Price Analysis And Conclusion
The Sager NP6852 marks the second Clevo-based laptop to land in our labs, and we hope to see more. Sager aims at the budget-oriented gaming laptop market, and it hits the target in terms of performance, especially when compared to the lower-priced Dell Inspiron 15 7000.
The Intel Core i7-7700HQ provides a noteworthy performance increase over the i5-7300HQ in several benchmarks, particularly in multi-core performance (Cinebench). Even in the GPU-heavy, gaming-oriented 3DMark tests, the NP6852's effort is valiant, particularly in the Physics benchmarks. This is especially useful in gaming titles that have robust physics engines.
The Sager NP6852 only truly struggles when it comes to gaming, as you would expect from the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU. Easy-to-render titles such as Alien: Isolation and Bioshock Infinite pose no threat to the i7-7700HQ and GTX 1050 Ti combo. However, games with punishing graphical settings, such asAshes of the Singularity and Rise of the Tomb Raider are problematic for the relatively underpowered GPU; you’ll be dialing back your setting knobs if you want to pass the 60 FPS threshold. Still, the i7-7700HQ makes all the difference in a handful of games, including GRID Autosport, where the i7 pulls the NP6852 from sub-60 FPS to over 70 FPS.
Synthetic and gaming performance fall exactly where we'd expect, so other determining factors weigh in. As a portable system, we expect decent battery life, and the Sager delivers with just shy of two hours. Longevity isn’t as extensive as the Dell, but it should be enough time to pwn some n00bs and slay the odd horde of monsters here or there.
Build quality, however, isn’t quite up to par, even for a laptop in this price range. The plastic construction doesn’t pick up nasty smudges as easily as the NP8152’s elegant brushed metal finish. However, the chassis is flimsy, which is non-conducive to gaming while on the go. Major weak points are the lid where the monitor is embedded and the area surrounding the keyboard and trackpad.
The NP6852’s display has its ups and its downs. For one, the RGB levels are well balanced and the grayscale errors are unnoticeable. In fact, the laptop has most balanced RGB levels and lowest grayscale DeltaE out of all of the laptops we’ve tested so far. On the other hand, the contrast is plagued with high black luminance, which spoils the adequately bright white luminance and flattens the image. Additionally, the color average error is easily noticeable.
Finally, a critical factor to consider when buying a gaming laptop is its thermal performance. Components like CPUs and GPUs produce a lot of heat, and this is exacerbated when they are crammed into a thinly-packed system. We previously found issue with the NP8165’s CPU temperatures, which broke 100°C. Similarly, the NP6852’s GPU rose above 100°C, which is unacceptable. While Sager isn’t the primary culprit in this matter, it (and other Clevo resellers) must be wary of poor cooling solutions from the original manufacturer.
The Sager NP6852 comes in at $1,300, which is $300 less than the company’s GTX 1060 offering. Both have the same configuration, save for the GPU, but the NP8156 has much better construction. Alternatively, the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 is a full $500 cheaper. The Sager laptop's Core-i7 CPU boosts performance in some games and applications, but in other games the benefit is negligible. The construction and cooling of the Dell laptop is also significantly better.
These are the trade-offs you'll find at such aggressive price points, and it's difficult for us to give the nod to the NP6852 with some of these disparities in mind. Better construction and cooling might justify this jump in price; conversely, the Dell laptop's price makes it that much more compelling, but it's still vastly underpowered and will demand quality compromises in most games.
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