Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.
2020 Holiday Gift Guide: Gaming Laptops
by Anmol Mehrotra
The year 2020 has been tough for everyone as they had to adjust to a new normal of working from home. This has prompted people to go out and buy laptops, furniture and other accessories that will help them improve their work from home experience.
This holiday season if you are looking to gift someone a laptop that can double as a gaming machine, then we have got you covered. While gaming laptops usually are not value for money when compared to their PC counterparts, but they have come a long way in the last couple of years. We have curated a list of gaming laptops that can be a perfect gift for someone you love.
Asus TUF A15
Asus TUF A15 is a budget-friendly gaming laptop that packs a punch. The laptop features the new AMD Ryzen 4000 mobile processors that are paired with Nvidia GTX 1660Ti GPU. The laptop has a sleek design as well as a full RGB keyboard.
Unfortunately, Asus has cut some corners to bring the price of the laptop down. For starters, the cooling is not adequate and the display has poor colour calibration. The colour calibration will not matter much while playing games but if you have a media-oriented workflow then the Asus TUF A15 won’t cut it. You can check out our detailed review here to learn more about the laptop.
Overall, the laptop, while lacking in some aspects, is a great gift for someone who occasionally games and wants a decent gaming laptop.
Buy Asus TUF A15 ($899) (Ryzen 5 4600H, 8GB RAM, GTX 1650) Buy Asus TUF A15 ($986.99) (Ryzen 7 4800H, 16GB RAM, GTX 1660 Ti) Buy Asus TUF A15 ($999) (Ryzen 7 4800H, 8GB RAM, RTX 2060) Dell G5 15 SE (2020)
The Dell G5 15 SE is another very capable gaming laptop. It is powered by AMD’s new Ryzen 4000 mobile processors and Radeon RX 5600M GPU. The laptop has an excellent display and a good build quality. However, like the Asus TUF, Dell has also cut some corners to bring the cost down. The build quality is subpar at best and the heat management is just 'okay'.
However, for work from home professionals on a budget, the Dell G5 would be a great entry level gaming laptop, provided you can add an external cooling fan.
Buy Dell G5 15 SE (2020) ($939) (Ryzen 5 4600H, 8GB RAM, Radeon RX 5600M) Buy Dell G5 15 SE (2020) ($1,048.38) (Ryzen 7 4800H, 8GB RAM, Radeon RX 5600M) Acer Nitro 5 (2020)
Acer Nitro 5 is another laptop that is powered by an AMD Ryzen 4600H processor paired with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. The laptop borrows its design from the 2018 Nitro 5 and comes with a red keyboard with no RGB support.
However, Acer dropped the ball when it comes to gaming performance as the GTX 1650 cannot compete against laptops with a GTX 1660Ti. To add insult to injury, the laptop has just 256GB of NVMe storage which is not enough to install recent AAA titles. That being said, the Nitro 5 has an extra M.2 slot as well as a 2.5-inch drive bay.
Overall, the Nitro 5 is a decent laptop and is recommended for someone who likes to game occasionally and does not want to drop thousands of dollars on a high-end gaming laptop.
Buy Acer Nitro 5 ($858.54) (Ryzen 5 4600H, GTX 1650, 16GB RAM) Buy Acer Nitro 5 ($958.43) (Ryzen 5 4600H, GTX 1650 Ti, 8GB RAM) Acer Predator Helios 300 (2020)
Predator is Acer’s premium range of gaming laptops and it has its own perks. The 2019 Predator Helios 300 was praised by almost everyone in the industry. Acer has taken the same design and refreshed the specs making the Predator Helios 300 one the best laptops you can pick right now.
The Predator Helios 300 has an excellent chassis, and it sports a 240Hz 1080p display. There is plenty of storage to install all of your games, as the laptop comes with two M.2 slots and a 2.5-inch drive bay. The laptop is powered by Intel’s 10th gen 10750H CPU and a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU. Acer does have different CPU, GPU and storage combinations available so you can choose the one that suits your needs.
Unfortunately, the laptop is not perfect. The laptop gets toasty under load especially if you are using the Turbo mode that overclocks the CPU and GPU for better performance.
