XMG U507 review

Looks like a truck, built like a tank, games like a Ferrari

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Our Verdict

It may not be a looker, but this GTX 1070-equipped animal can chew through games and is highly customizable. Whether it's simply too ugly and expensive for you is another matter.

For

  • Powerful GTX 1070
  • Solid build quality
  • Bright and clear display
  • Highly customizable

Against

  • Ugly design
  • Thick and heavy
  • Sensitive trackpad
  • Squeaking keys

Some people like their gaming laptops to resemble silver space vessels, complete with metallic trims and flashing RGB lights that evoke images of afterburners in the night. Others care more about the components inside, as they are going to affect your games’ frame rates more than fancy buttons at the end of the day.

With the U507, XMG is appealing to gamers who buy a laptop for its specs above all else. The U507 is one of the least visually appealing models doing the rounds but, on the plus side, it houses Nvidia's GTX 1070 inside its sizable frame – and you can choose its internal parts, like with most boutique PC builders.

This particular graphics card is based on the new Pascal architecture, and it's powerful enough to play the latest titles (including VR games) on their highest quality settings.

Spec Sheet

CPU: 4Ghz Intel Core i7-6700K (quad-core, 8MB SmartCache, up to 4.2GHz)

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5, Intel HD Graphics 530 

RAM: 16GB DDR4 

Screen: 15.6-inch Full HD LED (1,920 x 1,080)

Storage: 512GB M.2 SSD; 2TB HDD (SATA 3)

Ports: 1 x USB 2.0; 3 x USB 3.0 (1 charging); 1 x USB-C; 2 x mini DisplayPort 1.3; HDMI 2.0 out (HDCP); headphone and S/PDIF optical combo; microphone; line-out; line-in; RJ-45 LAN port

Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.2

Camera: 2MP FHD webcam

Weight: 3.4kg (7.49 pounds)

Size: 386 x 262 x 38mm (15.2 x 10.3 x 1.5 inches; W x D x H)

Even in the absence of fancy stylings, the U507’s incredible power means that it still costs a pretty penny. As configured on XMG's website, the unit we were sent isn't far off £2,000 ($2,500, about AU$3,395), which places this particular spec out of many gamers' reach.

On that note, it's worth bearing in mind that the U507 has much more competition today than when it launched a few months back. Thinner and prettier contenders packing GTX 10-Series graphics include XMG's own P507, the new Alienware 13 (alongside new 15- and 17-inch models), and Gigabyte's P57X.

If you do fancy what the U507 has to offer, on the other hand, here’s what to expect.

Drab design

As mentioned, the U507’s design is a little on the drab side. It’s reminiscent of a black gaming tank, decked in shades shades of grey – from the lid to the keyboard base and on the underside. XMG’s stealthy logo is positioned slap bang in the middle of the lid, and it becomes hard to spot when viewed from certain angles.

The lid is made from aluminum and remains rock solid in place on its two hinges after being moved into position. Open it up, and you’re presented with a soft touch material on the keyboard base that almost feels like rubber.

This material is everywhere apart from the display’s bezels which are made of plastic. And, it feels lovely to wrest your hands on.

All said, there isn’t a great deal to point to here, save for a row of three trapezoidal buttons above the keyboard that light up green to indicate when power, flight mode and storage drives are in use. On the bottom left-hand side of the base is a set of stickers that feel unnecessary; thankfully they are at least positioned in line to spare our neuroses.

The sea of black material is broken up by white lettering on the keyboard, which is modestly back-lit with blue lighting that bleeds from around its edges. 

At 38mm (1.49 inches) in thickness, you’re going to need a large backpack to cart the U507 around – this machine is massive. It tips the scales at 3.4kg (7.5 pounds), so you’ll definitely be aware that it’s in there, too.

While it may be big, the U507 won’t bruise easily. Its build quality is excellent, and we could detect very little flex in its keyboard or wrist rest, something that you’re likely to come across with thinner gaming laptops.

We even managed to drop the U507 from a tall desk onto the floor (sorry, XMG). Rather than damaging the laptop, it merely placed a big dent in the wood where it landed on its corner.