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Schenker Vision 14 (M23)

Even though I've just recently posted my article about the DELL XPS series, it's been quite some time since I wrote it. At this point it was clear that I'm not going to get the XPS model, but what am I looking for then? The 13 inch model is great for portability and even though it is a 4K display, I did miss having a bit more screen space for photos and spreadsheets. The 15 inch model was kinda heavy and even with the RTX 1080, it did not live up to the performance that I was expecting it to have. Also, these past years manufactures have abandoned a lot of ports and for the most part you only see Type-C connections. You would think that on a 15 inch laptop there would be enough space for a Type-A, SD card reader, HDMI, etc….but no. Style over function. It seems like a millimeter race between the brands, but in the heat of it they forget that they are supposed to serve the customer. Luckily, DELL has brought back the SD card port on their 15 inch laptop, but that's not enough for me. A side note regarding most 13 inch and smaller laptops. They have shaved off so much weight on them, that it might become top heavy meaning that if you have it on your lap, you really need to be careful of it not tipping over, because there might not be that much weight savings on the screen, however the rest of the chassis has become much lighter. I've experienced this with some other laptops and it's a scary feeling, because you don't really feel the lift off (pun intended). Wait, is that a pun? Whatever, I'll go with yes :)

 

So, now it's clear that I want to try a 14 inch laptop, because that seems like the perfect size for my needs, but what are my options? I had heard about Framework laptops and a company named Schenker. Framework seemed awesome, because of the modular port size, but they don't have a 14 inch model and also, I'm in Europe, so that's kind of a bummer. Shipping stuff like that is very expensive, because the import taxes are ridiculous. So then I took a look at Schenker, because they are a company located in Germany. The laptop that caught my eye was the Vision 14 and as the name might tell you, it's a 14 inch laptop. Check! I forgot to mention that the 14 inch screens are 16:10 instead of the usual 16:9 ration, which gives you more vertical viewing realestate, which is great for productivity.

 

At this point it is clear that I'm not going to get another XPS model, but what am I looking for then? The XPS 13 inch model is great for portability and even though it is a 4K display, I did miss having a bit more screen space for photos and spreadsheets. The 15 inch model was kinda heavy and even with the RTX 1080 did not live up to the performance that I was expecting it to have. Also, these past years manufactures have abandoned a lot of ports and for the most part you only see Type-C connections. You would think that on a 15 inch laptop there would be enough space for a Type-A, SD card reader, HDMI, etc…. but no. Style over function. It seems like a millimeter race between the brands, but in the heat of it they forget that they are supposed to serve the customer. Luckily, DELL has brought back the SD card port on their 15 inch laptop, but that's not enough for me. A side note regarding most 13 inch and smaller laptops. They have shaved off so much weight on them, that it might become top heavy meaning that if you have it on your lap, you really need to be careful of it not tipping over, because there might not be that much weight savings on the screen, however the rest of the chassis has become much lighter. I've experienced this with some other laptops and it's a scary feeling, because you don't really feel the lift off (pun intended). Wait, is that a pun? Whatever :)

 

So, now it's clear that I want to try a 14 inch laptop, because that seems like the perfect size for my needs, but what are my options? I had heard about Framework laptops and a company named Schenker. Framework seemed awesome, because of the modular port size, but they don't have a 14 inch model and, I'm in Europe, they're in US, so that's kind of a bummer. Shipping stuff like that is very expensive, because the import taxes are ridiculous. So, then I took a look at Schenker, because they are a company located in Germany. The laptop that caught my eye was the Vision 14 and as the name might tell you, it's a 14 inch laptop. Check! I forgot to mention that the 14 inch screens are 16:10 instead of the usual 16:9 ration, which gives you more vertical viewing real-estate, which is great for productivity.

 

Here are the specs from my invoice:

 

1 x Silver

1 x 14.0" IPS | 16:10 | 2880×1800 px | 90 Hz

1 x NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Refresh | 6 GB GDDR6

1 x Intel Core i7-13700H

2 x 16 GB (32 GB) DDR5-4800 Crucial

1 x 1 TB M.2 Crucial P5 Plus | PCIe 4.0 x4 | NVMe

1 x Backlit keyboard | US International (ISO)

1 x Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 | Bluetooth 5.2

1 x SCHENKER logo on display lid

1 x 36 months standard warranty | pickup & return

1 x Stromkabel C6 | EU

 

I paid €1,936.


It's great that you can customize the internals and really pick what you need. I got the 99Wh battery, but there is also a fun option the get a smaller battery and get another NVMe drive! How cool is that? As you can see from the stats, it doesn't have a touchscreen and they don't even have the option for it, but I was fine with it, because even though I have really gotten used to them, I'd rather get more performance instead and maybe save a buck or two. One thing that it really had going for it was the port selection:

2 x USB-A

2 x USB-C

1 x full size HDMI

1 x SD card reader

1 x combo headphone/mic

 

Is that a great selection or what!!!! I was in seven heaven and completely sold on it and ordered one, but had to wait a few weeks, because if you wanted to get the model with the RTX 3050, it was only gonna be available starting from a specific date, but if everything would be going according to plan, it would arrive just in time for a pretty large gig I had, where I would really need the laptop. True to their word, it arrived as promised and that's already a huge win, considering that these days delays and excuses have become part of the corporate mentality. Sure, not all are like that, but you know what I mean.

