Ripple Artifact, a new laptop from a new brand. But is Ripple a strong enough contender to make enough waves in the laptop market of Nepal? With a cheaper price tag and competitive specs, Ripple has surely got the basics right but to hit that very price point, did Ripple cut any corners? And let’s see how the Ripple Artifact performs in the real world, and see if it justifies its asking price? This is our take on the Ripple Artifact.
Artifact is a gaming laptop that does look seemingly good and is marketed as the ultimate gaming laptop. The laptop comes with 4 cores Intel i5 10th Gen processor. Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650Ti graphics card. The overall design of the laptop and the build quality are sturdy and do not have any sharp corners or edges. The laptop has a 15.6 inches full HD display. When it comes to port selection, we have 3 USB ports, 1 USB type C port, 1x mini display port, 1 HDMI Port. The laptop weighs around 1.85KGs which is lighter than many other gaming laptops available at this price point. Apart from that, the laptop doesn’t look gaming-inspired and has a stealthy look to it. It blends right into the crowd of professional laptops but can also game.
In terms of accessories, all you get is a charging adapter and its connector that comes with the laptop. If you are into wattage, the charger is rated at 120 Watts and uses a barrel-style connector. Given the price point, a USB-C charging would have been great.
Webcam & Microphone
There is a 720P camera above the screen which gets the job done. The quality is above average given there’s enough light and for the most part, should suffice you. But the lack of Windows Hello support is kind of a bummer. What I liked though is the software feature which lets you turn the camera off whenever you don’t need it by simply pressing Fn and F10 keys together. Once it gets darker, noise starts to creep in.
The integrated microphone does a decent job at recording the audio and if you don’t have to run a podcast right from the laptop itself, there’s not much to crib about. And it does cut down some amount of ambient noises as well. Ripple has added the support for Sound BlasterX G6 7.1, a discrete amp that lets you balance your headphone and microphone audio. This might be a welcome feature to some audiophiles and avid gamers who are big-time into streaming.
The Keyboard gets RGB backlighting and it illuminates all the keys evenly through the keycaps. The keys aren’t individually lit and neither does it get different zones of lighting. What it gets though, is the ability to choose a backlight color of your preference which can be done through the control center application. The RGB backlight has got +four levels of brightness adjustment using the function and the + – keys. The typing experience is great but I kind of have mixed feelings about it. The keyboard is good for gaming and typing as well, but some people prefer this chiclet-style keyboard and it can be a personal preference. But for me, I think I’m spoiled having used mechanical desktop keyboards. The deck flex is noticeable but the ample key travel and evenly spaced out keys make up for that. This is a chiclet-style keyboard and the tactile feedback isn’t what you get with a mechanical keyboard but it is doable and should serve you well for your gaming sessions. The keys are a little mushy to my liking but typing on this keyboard feels natural and won’t take you long for you to get used to them.
The touchpad is average in size and it is smooth. It gets Windows precision drivers and is responsive to touches and sudden gestures. Other than that, the buttons are clickable and have a satisfying click to them. The palm rejection is quite good but sometimes you do notice that, while gaming as it registers accidental touches. Not something to complain about, as you can turn it off by pressing fn+F1.
The Ripple Artiifact boasts a 15.6” inch IPS display with a 144Hz refresh rate and a 2ms response time Though the thinner bezels make the appearance sleek, a 16:9 aspect ratio seems a little dated. But with a resolution of 1920*1080 FHD display which peaks at 305 Nits of brightness. The outdoor visibility is average but the viewing angles are good and there’s no color shift or distortion to it. It isn’t the most color-accurate display that you’d ever find on a laptop, so if your work includes cinema scale color grading or anything close, you’ll be needing an external display. The 144hz display feels smooth and the 2ms latency gives you a bit of advantage in gaming sessions. Regardless, the 8-bit display produces some good colors and has a good amount of contrast and saturation to it; for everything else, it is an excellent panel.
Editing and Compositing.
usage. I tried using premiere pro and after effects to edit one of my videos on it. To further push it to its limits, I even tried to test the playback and render an animated explainer video on after effects.
From the findings, if you use Adobe Premiere Pro, the playback is usable and smooth while you stack the clips onto the timeline but as soon as you add effects and grades, the playback starts to lag and even unusable at some point. This leads me to believe that it is great for video editing for beginners and even the intermediate editors who are good and comfortable with the proxy workflow. But for professional usage, you’ll be well off looking at some higher-end ones that Ripple offers.
