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8 Best Laptops for Home-based Work in 2020- From High-end to Budget Models

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Dell XPS 15 (2020)

We are experiencing an extraordinary event in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic. Because of the said virus, most businesses employ a work-from-home scheme and that is probably going to be the case in the foreseeable future.

If you work from home, read further to find out our recommendations for the best laptops for home-based work in 2020. I am going to go over some of the high-end models, but I will also provide some budget machines as well.

Best Laptops for Home-based Work

1.Dell XPS 15 (2020)

Price: $1,299

Dell XPS 15 (2020)

The best laptop in the market for home-based work is none other than the Dell XPS 15. It is reasonably priced at $1,299 and you also have the option to upgrade some of its parts, though you will have to pay extra for that.

For the said price, you are getting a 15-inch Full HD display, 10th gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD storage. The specs are actually quite competitive, but you can spend a bit more if you want to add extra storage into the mix.

The reason why I recommend this laptop is that it has all of the right features for home-based work. You get a nice vibrant Full HD+ resolution screen. The keyboard is pretty comfortable to type on and the trackpad is actually really good for the price.

Going out with this laptop is also a good thing thanks to its svelte looks and premium build quality.

Battery life is superb as this machine can last up to 10 hours with moderate use.

Of course, if you want the version with a 4K touchscreen, you will have to spend more than $500 for it.

However, with this configuration, it should be adequate for most home-based jobs and that is the reason why this is my top recommendation.

2.Huawei Matebook X Pro

Price: $1000

Huawei Matebook X Pro

They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery and if you like the aesthetics of the MacBook Pro, then you will certainly love the Huawei Matebook X Pro. Just think of this machine as a Windows equivalent of a MacBook.

Anyway, as you can probably imagine, the looks of this laptop cannot be any more professional. It is thin and light which makes it ideal to be brought with you anywhere- may it be on the tabletop in your house or in a coffee shop (or wherever you want).

It has a fantastic 13.9-inch display with a resolution of 3000 x 2080 (3K). It is vibrant and displays whatever content you want in the best way possible.

At the said price, you will also be getting the version with an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor along with 8GB of RAM, and Intel UHD graphics 620 (which is an integrated GPU solution).

Fortunately, it is also equipped with 512GB SSD storage which should be plenty for most use-cases.

While this device has a webcam, its quality is okay at best. It also doesn’t have a microSD card reader, so you may want to opt for a USB-powered reader if you are going to transfer some files (or perhaps, invest in an external hard drive).

All in all, the Huawei Matebook X Pro is a professional business laptop that is also ideal for work-from-home setups.

3.Lenovo Yoga C940

Price: $1,249

Lenovo Yoga C940 Review

If you want a pretty good 2-in-1 laptop that doesn’t break the bank, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Lenovo Yoga C940.

It has a 14-inch display and you can either choose the 1080p version or the 4K variant if you want. For the price of $1,249, you are getting the Full HD version of the device which is still pretty good and vibrant.

The laptop is loaded with the Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, with the Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics, and a hefty 12GB of RAM. As you can tell, this is a productivity powerhouse without a doubt.

Its display is actually pretty good, especially since it has an included Stylus that you can use for your presentations and other documents.

The stylus pen’s receptacle is at the back and every time you put the said pen inside, it will automatically get charged so you do not have to worry about its battery at all.

Putting this on tablet mode is quite easy thanks to the laptop’s impressive ergonomics. You can highlight anything and even jot down notes without any problems.

Lastly, its battery life is superb as it can last the whole 11 hours doing simple to moderate tasks. This is pretty good for the price so now you know why I will recommend this for people that want a competitive laptop for home-based work.

4.Acer Swift 3

Price: $680

Acer Swift 3

Now, I am going to be talking about the more affordable options starting with the Acer Swift 3.

I really love what Acer has done to this laptop because it looks professional and has the right specs for professional workloads.

Let’s start with the design. It is a stylish and lightweight ultrabook that you can bring with you anywhere you want as it doesn’t weigh a lot.

For its specs, you get the 10th generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, Intel UHD integrated graphics and 8GB of RAM which is pretty acceptable in this day and age.

