Review: JOI Amazer (MAG15)

Performance

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

Here’s the specs of the JOI Amazer GL7000 unit under review:

  • 9th Gen Intel Coffee Lake Refresh i7-9750H Processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q (90W/8GB)
  • 15.6” FHD 144Hz thin-bezel IPS screen (BOE NV156FHM-N4G)
  • 1x8GB DDR4 2666MHz RAM (upgraded to 2x16GB)
  • 512GB NVMe SSD (+ 1028GB NVMe SSD)
  • Intel AX200 (WiFi 6/BT5.1)
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC Card Reader
  • 94Whr (8200mAh) battery with Fast Charge
  • 230W AC Adapter
  • Factory unlocked BIOS (undervolting/system adjustments support)
  • Unactivated Windows 10 pre-installed

These specs are no longer “cutting-edge” by any stretch, but it’s still no slouch either. This is clear from the benchmark scores as below, compared to a i7-10875H/2070MQ Super equipped Razer Blade 15 Advanced:

(Benchmark scores courtesy of Notebookcheck, with a 2070MQ XMG QC7/Fusion 15 unit with 16GB of RAM)

CINEBENCH R15

  • CPU Single-core 64bit – 184 points (RB: 202)
  • CPU Multi-core 64bit – 1294 points (RB: 1373)
  • GPU OpenGL 64bit – 115 fps (RB: 157 fps)

PC MARK 10

  • Digital Content Creation – 7357 points (RB: 9448 points)
  • Productivity – 7490 points (RB: 8503 points)
  • Essential – 9534 points (RB: 10341 points)
  • Total Score – 5748 points (RB: 6739 points)

3D Mark

  • Fire Strike – 17549 points (RB: 17915 points)
  • Cloud Gate – 39529 points (RB: 48815 points)
  • 3DM 11 Performance – 20181 points (RB: 23678 points)

The Witcher 3

  • Ultra settings – 66 fps (RB: 74 fps)

There is an average increase of about 20-30% on the i7-10875H/2070MQ Super Razer Blade 15, which is about on-par for a “generational” update. But, this also makes it pretty clear that the JOI Amazer still performs pretty well despite its “dated” components.

The Amazer does also come with a 75c thermal limit on the 115w boost-capable 90W-rated 2070MW (the standard limit is 87c). Intel says they are doing this to keep the thermal performance of the QC71 balanced. You can actually bypass this limit by using the Asus GPUTweak II tool and the built-in “benchmark mode”, which reverts the limit back to the standard 87c (and forces the fans to full speed). It’s bit of a hassle, but at least the option is there if you need the extra GPU power.

The corresponding thermal performance is thankfully sufficient. The large shared heat-pipe and large dual fan combo deals with heat rather efficiently for a notebook this thin. This does mean that the WASD area can get a bit toasty under load, but not unbearably so. You can see this from the images provided below (courtesy of Notebookcheck):

Top

Bottom

To achieve this however, the fans do work extra hard under load. They are pretty loud at full speed, and are pretty eager to spool up. The fan curves are also not adjustable for now, which is a bummer. That said, there is a setting for lowered minimum fan level in the BIOS. This is pretty useful for near-silent low load use.

The button next to the power button also cycles through 3 preset Profiles to help customise fan/thermal behaviour. This is helpful in lieu to the non-existant fan curve adjustment, but is not a proper replacement for it.

The Amazer‘s is also undervoltable straight out of that same BIOS, which can help to further reduce heat. This is also becoming quite a rare feature these days, especially with Plundervolt. It is even causing some OEMs to literally lock out undervolts altogether.

Next we look at the screen on the Amazer, which is a matte BOE NV156FHM-N4G unit with specs as per below:

  • Colour Gamut: 90% sRGB, 60% Adobe
  • Response Time: 8ms
  • Brightness: 300+ nits average
  • Refresh Rate: 144hz
  • PWM: Not present

While by specs it does look like a decent performer, a few things hold it back. Like how it ONLY runs at 144hz, with no way to switch it to a lower refresh rate. The lack of a Mux switch to enable internal G-Sync is also lamentable. It does have good colour depth and response time, and my own unit came with an acceptable level of backlight bleed.

The provided full-size SD Card reader is nice, though performance-wise it isn’t all that exceptional, maxing out at 80mb/s. Fortunately, that is still better than the GK5CN’s 30mb/s. It’s also the type that leaves half your cards jutting out, unlike some others.

Battery life wise, Intel is quoting an incredible 10 hours from the huge 93 watt/hour battery. From the test data collected (from Notebookcheck), it does get quite close too:

Battery Life

  • Idle (screen on, no apps running) – 9h 19m
  • WiFi Websurfing – 6h
  • Full Load – 1h 28m

The Amazer also comes with a battery charge limiter similar to Clevo’s “Flexi-charge” (both in BIOS and in the Control Center) which can be helpful in extending the lifespan of the battery itself. This is a very welcome addition as not many notebooks even come with this – not even more recent ones from TongFang themselves.

On the minus side, the huge 230W FSP power adapter (here compared to a 150W unit) is literally a sight to behold. Hopefully someone somewhere is actually working on trying to make smaller mobile PSUs, because it defeats the purpose of having something mobile like this.

Also, one strange bit is that this particular unit was listed as having FreeDOS, when in fact it did come with Windows. It was an unactivated copy however, and it is indeed peculiar that JOI themselves did not know this.

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