Laptop of the month – October 2017
We are launching an article where we will recommend the best laptops in several categories. In this piece, you will find the best “functional”, inexpensive gaming laptop and ultrabook with no superfluity.
A few days ago, Intel introduced mobile processors of the 8th generation, Intel Kaby Lake-R, with twice the number of cores. The first test results reveal that those laptops on their base leave predecessors far behind. Newcomer Intel i5-8250U TDP with only 15 W (a typical value for compact processors in ultrathin laptops) owns 45-watt Intel Core i5-7300HQ, which is mounted in the slot of the initial class notebooks. This means that, very soon we will be able to play modern games on ultrabook. Like the current healthy gaming machines, it’ll be in high quality, Full HD. We’ll also be able to perform any other resource-intensive work, for example, mounting on the fly video for the blog. Other details cover what laptops on new processors should be paid attention firstly. They’re very powerful ultrabooks and the 5 most interesting models include Intel Kaby Lake-R.”
However, not only Intel is able to give something interesting. For example, recently the company ASUS released a gaming laptop with a video card and AMD processor – ROG Strix GL702ZC. It would be hardly curious that Ryzen 7 1700 and Ryzen 5 1600 are ahead of mobile chips Intel in terms of perofrming multithreaded tasks. Considering that AMD’s top mobile processors competed only with Intel Core i3, the current chips are a real breakthrough. True, there were some compromises. Ryzen 7 1700 and Ryzen 5 1600 consume up to 65 watts, while competitive Intel i5 and i7 – up to 45 watts. And in mobile systems, this indicator is essentially important.
No one expect drawbacks from Intel, but the absence of a sane competitor for the last few years has led to the fact that the difference between generations of its processors can hardly be discerned. It was only AMD that shows a decent and upgraded performance, as Intel immediately rushed to increase the number of cores in its processors. And we could have spent more than one year on classics of 2- and 4-nuclear chips.
In case, all these laptops with the new Intel and AMD processors are not sold in Russia, there are only two ways out: either close this article and wait a month until the next release, or choose from those notebook models that are on the market right now.
Workhorse – Acer Extensa EX2540-56Z8
Four years ago, for this price, it was possible to take a beautiful laptop with a powerful quad-core processor, an entry-level graphics card, a good screen, etc. Now, from the request, you shiver just like you’ll do in the midst of a piercing icy wind. Because, now-a-days this amount is almost nothing decent. One of those few models that you won’t be ashamed to advise is the Acer Extensa EX2540-56Z8.
It cannot be said that this is a cool laptop, every guy’s dream or a thunderstorm of computer games. In fact, this machine is pretty simple, but for casual work it has everything you need. The 15.6-inch screen has Full HD resolution (and not older than 1366×768). The processor is the same as that of the trendy and expensive ultrabooks, Intel Core i5-7200U – good for both speed and energy efficiency. RAM is 6 GB and not 4 GB, like most models for this money, which is already quite good. There is no separate video card, but for this price, in the best case, the laptop would only be stuck with something so slow that it would not make much sense from it. But the Acer Extensa EX2540-56Z8 has a gigabit network card, fast Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11ac) and a 1 TB hard drive.
Inexpensive gaming – Dell Inspiron 7567
Find an inexpensive gaming laptop is becoming more difficult. Even for the model with the video card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. But the GTX 1050 Ti is roughly like the GTX 970M, which was the second after the “king” from the fall of 2014 until the appearance of the 10th generation in August 2016. 1050 Ti will give you the opportunity to play the vast majority of modern games in Full HD at high settings.
One of the good and inexpensive laptops based on the GTX 1050 Ti is the Dell Inspiron 7567. Typically, gaming devices from Dell are Alienware, but this gaming machine came under the brand name of Dell. It’s understandable, Alienware are very heaped machines with a serious iron and a vast lighting system. And Dell Inspiron 7567 is easier for people. Although this model cannot be reproached for boring design. On the contrary, this is not typical Dell business laptop, but a stylish-fashionable-modern laptop with a vital red-black color case.
In addition to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, inside the Dell Inspiron 7567, there is a powerful Intel Core i7-7700HQ, 8 GB of RAM and a hybrid terabyte hard drive with 8 gigabytes of SSD cache. In general, it’s an excellent starter kit for a young gamer. What’s more? The cooling system works perfectly, the audio system pleases the hearing, but the screen leaves much to be desired.
Apparently, to make the price tag of the Inspiron 7567 more attractive, Dell discarded the matrix. Therefore, the image on the screen is a little pale, and when you try to look at the screen from the side, the colors are slightly distorted. With this shortcoming, especially since the rest of the notebook is very good, you’ll be good to go with. But I traditionally advised to see the Dell Inspiron 7567 live and judge its display yourself. It’s not a secret that there can be different patterns in different games.
Moderately inexpensive ultrabook – HP ProBook 430 G4
In this category I tried to find a compact but functional laptop, within reasonable money. In fact, Xiaomi Mi Notebook with the discrete graphics card NVIDIA GeForce MX150 is very suggestive here, but it’s not easy to get it in Russia. Another thing is the HP ProBook 430 G4, which we will discuss too.
This is a very small laptop, suitable for taking it with you for every day work, study, travel, etc. It is equipped with a 13.3-inch display with Full HD-resolution and weighs only 1.5 kg. HP ProBook 430 G4 runs on an ultrabook, with quick Intel Core i7-7500U processor, and the memory here is 8 GB. This will be enough not only to check mail, but also for intense work related to graphics and video editing. And for a fast response of the system, a solid-state drive for 256 GB is used.
Inside it, there’s room for locating another drive, a 2.5-inch hard drive. Talking of the ports – a new-fresh USB Type-C port, and an old D-Sub (in case suddenly you have to perform somewhere with an old projector). The keyboard and touchpad of the HP ProBook 430 G4 are comfortable, and its aluminum pleasantly cool your wrists.
As in the case of the Dell Inspiron 7567, HP apparently decided that you cannot offer the users a very good laptop with such budget. Therefore, they chose a less qualified display, hence, its brightness and contrast are low. But the viewing angles are not bad, because IPS technology is used in making the matrix.