Resolved: Gaming/Working 2-in-1 Laptop (1 Viewer)


Rage487

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I am looking for a 2-in-1 laptop that I could use to play some games on, but mostly for game design work so it needs to run programs like autodesk maya and unreal engine 4 at least. The main two I've been looking at are the Microsoft Surface Book with performance base and the HP Spectre x360. Obviously the surface book is better, but it doesn't have the 7th gen i7 processor in it and its ridiculously expensive. Does anybody else have any good ides on what I should get?
 

Rage487

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Doesn't have to be a 2-in-1, but I would prefer that it has a touch screen with pen support. If it could run VR on it, that would be perfect, but so far I haven't been able to find anything good other than the microsoft surface book i7 and it's around $3000 for the 16gb of RAM version. I would prefer not to spend that much if possible.
 

Idolator

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Here is your main problem, most 2-in-1 laptops are in notebook form factors. This means they will have less power, and are not ideal for heavy content creation, specially for heavy programs like Maya, Autodesk, Game Engines. Mostly because they tend to carry a Mobile grade GPU (and even sometimes a mobile grade CPU) instead of full desktop versions, like you can find in the newer standard Laptops.
On a side note, you were saying it was bad a laptop didn't have a 7th gen i7, but a 7th gen vs a 6th gen only has 5% increase performance and some lower power usage. Those values are nothing that you can notice outside synthetic benchmarks.

There are only 2 laptops that I could recommend, those are:
HP Spectre x360;
Late 2016 Razer Blade Pro (it's more expensive as the Surface Book, but 10x more worth it).

I would not buy a Surface Book, it simply does not have enough power to justify it's price. A Razer Blade is better (and cheaper if I'm not mistaken) than a Surface Book (but does not have touchscreen), while the Pro version is 10x better (and more bang for your buck) than a Surface Book.
My only problem with the x360 is the fact that it has both a mobile GPU and a mobile CPU, meaning they are less powerful than their desktop counterparts, and will struggle to run games (and perhaps even youtube videos) at 4k. Unfortunately even if you go with the Surface Book you won't escape the awful GPUs, as most models have a onboard Intel GPU, while only the higher end models having a discrete Nvidea GPU (I believe it is a 940M or 960M), neither of which is gonna play games at 4k (which is a shame since it is a 4k screen lol).

For the price point, that you seem to be interested in, I think the x360 is probably your best bet. However, if you were to drop the per-requisite for a touchscreen (meaning a standard laptop instead of a 2-in-1) you suddenly have a lot more options with better hardware at the same price point.
 

Rage487

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[MENTION=58059]Idolator[/MENTION]

So, it seems like the new razer blade that is going to launch soon comes at $2,400 with an i7-7700HQ, a Geforce 1060 6GB GDDR5 VRAM, 16gb of RAM, and a touch-screen (albeit it's in 4K). I would prefer to have it in 1080p because I think anything higher than that on a 14 inch screen is ridiculous and will just drain the battery faster. Unfortunately the 1080p version doesn't currently have a touchscreen. If I remember correctly, I think I can down-scale the resolution to 1080p and it should be fine anyway, but I may like the 4k screen and keep it. Do you think there is anything comparable to this laptop in this price range? It seems like it's going to release soon and I would be willing to wait a couple of months if that is the case. I totally didn't consider checking razer's laptops before so thanks for bringing that up. I didn't even realize that certain models had touchscreens on them.

EDIT - I noticed the Alienware 13 can be customized to include a touch screen and it gets pretty much the same hardware as the razer blade, but I can grab the 512gb SSD and still save about $400.

Theres also the Inspiron 15 7000 gaming laptop that sounds okay on paper with the hardware, but no touchscreen and a 1050ti instead of a 1060 so I'm not sure how large of a performance drop that is. While I was skimming, I feel like I read somewhere that the colors weren't very good on the display, but I don't remember where I saw that.

Those are the three I've found today.
 
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Sly

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[MENTION=292]Rage487[/MENTION]

Even though i have no experience with laptop hardware. however if you are doing Game Design/Game Art work and it is related to the same stuff i am doing i.e Creating characters from the process of Concept to Rigging/Animating and Environments following the same process, Unreal Engine 4, Mudbox etc then i found out i didn't use the tablet all that much apart from when 1 or 2 modules which was probably 3-6 months long and we could only use Mudbox. Same idea with Character design. We used a tablet for a whole month for Character concepts, final designs etc and after that never touched it again for another month or 2 until we started to import stuff into Zbrush or Mudbox and do high poly sculpting/Baking hi poly maps.

once you get to the part of modelling and rigging you will never use the Tablet again unless you are doing hand painted textures but with there being substance Painter 2 and other power programs unless you are going for that style of look. unless you are doing Commissions or really love drawing and can do fantastic concept art in a matter of 10-30minutes

That being said you could pick up a Wacom Pro for $260 unless you hate using the tablets with no screen then your looking at $500 - $2577 depending if you go with Huion or Wacom

As Idolater mentioned "if you were to drop the per-requisite for a touchscreen (meaning a standard laptop instead of a 2-in-1) you suddenly have a lot more options with better hardware at the same price point."
 

Idolator

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@Rage487 Didn't even notice that they were launching a new Razer Blade soon.

