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Chillblast Fusion Helios 4 review: Full throttle

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £729

This custom-built laptop ticks a lot of boxes, from screen to CPU – just keep the power supply handy


  • Impressive processor makes for fast speeds
  • Solid keyboard


  • Poor battery life

The Fusion Helios 4 is built on a rather bland-looking Clevo chassis – but what’s inside is anything but generic. The Core i5- 8265U processor is a cut above this month’s norm, with Turbo speeds up to 3.9GHz, and it’s supported by a full 16GB of RAM. Thermal throttling kicks in when the workload gets heavy and the Helios 4’s overall benchmark score of 81 is strong, rather than exceptional, but for short, focused bursts of activity it’s a heck of a sprinter. 3D scores are above average for integrated graphics, too.

The final piece of the performance puzzle is a Gigabyte-branded NVMe SSD, with a superb sequential read rate of 1,316MB/sec, and a very creditable 844MB/sec write speed. Uniquely this month, Chillblast has splashed out on a 512GB unit, so you get twice the high-speed storage you’ll find anywhere else in the Labs.

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Chillblast Fusion Helios 4 review: Features

You might expect an off-the-shelf case to come with a mediocre panel, but there’s also good news here. The Helios 4’s 14in display doesn’t support touch, but it pumps out a strident 331cd/m2 with an excellent contrast ratio of 1,334:1. Colour performance is remarkably good too, with 90.6% of the sRGB gamut covered and an excellent average Delta E value of 1.44.

As for connectivity, you get two full-sized USB 3 connectors, and a single USB-C connector at the right, plus a full-sized SD card reader, and both HDMI and mini-DisplayPort outputs. The unused, blocked-off SIM slot cheapens the impression slightly, but it’s tucked away on the left edge so in everyday use you won’t even see it.

Getting work done on the Helios 4 is a pleasure, thanks to a spacious and solid keyboard with a nicely positive action. Sadly, I’m less taken by the touchpad: it’s unnecessarily small, making two-finger vertical scrolling a chore, and the button bar at the bottom has a dead spot in the middle that takes some getting used to.

The one big letdown with this laptop is battery life. It gave me only 4hrs 37mins of video playback, while other systems ran for literally twice as long. That’s a shame because it’s otherwise a pretty portable machine, weighing only 1.39kg.

Chillblast Fusion Helios 4 review: Verdict

In all, the Helios 4 isn’t the most elegant laptop around, but it combines a great screen with more lavish internals than you’d expect. If you’re more interested in function than fashion – and you don’t need an all-day battery – it’s an excellent deal.

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