Laptop Reviews

The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is a classy product rising above a mob of cheap clamshells

The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is giving high-end Chromebooks for business another chance. God knows others have tried—RIP the Dell Chromebook 13 and the HP Chromebook 13. So far, most people seem to be happy with one of the inexpensive, modestly powered, plasticky clamshells that made Chromebooks an easy buy for entry-level users and the huge education market.  Mentioned in this article Acer Chromebook 14 CB3-431-C5FM Acer should know, as it’s sold over 10 million of them. Only a few,…

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What Is USB-C? An Explainer

Truly Universal? A single standard to rule them all is mostly elusive in the realm of personal technology. At best, there’s a format war and one emerges victorious for a few years until an entirely new technology comes along. To wit, VHS ate Betamax but then was replaced entirely by the DVD, which is now facing extinction in the face of Blu-ray, a standard that itself slaughtered its chief rival, HD DVD. But USB-C is different, perhaps even truly as…

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Hands-on: The Acer Predator Helios 300 Special Edition takes the boring out of budget gaming

The Acer Predator Helios 300 Special Edition didn’t need to impress us. We already liked the Predator Helios 300 we reviewed in March—that was the entry-level version, which offered serious bang for buck. We got our hands on the Special Edition at Acer’s next@acer event in New York CIty on Wednesday, and it improves upon its more modest sibling in a number of ways. What we still don’t know is how the price compares (we expect it to be higher…

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How to upgrade your laptop’s RAM

If your laptop’s performance has you down, don’t simply accept it as a way of life. It’s quite possible that by upgrading your laptop’s RAM you can give your portable PC a boost. (For another great upgrade, see our article on how to add an SSD to your laptop.) Mentioned in this article Does your particular laptop support a RAM upgrade? That depends. Laptop designs vary, including which components are accessible and upgradable. Because not every laptop is built the…

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Acer Predator Helios 500 Preview

Acer’s array of gaming PCs—growing fast, between its basic Nitro and elite Predator lines—runs from casual, popularly priced machines to high-end performance beasts. On May 23, the Taiwanese company announced even more products for its stable at an event in New York City, with gaming systems a big focus. One of the most interesting newcomers is the Predator Helios 500, a 17-inch laptop that sits firmly on the pricier end of the spectrum. The first-generation, smaller-screened Predator Helios 300 15-inch…

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HP Spectre x360 15 (2018) Review & Rating

I’m skeptical of 15-inch convertible laptops. They’re almost always too bulky and heavy to wield as tablets, with the screen folded beneath the display. And if you only plan on using one as a laptop, well, why not just buy a conventional laptop? With that view, you’d think the 2018 iteration of the HP Spectre x360 15 (starts at $1,219.99; $1,449.99 as tested) would be a nonstarter, especially after you learn that HP actually increased the weight and thickness slightly…

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Acer Boosts Chromebook Lineup, Teases Predator X Desktop | News & Opinion

Aiming to please both education users and gamers, Acer on Wednesday unveiled a slew of new gaming laptops and Chromebooks, adding eighth-generation Intel Core processors, Qi wireless charging pads, and several other cutting-edge features. The new Chromebook Tab 10 is designed to supplement the Chromebooks already present in many classrooms. It’s got a built-in stylus that uses Wacom technology, making it a clear competitor to the new Apple iPad, which comes with pen support. Acer envisions that most teachers will…

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Razer Blade (2018) Preview | PCMag.com

Razer’s Blade is consistently one of our favorite gaming laptops, marrying form and function in a way most powerful machines do not. In the 2018 Blade (starts at $1,899.99), the headline feature is the introduction of Nvidia Max-Q technology, which allows a more powerful graphics card to fit in a slim chassis. The technology allows the latest Blade to be even more powerful than the previous version, all while packing a larger screen into a body that’s just as thin…

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Hands-on: Razer’s redesigned Blade is the most powerful 15-inch laptop in town

What’s the “smallest” 15.6 gaming laptop around? Razer’s answer: The redesigned Blade, announced Tuesday, which measures a mere 0.66-inch tall yet packs in all the gaming performance you need. Razer said its own measurements show the Blade’s a smidge “smaller” than the competition. While we don’t care too much about the “who-is-smaller” contest, we do care what’s inside, and that’s where Razer doesn’t scrimp. Inside you’ll find:  An 8th-gen 6-core Core i7-8750H 15.6-inch screen that’s either 1920×1080 at 144Hz or…

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Acer Nitro 5: We unbox a budget gaming laptop for the rest of us

When we unboxed the Acer Nitro 5 we knew not to expect RGB-lit packaging or a fancy carrying case. This is a budget gaming laptop, and it squeezes every penny of value out of its $750 price.  Start with the CPU: It’s an Intel 8th-gen Core i5-8300H, a Coffee Lake CPU with 4 cores and a new bonus: Hyper Threading, which takes advantage of unused CPU resources to boost performance. The CPU comes with 8GB of RAM, and there’s another…

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Ubuntu 18.10 Aims to Improve Laptop Battery Life | News & Opinion

Canonical is focusing on improving power consumption for the next version of Ubuntu. It’s been less than a month since Ubuntu 18.04 LTS released, but when you work on a six-month release cycle the focus moves quickly to what comes next. Canonical is doing just that by telling us what we can expect to see in Ubuntu 18.10, which arrives in October. If you’re only just getting used to Ubuntu 18.04, don’t worry, Canonical hasn’t forgotten about you. In a…

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Get a sleek Asus laptop with an 8th-gen Core i5 CPU and USB-C for $479 today

Sometimes people buy laptops for its trendy or sleek looks. A lot of times, however, a bigger concern is value. Today, there’s a sleek Asus laptop on Amazon that covers both of those bases. The Asus VivoBook F510UA with an 8th-gen Intel Core i5 is just $479. This is the all-time low price for this laptop, which has been selling between $510 and $550 in recent months. The VivoBook features a 15.6-inch 1080p display, a quad-core Core i5-8250U processor, 8GB…

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HP Spectre x360 15 review: With Kaby Lake-G, this laptop can do almost anything

HP’s Spectre x360 15 changes everything. Specifically, the version that wields Intel’s Kaby Lake-G CPU, fortified with Radeon RX Vega discrete graphics, upends the stereotype that 360-degree convertible laptops can’t deliver top performance. And we’ve proven it by comparing the Spectre x360 15 with Kaby Lake-G against its twin running Kaby Lake-R, as well as some high-end clamshell designs. The Kaby Lake G version is as fast or faster than all comers.  The Spectre 15 x360 15’s journey has been…

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Samsung Notebook 9 Pen review: Samsung’s note-taking PC can’t quite justify its price

The Notebook 9 Pen aspires to be Samsung’s version of a MacBook, with a pricey, potent mix of components powering some unique app experiences. But its bland, plasticky exterior will probably suggest a Chromebook instead, though with an iconic S-Pen stylus that’s always ready to jot a quick note. It’s a difficult dichotomy for this 13.3-inch, 360-degree convertible to reconcile, made even more challenging by the Notebook 9 Pen’s MSRP: $1,400. To be fair, we’ve recently seen it for $100…

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