Notebooks

Microsoft just announced a few brand new products: a pair of powerful new Surface Book 2 devices featuring 8th Gen Intel Core Processors and NVIDIA graphics, and a Surface Precision Mouse designed to be the perfect companion to the devices. The new Surface Book 2 borrows virtually all of the physical design cues of the original, but this latest iteration features more powerful hardware, better battery life, enhanced display technology, and a myriad of other refinements that improve upon the first Surface Book. We have a quick hands-on video to share if you’d like a visual tour before we dig in... Read more...
One could argue that the two primary features of a modern laptop, that can most prominently define the user experience, would be its display and keyboard. After all, these two aspects make up the majority of a notebook PC's human-computer interface. If that's the case, then Lenovo's latest ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 2) with OLED display has a rather unfair advantage. As we've noted in the past, Lenovo has some of the best laptop keyboards in the business, at least in terms of usability and feel. And when you couple a 14-inch OLED (Organic LED) display with one of the best laptop keyboard designs on... Read more...
A funny thing happened as we were evaluating the latest iteration of Microsoft's Surface Pro, a now iconic 2-in-1 that the company describes as "the most versatile laptop," despite its tablet-first design. A rumor emerged suggesting Microsoft would phase out its Surface line within the next couple of years. It was really more of a prediction than a rumor. During the EMEA Canalys Channels Forum in Venice, Canalys CEO Steve Brazier pointed to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella being a software guy who is more interested in the cloud than hardware. Lenovo COO Gianfranco Lanci backed his assessment during... Read more...
If ever there was a brand of laptops that folks might refer to as “iconic,” it would be Lenovo’s ThinkPad line of business-class machines. The ThinkPad line was also a very successful go-to notebook brand for many mainstream consumers over the years as well. Known for their minimalist, straight-forward but highly functional design characteristics, the first ThinkPad was initially introduced by IBM in 1992. Lenovo then moved in to acquire IBM’s PC business in 2005. And so, if you’re already doing the math, today actually marks the 25th anniversary of the venerable, and yes iconic, ThinkPad laptop... Read more...
The PC gaming market continues to grow, thanks in part to the increasing popularity of eSports. While Lenovo is best known for its Thinkpad and Yoga family of notebooks with legendary reliability and slick form factors, it was time the company got serious about gaming. So, Lenovo took the plunge and launched a new sub-brand at CES this year – Legion. The new Legion family of gaming notebooks include the entry-level Y520, mid-level Y720, and high-end Y920. Lenovo sent over the mid-level 15.6-inch Legion Y720 series for us to check out, which provides a step up in build quality over the entry-level... Read more...
A new feature of NVIDIA's latest GeForce technology for laptops that we weren't able to evaluate until now, is something NVIDIA calls Whisper Mode. Like its recently introduced Max-Q technology that paves the way for thinner and lighter gaming laptops such as the ASUS ROG Zephyrus GX501, Whisper Mode is another type of mobile gaming optimization, except it focuses on noise output with the intrinsic benefit of lower power draw as well. Short and to the point, it is an intelligent framerate pacing technology designed to lower GPU power consumption, utilization, and ultimately fan noise, while... Read more...
It was not that long ago when the idea of buying a gaming laptop meant spending a heavy premium versus a desktop setup. That was always a tough pill to swallow, because for the most part, there was no way to upgrade critical components like a GPU, down the road a bit. What you got is what you would have to live with for the life of your laptop. That latter restriction remains today but now, more than ever with more powerful mobile platforms, gaming laptops can offer a reasonably good return on investment. That is certainly true of the EON15-S from Origin PC, the 15.6-inch frag-ready notebook... Read more...
ASUS has earned high praise over the years for its ZenBook line of ultraportables. They marry sleek ultrabook designs with generally good value. We usually don’t see a lot of groundbreaking new technology from the line-up, but not everyone needs that and consistent quality builds are more generally the ZenBook hallmark. Some people just want a thin, light laptop that gets the job done and looks good doing it. The ASUS ZenBook Deluxe 3 UX490UA is the big brother of the UX390UA we previously reviewed. It is, essentially, the same laptop bumped up from a 12.5-inch display to a 14-inch display. It’s... Read more...
There was a time when laptop options were basically a choice between desktop-like performance in a heavy and bulky form-factor, an ultralight with integrated graphics, or something in the middle, around 5-lbs with a low-end GPU. NVIDIA sought to solve this choice compromise with its Max-Q Design initiative that was announced at Computex last month. Max-Q Design is a holistic approach to notebook graphics design that ensures a svelte exterior, light weight, quiet thermals and optimal performance.ASUS and NVIDIA joined forces to produce the 15.6-inch Republic of Gamers (ROG) Zephyrus GX501, the first... Read more...
There is a new-found push to market, lightweight 2-in-1 devices as productivity tools for business-savvy road warriors. That has occasionally been an angle, though for the most part, the appeal of these convertible systems has largely been their ability to function as both a tablet and a general purpose laptop for lightweight computing or media consumption duties. There have been previous attempts to expand the 2-in-1 category into the business market, and that is where Lenovo's new ThinkPad X1 Tablet fits in.What we have in for review is Lenovo's second generation ThinkPad X1 Tablet for 2017.... Read more...
Dell updated its Alienware 17 gaming laptop at PAX West 2016 with NVIDIA Pascal graphics, but at the time Intel’s quad-core Kaby Lake mobile processors weren’t available yet. It was a short-lived update, however, as the Kaby Lake-powered Alienware 17 was announced a short time later at the start of the Consumer Electronics Show this past January. Today, we’re checking out the newest Alienware 17 R4 gaming laptop featuring the latest of both technologies. The chassis may look familiar, but its all-new on the inside with two 7th-Generation Intel Core i7 processor and four NVIDIA Pascal graphics options.... Read more...
NVIDIA's Computex 2017 unveiling of the new GeForce GTX with Max-Q Design technology for laptops was presented with the usual charismatic polish and enthusiasm that the company's leather-clad CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang is well known for. Frankly, it seemed a little too good to be true. In one hand, Huang held a legacy 10-pound boat anchor of a gaming notebook, while in the other he held the new ASUS ROG Zephyrus, a sub-5 pound machine that's just 17.9mm thick. Extolling the virtues of the new ASUS notebook powered by a GeForce GTX 1080 with Max-Q Design technology, he pointed out that the new machine... Read more...
The slim, sleek Razer Blade gaming laptop we'll be looking at here is an interesting beast that does its best to perform a balancing act of sorts. The gaming laptop arena is a landscape full of compromises. Gamers generally crave the most powerful technologies on the market, but until we can cram 8K displays into a fanless 13-inch form factor with dual Titan X GPUs and physics-defying thermal headroom, sacrifices obviously must be made. And we love high-end, 10 pound gaming battle stations, don't get us wrong, but sometimes situations and use cases call for something actually portable.... Read more...
Lenovo has carved out quite a business for itself in the laptop space over the years, led more recently by premium machines like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. However, there are obviously many more models in the ThinkPad family of products, beyond just the top-shelf X1 Carbon line. In the more affordable ThinkPad T470s (starting price of $959), you will find a thin, light ultrabook with many of the features Lenovo is known for, including the usual fantastic keyboard setup and solid performance. At just 2.9 pounds, you’d be forgiven for thinking it doesn’t pack much punch, but this Kaby Lake... Read more...
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