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Tech

What laptop are you using and why?

I’ll open with a preface because some certain Mac users here have a misconception about Windows computers: that they are unsafe. I’ve never installed an antivirus on my windows laptops and I’ve used them since 2003. How do you get viruses on your computer in the first place? That’s right, you clicked on a bad link or you went to sketchy websites or you used torrenting sites which downloaded malware to your computer. They don’t come with Windows. You cannot get a virus just surfing Facebook, Google, Youtube normally. It’s not that Mac is more safe – it’s just that Windows gets more viruses because more people use Windows, and more viruses target windows, and thus the chance of a regular non-tech person opening a file laced with a virus is higher, that’s all.

Now that’s said, I have 2 main laptops:

Lenovo Thinkpad 25

This is the anniversary edition that Lenovo put out in 2017. Cost me $1900. For that I got a MIL-SPEC tested design, water resistant keyboard, fingerprint reader, infrared camera that I can login with, 14″ matte touch display, 7th gen Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Nvidia Geforce 940MX graphics, removable battery (actually, hot swappable), three methods of input (touchpad, trackpoint, touch screen), a 7 row keyboard, and 8 ports including a Thunderbolt 3 and full size SD / Ethernet.

Some people might say this laptop is overpriced – but I like it, it’s my daily driver, and the versatility of this laptop is amazing, and it only weighs 3.5lbs so its fairly portable. You could probably get the Thinkpad X1 Extreme now which is a good upgrade over this in power and display, but its missing some features like the keyboard, removable battery and some of the full size ports.

Alienware 15 R3

This is my power laptop, and the one I use for gaming and video editing. yes its big and heavy and not very portable, but hey thats why I have 2 main laptops. This is the 2016 model I got for $2000 when it came out. The specs are great – 15″ 120hz display, 6th gen quad core processor, 16GB RAM, I upgraded it to 2TB of SSD storage with the 4 hard drive bays, Nvidia Geforce 1070, this machine is a beast, and kills whatever I throw at it whether it be the latest games or an Adobe Premiere session.

I also have other computers on reserve (that are not my main ones): 2016 13″ MacBook Pro, 2016 Microsoft SurfaceBook, 2016 Lenovo ThinkPad P70.

Categories
Tech

My search for a gaming laptop has finally ended + UMPC collection

Ever since I moved to Korea, I’ve been missing my PS3/PS4 and all the gaming sessions I used to have with my friends back in SF. Here, everyone is busy and no one has time to just come over and play a few games. So I’ve been left to my PC games. Unfortunately my main laptop (a Thinkpad X240) comes with a woefully inadequate integrated Intel graphics card for gaming. Thus this whole year I’ve been searching for the right gaming laptop. Something that would play dota, I recently started getting into the dota championships and found out you can go to rivalry.gg/matches/dota-2-betting and bet on your favorite dota teams.

And I think I’ve finally found it. I was looking for a 17inch gaming laptop, preferably with Nvidia Gsync, so I did a few hours of research to dig into all these laptops, and found all the issues:

Razer Blade Pro: Thin and great design, but has heating issues, like other thin gaming laptops, plus too expensive.
Aorus X7 Pro: Very powerful for its size including SLI graphics, but again, seems to have heating issues, and too expensive.
Alienware 17: this was one of the strongest contenders because it had a good display, good design, price is reasonable, sound is good, except it was missing Nvidia Gsync… and that may seem like a small picky issue, but it matters when all these laptops are so close in competition. Oh, and the RAM maxes out at 16GB. Hmm.. not that futureproof.
MSI Dominator GT72: Also a very strong contender, good keyboard and speakers and Gsync, but has some minor heating issues and display is not that great.
Lenovo Y70: Cheap, but the GPU is a generation behind, plus no Gsync, so nay.
Acer V Nitro: Cheap, thin, good design, but just not powerful enough, and no Gsync either.
HP Omen: I appreciate HP for making a thin, light gaming laptop, but no 17 inch screen size and lack of expandable RAM is a no no.
Sager NP9773: Sager/Clevo/Gigabyte laptops have incredible specs including a full desktop processor, but the build quality of the chassis is just mediocre.
Boutique makers (OriginPC,Maingear,Puget,FalconNW,AVADirect,Digital Storm,Cyberpower,Ironside,etc) are nice and you can customize literally everything, but the prices are outrageous and they use modified Clevo/Gigabyte chassis, so similar mediocre build quality.

So… notice that I’m leaving one major PC manufacturer from this list. In the end, I decided on:

Asus ROG G751
Asus ROG G751

Yes, the Asus ROG G751. Why? Because all the reviews I read of this laptop seemed to indicate little to no weaknesses at all. Great cooling, no heat issues, great display (w/Gsync), great keyboard, great design. Everything is good, except for mediocre speakers and the bulk (8.6lbs), but thats to be expected of gaming laptops anyway. I do also have a Creative E5 USB DAC/Amp and Sound Blaster Roar 2 speakers, so sound shouldn’t be an issue.

All in all, the Asus seems to be a perfect gaming laptop.
On a side note, my UMPC collection is almost complete.

So far I have:
-Sony Vaio UX280 – Win XP
-Sony Vaio P – Win 10
-Fujitsu U820 – Win 7
-Fujitsu UH900 – Win 10
-Open Pandora – Linux
-OQO Model 2 – Win XP
-Toshiba Libretto W100 – Win 7
-HTC Shift X9500 – Win XP
-Samsung Q1UP – Win XP
-Viliv S5 – Win XP
-Vulcan Flipstart – Win XP

Non-UMPC:
Dell E4200 – Win Vista
Fujitsu P1630 – Win 7
HP Envy 14 Beats – Win 10
Lenovo Flex 20 – Win 8
Razer Edge Pro – Win 8
Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 14 – Win 10
Lenovo Thinkpad X240 – Win 7
Asus ROG G751 – Win 10
Mac Mini – OS X Yosemite

Total: 6 Win XP, 1 Vista, 4 Win 7, 2 Win 8, 5 Win 10, 1 OS X, 1 Linux

All of these I reviewed on my youtube, and all of them run some version of Windows XP or Vista or 7. I am closing in on getting a Vulcan Flipstart (after months of scouring eBay). Then I’ll only be missing a few, the Asus R50A (hard to find), and a few other Korean/Japanese ones, Gigabyte M705, Wibrain, Raon Digital Everun, Hanbit Pepperpad, Kojinsha, Sharp D4, etc.
But I can say now I have the vast majority of UMPCs in my collection 🙂

edit: I now have the Vulcan Flipstart in my collection which runs Windows XP and is the only UMPC with less than 1GB that I have which means it will stay on Windows XP :). Review will come up eventually.

Fun fact: All of the UMPCs I listed above all come with 1GB of RAM or more, so they can all potentially run Windows 10 (provided I can find working drivers of course). I’m probably going to upgrade all the Atom UMPCs which run Vista to Win 7, and keep the rest (A110/Via/Core Solo) on Win XP. I might upgrade some of them to Windows 10 if the drivers for Win 7 work for them.

Videos: