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Should I Get An Ultrabook Or Gaming Laptop

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi Guys

I'm a proud owner of Surface Pro 6 (i5 8th Gen/128GB with type cover and pen) which I got as a replacement of SP4 - Thanks to flickergate ;) . I mostly use it for watching videos and for reading purpose (knowing I can go much further than this).

Being a software engineer, I use my old HP Pavilion 15 (i5 6th Gen dual core/8 GB/2 GB Geforce 940MX) for programming purpose and rarely casual gaming (got a gaming pc for this). Since this laptop is now over 3 years old and given the fact that SP6 is much more powerful than this, I'm considering a new laptop.

Right now I have only HP in my mind (family's 6th HP laptop) and I'm little confused between a mediocre gaming laptop or HP Envy 13(AQ1019TX).

Can you guys please let me know your thoughts - Should I get Envy 13 (or something similar) even after owning SP6 or go for a little powerful but bulky machine.

I won't be doing any serious gaming on the laptop and I want it to be a bit future proof (should at least last for 3-4 years or so) - Will be mainly using it for a couple of IDEs. At the price of Envy 13, I can easily get a mid-high spec gaming laptop with Core i7 and GTX1650.

Any suggestion will be helpful! Thanks in advance and a happy new year!!

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Gaming laptop pros:

expandability with ram and storage

stronger CPU

Better thermals

Gaming laptop cons:

everything else is soldered or proprietary

poor battery life

Poor selection with thunderbolt

heavy and large


Ultrabook pros:

large variety with thunderbolt support

Longer battery life

thin and light

Ultrabook cons:

No expansion outside a few select models

Poor thermals


You might notice that I left the GPU out of the lists, and that’s because laptop graphics cards are the worst value ever, they kill battery life and are leagues below their desktop counterparts in performance. Add that the price of the GPU upgrade might cost as much as a the GPU itself on desktop. At some point it’s more efficient to buy a thunderbolt eGPU dock and GPU, and slap it in when you need it.

CPU: Intel core i7-8086K Case: CORSAIR Crystal 570X RGB CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H150i PRO RGB Storage: Samsung 960 EVO Series - 1TB PCIe NVMe - M.2 Internal PSU: EVGA 1000 GQ, 80+ GOLD 1000W, Semi Modular GPU: GeForce RTX 2080 GAMING X TRIO RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 3200mhz Motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX Z370-E Gaming

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How about thin and light gaming laptop? Some with good battery life too

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My daily driver: Lenovo Legion Y530 [REVIEW]


Intel Core i5-8300H Nvidia GTX1050Ti 2GB LP156WFG-SPB2 144Hz IPS 16GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM (2x8GB) Samsung PM981 256GB+Seagate 1TB 5400RPM

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I am by no means a laptop pro, but I have owned a convertible tablet/laptop like the surface.  I use mine with the pen for note taking.  If I wasn't interested in a tablet/pen function, I would have absolutely gone with a more gaming focused, high performance laptop.


That's what I would have said, until you said you weren't planning on doing much gaming on the laptop.  As someone else in this thread has pointed out, mobile GPUs have a lot of cons that outweigh the pros significantly (in my opinion) unless you plan on doing some GPU intensive tasks such as gaming.


If you can live without both the convertible function and a GPU for gaming, you may be better going with (or finding something similar to) your Envy idea.  If you don't need an ultra thin and light, you may even want to get something a little thicker.  Again, it really depends on your needs and use case.  There is a laptop for pretty much everything and everyone.  If you can come up with a list of features and design elements that are important to you, it should be pretty easy to find something that you like.


tl;dr if you aren't gaming, GPUs have lots of downsides.  Convertible tablet/laptops also have downsides, so it depends how important that feature is to you.  List things you think are important and find one that checks the most boxes.


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