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Aftershock APEX-15 Review: A Beast in Performance for Creatives & Gamers

As a creative and a professional video editor, the search for the best machine to complement my field of work has always been a dilemma: with a large variety of electronic products offered on the mass market today, how many of them can actually meet the demands of running multiple creative software simultaneously and seamlessly – all without breaking the bank?

Apex-15 Review: Cover

For like-minded individuals in my field of profession – or one that is similar – gaming laptops would probably not be an immediate choice. However, Aftershock’s APEX-15 notebook is one to consider when it comes to getting creative work done with its sleek form factor and uncompromised high technical specifications. Aftershock is also a popular choice among their customers for its custom boutique PC experience that features powerful tech components, and most of its notebooks and PCs come with a full suite of top-notch features that are customised and hand-crafted to their customers’ exact needs.

I had a first-hand experience working with Aftershock in creating a laptop to fit my needs as a creative, and here’s my thoughts on the Aftershock APEX-15 notebook after a month.

Design

Apex-15 Review: Design Cover

I received my APEX-15 with a complimentary customised spray-painted cover from Aftershock. All painted systems are done by Aftershock’s dedicated and professional painter, and the premium paints and clear coats used on our customised Aftershock laptops are also the same materials found on supercars!

It was nice to be able to customise my laptop and make it stylish and personalised, which is something I believe everyone would definitely appreciate. It should be noted that the material used for the cover of the APEX-15 is a fingerprint magnet. However, there is nothing a quick swipe with a carbon cloth can’t solve.

Apex-15 Review: Keyboard

The mechanical keyboard present on this laptop is a treat to gamers and video editors alike, as it makes a huge difference when hotkeys, macros, or shortcuts are pressed quickly. The APEX-15 comes default with mechanical blue switches, which gives off an audible and tactile click on every keystroke. Customers are also given the option to switch out the default blue switches to brown switches as well, if they prefer a more silent user experience, while still enjoying the tactile feedback. The RGB lighting on the keyboard adds a nice touch by illuminating the keys with style.

Apex-15 Review: Keyboard Num Pad

The only thing that I had to get used to is the placement of the keyboard. To make room for the number pad on the right side of the laptop, the keyboard is shifted slightly to the left, which took me a few days getting used to. Prior to that, I found myself mistakenly pressing the number lock button whenever I intended to use the backspace instead. 

Another great feature about this laptop is that it has most of the important ports for productivity, so you do not have to lug around many dongles for specific ports. This includes a built-in SD Card Reader, Gigabit Ethernet, USB-C, two USB 3.0, HDMI 2.0, two Mini DisplayPort, and a separate headphone and microphone jack.

Performance

Apex-15 Review: Design

With my current setup, the APEX-15 laptop performed flawlessly for video editing purposes. I used this laptop to work on a couple of projects, and I found no stutter while scrubbing through my videos in Adobe Premiere Pro, thanks to the high-speed Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD rocking read speeds at up to 2,500MB. During exports, the high rendering load posed no challenge to the APEX-15 as the speeds are comparable to my desktop editing rig.   

One would usually expect some degree of thermal throttling when CPU-intensive tasks are performed. Surprisingly for the APEX-15, I was not able to see any dip in performance when the CPU was under immense load. As expected of a premium gaming laptop, thermals were a design consideration for the APEX-15 to accommodate for the horsepower from the Intel® Core™ i7-8750H Processor and GTX1060 graphics card.

The laptop’s dual fan cooling system, despite being quite loud, was able to keep the thermals under control. The CPU did not thermal throttle at all too. There is an option to customise the fan speeds to your liking, and also a fan boost button to quickly ramp up the fans even higher albeit at the expense of increased noise from the fans, which might not be appropriate for certain social or working situations.

Having a GTX1060 graphics card and 32GB of RAM on the APEX-15 in a slim form factor is a treat when it comes to using Warp Stabilizer on Premier Pro or when you would need to work on After Effects, which requires a blazing-fast graphics card and large amounts of RAM.

Apex-15 Review: Design Cover
Video editing is a breeze with Aftershock APEX-15’s in-built SSD.

As a professional creative, the display screen of a laptop is of utmost importance to me, especially when your job involves having to look at the colour fidelity and crispness of an image for long hours. Here, the IPS panel on the APEX-15 impressed, especially when it was colour calibrated right out of the packaging, making little to no difference in quality when compared to my calibrated Spyder5 desktop monitors. The ultra-thin bezels and image quality made working on the APEX-15 much more enjoyable, especially since I am looking at the screen for prolonged periods. While the higher screen refresh rate of 144Hz did not seem apparent to me for my creative work uses, it made a world of difference when it comes to firing up Monster Hunter World during my after-hours.

Final Verdict

Apex-15 Review: Final Verdict

As a creative professional that is constantly on the move, the APEX-15 is a laptop that gets my job done. It is almost as comparable and competent as a desktop, except that you can bring your APEX-15 around and use it for 4 to 5 hours on full charge. At just 1.95kg in weight, the APEX-15 packs a punch in its portable form factor, making it an excellent choice for gamers, as well as creative professionals who require the horsepower in their daily work.

Check out our 99-sec video review here:


Aftershock is participating in this year’s SITEX show, and is offering up to S$400 of free upgrades! From now till 25 November 2018, visit their booth at Singapore EXPO Hall 6 (Booth B6B01) and try your hands on their award-winning line of custom gaming notebooks and PC, including the APEX-15 laptop.

The Aftershock APEX-15 laptop starts at S$2,130 (Base Spec). For more information, visit the official website at https://dnm.fyi/APEX15.

Photos by Arthur Keng of the DANAMIC team.

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Arthur Keng

Passionate about storytelling and creating stuff, Art spends his free time daydreaming or watching films, tv commercials, and music videos. He sometimes "Switches" on his Nintendo too, if he has any free time at all. He tends to beat boxes while he commutes, or he will take it out on a drum kit or an electric guitar. He has also edited about 200 episodes of a TV series called "Tanglin".

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