 

I open the box, and there it is - my new silver beast. I would say that it's a very slim piece of equipment considering what they've packed in there. One thing did stand out and it was the fact that it felt very plasticky. This is what they say about the chassis on their website display lid, top and bottom case made of magnesium alloy (AZ91D). As I understood it, it seems like the frame of it is made of magnesium alloy, but seemed like it's wrapped in plastic, but I could be totally wrong, I'm not an expert on materials. I could forgive them for that, since they are not DELL or some other big brand that can afford to splurge with materials and still keep the price reasonable. Whatever the materials may be, the screen has an extreme amount of flex in it, to the point where it makes me uncomfortable. Sure….back to the XPS with the 4K touchscreens….those things were solid as a rock, but I'd like to think that I can look passed that and still be objective.

 

After some use, I also noticed that there are considerable gaps on both sides of the laptop when the screen is closed. What makes it worse is that the gaps were different on both sides. Does that impact productivity - no. Aesthetics - yes. Do I care? Well, the gaps are so large that you would be forced to buy some sort of a sleeve for it, because inevitably dust and smaller particles of filth would get inside, fall between the keyboard, but in the worst case scenario stay on the keys and damage the screen, because remember, the screen is super flimsy and has quite a bit of contact with the keyboard and that was very noticeable on the screen. Don't get me wrong, even the XPS laptops do that, but since those were a lot sturdier, the amount of flex was very small, so the contact of the keyboard and the screen would be very limiting. I want to make it absolutely clear that this was not due to shipping, because it is the chassis that is bent, not the screen and to get that amount of damage during shipping would mean that the screen would've been destroyed and pretty much the rest of the laptop as well.




 

Since I'm an advocate for privacy I didn't want to have the laptop shipped with Windows 11, so I chose the option of no OS and installed my own version of Windows 10. Schenker supplies you with a USB stick with all the drivers you need, however, I would say that the naming of the folders and drivers is a bit confusing, but I like the struggles life sends my way and I work through them. The only struggle I couldn't figure out is why the power button doesn't work as the hibernate button when configured to do so. Anyhow, I was plugging in the USB stick on the left side USB-A port and noticed quite a bit of resistance, but eventually I got it in and thought nothing of it, but when it came time to unplug it, I had the same difficulty and after inspecting the drive, there were very noticeable scuff marks on the metal plates. Even to the point where you could feel that with your fingernail. I chose not to use that port in the future. The only idea I had was to possibly bend some of the internals of the port itself to make it usable. Never got around to that….




 

Now here is a fun little thing I had never seen on a laptop power cable. The brick itself…well…is a brick, nothing small and I get that, since you need quite a bit of power to run everything full blast and be able to charge it at the same time. BUT the funky part was that the cable that goes from the outlet to the brick was a regular desktop computer power cable, which means it's huge and longer than your usual laptop power cable. Obviously, that saves a buck, but I thought - really? The only explanation I could think of that makes sense is that since they sell this thing all over the world, making their own cable would really impact the price, since they offer 5 prong options. Clever of them but boy, does that ever not go together with the sleek laptop design.

 

Remember how I said that the laptop arrived just in time for my gig? Well, I had to shoot a lot of concerts in one day and needed to get the photos ready as fast as humanly possible. After the first concert I dropped the SD card in the in-built card reader and the transfer speed is around 25 MB/s which is totally unacceptable. Being thinker-ahead kinda guy, I had taken with me my ProGrade card reader and that delivered as usual. Later, when I had the time to fiddle with the internal SD card reader I tried different cards, restarting the computer and other small things that may have caused this issue, but to no vail, I could not get better results. My conclusion was that the SD card reader must by soldered onto a USB 2.0 header, which I could not have imagined before buying the laptop. Now looking at their website, I see that there is no mention of the SD card reader speed, however under normal circumstances that should not be a red flag, because I believe that for the most part that is not the selling point of any laptop.

 

The last thing that rubs my feathers is the keyboard. It is mushy and because of that I find it a bit difficult to type. Another thing, but this is a matter of preference, is that they only have the ISO option for the keyboards, so I had to get used to the enter button being a bit further, but since I have long fingers, it wasn't too big of a deal.

 

What I really like is the trackpad, it's large and really smooth, but that's really all I have to say about it.

 

I started to feel really disappointed in this laptop in which I put so much hope for being something great and standing against the greats. If it was a 1000 laptop, I would understand the shortcomings, but for something that costs nearly €2000, that it not alright. As saddened as I was, I explained to Schenker my issues with it and with no hesitation they sent a prepaid shipping label and I sent it back, and soon after I received my money as well. By the way, I call that a huge win for them, because of how they handled it, because I just might return to them someday, knowing how well they treated my case given that I'm no youtuber celebrity. I've heard horror stories with people dealing with the multi-million company DELL. Yeah, as you can tell, I really don't like them :)

 

My final thoughts are that I really hope that my case was unique and that somehow, I got a bad apple and that Schenker does make good products. The customization they offer for their laptops is…well, I think one of the best on the market. I wish them all the best!

 

If you want to know which machine was used to type this article - stay tuned :)


 


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