounts for Lazada’s 2020 11.11 sales, however.

Which… brings us here.

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