Features

5 reasons to avoid gaming laptops

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Acer Predator 21 X

There’s only one good reason to buy a gaming laptop: acceptable gaming performance on the go. That’s it.

I’ve met several gamers who’d live and die with their gaming notebooks, and I too occasionally use them for casual gaming when I travel, but the cons easily outweigh the pros.

Before we begin, let’s define gaming laptops as mobile computers with midrange to high-end processors and graphics cards built in. They must also be marketed by their respective companies as notebooks for gamers — whether casual or hardcore.

With that, there’s no good reason to buy one, because…

You can barely call them laptops

From the water-cooled ASUS ROG GX800 to the over-the-top Acer Predator 21 X, gaming notebooks simply don’t care about portability. Whenever I review a unit, I must find a bag spacious enough to fit one of these monsters. The total weight can match a small desktop PC, minus the monitor of course.

Things get worse when you travel by air. Every single time I fly with one, security holds me at checkpoints to open my luggage and inspect my massive rig, thinking it’s a bomb controller or a bomb itself. Every. Single. Time. Needless to say, I’ve since been using something like this or this instead. (I’d love to try traveling with this, though.)

Size comparison: An ASUS gaming laptop next to an HP Ultrabook and curved Philips monitor

You could find much better deals elsewhere

Any serious gamer knows this: For the price of even just a low-end $1,000 gaming laptop, you could afford to build a high-powered desktop PC. I’m talking about being able to stick in NVIDIA’s $450 GTX 1070 graphics card with enough cash to spare for a decent processor and motherboard, plus lots of fast memory and storage.

Sure, it won’t be nearly as mobile as a notebook, but how often do you play while in transit or far from an electric socket? In addition, regular laptops equipped with lower-end graphics cards in the $500 to $600 range are actually good enough for casual gaming. I’ve enjoyed titles such as Child of Light, Portal 2, and I Am Setsuna on a $450 laptop sporting just a GTX 940m graphics card.

Upgrades are limited

One of the joys of PC gaming is designing a setup fit for your graphical needs. This is something you can do with gaming notebooks as well, but only at the beginning. That’s because you’re limited by whatever frame you start out with, so upgrades can only be dealt to the storage and RAM later on.

If you must go for a customizable notebook, Aftershock makes the process as simple as possible. I tried customizing a build in one of their shops in Singapore, and was able to choose from a variety of storage, display panel, and even warranty options. But again, prices begin at a whopping SGD 1,157 for the barest model, so you go back to the question, “Can’t I find a better deal elsewhere?”

You’ll have to stay near a wall

With so much power packed into a relatively small space, these types of machines consume a sinful amount of electricity when plugged in. This also means they get really hot under full load, so you can forget about the lap part in “laptop.” Trust me, I used one these as a pseudo fireplace during cold nights.

To make things worse, you have to keep it plugged in to maximize the processing potential while gaming. You see, most laptops throttle down the performance when working on battery power in order to save energy. This effectively kills the mobility aspect of your investment, and staples you to a wall socket.

This Acer Predator spent more time on a desk than in a backpack or train.

They’re simply too expensive

The starting price for “real” gaming laptops normally hovers around $1,000, and that’s for something equipped with a modest mobile version of midrange graphics cards. If you want a rig good enough for games like The Witcher 3 or the newest Tomb Raider, you must shell out at least $1,500, but even then you’ll be held back by middling performance.

If you just don’t care about your savings, going all the way up to $3,000 will guarantee you a gaming laptop strong enough to run games for the next three years at least. ASUS, Acer, Razer, and the like have notoriously jacked-up notebooks for exuberant prices. The wildest gaming laptop I ever used full-time was MSI’s GT80 Titan, which had a mechanical keyboard, two graphics cards, and a jaw-dropping $3,200 price tag.

Counterpoint: We need them for progress

Gaming notebooks aren’t just for bringing proofs of concepts to life; they’re also cauldrons for previously unthinkable engineering feats. Thanks to manufacturers creating these behemoths, realistic ideas spill over to more practical laptops.

Advanced cooling designs, accurate trackpads and keyboards, and efficient internal components were once exclusive to mobile gaming rigs. Now that the technology has matured, you can find these features on much cheaper mainstream notebooks.

[irp posts=”4303″ name=”IFA 2016: Acer Predator 21 X first look”]

Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 Hands-on: What’s New?

Any differences from last year’s Galaxy Z Fold3?

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Samsung paved the way for foldable smartphones that transform into tablets.

That engineering marvel made the Galaxy Fold possible.

After three years, the Galaxy Z Fold continues to evolve.

The Galaxy Z Fold4, while it may look almost the same as the Z Fold3, offers upgrades that one should consider.

What are those changes?

You should definitely watch our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 hands-on for you to find out.


Pre-order the Galaxy Z Fold4: howl.me/1782498420013699516

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Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 Hands-on: Flip That!

Watch Before You Buy

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Of all the foldables that have been around for the last few 3-4 years, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip has been the most fun.

Today, Samsung unveiled the new Galaxy Z Flip4.

While it looks exactly like last year’s Galaxy Z Flip3, it comes with some nifty improvements.

But should you rush out and pre-order though?