It has all of the right ports, including some USB 3.1 ports, a USB Type-C port, Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort, among many others.

In addition to that, you already get the Windows 10 Pro version installed on this machine, though the downside is that the SSD that is included in this laptop just has 256GB of maximum storage capacity.

Still, with its professional looks, amazing portability, and with the right specs for the price, the Acer Swift 3 is a worthy contender in the budget category.

5.Asus Vivobook 15

Price: $400

Asus Vivobook 15

If you want one of the best laptops for home-based jobs that are priced under $500, then the Asus Vivobook 15 is a popular choice.

It does have modest specs, but for the price, it is actually pretty good. You get a 15.6-inch IPS display with an 88% screen-to-body ratio and a screen resolution of 1080p.

The laptop has what the company calls an ‘ergolift’ design which basically lifts the machine up a little bit, allowing you to comfortably type on the thing.

For its performance package, you get a 10th generation Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor, 8GB of RAM, and integrated graphics. Although the processor is on the low side, it is still good for the price.

It does have a considerable number of ports, including some USB Gen 3.2 Type-C and Type-A ports, USB 2.0, HDMI port, and it also has support for WiFi AC as well.

The only thing that I do not like about this laptop is that its storage solution is a measly 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD. You can rectify that by buying another NVMe SSD, though you will have to spend a bit more for it.

6.Lenovo Ideapad S340

Price: $680

Lenovo Ideapad S340

When it comes to budget laptops, Lenovo is one of the best brands out there. True enough, the Lenovo Ideapad S340 is equipped with specs that should handle any professional workloads with aplomb.

It comes with an Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, 8GB of DDR4 memory, a hefty 512GB NVMe SSD, a 15.6-inch IPS Touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080p, and an Intel UHD integrated graphics processor.

The touchscreen display is pretty responsive and although it doesn’t come with a stylus, you really do not need one; it is that accurate.

I am also happy with the keyboard and trackpad as well. The former is backlit-illuminated, so even if you are typing your documents in a dimly-lit room, you will have no problems doing so.

The trackpad is also accurate and only requires considerable force to actuate. Pretty good for a budget machine.

If I had to state a negative, it would be that the device’s battery life is okay at best. At 8 hours on a single charge, it can last for quite a bit, though not as long as the others on this list.

Other than, the Lenovo Ideapad S340 is worthy of your consideration.

7.ASUS TUF FX505DY

Price: $799

ASUS TUF FX505DY

Although this is marketed as a gaming laptop, it doesn’t mean that you should not get this one. In fact, I can highly recommend it for professional use-cases as well thanks to its competitive performance package.

This machine is equipped with the AMD Ryzen 5 3550H processor and this is also the first laptop on this list that comes with a discrete GPU in the form of the Radeon RX560x. So, if you intend to do some video rendering, this machine can handle it well.

The laptop has a 15.6-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1080p and a 77% screen-to-body ratio. Although the bezels are noticeable, they will not bother you that much at all.

As is customary for the company’s TUF line of laptops, the TUF FX505DY is made of durable materials but I am pleasantly surprised by the fact that engineers from Asus were able to make this laptop relatively lightweight at only 4.85 pounds.

The keyboard is great and has backlight illumination so that even if you are trying to work in dark environments, it wouldn’t be an issue to you.

The only thing that brought this laptop down a bit is its storage solution is limited to just 256GB. It is an SSD though so its performance is speedy, but it would’ve been better if it had more.

Still, for the price, the Asus TUF FX505DY is a great gaming laptop that can also be used for your online job.

8.Dell Inspiron 15 5593

Price: $628

Dell Inspiron 15 5593

The last item on this list is no slouch by any means. The Dell Inspiron 15 5593 is a 15-inch laptop that is equipped with the right specs and is offered at an affordable price.

It has the 10th generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, Intel UHD graphics solution, 6GB of RAM, and 256GB NVMe SSD for its storage.

The 15.6-inch IPS Full HD display has an anti-glare coating so even if you are staring at the screen without any glasses, it wouldn’t hurt your eyes at all.