The differences between the Alienware 13 and the Razer Blade are:
Razer Blade is smaller in both height, width, depth, and weight;
Razer Blade uses an IPS UHD screen while the Alienware 13 uses an OLED 1140p screen. OLED is supposed to be a better technology and (theoretically) helps with battery life when running darker backgrounds/applications. You will have to tweek the colour settings on the Alienware 13, as with most OLED displays they saturate the colours too much, making them more vibrant than they are supposed to be. Having an OLED screen also means that the Alienware 13 has faster response times than the Razer Blade (by 20ms);
Alienware 13 supports Windows Hello, Razer Blade does not;
Razer Blade has better Battery life and smaller power brick;
Razer Blade has a larger screen (by 0.7'');
Razer Blade can do 4k, Alienware 13 can do 1440p (both of which you can downscale to 1080p ofc). Do bare in mind this though, a 1440p screen does not downscale properly compared to a 4k screen as the ratio is not the same. 4k to 1080p uses a 1:1 ratio, while 1440p to 1080p uses a 1.33:1 ratio (I believe that is the ratio, out of the top of my head, but you get the point). This is what happens in normal upsacaling, if the PC uses signal processing to upscale then it will be a 1:1 ratio but with increased input lag. This means a 1440p image being downscaled to 1080p will look squished.

This review has the old 940M GPU, but everything else is the same as the Razer Blade we are talking about:
[video=youtube_share;JxRl02_ulKA]https://youtu.be/JxRl02_ulKA[/video]

And this one, from the same ppl, for the Alienware 13
[video=youtube_share;6RRSYktxv_Q]https://youtu.be/6RRSYktxv_Q[/video]

I would not go for the Inspiron 14, it has a mobile graphics card, bad camera/mic (compared to the Razer Blade and Alienware 13), slower RAM, and most importantly no PCIe/NVMe SSD.

I'll leave the decision up to you, both the Razer Blade and the Alienware 13 are good options for their price range. The Spectre x360 is pretty much out of the running right now, as it's mobile GPU cannot compare with the full size 1060 8GB that both the Alienware 13 and the Razer Blade have.
I do warn you that if you go for the Alienware 13, keep it at its native resolution of 1440p or you image will lack fidelity (which is not good for content creation) as I doubt a laptop will use signal processing.

[exsig=Personal Opinion]
As much as I love Razer for it's looks, its compact size, and its 4k screen, you do get a better deal with the Alienware 13. Since you are saving money on it already, I would also get the 1Tb PCIe SSD (unless you don't mind carrying an external HDD/SSD, as I doubt your files are gonna be small). Also the Alienware 13 has some degree of upgradability, as you can easily change the RAM and SSDs.
[/exsig]
 

Rage487

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[MENTION=58059]Idolator[/MENTION]

Sorry, I meant the inspiron 15 7000 and mistyped 14 instead, but I am reasonably comfortable spending around 2k so it's still pretty much out of the running. It's when it gets up to around 3k that I start feeling uncomfortable because I already have a dedicated desktop and thats about how much I spent on it, although my desktop is a year or so old now.

I'm also more comfortable with 1440p than a 4k monitor so I probably wouldnt downscale the alienware laptop. I'm also okay with the added weight if it means the laptop is going to stay cool and do it quieter than the razer blade would. Apparently the new razer blade is going to fix the fan noise issues, but since it isn't out yet, I haven't really found any solid proof of that yet. Also the external GPU being cheaper than razer's is kind of cool although I'm not sure if I'll ever need it since I already have my dedicated desktop and I would rather just upgrade that before upgrading my laptop. The better sound quality also has me leaning strongly towards the alienware. I was looking at the 512gb SSD version, but it also has the ability to open it up and add a bigger SSD and more RAM later. All of that plus it still comes out cheaper than the razer blade's base 256gb ssd model kind of makes me lean towards the alienware 13 with the OLED touchscreen 1440p panel and I'll just tinker with the display settings so it isn't so over saturated. Also the webcam being lower quality doesn't bother me.

I feel like the alienware is probably the best option unless theres something I'm missing. I notice it has a lock slot on it and I've never used a lock on a laptop before. Do you know of any good ones that I might want to use that would be compatable with the alienware?


EDIT - What about if I were to get something without a touch screen? Possibly the Acer Predator 15 with a GTX 1070. That seems like a pretty good upgrade from a 1060 and it's still only $1900. Acer Store: Predator 15 Gaming Laptop - G9-593-71EH | Acer

The Predator seems like it's even bigger and heavier than the alienware 13 though. Also it seems like maybe the display/sound quality aren't as good and obviously I would be dropping the touchscreen feature which is something I would like to have.

I could also grab an alienware 15 with a 1070, but it's a few hundred dollars more than the predator. Do you guys think it's worth getting the 1070?

Basically I'm trying to figure out if the 1060, touchscreen, and smaller laptop is better or if I should get the larger, heavier one without a touchscreen, but it has a gtx 1070.
 
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Rage487

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I think since I already have a desktop and this laptop is meant to be more for on-the-go work that the alienware 13 would better suit my needs in the long run and then if I need to upgrade it way down the line, I can grab an alienware graphics enhancer thing and slap an external GPU in there. Before that happens, though I would just upgrade my desktop first since I'm running on a radeon r9 390x at the moment and I don't even feel a need to upgrade from that yet. So I think I'm good to go then. Thanks very much to [MENTION=58059]Idolator[/MENTION] and [MENTION=35651]Sly[/MENTION] for helping out. It really means a lot to me. :D
 
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