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Aftershock Lunar 14 (AMD) review: Good compromise

Aftershock Lunar 14 (AMD) review: Good compromise

Aftershock Lunar 14 (AMD)

The Aftershock Lunar 14 (AMD) is ideal for those who need a portable and capable ultrabook for work, and still play some PC games during downtime. Its AMD Radeon graphics can run older or less-demanding games, while its display is crisp enough (2,880 x 1,800 pixels) for work, and smooth enough (120Hz) for light gaming. And it's very affordable, too, at S$1,099.

Quick specs

  • 14-inch 2,880 x 1,800-pixel display (120Hz)
  • AMD Ryzen 7 8845HS processor with 16GB memory, 1TB SSD and AMD Radeon 780M graphics
  • 3x USB Type-A, 2x USB Type-C, HDMI 2.1, Gigabit Ethernet port, SD card reader, audio jack
  • 1.4kg

At around 1.4kg, the Aftershock Lunar 14 certainly falls into the ultrabook category, though it's not an ultra thin-and-light like an LG gram notebook. A more apt comparison would be the latest Acer Swift Go 14. The Lunar 14's chassis feels solid, and well-made without any creaking. The keyboard does exhibit a small amount of flex if you press hard enough. Key travel is limited, but that's not unusual for an ultrabook. What I did not expect was the loud and clicky touchpad, which can be a tad distracting in a quiet environment.

Another unusual feature on the Aftershock Lunar 14: It sports a Gigabit Ethernet LAN port at the back. Personally, I think it's a good option to have, and since it's a pull-down version, it doesn't appear to have affected the thickness of the laptop. You'll also find a SD card reader, as well as three USB-A ports and two USB-C ports. In other words, more ports than the typical ultrabook.

Aftershock Lunar 14 (AMD)
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

The Aftershock Lunar 14 has a crisp display with a 2,880 x 1,800-pixel resolution that, with its 16:10 aspect ratio, makes it suitable for productivity. It's sufficiently bright, with a matte finish and excellent viewing angles. Its 120Hz refresh rate makes for a smooth responsive experience. It's not the 144Hz (and above) refresh rate that you'll get on a budget gaming notebook, but it's more than usable for light gaming.

Unlike the Intel-based Lunar 14X, this AMD version lacks an infrared camera for facial recognition. There's also no physical privacy shutter to block the camera when it's not in use. But at least you can disable the webcam in the settings via the preloaded Control Center app. As for this 720p camera, it gets the job done, but the quality is far from the best. Images are not that sharp, and there's plenty of noise. There's no fingerprint sensor, either. It's a disappointing omission for an ultrabook that's intended more for mainstream users rather than dedicated gamers.

Aftershock Lunar 14 (AMD)
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

When it comes to office productivity, the AMD-powered Aftershock Lunar 14 is capable enough. It scored 6,638 in PCMark 10, which is in the same ballpark as the new Acer Swift Edge. And thanks to its integrated AMD Radeon 780M graphics, the Aftershock Lunar 14 can run more casual, less intensive games such as Manor Lords. You will, however, have to lower the graphics settings for AAA games. For example, Watch Dogs: Legion ran at only 38fps on average at 1080p resolution and Medium setting, even with the Performance mode set to Turbo. In comparison, Intel Arc gaming notebooks like the Lenovo LOQ 15IAX9I managed 55fps in the same benchmark.

Battery life is excellent at around 7hr 20min. The Aftershock Lunar 14 does have a sizable 80 watt-hour battery, after all. Note that our battery life test involved playing a video at max brightness, and not running a game. So your mileage may vary when gaming.

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At S$1,099 for the base model that I reviewed here, the Aftershock Lunar 14 (AMD) is quite a bargain, especially with that sharp, smooth display. Yes, there are some compromises, such as the middling webcam and the lack of biometric features. But the price is certainly attractive enough for an ultrabook that can also double as a light gaming PC. For example, the 14-inch AMD version of the Acer Swift Go, which uses an older AMD Ryzen 7 7730U chip, and has only a 1080p screen, is selling at S$1,098. Get the Lunar 14 now from Aftershock PC.

Note: Review unit provided by Aftershock PC.


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Verdict



CAN BUY

Good value for money

Buy it from Aftershock PC

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