ASUS ROG Strix performs Hero-ics

Subject: Mobile | October 15, 2018 - 02:48 PM |
Tagged: asus, ROG Strix, ASUS ROG Strix Hero II, GL504GM, gaming laptop

ASUS released the updated ROG Strix Hero II, which Kitguru grabbed for review.  The 15.6" laptop is powered by an Intel i7-8750H and GTX 1060, with 16GB DDR4-2666 and a 256GB PCIe SSD paired with a 1TB hybrid drive.  The screen is 1080p IPS, with a top refresh rate of 144Hz sadly lacking in either Freesync or GSYNC.  The gaming performance was as expected, but Kitguru did find a couple of things they wish ASUS would improve, which you can find out about in the full review.

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"That brings us to today where we finally have our hands on the Strix Hero II GL504GM. In this review we put it through its paces to find out if this is a must have laptop for gamers on the go and whether it is worth the £1800 asking price."

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Source: Kitguru

Razer shaves a little off the sides on their new gaming laptop

Subject: Mobile | August 9, 2018 - 12:59 PM |
Tagged: gaming laptop, razer blade

The most noticeable change on this years version of the Razer Blade is the bezel on the 15.6" IPS display, which is looking rather svelte.  The display is powered by a GTX 1070 Max-Q and is available in several varieties, a 1080p model with a 144Hz refresh rate or a 4K 60Hz option along with a less expensive 1080p 60Hz if that fits your budget better.   The remainder of the internals of the model which TechSpot reviewed were a Core i7-8750H, 16GB of DDR4-2666 and a 512GB Samsung PM981 NVMe SSD.  What do you get for your $2400? 

Check it out here.

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"One of the most popular gaming laptops on the market continues to be the Razer Blade. New for 2018, Razer has refined the design and improved the internal hardware to make it even better than before. With the 2018 Blade, Razer is fully on board with the thin bezel revolution."

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Source: TechSpot

Alienware strikes back?

Subject: General Tech | June 20, 2018 - 12:47 PM |
Tagged: dell, Lenovo, acer, asus, msi, gaming laptop, hp

The gaming laptop market is going through some big changes, with the two market leaders seeing their dominance challenged by companies more frequently associated with business models.  While ASUS and MSI still account for half of the entire market, both with over a million units sold in the first half of 2018, Dell has already hit 500K and DigiTimes predicts Lenovo to hit 800-900K units by the end of the year

It will be interesting to see how the market changes now that you can once again buy a GPU for less than the price of one of these gaming laptops; not to mention what this competition will do to pricing and design.

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"But their market leaderships are being undermined by Dell, Lenovo, HP and even Acer, all of which are strengthening their shipment momentum via pricing competition in the first half of 2018, with both ASP and gross margins for gaming notebooks driven down as a result."

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Source: DigiTimes

Dell Adds New G Series Of Budget Gaming Laptops To Its Portfolio

Subject: General Tech | April 5, 2018 - 01:25 PM |
Tagged: dell, UHD, gaming laptop, coffee lake h, nvidia, max-q, gtx 1060

Dell recently announced updates to its budget laptop lineup to include a new G series that replaces the previous generation Inspiron Gaming branded products. The new brand comes in three tiers and two form factors that include the 15.6" G3, G5, and G7 and the 17" G3 all of which utilize various levels of 8th Generation Core Intel CPUs and mid-range 1000 series NVIDIA mobile GPUs. There is a lot of overlap in hardware, build, and pricing depending on the specific configuration you build.

These budget gaming laptops are fairly thin – ranging from 22.7mm on the G3 15 to 25mm on the G3 17 and G5 15 and G7 15 – but do make compromises in the build quality department with most of the body being plastic-based rather than metallic (the higher-end components and prices remain reserved to the Alienware models). On the bright side, Dell appears to be taking cooling seriously and makes liberal use of vents both front and rear along with dual fans. The G series also all feature dual drive bays, backlit spill-resistant keyboards, dual Waves MaxxAudio Pro speakers, webcams, fingerprint sensors, and matte exterior finishes.

