“Nexstgo’s business laptop comes with a sturdy build”

Hong Kong-based tech startup Nextsgo is not a well-known brand on the international stage just yet, but holds a very ambitious company philosophy – Do What the Giants Can’t. The company is placing its bets on its new PRIMUS NX101 business laptop, which was recently launched in India, to create a mark for itself . Does the PRIMUS NX101 have what it takes to be relevant in the business laptops segment? Read our review to find out.

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Design and display

The PRIMUS NX101 is a neatly put together product. The laptop has been primarily constructed out of durable magnesium alloy and the edges are sharp and clean. The brand claims that the NX101 has passed 72 hardware tests, including 12 US military-grade tests that assess a machine’s performance in case of extreme weather or hard external impact. Additionally, the spill-resistant keyboard is supposedly capable of withstanding 350 ml of liquid for four seconds.

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Although we did not check the laptop for water-resistance, it is safe to say that for a business laptop, this can prove to be very useful ifeature. Interestingly, despite being sturdy, the laptop feels extremely light and is easy to carry around in a backpack. We still think that the overall size cannot be described as particularly compact, but the NX101 never comes across as a bulky portable.

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The lid of the laptop flaunts the ‘N’ logo from the brand and the metallic grey colour gives the laptop a professional feel. The display is highlighted by thick bezels on all sides, which can be slightly off-putting for those who have been using a slim-bezel display. 

nexstgo_nx101_review1The power key for the laptop is located on the top right, beside the keyboard. And right above the keys, you will find the top-firing speakers powered by Dolby Audio Premium technology. 

Impressively, the NX101 comes with a lay-flat display-hinge. This means exactly as the name suggests, you can swivel the display up to 180-degrees. Although it is hard to describe the exact use case scenarios where this feature is particularly helpful, we really enjoyed having this flexibility. Considering that the build quality of the hinge, just like the laptop itself, is top-notch, you can expect that there won’t be any issues adjusting the laptop’s screen even in long term use.

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On the connectivity front, the left of the laptop features a charging port, an Ethernet port, USB type A 3.0 port (with charging), an HDMI port, and a USB Type C port. On the right side, you will find a 3.5mm headphone jack, an SD card reader, and a USB type A 3.0 port (without charging).

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Let’s talk about the display now. The IPS panel on the NX101 comes with 14-inch screen size, matte finish, and full HD resolution. While we’d have preferred a higher resolution display, we were never bothered by the display resolution offered by the NX101 in the duration of our review. If you are a creative professional, you might want a laptop with higher display resolution, but for users who don’t have to edit pictures or videos, Nexstgo’s offering should suffice. The text and the pictures on the display come across as crisp. Even the peak brightness levels are quite decent.

However, we should point out that the colours do look rather washed out. To be fair, this is not a very jarring issue and unless you are extremely nit-picky about your display preferences, you should not have a problem with the NX101.

Keyboard, fingerprint sensor, and trackpad

The keys are well spaced out and the key travel is satisfactory. We found that writing long articles or stories on the NX101 was a comfortable experience. The fingerprint sensor, which is a great inclusion, is present on the right side below the keyboard.

nexstgo_nx101_review6The fingerprint sensor allows for a convenient unlocking mechanism. Sadly, the biometric sensor only unlocks the laptop once it is woken up by the power key first. We would have preferred if the fingerprint sensor was embedded in the power key itself as having the sensor separately adds another step in the unlocking process.

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Coming to one of the crucial aspects for any laptop, we found the trackpad on the NX101 to be appropriately sized. There are two clickable buttons beneath the trackpad and there is enough resting space for palms on either side of the trackpad too.

Performance and software

Laptops meant for business personnel are expected to feature powerful internals to cater to professional needs. We were glad to find out that the NX01 shines on this front. To get the specifications out of the way, the top variant of the laptop (the unit we’re reviewing here) is powered by Intel 8th-generation Core i7 8550U processor coupled with 16GB of RAM. Dual-channel capability allows for up to 32GB of RAM, which should be enough for even the most demanding tasks.

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The laptop comes with integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics that can handle less demanding tasks but can’t be expected to run graphics-intensive games. Our review unit came with 512GB SSD storage but there is another variant of the laptop with 256GB SSD as well.

Having talked about the specs sheet, let’s dive into the real-world performance. In daily use, we found that the NX101 did not face any problem dealing with day-to-day tasks. Even if we kept more than 40 tabs open in Chrome for hours, while doing image editing and other tasks on the side, the laptop worked like a charm. As the portable runs Windows 10 Pro, you get the additional benefits like BitLocker, Hyper-V feature, and Remote Desktop, over the Home edition.

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If we talk about the benchmarks, we tested the NX101 using PCMark 10,  Cinebench R15, and CrystalDiskMark to get a better idea of the performance offered by the hardware. On the PCMark 10, the NX101 managed to score 3,237, which is decent but not a very impressive number.

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On Cinebench R15, the laptop averaged at 43.18 fps on OpenGL. However, the laptop’s SSD performed really well on CrystalDiskMark and got average read speeds of 561.9mbps and average write speed of 506.6mbps.

Webcam and multimedia

Nexstgo has not made compromises on any front and if you are a business professional who has to take part in video-conferencing sessions, you’d be glad to know that the NX101 packs an integrated camera that can record videos in up to 1080p screen resolution. The laptop supports Windows Hello face authentication, which essentially utilises a camera sensor specifically configured for near infrared (IR) imaging to authenticate and unlock Windows devices. There is no physical shutter, like the one we have seen with some of the new laptops from Lenovo’s ThinkPad series, so you will have to use a tape to cover the webcam (just like Mark Zuckerberg does) if you are concerned about your webcam being hacked.

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The quality of the images and the videos taken from the webcam are decent at best. But as we mentioned earlier, the primary function webcam in business laptops is video conferencing and in that department, you won’t face any major issues in terms of picture quality.

nexstgo_nx101_review4We briefly touched upon the loudspeaker in the design segment but now, let’s discuss its performance. From business laptops, we don’t usually expect great speaker performance, but Nexstgo took us by a big surprise here. The NX101 delivers excellent audio performance and both the sound quality and maximum volume levels are downright impressive. We can safely say that if you don’t have external speakers lying around, you won’t miss them with the NX101 while watching movies or listening to songs.

Battery

Nexstgo claims that the NX101 provides a battery backup of around 12 hours on a single charge but our experience was slightly different. Despite charging the laptop to full capacity in morning, we had to rush for the charger by evening, which is not the ideal case under normal usage cases.

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Further, in the BatteryEaterPro benchmark test, the laptop lasted for around 2 hours and 50 minutes. These are not impressive numbers, especially considering that NX101 is not a gaming laptop and does not have to deal with a battery hungry dedicated GPU.

Verdict

Nexstgo NX101 is a laptop that is deceptively powerful and more importantly, gets all kinds of work done. Apart from delivering great performance and ticking almost all boxes for professional needs, the portable even packs a decent display and impressive audio quality to take care of multimedia needs. However, it is worth considering that the battery life delivered by the laptop, except when in standby mode, was underwhelming. If you can look past this aspect, the NX101 is a strong product that is hard to ignore. Also, it can survive an occasional fall or ten. The pricing for the NX101 starts from Rs 80,990 and goes up to Rs 109,990 for the highest end variant in India. In this price category, the business laptop from Nexstgo will be competing against the likes of theDell XPS 13 and ZenBook 13 (review).

Editor’s rating: 4 / 5 

Pros: 

  • Sturdy build quality
  • Good performer
  • Great loudspeaker performance

Cons:

  • Steep price 
  • Battery life could have been better 

Photos by Raj Rout

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