Buy Acer Predator Helios 300 ($1,169.71) (i7-10750H, RTX 2060, 16GB RAM) Buy Acer Predator Helios 300 ($2,121.99) (i7-10750H, RTX 2070 Max-Q, 16GB RAM) Lenovo Legion 7i/ Lenovo Legion 5i
Lenovo has achieved great success with its Legion branded gaming hardware. The company’s Legion Y740 laptop was touted as one of the best gaming laptops of 2019. Lenovo has continued its streak with the Legion 5i and 7i laptops. Both the laptops borrow design elements from last year’s Legion laptops and have refreshed specs.
Like the Legion Y540 and Y740, Lenovo’s line up for 2020 includes the mid-range 5i and the high-end 7i gaming laptop. Both the laptops are powered by Intel’s 10th generation processors which are paired with GeForce RTX GPUs. Both the laptops come with beautiful displays and a premium chassis.
The laptops are priced differently but personally, I feel like 5i is a sweet spot for someone who plans to game at night and work in the morning. However, the Legion 7i has its perks including the RGB keyboard and the support for Thunderbolt 3. You can check out the review of Lenovo Legion 5i and Legion 7i to learn more about both the laptops.
Buy Lenovo Legion 5i (starting at $889.99) Buy Lenovo Legion 7i (starting at $1,229.99) Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is one of the more balanced offerings from Asus. At 14-inches, it is one of the smallest laptops on the list but it packs quite the punch. The laptop is powered by AMD’s latest Ryzen 4000 series CPUs which are paired with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650.
The laptop has a clean design with a great display but it is capped at 60Hz for the GTX 1650 model. There are other models available with 1660Ti and RTX 2060 Max-Q but the availability of these vary from region to region.
Like others, Zephyrus G14 is not perfect. The laptop lacks a webcam which can be a deal-breaker if you plan to use the laptop for meetings. This can, however, be solved with an external webcam. Another issue that might bug some users are the loud fans. While the laptop is quiet during normal operations, it tends to get a bit noisy during extended gaming sessions.
Overall, the laptop packs a lot of hardware in a relatively compact form factor making it a great choice for those who have to travel with their laptop. The inclusion of a dedicated GPU means this laptop can handle all sorts of games without breaking a sweat.
Buy Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 ($1,197.97) (Ryzen 7 4800HS, GTX 1650, 16GB RAM) Buy Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 ($1,599) (Ryzen 9 4900HS, RTX 2060 Max-Q, 16 GB RAM) Razer Blade 15 (2020)/Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition (2020)
Razer has always been at the forefront when it comes to gaming and Blade 15 is no exception. The device again borrows design elements from last year’s Blade 15 but comes with new specs. The 2020 Blade 15 is powered by i7-10750H CPU and up to GeForce RTX 2080 Super GPU. The laptop has a premium chassis which does a great job of keeping heat away from your palms. Razer has also introduced the Blade 15 Advanced Edition which is an incremental upgrade to the Razer Blade 15. Razer also gives an option between 144Hz FHD or OLED 4K display and 300Hz FHD or OLED 4K touch display.
While both the laptops are great to look at and can handle absolutely any game you throw at them, they are also expensive. You will need some serious cash to grab one of these and if you are on a tight budget then Razer might not be the one for you.
Buy Razer Blade 15 ($1,299.99) (i7-10750H, GTX 1660 Ti, 16GB RAM) Buy Razer Blade 15 ($2,099.99) (i7-10750H, RTX 2070 Max-Q, 16GB RAM) Buy Razer Blade 15 Advanced Edition ($3,199.00) ( i7-10875H, RTX 2080 SUPER Max-Q, 16GB RAM) Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15
Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 is definitely one of the unique laptops on the list. The laptop features a second screen just above the keyboard and has a mechanism that tilts the display for a better viewing angle.
The laptop is powered by 10th gen Intel processors that are paired with Nvidia GeForce GPUs. Both the displays on the laptop are beautiful to look at and the keyboard is decent but the small size means you will need some time to get used to it. The trackpad is on the right side of the keyboard and it can be converted into a number pad with a press of a button.
One downside of the laptop is the 60Hz screen that does not do any justice to the powerful RTX GPU. Moreover, the unique design means you will be paying a premium for it making this one of the most expensive laptops on the list. Another major issue that professionals might face is the lack of webcam.
Overall, Zephyrus Duo 15 is a great laptop to own as long as you are okay with its high price.