Head over to our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 hands-on video to know more.


Pre-order the Galaxy Z Flip4: howl.me/1782498419600267258

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Features

Huawei Matebook 16s: Bigger, better, brighter

For a bolder you

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Huawei MateBook 16s

Watch the video.


Bigger isn’t always better. But Huawei begs to differ. 

After seeing some success with their MateBook D15 laptop, the company decided to up the ante in literally every category imaginable.

This is the Huawei MateBook 16s. As the name suggests, it is a big boy. But it’s more than just a bigger MateBook. Huawei also made sure to up the specs for better overall performance. All while also adding some smart features, making it a bright work companion. 

Let’s break down how this bigger, better, and brighter laptop is great for a bolder you. 

Bigger

First and clearly most noticeable is the 16-inch display. It’s touchscreen and also has a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio. That’s sexy. 

You’re also getting a 3 by 2 screen aspect ratio which is great if you’re pulling windows side-by-side for multitasking. Lastly, it makes sure your eyes are protected with a TUV Rheinland certification for both Blue Light and Flicker. 

It’s also designed with creatives in mind. The screen’s color accuracy is professional-grade. So, for creative work like touching up images, video editing, and anything of the sort, you can rest easy knowing the display is showing the right colors.

After work, you can kick-back, relax and watch videos comfortably.The big screen is great for binge-watching Netflix series or just getting lost in a YouTube blackhole. The speakers on the side help make the viewing experience even more pleasant and immersive.  

The Matebook 16s maintains the unibody design. It looks sleek and sturdy despite the larger body. And the larger body also lends to a more comfortable full-sized keyboard. The keys have a satisfying travel and are spaced just right. You also get a large glass touchpad, making navigation an absolute breeze. 

The bigger body also means more ports. On the right side, you’ll find  two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. And on the left side, you get two USB-C ports, one of which is thunderbolt 4. Alongside it are the HDMI port and 3.5mm headphone and microphone jack.

Better

This 16-inch notebook is also better in so many ways. 

The camera is placed where you would usually find it. And the camera itself is in 1080P and also wide angle. Even more impressive, it’s an AI camera with built-in video effects. FollowCam and Eye Contact work in tandem to make sure you’re always in the center of the frame and that the line of sight adjusts to you. 

And then there’s Virtual Background which lets you select the background you want to use in any video calling platform. 

But of course, the meat of being better comes in the specs department. The Matebook 16s is available in Core i5, i7, and i9 processor variants. All of which are Intel EVO certified which means you can expect a heavy-hitting performer. 

And you’ll definitely need all that power if you work with plenty of image or video assets. Same is true if you use other software that requires heavy duty performance. Whatever the case, the Matebook 16s is equipped to handle it all. And for an extended period too.

To ensure things stay cool when the workload gets heated, Huawei implemented a gaming-grade size dual shark fin fan for quiet cooling. This helps heat dissipation so the laptop can perform at its best. All while being quiet while it’s at it.

But you know what’s surprising? A laptop this big actually has a smaller power adapter. Normally, big boys like this also have huge power bricks. But not the Matebook 16s. 

It has this instead: Don’t let the size fool you, though. The highest version supports the 135W power adapter which juices up the laptop up to 50 percent in just 30 minutes. 

It’s the Huawei SuperCharge but for a laptop. We love to see it. 

Brighter

Now, what sets the Matebook 16s apart from other laptops is its array of Smart features. 

This notebook is part of Huawei’s whole Super Device initiative. Super Device means different Huawei devices working in tandem for a more seamless workflow for the user. We have an entire video detailing this that you can check out after watching this one. 

But essentially, with this laptop, you can hook up your Huawei phone and tablet. Once connected, you gain easy access to the files and apps on said devices. And you can even launch a phone interface alongside your other apps. This means you don’t have to lift your phone just to check on it. You can work on everything straight from the laptop. 

While we have you here, we’d also like to mention the sibling of the 16s — the Huawei Matebook D16. Specifically, the D16’s Metaline Antenna located right around the top-right side just above the keyboard.

What it does is it ensures the laptop gets the fastest connection possible, giving you an advantage no matter what network you’re connected to. 

Another thing present on these Huawei laptops is the Huawei Mobile App Engine. What it does is kind of merge the worlds of Huawei PCs and smartphones. 

A bolder you

Now, take all of the benefits we mentioned, and imagine yourself using the MateBook 16s. Can you see it now?

Enjoying the big screen and all its color accuracy benefits to help you with work. Opening phone apps without actually having to reach for your phone. Not needing a dongle for extra connectivity. And just kicking back and relaxing with it at the end of the day. 

The Matebook 16s is a hard and smart worker’s dream. It’s a complete package that’s bigger, better, and brighter than matebooks have ever been. 

And that definitely will make for a more confident and bolder you. 

Price and availability

The MateBook 16s is priced starting at PhP 89,999 with a free MateView 4K monitor worth PhP 34,999.

While MateBook D16 models start at PhP 55,999 for the i5 16GB+512GB, which comes with a free MateView SE worth PhP 7,999.

The new laptops are now available for pre-order via Huawei’s official online store, as well as Lazada and Shopee.


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

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