Neo Elan L5756 High Performance Notebook Review
Neo Manufacturing and Services Inc. (Neo) is a Philippine-based manufacturer of personal computers. The brand was launched in May of 2003 alongside the PLDT CyberMadness event and the Notebooks followed later that year and was able to establish itself as the leading brand of Intel Centrino-based notebooks all the way to 2004. Neo sent us one of their laptops from the Élan series which is their performance line.
The Neo Élan L5756 is one heck of a machine. Look at its specs then look at the price, I bet you’ll ask the salesperson if he has the right price. The L5756 that we received has an Intel i7-2670QM (2.20 GHz, 6mb Cache) Processor, a whopping 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 750 gigs of hard drive space, and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT540M 2GB Graphics card. This might be one the best specs on a sub-40k laptop I’ve seen so far. You might find this too good to be true, but read on.
The Élan L5756 looks sleek with the glossy black finish and the subtle pinstripe. As with all glossy finish, it is a fingerprint magnet. It also doesn’t look cheap at all but with all the plastic, it feels fragile.
The interior has the same design as the lid and features the keyboard, a touch pad, the power button, a set of media buttons and the speakers. The Élan L5756 measures 340 (W) x 240 (D) x 25.1-31.2 (H) mm.
On the left side we can see the power adapter port, an Ethernet port, VGA and HDMI ports and 1 USB 2.0 port. You might notice that the HDMI and USB ports are a little bit depressed, this might cause some trouble for bulky USBs and HDMI adapters. However, my wireless mouse’s receiver sits in there perfectly and is out of harm’s way of accidentally tugging it.
On the right side we can see the microphone and headphone jacks, 2 more USB 2.0 ports and the DVDRW drive.
The screen is bright enough to read without discomfort but in my opinion, for an LED screen, it’s not bright enough. But if you will be using this mostly on a dimly-lit room then it won’t be a problem.
720p and 1080p movies look good on the 14” screen, especially Avatar in 1080P, the landscapes are awesome, the colors pop-out and the contrast is great. I haven’t had an issue with gaming as there’s no ghosting and the screen can definitely cope with what’s happening. The viewing angle is something to consider too. If you’re more than 45 degrees to the right or left, the images start to wash out. It’s more than adequate though, since you’ll mostly be facing directly into the laptop unless you’re watching movies with 4 or more people. I suggest use the HDMI adapter and connect it to a bigger screen.
The speakers are on top of the keyboard and provide good audio when watching movies but for gaming, you’ll need a serious headset because you won’t be hearing where the footsteps are coming from with these speakers.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Now, these two areas of the machine are what I think Neo can really improve on. The keyboard is adequately spaced and uses a chiclet style form. I scored 104 wpm in a typing test, but it was very straining. We found the feedback not that responsive enough and sometimes keys don’t register. There’s also a bit of flexing since most of the chassis is plastic. The touch pad is distinguished by dots which is not smooth and also has input lag. The left and right mouse buttons are a bit stiff too, but it might become easier to press if used long enough. I have played games, even FPS, using a touch pad before but this one is hard to use. Gaming in the Élan L5756’s keyboard is not advisable unless you use separate peripheral accessories.
Now comes the interesting part of the review. This laptop is blazing-fast thanks to the four cores of the Intel i7-2670QM, and with Intel’s HyperThreading, you virtually get 8-cores.
Here’s a screenshot of the Windows Experience Index Rating:
Multi-tasking was very smooth since it has 8gb of DDR3 ram. I can open 30 tabs of graphics heavy websites and the system didn’t slow down at all.
The Élan L5756 is equipped with an Nvidia GT540M graphics card, which is an entry-level graphics card. Sure it has 2gb of memory, but the core speed and shader speeds are not enough to consider this laptop as a gaming laptop. It can run NBA 2k12 at 30FPS with all the settings maxed out though. It can play the latest games too, although you won’t get stunning visuals which you can only get with higher graphics cards you use on your PC.
The battery life is average, so to speak. It has a 6-cell battery which has a real-life performance of about 3 hours if you’re browsing thanks to Nvidia’s Optimus technology which automatically switches to the built-in graphics card in less intensive activities. If you’re gaming however and the dedicated graphics card kicks in, I was able to game for 45 minutes till it started nagging me to find another power source.
The Neo Élan L5756 is one powerful machine for the price you’re paying it for. The non-OS version can be bought for just Php35,999, while you have to add Php5,000 more to get Windows 7 Home Premium with it.
The performance is top-notch but we found the built quality to be somewhat lacking, something Neo definitely needs to address. It can play 720p and 1080p movies without fuzz and you can even hook it up to your large screen via HDMI. You can play games on it too, not hardcore ones though unless you’re fine with playing with the lowest settings most of the time. If you’re on a tight budget and looking for a quad-core i7 laptop with big storage then the Élan L5756 is for you. It is more of a multimedia powerhouse than a gaming laptop that can replace your aging desktop by hooking up your own monitor, keyboard and mouse.
|- Powerful processor
– Entry-level discrete graphics card
– 8GB memory
– 750GB of Hard drive space
– Crazy affordable for its specs
|- Screen is not bright enough
– Lack of USB 3.0 port
– Build quality needs improvement
– Short battery life
|Neo Élan L5756 Specs:|
|Intel Core i7-2670QM, 2.20GHz, 6MB Cache|
|8GB DDR3 RAM|
|14" LED Display (1366×768)|
|NVIDIA GT 540M 2GB VRAM|
|WLAN: 802.11 b/g/n|
|LAN: Gigabit 10/100/1000 Mbps|
|3 port x USB 2.0|
|1.3 MP Webcam|
|6-cell Li-ion battery|
|SRP: Php35,999 (Linux OS), Php40,999 (Windows Home 7 Premium)|