XMG use a Clevo P150EM chassis for the P502 which is understated in design, especially compared to some other gaming machines on the market such as those from Alienware.
The lid and palmrest area of the chassis are finished in matte black paint which makes the notebook look and feel quite expensive. The base is constructed from harder wearing plastic which is less prone to picking up scratches and marks.
The notebook itself is quite substantial in size compared to your average multimedia machine. However, it’s quite thin for a gaming machine and the wedge shape makes it look much thinner than it actually is. It weighs in at around 3.1 KG which means it’s reasonably portable.
Unfortunately, the P502 is plagued by the same issue as other Clevo-based notebooks we’ve tested in the past. Even though Clevo have updated this chassis with a new backlit keyboard, it’s no better to use than the old chiclet design. The keyboard feels very cheap for a high-end machine like this and is vastly inferior to the keyboard on our much cheaper Lenovo Thinkpad X220 notebook. Also, the ‘UK’ keyboard isn’t a proper UK keyboard and is actually a US keyboard with a ‘£’ symbol.
There are seven different colours available on the keyboard with three lighting areas. These are shown in the image above. The colours available are dark blue, red, magenta, green, cyan, yellow and white. There are a number of different lighting effects including random, wave, breath and dancing.
The touchpad is integrated seamlessly into the palmrest so it features the same rubberised finish as the rest of the chassis. This provides a little too much friction for our tastes but we got used to it after a couple of hours use.
While there’s nothing wrong with the way the touchpad operates, when typing we found ourselves accidentally activating the touchpad every few words causing the cursor to move to a different position on the screen. There is a function button on the keyboard to disable the touchpad, but this isn’t really ideal.
Above the keyboard there is large speaker grill which spans the width of the machine. The machine features ‘Onkyo’ speakers which are a big improvement over those we’ve tested in other Clevo-based machines. There are three speakers in total, two under the large speaker grill and a subwoofer on the underside of the machine.
There are LED activity lights on either side of the speaker grill as well as the power button on the left.
Our sample of the P502 was supplied with a 15.6″ matte finish 1080P screen but there is at gloss option available at no extra cost. We actually prefer a matte screen as it is much less prone to picking up dirty marks and can be viewed in direct sunlight without issue.
Viewing angles are good and the screen is very bright indeed thanks to the LED backlighting. The 1920 x 1080 resolution is perfect for watching Blu-Ray movies on this machine and is also good for gaming.
The lid of the notebook features a substantial silver XMG logo which breaks away from the subtle design of the rest of the machine.