In the case of Adobe After Effects, the playback was normal when you put it on a quarter of the resolution for playback (which I mostly do even on my personal editing computer), the Ripple Artifacts handled it quite well and it took 18 min 30 sec to render the final video output. This is quite good considering its specs.
The laptop heats a lot while editing because of the stress on the CPU mainly. Though the CPU usage didn’t cross 70% in most of my cases, except for rendering. This might be the bottleneck of using a 10th-gen processor.
In terms of gaming, the Ripple Artifact is average and won’t necessarily blow your mind. We tested our unit with Dota 2, Counter-Strike, and Valorant, and the average frame rate for Dota 2 was around 100 FPS with an average low of 50 fps to an average high of 140 fps. For Counter-Strike, the average frame rate was around 90 FPS with average low and high frame rates of 60 and 130FPS respectively. Valorant ran surprisingly smooth on the device even on high settings. The average frame rate reaching somewhere around 150 FPS with an average low and high frame rate of around 80 and 200 FPS.
So for the gaming category, the performance justifies the specs and its pricing. But the fans run at the maximum speeds during the gaming sessions and you can easily feel the warmth on your fingers. The average temperature which we noted while gaming was around 80°C, which is very hot but the performance was not much affected with it, however, we noticed a few frame drops and lags in extreme long hour gaming sessions. But I would recommend using an External cooler for longer gaming sessions.
We benchmarked the performance of the Ripple Artifact on platforms like-Passmark, Geekbench5, Geeks3d Furmark, Novabench, Cinebench, Heaven. And we even ran the stress test for GPU as well. While the numbers were decent throughout, the 10th gen intel CPU falls short in multi-core performance. Whilst all these numbers do seem overwhelming to decode, what it implies is that the 2.5GHz clock speed falls somewhere in the territory of the 7th gen intel core i7 chipset. An 11th gen chipset would have done wonders, it might as well add some dough to the price tag but to keep it affordable, this seems to be a fair tradeoff. It is good to see that Ripple doesn’t cheap out on any other components.
On the GPU front, Nvidia’s GTX 1650 Ti (mobile) isn’t something that will blow you away and the price is a bargain. But it lacks Tensor cores or Ray Tracing that the superior RTX 2000 series pack.
One noticeable issue is that the temps don’t fall in line with what ripple claims and even on idle, we found the temperature to hover between 50-65°C. While running Geek 3d’s Fur Mark GPU stress test for 10 minutes, the maximum GPU temperature we noticed was 79°C.
Apple’s MacBooks have always been a gold standard for audio apart from a few windows running machines and this Windows-running Ripple Artifact is no exception. The audio output via the on-board Speakers is decent with a little bit of low-end thump and they do get pretty loud. No laptop speakers will replace your home audio setup but it is good enough for your multimedia consumption and work/study from home scenario. And for legit gamers and power users out there, use a headphone as the fans do crank up and might be bothersome to you.
While we are on the topic of audio, there’s a 3.5mm headphone and microphone jack.
Though ripple claims 12 Hours of run-time off of the 49Wh cell on the Artifact, our review unit lasted a maximum of 5 hours between charges with low-performance mode toggled on. This is when we had the brightness kept at 40%, the keyboard backlights turned off and the fans running at the minimum speed possible. This leads me to believe, something is surely off. The fault could be with our review unit though, as the retail units might be different than the review units. But regardless, 5hrs is the maximum we got and it is what it is.
The Ripple Artifact is backed with 2 years of warranty. This is the department where Ripple has been generous, with 2 years of warranty on hardware and lifetime technical support. This is something, no other brand is currently offering in Nepal.
For more details, you can visit Ripple’s official website. When it comes to a good brand image, it all boils down to the aftersales support they provide. Since the Warranty and Lifetime technical support is really brave of Ripple to offer. Having said that, the Warranty and technical support aren’t the only things that determine a good service, and we’re yet to know the amount of time your Ripple Arifact spends at the service center.
There’s no such thing called the perfect hardware and each configuration caters to a different workflow. Thus it all boils down to your line of work and checking if the laptop actually meets your workflow. Having said that, for the price of NRs. 116,000 (*+5000 per 8GB RAM/ 256 GB SSD/ 1TB HDD upgrade) that it’s being offered at, you really can’t go wrong with the Ripple Artifact. The thermals could have been better though during the extreme usage, overall it is well managed. All in all, a good laptop at a decent price from a local brand.