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Virtual01

Looking for Macbook Pro-esque windows device

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I had a chance to try out my friends 2017 Macbook Pro and I was floored by the user experience, in particular the incredible touchpad that it offers which is frankly leagues ahead of anything else I've ever used. I didn't really care for the absolutely minimal keyboard, but I got used to it nonetheless. The nice touchpad removes the need for an external mouse IMO, which is a big plus for portability. However, I refuse to support Apple by buying one so I am looking for a comparably high-end Windows laptop instead. It will be for use at home but will be used for work (mainly by my wife), web browsing and netflix-ing, and hopefully light gaming if I can find one with a dedicated GPU.

 

Here is what I'm looking for, broken down into wants and needs:

 

Has to have:

13 or 14 inch screen size or 15.6 with ultra thin bezels

Exceptional touchpad (smooth feel, minimal travel distance when pressed, not mushy, preferably large)

256GB SSD (bonus if user-upgradeable)

8GB RAM with ability to upgrade to 16. 16GB stock is ideal.

 

Would like to have:

Quad-core CPU

Higher than 1080p resolution

IPS display (or better)

Dedicated GPU for light gaming (1050 is fine)

One-hand open

Decent speakers

Good cooling and low noise is always nice

 

I realize that my needs will land me in one of two categories: "Thin n light" ultrabooks, or "low end" gaming laptops. Honestly I would prefer the former because I appreciate the portability and premium feel of ultrabooks. Gaming laptops are crowded with extraneous features, are heavy and clunky, full of obnoxious branding, and usually feature a 1080p display and a less than ideal touchpad. However I am also aware that ultrabook configurations with a DGPU usually push the price up at least a few hundred dollars, if it is even available. Again, I would only ever use this computer for light gaming (free to play stuff, emulators, older games), I have a desktop rig to handle everything else.

 

Any recommendations are appreciated. Feel free to scrape the bottom of the barrel, I have no brand loyalty and am open to pretty much anything. Price-wise I'm prepared to spend at least 1500 with an upper limit around 2000, but I'm not totally inflexible.

 

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Blade 14?


Desktop: i7 7700K @ 4.7Ghz, 16GB DDR4, Cooler Master H80i v2, 500GB M.2 SSD, Fractal Focus G *white* case, Gigabyte 1080 8GB

Laptop: EVGA SC17 1070: i7 6820HK, GTX 1070, 32GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, 4K Gysnc panel

Laptop: Eluktronics Mech 15 G2, i7 8750H, 1060 6GB, 16GB DDR4, 480GB Nvme SSD, 144hz panel  

 

 

 

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the Dell XPS 13/15 and Microsoft Surface Book (Pro) are pretty close to the design of the MacBook Pro. the LG Gram and new Razer Stealth as well 

 

but I don't think I've used a windows laptop with a fantastic touchpad like the MBP. however if you pick one with a touchscreen, it balances out. 

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The Dell XPS lineup comes to mind.


Crystal: CPU: i7 7700K | Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix Z270F | RAM: GSkill 16 GB@3200MHz | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti FE | Case: Corsair Crystal 570X (black) | Storage: 250 GB Crucial BX100 SSD + 2 TB Seagate HDD + 1TB WD Green + 3TB WD Red | PSU: EVGA Supernova G2 1000W | Monitor: Asus VG248QE 24"

Laptop: Dell XPS 13 9360 | CPU: i5 7200U | RAM: 8 GB

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7 minutes ago, Theguywhobea said:

Blade 14?

Absolutely not. Those are absolutely terrible computers that are made terribly. I would recommend watching Linus’ video where he showed that over half of the Blades he bought for his employees broke. And some of the ones he got as replacements also broke.

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1 minute ago, Max_Settings said:

Absolutely not. Those are absolutely terrible computers that are made terribly. I would recommend watching Linus’ video where he showed that over half of the Blades he bought for his employees broke. And some of the ones he got as replacements also broke.

Yeah I knew I was gonna get torn apart for saying that, I'm just speaking from my own experience owning one.


Desktop: i7 7700K @ 4.7Ghz, 16GB DDR4, Cooler Master H80i v2, 500GB M.2 SSD, Fractal Focus G *white* case, Gigabyte 1080 8GB

Laptop: EVGA SC17 1070: i7 6820HK, GTX 1070, 32GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, 4K Gysnc panel

Laptop: Eluktronics Mech 15 G2, i7 8750H, 1060 6GB, 16GB DDR4, 480GB Nvme SSD, 144hz panel  

 

 

 

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Just now, Theguywhobea said:

Yeah I knew I was gonna get torn apart for saying that, I'm just speaking from my own experience owning one.

I bought a Blade Stealth. Most regretted purchase I’ve ever made. It runs at 100C under any load. Has maybe 4 hour battery life tops. And the screws all fall out.

