Chillblast Helios review

A MacBook Air clone for Windows fans

Chillblast Helios
Chillblast Helios

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We had no problems streaming movies on YouTube or watching sports events on BBC iPlayer in widescreen mode with only occasional interruptions.

Images were generally sharp with decent colour balance and the matte finish on the screen meant no annoying reflections. The 8GB of RAM enabled multiple Windows to be open for documents, web surfing and some low level photo editing.

As you'd expect from an ultrabook featuring integrated grahphics, you'll be restricted to playing games based on older graphics engines. Those based on Valve's Source engine - such as Team Fortress 2 and Counter Strike: Source - will fare ok. Just don't expect to play Skyrim or Battlefield 4 with anything approaching silky smooth framerates.

Chillblast Helios angle

The Chillblast Helios is a very impressive performer


Here's how the Chillblast Helios performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

  • Cinebench: CPU: 253 points; Graphics: 23.49 fps
  • PCMark 8 Home Test: 2,302 points
  • PCMark 8 Battery Life: 4 hours 36 minutes

The Helios managed an impressive score on the PCMark 8 Home Test, beating all of our current top nine Ultrabooks (including the much championed Dell XPS 13 which trailed at 2,104). Only the Lenovo LaVie Z HZ550 (2,379), which has the advantage of an Intel Core i7 chip, scored higher.

The Cinebench test was much closer to the Dell XPS 13 – they both have the newly introduced Intel HD Graphics 5500 solutions, but in the test the Dell's frame rate was a touch higher at 28.76 fps versus the Chillblast's 23.49 fps.

When it came to battery life, the Helios edged the XPS 13 by 15 minutes on the PCMark 8 Battery Life test, recording an average 4 hours and 36 minutes. PCMark's test is a fairly punishing one, and you can expect it to eke out a few more hours under general use.

Still, you'll have to temper your expectations in this area. The Helios trailed the Asus Zenbook UX305 which clocked 5 hours and 21 minutes, and both lag way behind the 13-inch MacBook Air that can operate continuously for over 9 hours on a single charge.