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The G3 series features up to an 8th Generation Core i7 processor and either a GTX 1050, GTX 1050 Ti, or GTX 1060 Max Q graphics card along with a full HD (1920x1080) anti-glare display. The G3 15 comes in black, recon blue, or alpine white while the G3 17 comes in either black or recon blue. Three USB 3.1, USB-C / Thunderbolt 3, SD, HDMI, Ethernet, and one audio jack account for the external I/O ports that line the edges of the notebook. Note that the G3 15 has a normal hinge while the higher end models have a smaller centered hinge that leaves gaps on either side presumably for larger vents.

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Stepping things up a bit to the G5 tier, the G5 15 comes in Licorice Black or Beijing Red and features a quad or hexacore Coffee Lake H processor and up to a GTX 1060 Max Q 6GB and two drive bays for up to two SSDs much like the G3 but adds Killer Networking 1x1 (up to 2x2 Wi-Fi supported) and the option for a 4K UHD IPS panel.

Moving from the G5 15 to the G7 15 in a "but wait, there's more" infomercial style offers you the ability to configure the Licorice Black or Alpine White laptop with a Core i9 Coffee Lake H processor, 32GB RAM, GTX 1060 Max Q, and dual SSDs in addition to the 4K display and Killer networking options of the G5 15. The G7 15 further has a larger 56 Whr 4-cell battery.

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Limited configurations of the G3 15, G3 17, G5 15, and G7 15 are set to be available later this month (with two options for the G7 15 available now on Dell's website) with additional configuration options to follow. The G3 series starts at $749, the G5 starts at $799, and the G7 starts at $849 (though that model is not yet up on Dell's site) though as you see with the G7 on Dell's site adding SSDs and RAM brings the pricing up quite a bit (the $1099 model has an i7 8750H, GTX 1060, 8GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD for example).

It is refreshing to see Dell move away from the Inspiron brand for gaming, but I hope the fresh brand also brings fresh build quality although you can't ask for too much at these prices with this hardware inside at least for the base models (I am mostly concerned about the small hinge on the higher end models). We will have to wait for reviews to know for sure though. Cnet has a gallery of hands-on photos of the laptops as well as The Verge if you are curious what these machines look like.

Source: Dell

Don't have a meltdown, pick up on Coffee Lake instead with the Gigabyte Aero 15Xv8

Subject: Mobile | April 4, 2018 - 04:22 PM |
Tagged: Intel, gigabyte, gaming laptop, coffee lake h, coffee lake, aero 15Xv8, Aero

Intel have stated that their new Coffee Lake processors are immune to Spectre and Meltdown, which is one of the more compelling reasons to consider an upgrade in several generations of chips.  Gigabyte's new Aero 15Xv8 contains such a chip, the i7-8750H which runs at 2.2 GHz base and 4.2 GHz in Turbo Boost 2.0 mode.  Along with the new CPU is a GTX 1070 Max-Q which makes this 0.7" (18 mm) thick, 4.4lb (2 kg) laptop an impressively compact gaming machine.  Take a look at The Tech Report's review to see how this new CPU performs, as well as the laptop overall.

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"Gigabyte's Aero 15Xv8 mixes Intel's Coffee Lake Core i7-8750H and Nvidia's GTX 1070 Max-Q graphics card into a potent blend of gaming and productivity potential. We put those parts to the test to see whether the Aero 15X's thin-and-light chassis is up to the task of keeping all of that processing power in check."

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Gigabyte's new 8th generation Core powered laptops

Subject: Mobile | April 3, 2018 - 04:45 PM |
Tagged: aorus, gigabyte, gaming laptop, Aero, i7-8750h, Core i9-8950HK, X9 DT, X7 DT V8, X5 V8, 144hz

Gigabyte have updated their Aero and Aorus family of laptops with the new 8th generation Intel chips.  Depending on the model, you will find either a i7-8850H or i9-8950HK inside as well as a GTX 1080 or 1070.

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The Aero laptop has a 'bezel-less' 144Hz monitor, by which they mean a 5cm bezel surrounding the 15.6" 4k display.  The chassis is an impressively svelte 1.8cm thick, especially when you consider they squeezed a GTX 10X0 inside.  Audio is provided by Dolby Atmos and Sound Radar and of course there are RGBs below your keyboard which you can program, along with macro keys.  The 94.24 Wh battery will keep you gaming for quite a while, even when you are on the go.