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Just now, Max_Settings said:

I bought a Blade Stealth. Most regretted purchase I’ve ever made. It runs at 100C under any load. Has maybe 4 hour battery life tops. And the screws all fall out.

Yeah I've heard of people having issues, but like I said, I was only speaking of my own experience with the Blade 14


Desktop: i7 7700K @ 4.7Ghz, 16GB DDR4, Cooler Master H80i v2, 500GB M.2 SSD, Fractal Focus G *white* case, Gigabyte 1080 8GB

Laptop: EVGA SC17 1070: i7 6820HK, GTX 1070, 32GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, 4K Gysnc panel

Laptop: Eluktronics Mech 15 G2, i7 8750H, 1060 6GB, 16GB DDR4, 480GB Nvme SSD, 144hz panel  

 

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 minutes ago, Max_Settings said:

I bought a Blade Stealth. Most regretted purchase I’ve ever made. It runs at 100C under any load. Has maybe 4 hour battery life tops. And the screws all fall out.

The older model? Linus recently released a review of the newer model and seems to really like it.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
10 minutes ago, Name Taken said:

 

Definitely a contender, though the 1080p display bugs me. I don't need to buy something right now, so I'll hold out for a hopefully higher resolution model in the future.

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Just now, Virtual01 said:

Definitely a contender, though the 1080p display bugs me. I don't need to buy something right now, so I'll hold out for a hopefully higher resolution model in the future.

I prefer 1080p for longer battery and not needing to scale Windows.

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44 minutes ago, Max_Settings said:

Absolutely not. Those are absolutely terrible computers that are made terribly. I would recommend watching Linus’ video where he showed that over half of the Blades he bought for his employees broke. And some of the ones he got as replacements also broke.

In terms of looks, the Blade 14 has a very Apple style design approach.


CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 3.2 Ghz Quad-core  Motherboard: Dell 088DT1  RAM: Generic Dell 2x4 GB DDR3  GPU: EVGA Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Superclocked  Case: Corsair Carbide Series 400C - White (with Cooler Master LED Strips)  Storage:  Seagate Barracuda 1 TB  PSU: EVGA 500 W1, 80+ WHITE 500W  Monitor: Asus VS247H-P - 23.6 Inch  Cooling: 3x Corsair AF120 and 3x Corsair SP120 Case Fans  Keyboard: Corsair K95 Platinum RGB  Mouse: Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum (Corsair MM300 Gaming Mouse Pad)  Headset: Logitech G930 7.1 Surround Sound Headset  OS: Windows 10
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I heard that the surface book had a pretty good touchpad, but those things are glued together to a greater degree than modern MacBooks are. Other than that, as far as I'm aware the XPS-13, or 15, are next in line for the trackpad crown. It's worth remembering though, you won't get the same experience as on the macbook, partially because of the way windows handles user input devices and their drivers. It's really really hard to get the software and hardware right when it comes to trackpads. I would love to see a non-apple laptop with an equally amazing trackpad, but I have yet to come across one. As a result, I'm using a MacBook Pro running linux, and occasionally macOS. I think Dell and Microsoft are close to catching up on the trackpad quality, but from what I've tried, they're not there yet. 


Disclaimer : I might be wrong.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, cox1000 said:

I heard that the surface book had a pretty good touchpad, but those things are glued together to a greater degree than modern MacBooks are. Other than that, as far as I'm aware the XPS-13, or 15, are next in line for the trackpad crown. It's worth remembering though, you won't get the same experience as on the macbook, partially because of the way windows handles user input devices and their drivers. It's really really hard to get the software and hardware right when it comes to trackpads. I would love to see a non-apple laptop with an equally amazing trackpad, but I have yet to come across one. As a result, I'm using a MacBook Pro running linux, and occasionally macOS. I think Dell and Microsoft are close to catching up on the trackpad quality, but from what I've tried, they're not there yet. 

To me, the Surface Book falls into the same "obviously overpriced" category that the Macbook itself falls into, so that's out (I would buy a Surface Laptop if it didn't have fucking Windows 10 S though...). I would consider an XPS more carefully if I didn't work at Best Buy and see it get trashed in almost zero time. It just didn't hold up AT ALL to the customer abuse while other much cheaper laptops did. The thing was out of order more than it was working. I know it's not a typical usage scenario but it was still off-putting to see the premium of premium devices fail so easily.

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1 hour ago, Virtual01 said:

The older model? Linus recently released a review of the newer model and seems to really like it.

Yes the original. He liked all his units that he's reviewed, including the generation of the Blade 14 that he bought a bunch of. That is because Razer sends special cherry picked units to reviewers. I have never seen one reviewer have any of the massively common issues that the Blades have. And look, when Linus actually bought them, over half died.

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XPS-13 is decent but I've seen a fair few early ones having wifi connectivity issues lately.

Blade stealth would be a nice contender.

HP's Envy 13 isn't too bad, build quality could be better though, they have a version with a 1tb pcie ssd and mx150 which is decent.

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