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PC Specialist Genesis V review

Richard Easton
31 Aug 2014
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
389

The PC Specialist Genesis V is a reasonably light and cheap 15.6in laptop, but we'd like to see better performance

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Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 2.16GHz Intel Pentium N3530, RAM: 8GB, Size: 374x258x24.7mm, Weight: 2.1kg, Screen size: 15.6in, Screen resolution: 1,366x768, Graphics adaptor: Intel HD Graphics, Total storage: 120GB SSD

The PC Specialist Genesis V looks good for a laptop that doesn’t cost very much. It has a very no-fuss design that some might consider a tad boring but we thought looked classy with its lack of branding or embellishments on the chassis. It uses a Clevo W950TU case, which is made from grey plastic with a brushed steel effect providing some texture to the matt surface. With the lid shut it has a very flat profile, measuring 24.7mm at its thickest point. The 15.6in laptop weighs 2.1kg, which is lighter than some of its rivals.

You get a decent array of connectivity options as well, including three USB2 ports and a single USB3 port, which should be plenty, and you can use either VGA or HDMI to connect to an external display or projector. Rather than a single headset jack as you commonly see on newer laptops, there are two separate 3.5mm connections for headphones and a microphone. Finally, there’s a Gigabit Ethernet port for networking. On the front of the Genesis V you’ll find a multi-card reader below the front lip, meaning you might miss it unless you look for it.

The Genesis V has a generously sized keyboard that we found had very little flex. There’s also a full-size numeric keypad where we have often seen skinny keys used on other laptops that can prove difficult to use. In use, the keys were slightly too spongy and we found ourselves missing keys too frequently. The Spacebar could have also done with being slightly larger at the expense of reducing the width of the right Ctrl key that is needlessly wide.

The touchpad was a little too small for our tastes. The Genesis V didn’t prove fiddly enough for us to immediately reach for a USB mouse but it was far from the best touchpad we’ve used. There are dedicated mouse buttons, which some people prefer over integrated. We found these worked well and were suitably responsive. The matt material was smooth enough for us to glide our fingers across without any hitches.

Disappointingly, the Genesis V is an average performer. It is equipped with a quad-core Intel Pentium C3530 running at 2.16GHz combined with 8GB of RAM. When put through its paces using our 2D application benchmarks it managed an overall score of 33 and was slightly below what we have seen from this processor in other laptops.

The Genesis V uses a Kingston SSD with 120GB of storage capacity. We’re usually pleased to see an SSD as it often means increased performance and general responsiveness when it comes to Windows bootup and shutdown speeds. The Kingston drive used isn’t the fastest when it comes to read/write speed and it didn’t make a big difference to overall performance.

In this instance we would have preferred a traditional hard disk that provided more storage space. As it stands you’ll likely fill 120GB very quickly with applications and media; you can buy the laptop with a larger SSD or a hard disk and either of these options, budget permitting, would be a good choice.

The Genesis V is very much aimed towards the home or office user, so gaming is also out of the question due to the poor performance of the integrated graphics. We saw only 13.9fps in Dirt Showdown when playing at 1,280x720 resolution, 4x anti-aliasing and High graphics.

The Genesis V performed reasonably well in our light-use battery benchmark, managing to last just shy of 5 hours. The Genesis V will get you through a decent amount of the day before you’re in need of a power outlet.

The 15.6in display leaves a lot to be desired. It uses a panel with a 1,366x768 resolution that appeared grainy. Even in our subjective tests we could immediately see the display was lacking in contrast, with images appearing washed out and lacking any real vibrancy and colours took on a muted quality.

This was confirmed in our calibration tests that revealed the Genesis V had a contrast ratio of just 249:1, which is poor. Black levels were also measured at 0.73cd/m2, which is below average for a laptop at this price. The Genesis V was about to display 59.2 per cent of the Adobe sRGB colour gamut, which is at least about what we would expect but overall the display is disappointing.

The built-in speakers were average and not particularly loud. They weren’t as tinny or harsh sounding as some laptops but there wasn’t any real bass presence. Maximum volume wasn’t the loudest, either.

Overall, the Genesis V produced average performance and the small SSD leaves you with little storage space. Build quality is pretty good, although we would rather spend a little more to get the better Dell Inspiron 15 5000. 

Core specs
ProcessorQuad-core 2.16GHz Intel Pentium N3530
RAM8GB
Memory slots (free)2 (1)
Max memory8GB
Size374x258x24.7mm
Weight2.1kg
SoundIntel 2-Channel HD Audio (3.5mm microphone, headphone port)
Pointing deviceTouchpad
Display
Screen size15.6in
Screen resolution1,366x768
Touchscreen?No
Graphics adaptorIntel HD Graphics
Graphics outputsVGA, HDMI
Graphics memoryIntegrated
Storage
Total storage120GB SSD
Optical drive typeNone
Ports and expansion
USB ports1x USB3, 3x USB2
BluetoothYes
NetworkingGigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Memory card readerSDHC, SD, MS, MS Pro
Other portsNone
Miscellaneous
Operating systemWindows 8.1
Operating system restore optionWindows disc
Buying information
Parts and labour warrantyThree-year (one-month collect & return, one-year parts. three-year labour)
Price inc VAT£389
Detailswww.pcspecialist.co.uk
Supplierwww.pcspecialist.co.uk
Part numberGenesis V

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