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Our laptop had an M.2 2280 slot occupied by a BiWin 256GB NGFF SSD (G6312) with free space for an additional 2.5-inch SSD. This review machine also had an Intel Core i5-6200U processor (dual-core, four-threads, Skylake architecture, clocked at 2.3GHz, with Turbo to 2.8GHz and a 15W TDP), a single 8GB DDR3 memory module from Kingston (1600MHz), an Intel AC-8260NGW M.2 802.11ac Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo, along with integrated Intel HD Graphics 520 with a base frequency of 300MHz, a webcam and Realtek audio.
The laptop does get quite warm under load (and did so during our benchmark testing) as well as noisy, and the location of the air vents means that you might have to be careful when using it on your lap. There's only one memory channel and although PC Specialist doesn't offer a 16GB SODIMM DDR3 module option, you should – in theory – be able to upgrade to that as the CPU supports up to 32GB.
When it came to delivering the goods on the performance front, we were not disappointed by the Lafite 2. It put on quite a show for us, bearing in mind that it is a thin-and-light device that costs less than £600.
It makes for a better-than-average casual gaming laptop – bearing in mind that it doesn't have a dedicated graphics card, its 3DMark scores are about as good as the GT720M, a discrete GPU from Nvidia launched only two years ago. In other words, Intel's integrated graphics units have now almost reached the same performance levels as a three-year old separate GPU.
If there's anything that disappointed us, it was the battery life – this machine uses a 4-cell 6300mAh/45Whr Lithium-Ion battery.
The Lafite 2 managed 4 hours 26 minutes on the gruelling PCMark 8 battery benchmark while the MacBook Air, with a battery that's 20% larger, promises a whopping 12 hours of "wireless web". In real life though, the gap is likely to be much smaller especially if you lower the screen brightness and choose a more conservative power scheme.
Here are the benchmarks the Lafite 2 achieved in full:
- 3DMark: Ice Storm: 37948; Skydiver: 2683; Cloud Gate: 4313; Fire Strike: 564
- PCMark 8 Home: 2512
- PCMark 8 Work: 2969
- PCMark 8 Creative: 2431
- PCMark 8 Battery: 4 hours 26 minutes
- Cinebench 15: CPU (Points): 285; GPU (FPS): 29.66
- Geekbench 3: Single Core: 2665; Multi Core: 5760
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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.