So I got my own PCSpecialist Fusion Pro IV (AKA Mechrevo Code 01) delivered a couple of days ago and I thought I would share some thoughts that I have had. I can be really picky about small details, so sorry for the wall of text.
TLDR: I love this laptop.
Looks amazing in black
Current Configuration: 4800H, 1x8GB 2666MHz, 128GB SSD, purchased without Windows, total was just shy of £700.
I'm currently waiting on deliveries for RAM and a larger SSD, so all thoughts and impressions below are all using the stock RAM and SSD config. Build Quality
Despite how thin it is, it feels really solid. I cannot overstate how shockingly thin and light it is for the amount of power this thing contains. It doesn't have that dense feeling you get with more premium laptops though.
I did check to see if the fan would hit the vent holes and it requires a lot of force to have the fan touch the casing. However, the cover around the battery is easily flexed. I will probably stick something between the battery and the case when I open it up to prevent it flexing so much. Display
I got a Sharp panel (Sharp LQ156M1JW01), same as the one mentioned in https://www.notion.so/Mechrevo-Code-01-TongFang-PF5NU1G-Information-8009025fdefc40118ab0ea973e7e0988
. It gets noticeably brighter than my T460 Thinkpad.
There is some backlight bleed, but not a huge amount. It is most visible to me in a pitch black room on the GRUB screen because the screen is on max brightness and the displayed image is meant to be black. It is worst in the bottom corners, but not visible in normal use. It looks a lot better in person! See how over exposed the cursor is.
The drivers in both Windows and Ubuntu report that it actually supports FreeSync with a range between 48-60. I didn't test it in Windows, but enabling it in Ubuntu caused system freezes when opening a full screen application. I wouldn't mind someone telling me how to test it in Windows, and/or help me troubleshoot it in Ubuntu. Speakers
Rather underwhelming. They aren't that loud and they distort at higher levels. Still better than my T460 though, so I'll take this as a win. Keyboard
The layout is great. I really appreciate the full size arrow keys and the dedicated Home/PageUp/PageDown/End keys (and in an arrangement that makes most sense to me).
The keyboard visually looked uneven around the 7 key in pictures, and even looking at it now it is still appears to be uneven. However, I cannot tell by my fingers alone and I do not think it has had any impact on my typing experience.
The deck itself has very little flex, only flexing when I put an unreasonable amount of pressure on it. The key stabilisation is great. I can press the corner of the spacebar and the whole key will uniformly go down.
FN+F2 = Disable the Windows/Super key. Took me a while to work out this one
Fn+F3 = Display mode (duplicate/extended/etc). Works in Windows, doesn't seem to work in Ubuntu
Fn+F4 = Toggle Airplane mode.
Fn+F5 does nothing without the software I think. Does nothing in Ubuntu.
There is an indicator light for CapsLock, but it is underneath the key and there is no transparent part of the key to let the light shine through. It makes it impossible to tell if CapsLock is on when the rest of the backlight is on.
I've seen reports that the backlight is really uneven. In person it does not look that bad to me. It could be the black keys helping. Keyboard backlight seems rather even to me
The backlight automatically turns off after a few moments of inactivity from the keyboard, and turns back on when pressing a key again. I've not found an option to disable this behaviour. Trackpad
The size is great, but the surface could have been smoother. It's slightly rougher than my T460's trackpad and nothing like a Macbook. I give it a solid "Good enough" rating. It is a "lever" style click mechanism though, so only the bottom half can click.
It does have the hardware support for 3 and 4 finger detection. I've been using comfortable-swipe in Ubuntu with 3-finger and 4-finger swipes for workspace management.
There is a little light in the top left that indicates when the trackpad is disabled (by a double tap on it). This feature worked in Windows without any specific drivers, but did not work in Ubuntu. Ports
- DC Jack - my first laptop with the power on the right. Doesn't bother me though.
- HDMI - Definitely HDMI 2.0. Using a "Premium High Speed" HDMI cable, I got a 4k60hz signal to 4k monitor.
- USB 3 Type A - I've not confirmed which version of USB 3
- USB 3 Type C - Not confirmed which version. Definitely supports 65W power delivery in though.
Webcam and Mic
- Ethernet - Gigabit. The flap feels surprisingly sturdy
- Usb 2 Type A - Would have been nice to have a fourth USB 3 connection, but oh well. I'll use it for the wireless mouse dongle.