Other good things about this machine include a wealth of ports to plug in your favorite mouse or other USB-powered devices. It has Windows 10 Home pre-installed and the keyboard and trackpad are okay but there are better options out there.

The only downside to this otherwise amazing budget laptop is that its storage is only limited to 256GB. You do have the option to get a higher capacity SSD, though again, you will have to spend more money.

Still, the Dell Inspiron 15 5593 is a good budget option for people that do not want to spend too much on a laptop for home-based work.

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Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 Review- A Great Business Laptop Under $1,000

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Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 Review

Lenovo’s ThinkPad laptops are made specifically for office use and because of the Covid-19 situation we are in, getting a laptop in this day and age is considered a must.

Having said that, the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 is made for business professionals that want a fairly light laptop that they can bring with them anywhere they need it.

Today, I am going to review the said laptop. Find out why I think it is a great business laptop under $2,000 by reading further.

Design

The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 is a 13-inch laptop that has all of the bells and whistles that business professionals would love in a portable machine.

You have the ability to tilt the screen 180-degrees and its minimalistic design fits right in. It has a pure matte black aesthetic which I think is a great idea because it doesn’t attract too much attention, especially if you are in an office setting.

Most people want to feel secure and the good thing is that this laptop comes with a fingerprint scanner which is situated slightly to the right of the trackpad. It is fairly accurate and it can readily scan your fingerprint in a matter of seconds.

Although this is a 13-inch laptop, the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 is a bit heftier than its counterparts. It is still incredibly lightweight at only 2.8 lbs though, so I wouldn’t make too much of a fuss about it.

While most laptops have their ports scattered on both sides (and some even on the back), the ThinkPad X13 has all of its ports situated on the left side of the unit.

Here, you will find a single USB Type-A port, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack. The inclusion of two Thunderbolt 3.0 ports is great because you can also use it to power up another display if you want to.

Display

Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 Review 2020

This particular machine comes with a 13.3-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. In most cases, the screen is fairly accurate, though the colors do not pop out too much, at least, when compared to other 13-inch laptops that you can find on the market.

I am also surprised that the viewing angles aren’t that great compared to most IPS display panels out there. But, this is not to say that the ThinkPad X13’s screen is bad; it is just that it could have been better.

I am also not impressed with the color accuracy of this thing, as well as its peak brightness. Using a colorimeter, this thing only scored 72.3% on the DCI-P3 color spectrum and it only averaged 278 nits of brightness.

Now, the colors are fairly accurate, but it just doesn’t pop out. This means that this laptop is not meant for creative workloads, but it is more than enough for productivity tasks and typical office workloads.

There is also a 720p webcam on the top-middle portion of the display that provides a clear output, which is nice considering that most people work from home nowadays.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 Keyboard

While most laptops out there use fairly flat chiclet-style keycaps, the keyboard on the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 actually has more concave keycaps. To my surprise, I was able to type better with this style compared to what you can find on other laptops in the market.

Because of how the keys are shaped, you can easily discern if you’ve changed to an entirely different key. This helps typists to type really fast without having to constantly look at the keyboard.

I also like the fact that it has a fairly good key travel and tactile feel. It is not a mechanical keyboard, but I still love how it feels every time I type.

For the touchpad, you are getting a 3.9 x 2.5-inch precision glass trackpad that has a relatively good feel and performance as well. It is smooth enough for better scrolling and it can register multiple taps at once which can be really helpful in some tasks.

While most laptops have ditched the two physical buttons that are supposed to be for the left and right mouse buttons, the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 still has them, albeit they are positioned at the top of the trackpad and not at the bottom.

The placement is not intuitive in my opinion, but for people that still want to use mouse buttons when they are using the touchpad, then I guess this is still a welcome addition.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 4650U
  • GPU: Integrated Radeon Graphics
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4-3200
  • Storage: 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD
  • Display: 13.3-inch IPS, 1920 x 1080 Resolution
  • Connectivity: 802.11AX Wifi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
  • Battery: 48 WHr
  • Dimensions: 12.3 x 8.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs

I am glad that a lot of laptops that you can find in 2020 are already equipped with AMD’s Ryzen mobile processors. The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 is packed with the AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 4650U and an integrated Radeon graphics solution.