Buy Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 ($2,949.68) (i7-10875H, 32GB RAM, RTX 2070 Super) Buy Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 ($5,999.99) (i9-10980HK, 32GB RAM, RTX 2080 Super) As an Amazon Associate, Neowin may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
By Rich Woods
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold unboxing: The first foldable PC is here
by Rich Woods
It was May 2019 when Lenovo first announced that it was working on a new Windows-powered ThinkPad X1 device with a foldable screen. Some more details were unveiled at CES this year, when it was officially dubbed the ThinkPad X1 Fold. That's also when Lenovo said that it would come with Windows 10 Pro, with a Windows 10X version coming later. Of course, the fate of the Windows 10X version is unknown now.
But now, the ThinkPad X1 Fold is here, and so far, I have to say that Windows 10 Pro is pretty good. Lenovo built some custom software to get it up and running with window switching and such. Also, one thing that didn't work in earlier demos was having the UI automatically react to the keyboard being attached. That's something that's been resolved. It's a much smoother experience than when I went hands-on at CES.
It uses Intel's new Lakefield processors, specifically the Core i5-L16G7. That means that it uses Intel's take on big.LITTLE, something that's been used in ARM processors. Of course, Intel calls it big-bigger, because it's Intel and it won't ever admit that it has any small cores. Nevertheless, the idea is that a single powerful core can work on powerful tasks, while the four smaller cores can do tasks that require less power, all while using less battery life.
The foldable OLED display is 13.3 inches with 2048x1536 resolution, making it 4:3. When folded, that offers two 9.6-inch 3:2 displays, but it has a kickstand for full-screen use. It also comes with a Bluetooth keyboard, so it can either be used when magnetically attached on the inside, or externally when using it in full-screen mode.
Check out the unboxing video below:
By Rich Woods
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 unboxing and first impressions
by Rich Woods
Announced at IFA this year, Lenovo's Yoga 9i is the company's flagship convertible, and it makes some really interesting improvements on an already-great laptop. For one thing, it's getting the improvement that pretty much all Intel-based laptops are getting: 11th-generation processors. Intel Tiger Lake not only brings faster CPUs and more powerful Iris Xe graphics, but it also supports Thunderbolt 4 and faster memory. It's pretty great.
It also comes in a new Shadow Black color with a leather cover, and I never realized how much I wanted this from Lenovo. I've criticized the firm for making laptops that are magnificent, but have designs that just feel bland. Seeing this in black is sexy, and then adding in the leather cover really gives it a nice touch.
That's not all though, because it has a haptic Smart Sensor Touchpad and an Ultrasonic fingerprint reader. The entire palm rest is completely smooth, and if you click the touchpad, it gives a vibration to make it feel like it's moving. Of course, if you power down the PC, you'll realize that there are no moving parts.
The Yoga 9i still has the other bits that make it an excellent convertible, such as the rotating Dolby Atmos soundbar. It comes with four 2W speakers, including two woofers and two tweeters. It's also got a 14-inch 4K touchscreen that supports Dolby Vision HDR. That touchscreen has pen support, and the pen is stored inside of the device, which has a pen garage.
Check out the unboxing video below:
By Rich Woods
2020 Holiday Gift Guide: Laptops
by Rich Woods
It's time for more holiday gift guides, and this one will be focusing on Windows 10 PCs. After all, many are working from home this year, so a new laptop might just be the perfect gift. Of course, when it comes to laptops, there are a lot to choose from. Here are some ideas.
HP Spectre x360
Convertible, pen support, ultrabook or more powerful form factors
HP's Spectre x360 is one of our favorite convertibles on the market. It has a stunning two-tone design, narrow bezels on all sides without compromising an IR camera, and B&O speakers. It comes with Intel's Ice Lake processors, Iris Plus Graphics, and an optional 4K OLED display.
The 13-inch model is great for the average user, but for someone that needs more power for editing photos and such, take a look at the 15-inch model that has a 45W processor and dedicated graphics. You can check out our review here.
Microsoft Surface Pro X
Tablet, ultra-portable, always-connected, battery life, pen support
The Surface Pro X is Microsoft's own Windows on ARM PC, using a custom SKU of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx. With its ARM chip, it's always connected with cellular connectivity, it gets better battery life, and it has instant-wake. It's also thinner with a fanless design, and it's quite stylish. It's a fantastic PC to take on the go.
