At CES 2023 in Las Vegas, XMG has unveiled two new notebooks in detail. The XMG NEO 16 and NEO 17 rely on Intel’s Core i9-13900HX and NVIDIA graphics cards up to GeForce RTX 4090 with fully maxed-out power limits. They are of course compatible with the XMG OASIS external laptop water cooling system.
XMG NEO 16 and NEO 17 (E23) unveiled
XMG already officially presented its new notebook lineup for 2023 a few days ago, but the manufacturer still left us with no concrete details. This has now been made up for in the case of the high-end gaming notebooks XMG NEO 16 and NEO 17 (E23).
From a technical point of view, the laptops only differ from each other to a limited extent, whereby the XMG NEO 16 (E23) marks the first 16.0-inch model of the series. On the CPU side, both the NEO 16 and NEO 17 use Intel’s Core i9-13900HX with 24 cores (8 P-cores, 16 E-cores), 32 threads and 36 MB cache. Thus, the notebooks should score 30,331 (NEO 16) and 30,484 (NEO 17) points in the multi-core test of CineBench R23.
For the graphics card, the laptops rely on current cards from the NVIDIA GeForce RTX-4000 series and that in each case with the maximum possible power limits. This applies to both the RTX 4090 and 4080 with a maximum graphics power of up to 175, as well as the RTX 4070 and 4060 with up to 140 watts.
Effective air cooling and optional water cooling
Already the air cooling of the XMG NEO 16 and NEO 17 notebooks turns out to be extremely effective. The continuously maintained CPU package power of the Core i9-13900HX is around 100 (NEO 16) and 125 watts (NEO 17) at full load through CineBench R23. And that without any temperature-related throttling.
“Even the GeForce RTX 4090 can use the full 175 watts in the 3DMark Time Spy stress test without a performance drop,” the manufacturer promises.
Compared to the XMG NEO (E22), the air cooling has been noticeably improved once again. Both the NEO 16 and NEO 17 use a composite system with five heat pipes, separate heatsinks on all four air outlets, two large fans with low-frequency, unobtrusive sound characteristics and liquid metal (Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut) to keep the CPU and GPU in check.
There is also the option to add additional cooling to the NEO notebooks using the XMG OASIS external laptop water cooling system, renewed in October 2022 to only the second revision. This should not only improve performance, but also allow quieter operation under full load.
The OASIS itself will receive additional improvements for the new laptop generation, such as a magnetic docking mechanism to the laptops’ water ports. The manufacturer plans to reveal details on this shortly.
Fast DDR5 RAM and lots of memory
To avoid bottle neck, XMG NEO 16 and NEO 17 rely on fast DDR5 RAM, which is allowed to grow up to 64 GB in two SO-DIMM slots. Two M.2 slots for fast PCI Express 4.0 SSDs also provide enough storage space.
For the RAM, XMG offers dedicated tuning options to allow savvy users to get the most out of the clock frequencies and timings. Also planned for the NEO 16 and NEO 17 are specially optimized, on-demand configurable DDR5-6400 overclocking modules with CL40 latency – more details on this are also to follow soon.
Fast 16:10 displays and broad connectivity
Both NEO gaming notebooks rely on IPS panels in 16:10 format, which resolve with 2,560 x 1,600 pixels and achieve a refresh rate of 240 hertz. There are of course differences in size, as the NEO 16 is 16.0 inches, while the NEO 17 is 17.0 inches. Brightness and sRGB color space coverage are 380 cd/m2 and 99 percent (NEO 17) and 350 cd/m2 and over 95 percent (NEO 16).
On the other hand, there are no differences in the wide range of connections. The integrated DisplayPort stream of the Thunderbolt 4 port is again directly connected to the NVIDIA dGPU in the NEO 16 and NEO 17 with Intel CPUs from the 13th Core generation and thus fully compatible with current VR headsets.
In addition, there is HDMI 2.1, 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet, three USB-A 3.2 ports, a card reader for full-size SD cards and separate ports for microphone and headphones. Wirelessly, the gaming notebooks communicate in the fast Wi-Fi 6E standard.
Generous battery, choice in operation
Both notebooks weigh less than three kilograms. Specifically, the manufacturer speaks of dimensions of 358.44 x 266.8 x 26.1 mm and 2.5 kg in the case of the XMG NEO 16 and 381.7 x 272.8 x 27 mm and 2.8 kg for the NEO 17.
The display lid is made of aluminum in the case of the 16-inch device, and this also applies to the bottom shell in the case of the 17-inch laptop. Other differences concern the design of the RGB lighting on the rear air vents: The NEO 17 uses RGB strips, while the NEO 16 has the LEDs integrated into the vents on the case.
The battery of both notebooks holds a whopping 99 watt-hours, and they are powered by a 330 watt (with RTX 4090 and 4080) or 280 watt power supply (with RTX 4070 and 4060), whereby the larger power supply is said to have become about 20 percent lighter than last year’s variant.
In addition to a 150 x 95 (NEO 17) or 114.5 x 70 mm glass touchpad (NEO 16), the E23 model generation offers a choice of two fundamentally different keyboard options for the first time. The high-end version still relies on a mechanical keyboard with very flat, precise CHERRY MX Ultra Low Profile Tactile switches and RGB single key illumination.
However, there is also an option for a silent keyboard with membrane technology and four-zone RGB lighting on request. N-key rollover, anti-ghosting and a dedicated number pad, as well as large arrow keys are offered by both keyboards.
Prices and Availability
The two gaming notebooks XMG NEO 16 (E23) and NEO 17 (E23) are of course, as always, freely configurable on bestware.com. In the basic configuration, they rely on Intel’s Core i9-13900HX, a GeForce RTX 4060, 16 (2×8) GB DDR5-4800 RAM, a 500 GB Samsung 980 SSD, a 240 Hz fast WQXGA IPS display and a silent keyboard with membrane technology.
The price starts at an RRP of 2,199 Euros for the NEO 16 and 2,249 Euros for the NEO 17.
A variety of upgrades are possible for an additional charge, including a GeForce RTX 4070 (375 euro), RTX 4080 (1,050 euro), RTX 4090 (1,687 euro) or a mechanical keyboard with CHERRY MX ULP Tactile switches (125 euro). A faster DDR5-5600 as well as DDR5-6400 RAM is also to be offered “as soon as it is in stock in sufficient quantities”.
Pre-orders for the gaming notebooks will be available starting February 01 with RTX 4090 or RTX 4080, and February 14 with RTX 4070 and 4060. The delivery will then take place one week later, on February 08 and February 22, respectively.