While you cannot play games on this thing (technically you can, albeit with very low frame rates), the ThinkPad X13 is actually a pretty good productivity machine.

The processor is more than capable enough of doing some rendering tasks, as well as the usual office workloads that you normally would do on a business laptop.

As configured, the storage could have been improved. Fortunately, you can spend a bit more to get higher storage capacities. Furthermore, if you know how to pry open a laptop safely, you can actually upgrade with another SSD as well if the current storage option is not enough for you.

I am pretty impressed with the performance package of this thing. Even though it is considered a modest machine, it still performed admirably in most business workloads, though I wouldn’t use this machine for creative workloads like photo or video editing mainly because of the underpowered specs, as well as a less than stellar display.

Battery

Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 Side

Normally, laptops for professionals should last the entire day because you will never know when you’re going to need it.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 lasted 7 hours and 53 minutes in my battery of tests, which includes some web browsing, watching movies, and doing some usual office tasks.

Its battery life is respectable, though the MacBook Pro and other 13-inch laptops fared better in this regard.

Verdict

Affordable laptops are highly sought after nowadays because most of us work from home. But, despite the fact that this event will pass, you will still need a relatively good laptop that can handle your office and productivity tasks.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 is a competitive portable machine that is priced under $1,000 and I can highly recommend this for people that want a laptop that they can rely on in these trying times.

This thing costs $975 but you can have some components upgraded at an increased cost.

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HP Envy 15 (2020) Review- A Great Laptop for Creatives

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HP Envy 15 (2020) Review

Are you a professional photographer, video renderer, photo editor, or any profession that involves creative work? If so, you’re probably looking for a portable laptop that you can bring with you for a quick edit and I can highly recommend the HP Envy 15.

Read further to find out why the HP Envy 15 is a great laptop for creative professionals.

Design

You are probably thinking about a flashy portable machine since I am talking about a laptop for creative professionals, right? But, even though this thing can handle any creative workload, it is best that the chassis itself remains subtle and that is what HP delivers.

The HP Envy 15 has an all-aluminum chassis that looks tame but professional. Here, you get a silver build that looks and feels premium- so much so that this laptop weighs 4.7 pounds. It is a bit heftier than other laptops of this type on the market, but this should just tell you that this thing is robust in terms of build quality and reliability.

On the lid, you will find the company’s logo which is presented with lines that have off-angles which I think is done for aesthetic appeal.

On the sides, you will find some air vents alongside some USB-A and USB-C ports, a microSD card reader, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack. The USB-C ports have Thunderbolt 3 support which is pretty nice.

Display

HP Envy 15 (2020) Review 2020

Unlike most of the laptops that you find on the market, the HP Envy 15 is actually equipped with an AMOLED display that is quite similar to some flagship phones that you can find on the market.

Because of the said panel, you get vivid and punchy colors with amazing contrast and brightness. Creating content on this thing is a dream thanks to the display’s color prowess.

After using my colorimeter, I got a 100% sRGB rating, 97% Adobe RGB, and an impressive 142% DCI-P3 color gamut rating which is truly superior to others. Now you know why HP is marketing this as a great laptop for creative professionals.

It is worth mentioning that the HP Envy 15 also supports true HDR which means that you can watch any HDR content online and enjoy it on its 15.6-inch AMOLED display.

You can also use the company’s dedicated touch pen on the screen itself and it is pretty accurate as well. Just remember that the said accessory is not included in the box, so you will have to spend a bit more money just to get one.

There is also a 720p webcam at the top which produces good quality images, albeit on its color is a bit on the cooler side. It does have a privacy shutter that you can use to hide the camera when you are not using any application that warrants its usage.

Keyboard and Touchpad

HP Envy 15 (2020) Keyboard

I am more of a typist than a creative type but I have to say that this laptop has an amazing keyboard. It has a good feeling on every keypress and its tactile feedback is on point. It doesn’t have any backlighting whatsoever, but I think that is a fair compromise.

I find the keyboard’s layout a bit odd considering that there is a lot of real estate that can be used here. I think that has something to do with the speaker grilles that are found on both sides of the keyboard, but I would’ve wanted the company to go the usual route and have a layout that is used by many laptop manufacturers out there.

