Review: JOI Amazer (MAG15)

Build and Design

Contents

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

First let’s look at some noteworthy points in terms of physical dimensions and build on of the JOI Amazer GL7000:

  • 356.4mm x 233.6mm x 21.4mm
  • 1.85kg
  • Magnesium Alloy chassis

First and foremost, the fit on the Amazer is rather impressive – for a TongFang unit. It’s nowhere near the level of precision fit that you’ll see on a unibody Razer Blade or a MacBook. But compared to my old 2018 Illegear Onyx (a TongFang “ID-Z“), it’s a lot better. For example, there is only ONE minor panel fit issue on my Amazer unit. Specifically, the right side of the front lip plate raised up by a millimetre or so compared to the left. Compare this to multiple (minor) fitting imperfections on my old ID-Z.

The magnesium alloy chassis is also one of the more rigid that I’ve seen, with imperceptible deck/keyboard flex (unlike, say, an MSI GS65). The lid is also rather strong despite its thinness, almost matching the stiffness of the noticeably thicker ID-Z lid.

That rigid chassis is almost entirely covered in a black matte finish that almost feels like plastic (it’s not). Deceptively durable, this finish tends to collect dirt and fingerprints somewhat due to the roughness of the surface. One curious “feature” however, is that there is absolutely ZERO JOI branding on the Amazer. Even the boot-up logo and the unit ID sticker is an Intel one, and the usual Intel and NVIDIA stickers are provided for you to use if you wish – rather than pre-fixed.

As for size and weight, the JOI Amazer is almost one-to-one in terms of dimensions with the Razer Blade 15, and is a hair lighter. It does however feel slightly thicker, the substantial rubber legs on the bottom adding to this. Those feet do help keep the Amazer elevated enough for proper ventilation without the need to prop it up, which is a nice bonus.

Next, we move on to some fascinating bits of the Amazer‘s design:

  • Per-Key RGB Opto-Mechanical keyboard (Project Aurora Compatible)
  • Microsoft Precision glass touchpad
  • HD IR Webcam (Windows Hello)
  • 3x USB 3.1, 1x Type-C (Tunderbolt 3), 1x HDMI, 1x RJ47 Ethernet, 1x Audio Out, 1x Mic In, 1x Kesington lock

Of these, the one that immediately jump out is the Full RGB Opto-Mechanical keyboard. This is similar to the one that Razer started offering on their 2019 Blade 15 Advanced, with slightly different specs. The one on the Amazer has slightly deeper travel (2mm vs 1.5mm) and higher actuation (60g vs 45g). It’s also frameless, lacking the chiclet separators that the Blade has.

Furthermore, this 4th-Gen keyboard on the Amazer is MUCH improved compared to earlier versions. Noise is pretty minimal and chatter has been mitigated to the point of being a non-issue. The keys themselves are still very slightly loose, but not to the point of causing mistypes. The wider numpad-less layout has also made it feel a lot less cramped.

As an added bonus, the keyboard on the Amazer is also fully supported by the advanced Project Aurora RGB customisation software (as per the latest BIOS update) – which used to only be supported by Razer and a select number of desktop keyboards.

In comparison, the Microsoft Precision glass clickpad provided is a lot less “exciting”. The size is big enough for most use cases, palm rejection is serviceable and there’s a nice function to turn it off with a double tap to one corner. The clickpad does clatter slightly when tapped hard on my unit. Other users have also reported varying levels of rattle and/or wobble so YMMV.

The webcam is similarly a mixed bag. Being a Windows Hello capable unit does make it a good alternative to a fingerprint reader (which the Amazer does not have), and these types of cameras are a pretty rare sight in “gaming” notebooks. On the other hand, the 720p image quality on the webcam is average at best.

Finally the ports, which are adequate in terms of variety and positioning. The inclusion of a Thunderbolt 3 port is pretty nice though. I can’t recall previous TongFang units ever having these (my old ID-Z certainly didn’t). When it comes to TB3 dock/DP-out adapter compatibility, however, the TB3 port on the Amazer has been reported to be rather choosy. It does run 4x PCIe lanes though, so using an eGPU is still an (inefficient) option, but Type-C PD charging is not included.

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