HP Envy x360 13 Ryzen 5
HP has come a long way since its old 'Pavilions' days. The design language, or even the material used in those laptops didn't make many fans. But that was then.
The brand's newest machine, the HP Envy X360, is a testimony to all the improvements the brand has made for the user.
Without any exaggeration, this is now an almost perfect laptop: It's powered by APU Ryzen 2500U with Vega 8 ( HP has gone unconventional, by choosing an AMD processor over an Intel's), housing 8 GB of DDR4 RAM 2400 MHz and NVMe 256-gigabyte SSD as storage.
Additionally, we get Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n / ac connectivity, Bluetooth 4.2 and two USB 3.1 A connectors, a USB-C and a microSD card reader. Add to this a brilliant 13.3-inch IPS 1080p touchscreen, which comes in-box with a super-accurate and easy-to-use pen.
The sound is also a major upgrade here, as Bang & Olufsen will deliver notes in a way no other laptop speaker in the segment can match. There is also an infrared camera, which can be used for face unlock (hey mobile phones, we laptops got it, too).
The keyboard is backlit and has three stages for brightness. Other than its looks, its tactile feel is sure to win over many more fans. As for its performance, you could play some heavy tiles with a decent frame rate. Heavy gaming, however, is not what this laptop is designed for. Overall, the performance is delivered with ease.
There are but two minor flaws with the Envy. First is the heating issue.
The laptop does start to heat a little (just a little) even when running the usual tasks and then there is the fan noise. For the size of the laptop, it's pretty loud.
If you can ignore these issues, you'll realise it is a great laptop for the value. Now, you know why we call it an almost perfect laptop.
Dell XPS 13
Dell XPS 13 is powered by Intel's 8th Generation i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB PCIe SSD and sports an FHD Infinity Edge Display. The configuration can be upgraded to an 8th Generation i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and 7 processor. But that almost doubles the cost. The fan noise on this one is better. But are you willing to pay the extra buck?
Asus Rog Strix Hero II
Asus Rog Strix Hero II is powered by an 8th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor,16GB of RAM,1TB SSHD + 256GB SSD, RTX 2060 6GB Graphics weighing in at 2.40kg. It's got a smaller footprint than the MSI GE75 Raider, but if you are fine with a smaller display and are hard pressed on budget, this is a good buy.
MSI GE75 Raider 8SG
MSI takes its root in Taiwan and has been around for 32 years. Among the better-known brands for giving us some amazing gaming laptops, the latest from their stable is the GE75 Raider 8SG. It comes with an 8th generation Intel i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 for unmatched frame rates and ray tracing (soon to become a benchmark in gaming computers), 16 GB DDR4 ram (upgradeable), 512 GB NVMe-PCIe primary storage and 1TB hard drive as secondary storage. In short, you are never running out of power or storage with this one. Its 17.3-inch display is a sight for sore eyes with the minimum bezels on the three side (5.7mm) giving it an 82 per cent screen-to-body ration. The SteelSeries RGB keyboard is great for gaming and typing if necessary. It has an arsenal of ports — two USB 3.1 gen1, one USB 3.1 gen 2 and USB 3.1 Type-C gen 2 each, RJ-45 ethernet jack, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort, SD card, headphone, mic jack (one each) — on the side. At 2.7kg, the GE75 is not light, but distances itself from the heavy ones by a good margin. The audio on the GE75 is blasted from four 3W Dynaudio speakers at the bottom, two of which are woofers. The 720p webcam does its job. The GE75 is obviously designed for long hours of gaming, and such a configuration does produce some heat. The heat is pushed out of four exhaust ports by two fans with the help of seven- heat pipes, which in turn helps you maintain the heat in your gameplay. Overall, the MSI GE75 is a great gaming machine. If you are interested in the RTX series, this in the machine for you. But if you don't mind compromising and settling for older tech, there are some lower variants that MSI offers.