I just do not like that some keys are in line with each other. For instance, the page up and page down keys are in line with the delete key, which you will find pretty annoying when you are used to the regular layout. This also means that the power button is not on its usual placement on the side, which can be a turn off for some people (no pun intended).

The touchpad has a glass surface. It measures 4.5 x 2.7 inches and I consider it to be respectable enough for most users. Because of the said surface, it is pretty easy to glide your fingers to make gestures, make accurate drawings, etc. It also supports Windows precision drivers as well, so you will know that the company has got you covered if you decide to go all creative on this laptop.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 Max-Q
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4-2933MHz
  • Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD +32GB Intel Optane
  • Display: 15.6-inch 3840 x 2160 AMOLED
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, Intel WiFi 6 AX 201
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0a, 2x USB-C (w/ Thunderbolt 3.0 support), 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack
  • Battery: 86 WHr
  • Weight: 4.7 lbs

The HP Envy 15 has some pretty respectable specs. It comes with a 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor and is coupled with Nvidia’s RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU.

Its performance is pretty good, especially if you are doing some photo editing or even some video rendering workloads. Although it is not as fast as some AMD Ryzen-powered laptops on this front, you still get a fast laptop nonetheless.

Although this thing is marketed as a laptop for creative professionals, its RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU can handle PC games really well. In my testing with the 4K model, it is best that you set the graphical settings to just medium to get anywhere between 45-60 fps depending on the game that you want to play.

I can imagine that you get even more performance on the 1080p model, but 45-60 fps is already quite playable.

You can use the HP Command Center to set the different operating modes depending on your usage. Setting it to Performance mode ekes out every last bit of performance which is great if you really need a powerful system for games and creative workloads. Its balanced profile should be used in most cases.

Battery Life

HP Envy 15 (2020) Keyboard Lid

If there is one downside to this otherwise great laptop, it would be its battery life. The HP Envy 15 is equipped with an 86 WHr battery which, on paper, should be adequate for this kind of machine, right? Well, not exactly.

You see, the 4K AMOLED screen sucks out more battery than an IPS display of the same resolution. Yes, you get better visual fidelity with an AMOLED panel but that is at the cost of battery life.

In my testing, you could get only 2 hours and 36 minutes of effective runtime before you need to reach for the charger. That means that any taxing workload- may it be professional use-cases or playing games- can truly drain the battery really quickly.

You will have to bring the charger with you anywhere you go if you want to continually use this laptop when you are outside, but its hefty power brick can be a bummer to bring for people that want maximum portability.

Verdict

The HP Envy 15 is definitely a pretty good laptop for creative individuals. Its 4K AMOLED display produces vibrant colors with amazing contrast and its pretty impressive dynamic range sets it apart from most of the laptops on the market.

Even though this is not a true gaming laptop, you can still play any games that you want on this thing, albeit you may have to tone down some graphical settings here and there to get good enough frame rates.

The downside to this otherwise amazing portable machine is its battery life. That has something to do with the display panel used as AMOLED screens are generally power-hungrier than their IPS counterparts.

But, if you are okay with the fact that you need to bring the laptop’s charger with you at all times, then the HP Envy 15 is a pretty impressive choice for creative professionals.

The HP Envy 15, as reviewed, costs $1,600.

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HP Omen 15 Review- A Competitive AMD Ryzen Gaming Laptop Under $1500

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HP Omen 15 Review

If you were to shop for a gaming laptop back then, you would have to choose one that is equipped with an Intel processor because they are clocked higher and they have a good reputation in the gaming department.

Fast forward to today and we now have new laptops that are packed with AMD’s Ryzen CPUs and the HP Omen 15 certainly has one of the best out there.

Today, I am going to be reviewing this thing. Find out why I think this is a really competitive AMD Ryzen gaming laptop under $1500.

Design

In terms of aesthetics, the HP Omen 15 is not as ‘loud’ as the other gaming laptops on the market. It has a predominantly black chassis, though you will find that it is actually space gray when given ample lighting.