- USB 3 Type A - Not confirmed which version.
- 3.5mm jack - Works, not sure what else to put here
- MicroSD slot - Not tested yet
The built in webcam is meh, resolution is 640x480 at 30Hz. Good enough for me. When in use, there is a blue LED to the left of the camera that lights up.
I have not yet tested the built in mic.
It does have a secondary IR Camera for Windows Hello though. IR camera is 640x360 at 30Hz. When the IR camera is in use, there is a blinking red light. I suspect this is an IR floodlight. CPU
I'm not really going to mention too much about this, you can get performance benchmarks in more detail elsewhere. It is however blindingly fast - faster than my Dad's desktop i7 8700 in ffmpeg cpu encoding, in a thin and light laptop. It sustained all core clock speeds of about 3.8Ghz with max temps around 70c (room was somewhere between 20 and 25, I didn't check the ambient temp at the time)
On battery the CPU is definitely running at a lower power mode. I got sustained all core clock speeds on battery of about 3.0Ghz. GPU
My current configuration with a single stick of RAM means that I cannot fully take advantage of this in games. I also currently do not have enough drive space to try out the more demanding games. Whilst I'm interested in seeing what kind of gaming performance this can deliver, heavy gaming is not something I intend to do on this laptop.
My only absolute requirement for the GPU is to be able to watch Youtube 1080p60 videos at 2x speed (I watch a lot of Youtube), and this is achievable on both Windows and Ubuntu. The Windows driver was actually able to push the GPU decoder to watch 4k60 Youtube content at 2x speed as well (with the task manager saying it is using 90% GPU to achieve this). Ubuntu on the other hand could not play 1440p60 content at 2x speed without skipping frames :( Thermals and Loudness
I was sceptical about others saying how the cooling system on this was able to keep the entire laptop cool to the touch, but at no point was the underside, keyboard, palm rest and trackpad uncomfortable to touch. Even during stress testing. The area above the F7 and F8 keys did get warm, but not hot to the touch unlike some other laptops (the MacBook Pro Retina 2015 I use for work comes to mind).
The fans did ramp up slowly over the course of my testing, but they were not unpleasantly loud. I don't have any means of accurate objective measurements though. RAM and SSD
PCSpecialist do not have a 3200MHz RAM option, so I went with the smallest size with the plan to upgrade. I've read that these RAM slots are 1.2V only, and thus don't support RAM that uses 1.35V. I'm not purchasing 1.35V RAM to verify this or not though.
Similarly, PCSpecialist did not have a great selection of SSDs, so I went with the cheapest also with the plan to upgrade myself. Virtualisation Support
I currently have Windows 10 1909 and Ubuntu 20.04.1 (with 5.8.6 kernel) installed. I have not yet tried Windows 10 2004. There was no BIOS option for AMD-v, but it was enabled.
I was a little alarmed to see others report that HyperV was not working on 4800H, and I can confirm that I was also getting BSODs after enabling HyperV. :(
I am confident that this is a drivesoftware issue, because I was able to get VMWare working at full speed on both Windows (without HyperV) and Ubuntu. BIOS
Use Delete key to enter BIOS. Only real option was to change the boot order. I am a little annoyed there isn't a "I want to use this boot device now" option. Battery
Lasts a very long time on battery power. Easily getting into double digit hours of light browsing and video watching.
It gets warm when charging, especially around the right palm rest and there is no method that I've found to set an upper battery charge (e.g. to 80%) to extend the battery overall lifespan. Coil Whine
The coil whine is noticeable in a very quiet environment. On my particular one, it resembles a slight ticking sound, almost like a hard drive head rapidly moving. I'm not sure if there are any specific triggers for it because I have heard it both when it was plugged in and on battery. PCSpecialist specific notes
- Sales team told me over the phone that it would be silver, but it arrived in black. (Not that I am complaining, I prefer the black look).
- Sales team also told me that I am not allowed to order the laptop without RAM or SSD :(
- Order date: 27th August
- Build date: 2nd September
- Delivered date: 4th September
- There was no "warranty void if removed" sticker on the underside :D
- I wish the "Ryzen 7" and "Radeon" stickers on the palm rest were not pre-applied.
- The PcSpecialist logo on the lid is rather subtle, I like it.
It still amazes me just how thin and light it is considering what the internals are packing. Long battery life for casual use or blaze through number crunching. It's the best of both worlds (unless you want to play graphically demanding games too).