If you think the 15-inch Dreambook Touch 15 from Dreamcore looks familiar, I don’t blame you. You see, it’s based on the Intel NUC M15 Laptop Kit aka a “whitebook” – a pre-built notebook that end-users like you and I can’t buy outright.
Instead, it’s offered to Intel’s boutique notebook partners and channel customers for them to re-brand, customise it, and then resell. Exactly what Dreamcore has done with their Dreambook Touch 15 notebook here. Chances are, you'll also find a similar, lookalike, notebook from other local and regional brands.
Intel on the outside
Our Touch 15 review unit came in a grey coloured unibody aluminum construction that gives it a premium look and touch – Dreamcore has also made a midnight black option available if you prefer a darker tone.
The notebook measures 14.9mm in thickness, weighs a stout 1.65kg, and is pretty well-built overall. Despite it being based off a reference design from Intel, and won’t look as unique as selections from established brands like ASUS, Lenovo or Dell, I do quite like the simplicity of it all.
For connectivity, there are Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports as well as a regular USB-A ones on both sides of the notebook. The good news here is that you can also charge the device on either side, unlike some other notebooks. There’s also a HDMI 2.0 out but unfortunately, no SD card reader.
For display, Dreamcore has gone for a 16:9 touchscreen with an IPS panel in 1080p resolution. Personally, I would have preferred a 16:10 panel as has more screen estate for work productivity, which is what the Dreambook Touch 15 is geared towards to.
According to the specifications sheet, it’s also rated with a max brightness of 450 nits, 1500:1 contrast ratio and 100 per cent sRGB colour gamut. What I can tell you is that the screen is bright, displays vivid colors and sharp images even with the 1080p resolution. It’s actually one of the best I’ve seen from a notebook of this ilk.
The Dreambook Touch 15’s keyboard is reminiscent of the old, pre-2016 MacBook Pros. The keys come in a standard layout with that are well spaced out and of a good size. Key travel is decent, but the general feeling of the keys is mostly positive.
The notebook also sits at an angle by a couple of degrees (thanks to the taller rubber feet near the screen hinges), creating a little tilt that makes it a bit more ergonomically to type on - and for better airflow.
The touchpad on the other hand, is no slouch. Its 12cm x 6.5cm glass surface is spacious enough and allows for great gliding capabilities. It also meets the Microsoft Precision standard and allows four-finger gestures, so multi-touch gestures like pinch to zoom and multi-finger swipes for switching desktops are supported as well.
Intel on the inside
As it’s based on an Intel reference design, naturally the Dreamcore Touch 15 comes with an Intel system setup. Our test unit comes with the 11th Gen Core i7-1165G7 processor and an integrated Xe graphics.
It may not seem much as compared to the ROG and Blade notebooks but remember this isn’t a gaming notebook. There’s also 16GB of memory but it’s soldered on, so there’s no room for upgrades. That said, 16GB should suffice here. Dreamcore also has a Core i5-1135G7 as an alternative and cheaper processor, but this only comes with 8GB of memory. You don’t get to mix and match.
From a performance perspective, the Touch 15 is pretty good. We haven’t seen a lot of non-gaming 15-inch notebooks lately, but there are a few similarly-spec ultraportable notebooks built for productivity that Kenny has reviewed before.
Obviously, these are not the same class of notebooks – generally speaking, a larger notebook has better thermals, which also allows for a stable performance as the processors are less likely to throttle down from overheating. But let's see how the Touch 15 compares anyway.
Final thoughts – surprisingly bang for buck
Honestly, I’m surprised by how good the Dreambook Touch 15 is. Dreamcore has slashed the SRP down to S$1,950 (for the same specs as our review unit and with a 500GB SSD) and I think that’s incredible value.
The fact that it’s based on an Intel NUC reference design puts it in good stead for me too, as I’ve always viewed Intel’s NUC line of hardware very favourably – see my recent NUC Beast Canyon review.
This article was first published in Hardware Zone.