The lid has the Omen branding in the middle and the colorful diamond situated above the said word actually looks really nice. Other than that, it doesn’t have any other bling.

For the ports, you will find a USB Type-A Gen 3.2 port, an HDMI 2.01a port, an ethernet jack, a full-sized SD card reader, and a 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack on the left.

On the right-hand side, you have two additional USB Type-A ports, a mini DisplayPort, and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port.

While most other gaming laptops in 2020 weigh less than 5 pounds, the Omen 15 weighs a bit more at 5.4 pounds. It is still lightweight but I think that this is worth mentioning, especially if you’ve tried the other laptops that were released this year.

It is still somewhat thin, though, at just 14.1 x 9.4 x 0.9 inches, so in terms of portability, you can still put this inside your backpack without any issues.

Display

HP Omen 15 Review 2020

IPS panels have come a long way when it comes to performance and the HP Omen 15 comes equipped with a 15.6-inch IPS screen with a refresh rate of 144Hz. It is a 1080p screen which should be enough for most users.

The screen is vibrant and that is to be expected given the choice of the panel used. Keep in mind that, by default, the screen is set to 60Hz, so if you want to tap this thing’s full potential, you would have to manually set the refresh rate to its maximum.

The color accuracy of the display is pretty good at 90% sRGB and 71.8% DCI-P3 color gamut. In most games, you will definitely see the crisp images and because it is a relatively color accurate screen, you can do some light photo and video editing tasks on here as well.

There is a 720p webcam at the top-middle part of the display and I think that this is the right placement for such a thing. The camera quality is respectable, though the microphone volume could have been improved.

Keyboard and Touchpad

HP Omen 15 Keyboard

The Omen 15’s keyboard has a standard layout without the full Numpad. I think that this is a better implementation considering that having the Numpad would cram the keys so much that it makes it hard to use.

My review unit only has the white LED backlighting and it is pretty bright. However, you can opt for the full RGB version, though you would have to decide if spending an additional $50 for RGB lighting would be the right thing to do or not.

The keys themselves are a bit mushy for my taste but I am glad that I can still type relatively fast on them. My only gripe with the layout is that the power button is situated directly above the backspace and if you have large fingers like me, you could potentially press the power button while you are typing which can be a pain.

For its touchpad, this laptop has a 2.9 x 4.5-inch matte touchpad. While I love its responsiveness, it would have been nice if it had a glass finish (but this is pretty much my personal preference).

It has plenty of surface area to work with and I am happy to report that you can make precise mouse movements just by simply using the touchpad. It doesn’t have physical buttons, but I think that this is a standard affair at this point.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660Ti
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4-3200
  • Storage: 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch IPS, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 144Hz Refresh Rate
  • Connectivity: WiFi 6 (Intel AX 200), Bluetooth 5
  • Battery: 71 WHr
  • Weight: 5.4 Pounds

The configuration that I have comes with AMD’s Ryzen 7 4800H mobile processor. In terms of productivity tasks and some light rendering, this definitely beats any Intel equivalent chip out there.

For its gaming performance, you could set the game’s graphical settings to high or ultra in some titles, though for more demanding games such as Control, for example, you would have to set it to medium to get considerable frame rates.

I am okay with the 1080p resolution display simply because the GPU cannot produce more than 120Hz if the native resolution is higher.

Playing battle royale games shouldn’t be an issue since they are not too taxing on the laptop and you should be able to reach 144 frames per second comfortably.

I really love the fact that the 8-core/16-thread CPU on this thing can handle whatever workload you throw at it. This is not only a competitive gaming machine but it can certainly go above any Intel counterpart out there.

I do have to point out that if you are taxing the GPU and CPU too much, this machine is quite audible at 56 dBA. That is really loud, but considering that the fans are working as intended, the chassis didn’t go beyond 40C so it is quite okay to the touch.

In terms of thermals, the laptop didn’t go beyond 80C while gaming, and in rendering, it didn’t go above 85C which is indeed impressive. However, always remember that this thing can be really loud, so do bear that in mind.

Lastly, if you haven’t used an AMD Ryzen-powered PC or laptop before, the nature of the CPU ramps the fans up a little bit since the chip boosts quite frequently. This is normal behavior so if you are using this thing and you’ve noticed that the fans frequently go up and down in terms of fan speeds, now you know why.

