Schenker XMG A102 review
11.6 in 1,366x768 display, 1.7kg, 2.6GHz Intel Core i5-3320M, 4.00GB RAM, 120GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
The Schenker brand might be new to the UK, but it has been going strong in Germany for many years. The bespoke laptop manufacturer’s first UK effort is the diminutive XMG A102, an 11.6in ultra-portable machine for anyone interested in gaming when on the move.
Amazingly, Schenker has managed to squeeze an Nvidia GeForce GT 650M inside the tiny chassis – it has 2GB of dedicated video memory and is easily powerful enough to play the latest games at 720p. Our Dirt 3 test proved no challenge, where it achieved a very impressive 77.3fps.
We could even increase the detail settings up to their maximum levels and still get a silky smooth frame rate. Crysis 2, currently our most demanding graphics test, produced frame rates in the mid-twenties, so you’ll still need to do a bit of tweaking for some titles, but there shouldn’t be many that will struggle to play on this.
Desktop performance is equally impressive, thanks to the Intel processor. The Core i5-3320M is a standard mobile chip, as opposed to a low-voltage model usually found in Ultrabooks, so it runs at a hefty 2.6GHz and can even Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz. Paired with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB Crucial SSD, it makes for impressive performance from a machine barely any larger than a Netbook. It achieved 63 overall in our multimedia benchmarks, which is around 20 per cent faster than the average Ultrabook. It also loads Windows in under 20 seconds, so you won’t have to wait long to start work or boot up a game.
With Nvidia’s Optimus graphics switching technology on board, the dedicated graphics card can power down in favour of the integrated GPU to save battery power. Even so, the XMG A102 could only manage three and a half hours away from the mains in our light use test – you’ll still want to keep the power adaptor close by for all-day working.
Schenker doesn’t build its own notebook cases – instead, it has opted for an off-the-shelf Clevo design. It’s incredibly compact, although the 31mm thickness excludes it from being classified as an Ultrabook. There’s still plenty of room for connectivity though, with three USB ports, HDMI and VGA video, a multi-format card reader, Ethernet and two 3.5mm audio jacks. Two of the USB ports support the faster USB3 standard, and there’s both 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on board.