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.
Gaming on a Budget: Acer Nitro 5
I usually classify gaming notebooks as those going for just under four figures, but the Acer Nitro 5 has made me lower that number. On sale in the United States at Best Buy for $799 and often going for less than that, this budget gamer packs serious power for the money. Forum member @B0B managed to get one on sale and posted a write-up. The reviewed SKU AN515-53-55G9 includes the following:
- 15.6-inch 1080p display
- Windows 10 Home
- Intel Core i5-8300H quad-core processor (2.3-4.0GHz)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB graphics card
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB SSD storage
- Dimensions: 15.4×10.6×1.1 inches
- Weight: 5.95 pounds
- 1-year warranty
There’s also a previous-generation SKU AN515-51-55WL with a Core i5-7300H for just $649, which should perform similarly in games as the Core i5-8300H. Note that the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is up to one-third more powerful than the GTX 1050 non-TI, and also has the advantage of 4GB of video memory. The GTX 1050 non-Ti can be configured with just 2GB of memory, which is less than optimal if you plan to play the latest games.
Where are the Next-Generation Graphics Cards?
Consider the current Nvidia GeForce GTX 10 series debuted in mid-2016. They’re still plenty powerful for today’s games, but this kind of wait for new cards is almost unprecedented in the computer world. Forum members have engaged in some leak- and rumor-fueled speculation as to when the alleged GTX 11 series graphics cards will become available in this discussion thread. Recent leaks point towards a late Q3 or early Q4 release for notebooks, but there’s little solid info to go on right now.
(Thanks to @ddomaster for starting the discussion.)
Guide to Improving Battery Life in Windows 10
Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system brings a lot of things to the table, but better battery life isn’t a guarantee. Forum member @Che0063 wrote an extensive tweak guide to getting the most out of your notebook’s battery. Che0063 claims a battery life increase from 7 to 10 hours on an Xiaomi notebook.
Tips in the guide include:
- Disabling unnecessary background services and apps.
- Disabling visual effects in Windows.
- Enabling advanced power management features of your storage drives.
- Undervolting the CPU.
- Enabling SpeedShift and deeper sleep states on compatible Intel CPUs.
You can do just about everything in the guide at no cost, so give it a shot.
Alphabet Inc (Google) Fined $5.1 Billion by EC
The European Commission fined Alphabet Inc (Google’s parent company) a record $5.1 billion after finding the company engaged in what it called anticompetitive practices. Google required device makers to preinstall Google’s search and browser apps in exchange for using the Android operating system. Android is available to device makers at no charge. Google is planning to appeal the decision.
(Thanks to forum member @Vistar Shook for creating the discussion.)
The $1,000 Razer Mouse
Forum moderator @t456 found out a Razer mouse he owns is now going for four figures or more online. The Diamondback Plasma was a special edition of the company’s flagship gaming mouse released way back in 2005. His mouse was slightly damaged, so he made the following repairs (and wrote a guide to doing so):
- Installed Kalih ultra-silent switches to make the clicks silent.
- Fixed the wire using a spare wire from a SteelSeries Sensei RAW gaming mouse.
- Installed new Teflon feet.
The result is what you see in the picture. It probably won’t fetch four figures, but it’s hard to complain about a mouse that still works more than 10 years after it debuted. Many of the modifications mentioned above can be done to an existing mouse to keep it going.