Battery

HP Omen 15

While I like the performance of the HP Omen 15, it does suffer a little bit in the battery department. In my testing, you could get 6 hours easily doing light to moderate tasks. However, once you put this thing to its limits, you could only go as far as 3-4 hours of use.

The good thing is that you can bring the charger with you and it gives it enough juice in such a short amount of time.

I just wished that HP had beefed up the battery a little bit as the 71 WHr battery on this thing is a bit too low, in my opinion.

Verdict

I am really happy and impressed with the HP Omen 15. Finally, we have a pretty competitive gaming laptop that is priced under $1,500. With the configuration that I have, it only costs you $1,299 which is pretty insane.

Do keep in mind that you can also get the highest spec version of this laptop which comes with a 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor and the Nvidia RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, but that thing costs $1,800 (which is still pretty good).

However, if you are okay with the mid-range performance, the HP Omen 15 with the Ryzen 7 4800H chip is a pretty good gaming laptop.

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8 Best Laptops for Home-based Work in 2020- From High-end to Budget Models

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Dell XPS 15 (2020)

We are experiencing an extraordinary event in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic. Because of the said virus, most businesses employ a work-from-home scheme and that is probably going to be the case in the foreseeable future.

If you work from home, read further to find out our recommendations for the best laptops for home-based work in 2020. I am going to go over some of the high-end models, but I will also provide some budget machines as well.

Best Laptops for Home-based Work

1.Dell XPS 15 (2020)

Price: $1,299

Dell XPS 15 (2020)

The best laptop in the market for home-based work is none other than the Dell XPS 15. It is reasonably priced at $1,299 and you also have the option to upgrade some of its parts, though you will have to pay extra for that.

For the said price, you are getting a 15-inch Full HD display, 10th gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD storage. The specs are actually quite competitive, but you can spend a bit more if you want to add extra storage into the mix.

The reason why I recommend this laptop is that it has all of the right features for home-based work. You get a nice vibrant Full HD+ resolution screen. The keyboard is pretty comfortable to type on and the trackpad is actually really good for the price.

Going out with this laptop is also a good thing thanks to its svelte looks and premium build quality.

Battery life is superb as this machine can last up to 10 hours with moderate use.

Of course, if you want the version with a 4K touchscreen, you will have to spend more than $500 for it.

However, with this configuration, it should be adequate for most home-based jobs and that is the reason why this is my top recommendation.

2.Huawei Matebook X Pro

Price: $1000

Huawei Matebook X Pro

They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery and if you like the aesthetics of the MacBook Pro, then you will certainly love the Huawei Matebook X Pro. Just think of this machine as a Windows equivalent of a MacBook.

Anyway, as you can probably imagine, the looks of this laptop cannot be any more professional. It is thin and light which makes it ideal to be brought with you anywhere- may it be on the tabletop in your house or in a coffee shop (or wherever you want).

It has a fantastic 13.9-inch display with a resolution of 3000 x 2080 (3K). It is vibrant and displays whatever content you want in the best way possible.

At the said price, you will also be getting the version with an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor along with 8GB of RAM, and Intel UHD graphics 620 (which is an integrated GPU solution).

Fortunately, it is also equipped with 512GB SSD storage which should be plenty for most use-cases.

While this device has a webcam, its quality is okay at best. It also doesn’t have a microSD card reader, so you may want to opt for a USB-powered reader if you are going to transfer some files (or perhaps, invest in an external hard drive).

All in all, the Huawei Matebook X Pro is a professional business laptop that is also ideal for work-from-home setups.

3.Lenovo Yoga C940

Price: $1,249

Lenovo Yoga C940 Review

If you want a pretty good 2-in-1 laptop that doesn’t break the bank, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Lenovo Yoga C940.

It has a 14-inch display and you can either choose the 1080p version or the 4K variant if you want. For the price of $1,249, you are getting the Full HD version of the device which is still pretty good and vibrant.

The laptop is loaded with the Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, with the Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics, and a hefty 12GB of RAM. As you can tell, this is a productivity powerhouse without a doubt.