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Also announced were the The Grand Trio, the X9 DT, X7 DT V8 and X5 V8 gaming laptops.  All three models feature a 144Hz IPS G-SYNC panels which have been X-Right Pantone corrected.  They sport the same Dolby Atmos audio as the Aero as well as RGB infested keyboards.  Storage is provided by a pair of M.2 PCIe SSDs as well as a 2.5" HDD for your larger files.  Connectivity includes a Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Gen.2 Type-C port as well as a USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 Gen.2 Type-A ports, with both HDMI and DP video out. 

The basic specs of the laptops can be seen below. 

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Source: Gigabyte

Acer's new G-SYNC Predator gaming laptop will cost you

Subject: Mobile | January 9, 2018 - 04:41 PM |
Tagged: acer, predator triton 700, gaming laptop, GTX 1080, 1080p, g-sync, i7-7700hq

The top end model which Kitguru reviewed will cost you well over $3000 but it is an impressive machine.  Part of the cost comes from the G-SYNC IPS display, capable of up to 120Hz as well as the GTX 1080 Max-Q which powers it.  The laptop features a mechanical keyboard and all of the I/O features you would expect, including a Type-C Thunderbolt port.  The touchpad design may not be a strong point however, it is located above the keyboard, directly below the screen which may not be comfortable for frequent use.  It is made of glass and reveals a fan and the GPU heatpipes, a nice visual look with a drawback; after extended usage that glass is hot!

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"With its Predator Triton 700, Acer will be hoping that it has ticked all the boxes when it comes to building a portable gaming powerhouse."

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Source: Kitguru

I am the leopard king? MSI's new gaming laptop

Subject: Mobile | December 19, 2017 - 02:27 PM |
Tagged: msi, gaming laptop, GP62 7REX Leopard, GTX 1050 Ti, i7-7700hq

The model of MSI's GP62 7REX Leopard Pro gaming laptop which The Tech Report reviewed sells for $1300, middle of the road for a gaming laptop.  The 4GB GTX 1050 Ti will be able to drive the built in 1080p display though it may struggle at higher graphic settings on an external monitor with a higher resolution.  The overall design was favourably received, the SteelSeries keyboard is a nice touch and the laptop keeps itself cool without creating a lot of noise.  The battery life disappointed The Tech Report, but in most cases this laptop will be plugged in so this is not as bad as it would be on an ultraportable.

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"With a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti inside, MSI's GP62 7REX notebook puts plenty of gaming power into a relatively affordable and portable package. We put it through our rigorous test suite to see how it stands up to the competition."

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ASUS ROG Announces the Ryzen powered Strix GL702ZC

Subject: Mobile | November 20, 2017 - 02:23 PM |
Tagged: ryzen 7 1700, asus, ASUS ROG, Strix GL702ZC, amd, gaming laptop, RX580, freesync

The ASUS ROG Strix GL702ZC is the first Ryzen powered gaming laptop we have seen, featuring the Ryzen 7 1700 desktop CPU along with a 4GB RX580 GPU.  This means that the 17.3" IPS 1080p monitor is Freesync capable with a maximum 60Hz refresh rate.  That resolution and refresh rate will ensure even AAA titles can play with your graphics settings cranked.  

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In addition to the previously mentioned components,the GL702ZC ships with 16GB DDR4-2400MHz, a 256GB SATA III SSD, a 1TB 5400rpm HDD, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C connectivity and 802.11ac 2x2 Wi-Fi along with Bluetooth 4.1.  The base model retails for a competitive $1500.

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PR below the fold.

Source: AMD

Speaking of the ASUS ROG Strix Scar ...

Subject: Mobile | October 24, 2017 - 02:43 PM |
Tagged: asus, ROG, strix scar, gaming laptop

The official ASUS announcement gave us the specification of their new ROG Strix gaming laptops, but to truly get an idea of how they will perform a review is needed.  Thankfully Kitguru got their hands on the GTX 1060 powered model of the Scar and tested its performance in FPS games.  As it turns out the design of the laptop helps get the most out of that GTX 1060; the fans are loud but very effective at preventing throttling because of high temperatures.  It will not compete with a laptop containing a GTX 1080 but it provides a strong showing compared to similar machines.  Drop by for a look at the full review and a video which demonstrates the decibel level you can expect at full load.

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"ASUS ROG’s Strix Scar laptop is aimed squarely at first person shooter gamers. It boasts GTX 1060 graphics, an i7-7700HQ processor and 16GB of DDR4 – but most impressive is the 120Hz Full-HD display and its 5ms response time."

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Source: Kitguru