In and Around the Mythlogic Callisto 1512

In my introduction, I pointed out that SIs like Mythlogic are at the mercy of ODMs like Clevo, MSI, and Compal for notebooks. Sometimes we get compelling products; there's been an ebb and flow in the primary retail sector where none of the major vendors were really serving the customers that boutiques could. Vendors weren't shipping notebooks that had decent graphics hardware or quality displays, and this was where boutiques could make up the difference. While it's still largely true, there are enough solid offerings from companies like ASUS, Samsung, and Dell to cover these bases that Clevo can't get away with just showing up anymore.

I can't throw Mythlogic under the bus when the problem is (and historically has been) Clevo. The Clevo W550EU that Mythlogic sells as the Callisto 1512 is the same hardware-in-a-candy-shell that Clevo chassis often are. Dull, gunmetal gray matte plastic is used for the entire shell save the bottom and the display bezel, which employ garden variety black matte plastic. I can at least be thankful there's no glossy plastic to be found anywhere on the W550EU. The lid has a brushed aluminum pattern to it that belies the dreary interior, and the silver Mythlogic logo is attractive without being ostentatious.

As I said, though, the interior of the W550EU is utterly devoid of style. This is an inherent problem all the Taiwanese ODMs have: either obscenely bland, chintzy, and style-free (Clevo and Compal), or gaudy to the point of delerium (MSI). Clean, elegant, attractive designs are rarefied. We're also stuck with the old style Clevo keyboard, but its sins are compounded by mushy tactile response that's somehow worse than many of the thinner ultrabooks I've recently tested. That's despite having enough Z-height to allow for better key action. The touchpad itself is, as I often lament, part of the same piece of plastic as the inner shell, just slightly bevelled. Thankfully it's not a clickpad; we get two dedicated mouse buttons.

I don't like dragging Mythlogic or any other boutique through the mud. They need to offer a product, this is what they've been provided by the ODMs, and the best way to lose the game is not to play. I just wish they could collectively go back to the ODMs and dress them down a bit. It's unfortunate there's nothing they can really do, and while the W550EU isn't terribly built, it's hard to recommend it when Dell is willing to sell you a far better designed and assembled XPS 15 for around the same price.

Introducing the Mythlogic Callisto 1512 (Clevo W550EU) Application and Futuremark Performance


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  • hfm - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    At least we have you patrolling... good work. Reply
  • kallogan - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    This laptop misses its point since it consumes too much at idle, more than discrete gpu based laptop. While i love Clevo cause it allows easy upgrade of all components including cpusetc...they can do a lot better power consumption wise. It's they're first ultrabook like lap so they should improve on the next Haswell series. Reply
  • CadentOrange - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    Can you investigate into why it's consuming so much power? Is the CPU not throttling down when idle? Is the IPS display at fault? The normalized results show that it's consuming nearly twice the power of the other ultrabooks.

    It is truly baffling that a laptop with standard components and an integrated graphics chip will consume so much power!
  • Flunk - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    Clearly you've never used the current model XPS 15. It's the worst notebook I've ever owned, ask Jarred Walton for details. Reply
  • Wilko1337 - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    PCSpecialist also sells custom laptops with the Clevo W550EU frame (marketed as the 15.6" UltraNote).

    Quite a few users have had problems with the display's backlight bleed show here:

    Regard this and the review FWIW
  • Death666Angel - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    That's 3 users. And the bleed in the pictures he provides doesn't seem very substantial. If you watch a lot of dark movies, it may be a problem, but that kind of bleed will usually not be noticed in every day windows work and game. Reply
  • CadentOrange - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    That bleed looks bad, and if it's "within parameters" and not getting fixed then I think it's something that should be flagged up for prospective buyers. Reply
  • Conficio - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    SPAM! Reply
  • pastydave - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    When I first saw this, I said cool - an ultrabook with a discrete GPU. But alas, no discrete GPU and it weighs freaking 5 pounds. This sir or madam is not an ultrabook. Reply
  • bitterman0 - Friday, May 24, 2013 - link

    Exactly. Ultrabooks are 3lbs, maybe 3.5lbs on the outside. For crying out loud, my 2006 ThinkPad T41 is 5lbs! Reply

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