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.
The Lenovo ThinkPad E550 laptop is well-priced, sturdily-built, and enjoys high ratings from satisfied users, but how can you expect it to perform in the long haul? Considering it’s a 2015 model and already beginning to age, users on the NBR forum recommend one user away from the E550 and toward the E560, which includes a Skylake processor.
What’s the best refurbished business-class laptop with high portability, average battery life, and low cost in the 12- to 13-inch range? NBR forum contributors recommended refurbs of the HP 2570P, Dell E6230, and Dell E6330 as possible candidates to meet one user’s estimated $350 budget.
The NBR forum is a good place to go to discover that a decent budget ($2800) can get you quite a bit. One student user seeking 15- to 16-inch laptop to double as a coursework/light gaming machine discovered latitude with respect to cost.
Light bleed can be a major issue for the OCD among us. One recent purchaser of an Alienware 15R2 with this problem embarked on a search for a compatible device with the power of an i7 processor and 980m graphics. Users chimed in with a variety of suggestions; however none came close with respect to battery life.
Is it gimmicky to upgrade an HP Pavilion CPU to an i7 6700, and the resolution to UHD? Or is it a sound investment for the price? According to NBR forum users, UHD is a battery-life killer but looks incredible, and the i7 enables a laptop to handle the intensive graphics of real-time strategy (RTS) games. Decisions, decisions.
Unfortunately, customer service horror stories aren’t hard to come across. If you’ve had a bad experience dealing with Lenovo’s customer support, you’re not alone, and you may want to chime in on this forum post. While you’re at it, you may discover Lenovo isn’t the only company with lacking consumer-level support. Forum posters also shared stories about bad service for their Asus and Alienware products, and many suggested that business-class support is always far superior.
What does a soft, high-pitched whining sound coming from a power brick mean? Should you be worried if you encounter such a thing, or is it par for the course? According to NBR user deity t456, the source of the sound is likely coil resonance (which is harmless) or a leaking capacitor (which can cause problems down the road): “Most bricks do have a slight hum,” another forum user said. “You will find it varies by the load on the brick.”
According to Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney, future updates to Windows 10 could end up making Steam “progressively worse and more broken.” Is this a scheme dreamed up by Microsoft to edge out the competition by chasing users away from third-party applications in favor of the Windows Store? The question launched a fair amount of debate. One user said, “I think this is what Microsoft WANTS to do, but if their launch of UWP is any indication, they are not nearly competent enough to succeed.” Ouch.
When will Alienware finally upgrade their “pathetic” (not our words) specs? It’s been over a year since the company upgraded its lineup of offerings, causing some to wonder if anything new is on the horizon with respect to newer CPUs and GPUs. Speculation about some fall Pascal Alienware offerings was floated, but one user succinctly shot that dream down, saying, “Alienware probably won’t be producing high end laptops anymore with the advent of the Graphics Amplifier.”