Welcome to the NotebookReview Forum Spotlight, a biweekly series where we highlight the hottest and most important topics in our forum. The NotebookReview forum is the largest Internet forum dedicated to the discussion of notebook computers, including Macs and tablets. You can sign up for free by clicking here.
Windows 10 Power Slider Versus Power Plans
Newer updates to Windows 10 may have introduced a Power Slider on your notebook, which you’ll see when you click the battery icon in your system tray. Available only on AMD- or Intel-based mobile devices with a battery, the power slider is essentially a layer on top of traditional power plans. The latter controls a variety of settings, including processor power management features, wireless network performance, and what happens when you close the lid of your notebook.
By contrast, the power slider manages the operating mode of the processor, background process priorities, and screen brightness. In other words, a much smaller set of features. It’s only functional when the computer is using the default Windows “Balanced” power plan, which can be a turn-off.
Even older notebooks running Windows 10 should support the power slider, though. As an example, my circa-2013 Dell Latitude E7440 supports it with a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 processor. I’ve usually left the slider in the middle, as seems to be the default, but I’ve found it useful to boost or reduce performance when explicitly needed. It’s certainly much faster than changing power plans.
Run Linux Apps On Your Chromebook!
Early previews and rumors surfaced in late summer 2018 about Chromebooks being able to run Linux apps. The project is informally called Crostini within Google. It’s being rolled out now to compatible Chromebooks, which brings up an important point: Does your Chromebook support Linux? Gizmodo published a good article on that topic, and how to get more out of your Chromebook with Linux.
Chromebook users (or prospective buyers) should also note Chromebooks can now run Android apps. This makes the convertible Chromebooks even more attractive, as they might even be able to replace an Android tablet.
For a related topic, try this one for a little history lesson: Unix vs. Linux
Which 15-inch Gaming Laptop To Buy?
Nvidia’s launch of its GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards for notebooks at CES 2019 is being followed by an onslaught of new gaming laptops. With so many choices, which ones are worth your hard-earned cash?
Forum member @Histidine is debating between the Aorus 15 and the Clevo P960ED. Other forum members threw the updated MSI GS65 Stealth into the mix, as well. These are powerful 15- to 16-inch gaming notebooks that should run around the $2,000 mark. The updated Razer Blade 15 is yet another alternative.
On a related note, forum member @monitorhero is looking for a high-budget workstation-grade notebook with some gaming capabilities. Suggested models include the Dell Precision 7530, the HP ZBook 15 G5, and the MSI WS65-8SK. For something slightly more portable, the HP ZBook Studio X360 G5 is a less-powerful option. Read the debate here.
For shallower budgets, Walmart’s Overpowered gaming notebooks (and desktops) offer excellent value, and plenty of power for 1080p and even some 1440p gaming. The Dell Inspiron G3 15 offers good value, too, if a familiar brand is important to you.
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