It starts at $999, although there are some solid deals where you can get over $100 off. The base model comes with a Microsoft SQ1 processor, although the higher-end ones come with the newer SQ2 and have a Platinum color option, instead of just black. you can check out our review here.
Clamshell, premium, ultrabook to super-powerful
Dell's XPS lineup comes in 13-, 15-, and 17-inch sizes, and the amount of power you get from them is respective to the size. The 13-inch model comes with Intel's Tiger Lake processors, Iris Xe graphics, and Thunderbolt 4. Meanwhile, the XPS 17 has a 45W processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics.
All of them are known for their slim bezels and stylish designs. Even with the InfinityEdge displays, they still maintain the webcam and IR camera on top. You can check out our reviews for the XPS 13, XPS 15, and XPS 17. You can check out the products here, here, and here, respectively.
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7
Clamshell, mainstream, balance of power and portability
Lenovo's IdeaPad Slim 7 is more for the mainstream category than the premium devices above, but it packs a punch. It has AMD's Ryzen 7 4800U processor, which not only has eight cores and 16 threads, but the TDP has been jacked up to 25W for some of the best performance that you'll find in a thin and light ultrabook. It's a nice combination between power and portability.
You can check out our review here. This laptop actually isn't available anymore, but the product link is here. I asked PR if it's coming back and it seems to be a possibility, so in other words, I'm leaving it on the list because the product is so good that if you can find it, you should definitely grab it.
HP Envy x360
Convertible, mainstream, pen support
At $799.99, HP's Envy x360 13 is a great high-end PC that doesn't break the bank. It's got AMD's Ryzen 4000 processors, a 13.3-inch FHD display, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD. It comes in a stylish Nightfall Black color, and frankly, has an excellent keyboard.
We gave it a 9.5 in our review, and you can check it out here.
Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
Clamshell, budget, thin and light
Microsoft's Surface Laptop Go is the newest PC from the Redmond firm, and it starts at just $549. It comes in colors like Sandstone, Ice Blue, and Platinum, and unlike the Surface Go 2, the Surface Laptop Go has a full Core i5 processor. It has a fingerprint sensor instead of an IR camera and is missing a backlit keyboard, but it definitely looks and feels premium.
You can check out the review here and the product here.
HP Pavilion x360 14
Convertible, budget, always-connected
HP's Pavilion x360 14 made some weird compromises, such as not offering any Windows Hello, having a dim display, and not having a backlit keyboard, but it also offered some solid value propositions. Along with solid performance and excellent value, this $699 PC offers 4G LTE. It's probably the most inexpensive Intel-powered PC to have cellular connectivity.
You can check out the review here, and the product here.
Lenovo Legion 7i
Gaming laptop, high-end, powerful
Lenovo's Legion laptops offer a subtle design that makes them stylish for work, but powerful enough for play. The Legion 7i is the premium one that has more powerful configurations and RGB lighting, although for more of a budget gaming laptop, check out the Legion 5 or Legion 5i. I like to think of it like the Legion 5 series is more about a work PC that can play games, and the Legion 7 series is about being a gaming PC that's also great at productivity.
You can check out our reviews of the Legion 7i, Legion 5i, and Legion 5, you can find the products here, here, and here, respectively.
By Rich Woods
Lenovo Yoga 7i 15 unboxing and first impressions
by Rich Woods
Lenovo's new Yoga 7i is here, and it's a 15.6-inch convertible with Intel's 11th-generation 'Tiger Lake' processors. It's a bit different from the Yoga 9i that I'm currently reviewing, because while they're both 15.6-inch PCs, the Yoga 9i has a 45W processor and dedicated graphics. This one has a regular U-series processor and Intel's brand-new Iris Xe graphics.
That also means that it comes with Thunderbolt 4 ports, which means that you can power two 4K displays and get data transfer speeds of up to 40Gbps. In fact, if the integrated graphics aren't enough for you, you can always hook up an external GPU.
There are some compromises over the flagship Yoga 9i though. The Yoga 7i does have Dolby Atmos speakers, but the rotating soundbar isn't there. There's also no pen garage; in fact, for this mainstream PC, you'll have to buy the pen separately.
One thing that I really like is the new Dark Moss color. I'm really tired of Lenovo producing these gunmetal gray types of colors, so it's nice to see the change of pace. Check out the unboxing video below: