What’s the combination most powerful and lightest laptop available? Where are the 18.4-inch gaming laptops? What’s better, wired or wireless headsets?
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.
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What would you do if your boss gave you $5000 and ordered you to buy them a laptop with power, quality, and a lightweight design for work use? Clearly, the answer is: go to the NBR forum and ask the experts. Some recommendations included the Dell Latitude 7000 series, Lenovo X series, and HP Elitebooks for professional, non-gaming purposes. The HP Zbook Studio G3 also came strongly recommended. Add your advice here.
News that Alienware will no longer make 18.4-inch gaming laptops with single GPUs emerged, leaving MSI, a brand that some NBR experts don’t recommend, as the only option at this size. For those willing to go smaller, there remain many manufacturers offering 17-inch models that fit the bill. The impending arrival of the Acer Predator 21-inch laptop due in Q1 of 2017 looks like a possible game changer, however.
A user who recently purchased a Sager NP8173 with no operating systems experienced headaches during attempts to install Windows 10 via USB stick. This first resulted in being permanently stuck at 70 percent. After clearing that hurdle by removing other connected drives, the same user returned with a new problem: on reboot, the laptop froze at the Windows prompt. Suggested solutions included resetting BIO to factory defaults, but the solution turned out to be simpler than anyone imagined. What was it? Read on to find out.
Discussions about mice can get pretty lengthy, as evidenced by this offshoot post intended to keep alive the chat about what wireless mouse is best for gaming laptops . The Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum is among one of the best, according to some users, but not many people are willing to drop $130 on a mouse. The Logitech G602, which costs about $100 less, seems to be a solid cost compromise. Discussion also covered a variety of mice-related topics, including the practicality of trackball mice. An interesting and in-depth discussion for those who have the time to read through the numerous replies.
Where does someone with a lot of gigs of data and not a lot of money to spend go when they want a cloud backup solution? With Dropbox charging $8.25 per month for a terabyte and free accounts limited to 2GB, one obvious cost-effective alternative is Amazon Glacier, which charges $0.007 per GB per month with no minimum, or Google’s Nearline for $0.01 per GB. “Caveman” solutions also abound, including locking a spare external drive in a fireproof safe. Join the discussion to add your suggestions.
Would you recommend a wireless gaming headset over a wired rig? Most seasoned NBR gamers recommend staying away from wireless due to insufficient audio quality and lower volume. As user kent1146 put it, “There are significant drawbacks to wireless. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that wireless must be better, simply because it uses newer technology.” But if convenience outweighs the need for quality sound, the Corsair Vengeance wireless headset comes recommended.
A stock Sager NP8173-S keyboard lighting control application was found to lock at current RPM, or completely turn off the laptop’s fan. Accessing the Control Center and changing fan settings to “Performance” did the trick, but this appears to be an ongoing issue that will hopefully be resolved by a BIOS/EC update. Until then, users may have to live with erratic fan speeds or accessing Control Center and maxing fan speeds prior to gaming.
NBR forum user smergubben reported a Clevo gone “weird” with spinning fans, illuminated keyboard lights, and spinning HDDs, but no other signs of life. After re-testing with a different CPU, performance came back with a similar result, leading to the conclusion that a faulty or fried motherboard was the probable culprit.
A Clevo P775DM3 owner who recently delidded the processor for more headroom reported low 3DMark CPU scores. Under stress, the user’s CPU downclocked as low as 3600mhz across all cores. Even bumping the multiplier up to 4200mhz didn’t fix it. Frequent NBR contributor Mr. Fox suggested power limits may be set too low and recommended ThrottleStop to set power limit floors to 300. Other issues with Clevo Control Center were brought up, including the tendency to lose audio output from the main jack when coming back from sleep mode and having to reboot the system. “My experience with the Control Center app is nothing but plain BAD!” wrote another user, citing persistent bugs that reset power values and can leave gamers frustrated.