[Watch] ILLEGEAR ONYX G laptop & FLOW external cooler review

[Watch] ILLEGEAR ONYX G laptop & FLOW external cooler review

Homegrown customised laptop and PC brand, ILLEGEAR, carries a variety of solutions for those looking for high performance gaming (and working) experiences.

Did you know: ILLEGEAR is a Malaysian brand known for its customisable laptops. You can read all about its story here.

Their latest lineup of products includes the FLOW external water-cooling system as well as the ONYX G gaming laptop, both of which we were able to try out.

With a sleek anodised aluminium body, ONYX G is a gaming laptop that comes with a built-in mechanical keyboard.

Our ONYX G was equipped with the 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H processor and a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070Ti graphics card. These can be customised based on your preferences.

In any case, the ONYX G was designed to work in tandem with ILLEGEAR’s external cooler, FLOW.

Consisting of a radiator, a built-in pump, a coolant reservoir, and a 12-volt fan, FLOW also comes with RGB lights for that classic gamer feel.

Here are some pros and cons about this gaming setup.

Pro #1: It only needs a minimal setup time

Based on our experience, we only needed five minutes or so to set up the cooler with the gaming laptop.

It’s a straightforward process of plugging in the pipe and wire, then filling around 300ml of distilled water into the water tank. With that, you’re all set to start gaming.

Pro #2: It can be controlled conveniently

Using ILLEGEAR’s Control Centre software, FLOW can be easily connected via Bluetooth. On this software, you can also choose between three fan modes—Balanced, Quiet, and Quieter.

Once your laptop is paired with FLOW, the cooler will change its fan curve profile to adapt to your system.

As mentioned, FLOW also features RGB lights. This can be easily controlled through the Control Centre software.

Pro #3: It produces significant results

To test whether FLOW actually improves ONYX G’s GPU performance, we booted up some 3D scenes and let the laptop run. Then, we used 3DMark to measure the GPU score.

This experiment clearly showed that the cooler does positively correlate with the laptop’s performance.

We also learnt that FLOW is capable of cooling more than 20% of the processor’s temperature. Without the external cooler, ONYX G’s temperature was going above 80°C while gaming.

But thanks to the help of FLOW, the temperature went down to around 50°C.

Pro #4: It’s rather low profile and quiet

When gaming without the external cooler, ONYX G’s built-in fan grew to be quite loud. While it isn’t terribly noisy, it might come as a disturbance to those who want a softer-sounding setup.

After connecting the laptop to FLOW, though, the fan was audibly quieter. 

Con #1: Its mobility isn’t great

Since FLOW uses the laptop’s charger to power itself, this means the laptop must always be plugged in if you want to use the cooler.

This can be problematic as overcharging batteries can damage their health over time.

On top of this, FLOW’s pipe is short at 58 cm. Due to this, the external cooler must be sitting very close to your laptop, resulting in a tighter gaming area.

Con #2: It can make a mess

When disconnecting the cooler’s water pipe from the ONYX G, we realised that the water would leak out as there isn’t a proper cover for it.

Whenever we had to move or store the external cooler, we had to unplug the pipe and empty the water tank, which can be a little troublesome. This could be a hassle for those who intend to travel a lot with the portable external cooler.

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To improve the performance of ILLEGEAR’s ONYX G, which has a starting price of RM8,999, you can add on FLOW for RM599.

While it has its shortcomings, this compact setup by ILLEGEAR can definitely be ideal for hardcore gamers on the go, or just about anyone who needs a portable and highly efficient laptop/cooler combo.

To see ILLEGEAR’s FLOW and ONYX G in action, check out the video below:

  • Learn more about ILLEGEAR here.
  • Read other tech reviews we’ve written here.

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