There aren’t many ‘independent’ laptop manufacturers, and of those that are, a large percentage will be localized rebranding operations of offshore cleanskin laptop manufacturers like Clevo. Venom Computers, on the other hand, builds laptops from the bottom up to compete with global heavyweights like Apple and Microsoft.
Building a laptop is no easy task; it necessitates a thorough understanding of current PC components as well as a significant budget and funding allocation to get things off the ground. However, regardless of how difficult it is for small businesses to break into this market, consumers are primarily concerned with getting the best product for their money.
Overview Of Venom BlackBook Zero 14 Phantom – Price and Specification
The following is the configuration of the Venom BlackBook Zero 14 Phantom that was supplied to TechRadar for review:
- Intel Core i7-1165G7 (2.8GHz) (4 cores, 8 threads, up to 4.7GHz Turbo)
- Intel Iris Xe Graphics Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- 16 GB RAM
- 14-inch 1080p IPS display
- 2 x 512GB storage PCIe SSD from Samsung
- 1 x Thunderbolt 4 USB-C port, 2 x USB 3.2 (Type-A), 1 x HDMI, DC-in, audio combo jack
- Connectivity Bluetooth 5.2, Intel Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 AX201
- The webcam is the camera.
- 2.2-pound weight (1 kg)
- Dimensions: 12.63 x 8.58 x 0.63 in (321 x 218 x 16mm; W x D x H)
Price Of Venom BlackBook Zero 14 Phantom
The 2022 BlackBook Zero 14 Phantom is at least competitively priced, with a starting price of $1,199 (£899, AU$1,999) for an 11th-gen Intel i5, 8GB of RAM, and a 250GB SSD configuration… especially if you’re a returning customer with an old Venom BlackBook to trade-in for a $400 (AU$500) credit.
This entry machine is still a far way from the Apple MacBook Air’s more powerful $999 (£999, AU$1,499) starting configuration, but given that no other Windows-based system came close to competing with the 2020 M1 Air, that’s hardly a critique of Venom.
For $1,699 (£1,249, AU$2,699), you can upgrade the CPU to an 11th Gen i7, quadruple the RAM allocation to 16GB, and replace the SSD with a 1TB SSD. You can raise the SSD or RAM allocations further if you have a specific need set, but for most people, a 1TB SSD would do for a professional laptop.
When you factor in the larger SSD, this is a decent RRP for an i7 with 16GB of RAM, approximately matching the cost of a Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 13.5-inch, but there are a few of drawbacks worth mentioning.
Model & Design Of Venom BlackBook Zero 14 Phantom
The BlackBook Zero 14 Phantom may defy convention by not targeting creative professionals, but it does so with a clear and practical design philosophy. Although the spec sheet claims that it weighs up to 1.4kg, the BlackBook Zero 14 Phantom we tested weighed just over 1kg. This means it’s still among the best lightweight professional Ultrabooks we’ve seen, but it’s not quite at the top.
Other notable features include two power supplies, one of which may be left plugged in behind the desk at home or at work while the other is kept in a travel bag or briefcase to help you get out the door faster.
With a fairly basic 14-inch FullHD IPS display with an sRGB color gamut, the spec sheet starts to appear a little more predictable. Although 16:9 remains a popular aspect ratio in all sizes, Apple, Microsoft, Dell, Lenovo, and MSI have all switched to 4:3, 3:2, or 16:10 on at least their smaller form factor devices.
This is because 16:9 is a cinematic format, and while it works well for video playback, the average web page or document is about the size of an A4 sheet of paper and takes up about three-quarters of the width of a screen like the one on the BlackBook Zero 14 Phantom.
Venom BlackBook Zero 14 Performance
The Venom BlackBook Zero 14 Phantom fared well in our battery of benchmark tests:
- 3DMark: Spy Time: 1439
- R23 Cinebench 4081 points for multi-core
- 1549 (single-core); 4817 (multi-core) in GeekBench 5. (multi-core)
- 5063 points in PCMark 10 (Overall)
- PCMark 10 is a benchmarking tool for computers. 12 hours and 6 minutes of battery life
- 14 hours and 29 minutes of battery life (Techradar movie test)
- Civilization VI (1080p, Low): 22 fps Sid Meier’s Civilization VI (1080p, Low): 22 fps
We last looked at the Venom BlackBook Zero 14 around 5 years ago, thus the gadget we tested was nearly 4 times faster than the previous model. On a number of general work tasks, the BlackBook Zero 14 Phantom we were provided to evaluate performed within around 5% of our recorded average for similar devices with Intel i7-1165G7 CPUs.
In the Venom tuned performance power mode, it also demonstrated a performance boost of up to 12%.