The NotebookReview forum is bursting with notebook expertise. It’s an invaluable resource for notebook buying advice, personal tech troubleshooting, and discussions centered on all things computing, especially PC gaming. Here’s a roundup of the latest trending topics and buying advice.
And if you haven’t already, considering signing up. You’ll find no better and welcoming collection of knowledgeable members and moderators.
In a poll that stacked five laptops in the $2500 range against one another (two from Dell, two from Lenovo, and one from HP), the Dell Latitude E7270 emerged with the highest number of votes by a wide margin. Over 63 percent of poll participants chose the E7270 as their laptop of choice, followed by the Dell XPS 13 (with 18 percent) and the Lenovo X1 Carbon and X1 Yoga tying for third place, each with nine percent. HP’s Spectre x360 came in a distant last, garnering no votes.
User DuffMcShank came to the NBR forum seeking a compact, powerful laptop for software development after briefly considering the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and ThinkPad 460 line, both of which have known issues with heat, fan noise, and no USB-C. Fellow users identified the Dell E5470 as a possible substitute, due to its inclusion of a good fan and additional space for the insertion of an optional AMD Radeon GPU.
Is a one-year-old MacBook Air 13-inch worth an additional $250 when compared to a four-year-old MacBook Pro 13-inch? Some say no, underlining the Pro 13’s RAM upgrade capability and extra storage options, neither of which are found on the Air 13. User KentT summed it up nicely by saying, “MacBook Pro over MacBook Air every time. More durable, easier to upgrade, equates to longer lived.”
Cloning an internal laptop HDD to an external SSD might seem simple enough in theory, but one user ran into blank-screen issues at bootup and came to the NBR forums in search of fast 411. Much helpful advice ensued, including brief discussion on the technical differences between cloning and imaging—a must for any newbie considering tinkering around on their device without the benefit of proper training!
Finding a durable, easily-upgradeable laptop capable of handling Windows 10 can be a tough charge, especially if you’re operating on a miniscule budget—but if you limit yourself to seeking out a candidate from the refurbished pool, this is entirely possible. One user came to this discovery after coming to the forums, where user suggestions included a refurbished Dell Latitude E4300, Panasonic Toughbook CF-C1 Mk2 reburb, and likewise repurposed HP EliteBook 2570p.
Is it possible to use a pocket Wi-Fi hotspot device AND keep your location hidden from those who’d wish to track your location? Not without taking a few additional precautionary steps, according to one NBR super-mod, who said, “Your location will be approximated by your IP and by the default language set by you. If you don’t want that to happen, use Tor Browser or use a VPN.” An interesting discussion for the privacy-minded.
Is there a difference between the thermal paste marketed for CPUs and those marketed for use on GPUs? The short answer: no. The long answer: stay away from Liquid Ultra, especially if you’re new to modding, as it has been known to cause damage to some components if exposed to it. The best thermal interface materials (TIMs for short) available, according to the pros, is Gelid GC Extreme (for non-conductive paste) and Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut.
Making the leap from a Windows machine to an OS X laptop can be a scary one—especially if you’ve spent years getting accustomed (and growing dependent) on the Windows environment. One user asked the pertinent question: will a MacBook Pro run Windows 10 as well as a Windows machine?
The answer is yes, according to one user, but there are some “important limitations” such as diminished battery life and increased heat. There’s also the consideration that MacBook Pros with AMD GPU operate in a diminished capacity because of “automatic graphic switching that occurs in OS X” that’s not supported when running Windows.
The NBR forum is a great place to chat with like minds about the “ultimate dream laptop” and the question posed by user Omexis—“What is your ideal laptop?”—stirred discussion aplenty. The Clevo P650 with a socketed CPU and MXM GPU was mentioned as a device that would check off nearly all wish-list boxes with respect to productivity and gaming prowess. While another user suggested the Clevo P751DM as a machine that comes close, its Achilles heel is insufficient battery life. Most frequently mentioned laptop brand: Clevo. No surprise.