Its display is actually pretty good, especially since it has an included Stylus that you can use for your presentations and other documents.

The stylus pen’s receptacle is at the back and every time you put the said pen inside, it will automatically get charged so you do not have to worry about its battery at all.

Putting this on tablet mode is quite easy thanks to the laptop’s impressive ergonomics. You can highlight anything and even jot down notes without any problems.

Lastly, its battery life is superb as it can last the whole 11 hours doing simple to moderate tasks. This is pretty good for the price so now you know why I will recommend this for people that want a competitive laptop for home-based work.

4.Acer Swift 3

Price: $680

Acer Swift 3

Now, I am going to be talking about the more affordable options starting with the Acer Swift 3.

I really love what Acer has done to this laptop because it looks professional and has the right specs for professional workloads.

Let’s start with the design. It is a stylish and lightweight ultrabook that you can bring with you anywhere you want as it doesn’t weigh a lot.

For its specs, you get the 10th generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, Intel UHD integrated graphics and 8GB of RAM which is pretty acceptable in this day and age.

It has all of the right ports, including some USB 3.1 ports, a USB Type-C port, Thunderbolt 3, DisplayPort, among many others.

In addition to that, you already get the Windows 10 Pro version installed on this machine, though the downside is that the SSD that is included in this laptop just has 256GB of maximum storage capacity.

Still, with its professional looks, amazing portability, and with the right specs for the price, the Acer Swift 3 is a worthy contender in the budget category.

5.Asus Vivobook 15

Price: $400

Asus Vivobook 15

If you want one of the best laptops for home-based jobs that are priced under $500, then the Asus Vivobook 15 is a popular choice.

It does have modest specs, but for the price, it is actually pretty good. You get a 15.6-inch IPS display with an 88% screen-to-body ratio and a screen resolution of 1080p.

The laptop has what the company calls an ‘ergolift’ design which basically lifts the machine up a little bit, allowing you to comfortably type on the thing.

For its performance package, you get a 10th generation Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor, 8GB of RAM, and integrated graphics. Although the processor is on the low side, it is still good for the price.

It does have a considerable number of ports, including some USB Gen 3.2 Type-C and Type-A ports, USB 2.0, HDMI port, and it also has support for WiFi AC as well.

The only thing that I do not like about this laptop is that its storage solution is a measly 128GB PCIe NVMe SSD. You can rectify that by buying another NVMe SSD, though you will have to spend a bit more for it.

6.Lenovo Ideapad S340

Price: $680

Lenovo Ideapad S340

When it comes to budget laptops, Lenovo is one of the best brands out there. True enough, the Lenovo Ideapad S340 is equipped with specs that should handle any professional workloads with aplomb.

It comes with an Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, 8GB of DDR4 memory, a hefty 512GB NVMe SSD, a 15.6-inch IPS Touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080p, and an Intel UHD integrated graphics processor.

The touchscreen display is pretty responsive and although it doesn’t come with a stylus, you really do not need one; it is that accurate.

I am also happy with the keyboard and trackpad as well. The former is backlit-illuminated, so even if you are typing your documents in a dimly-lit room, you will have no problems doing so.

The trackpad is also accurate and only requires considerable force to actuate. Pretty good for a budget machine.

If I had to state a negative, it would be that the device’s battery life is okay at best. At 8 hours on a single charge, it can last for quite a bit, though not as long as the others on this list.

Other than, the Lenovo Ideapad S340 is worthy of your consideration.

7.ASUS TUF FX505DY

Price: $799

ASUS TUF FX505DY

Although this is marketed as a gaming laptop, it doesn’t mean that you should not get this one. In fact, I can highly recommend it for professional use-cases as well thanks to its competitive performance package.

This machine is equipped with the AMD Ryzen 5 3550H processor and this is also the first laptop on this list that comes with a discrete GPU in the form of the Radeon RX560x. So, if you intend to do some video rendering, this machine can handle it well.

The laptop has a 15.6-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1080p and a 77% screen-to-body ratio. Although the bezels are noticeable, they will not bother you that much at all.

As is customary for the company’s TUF line of laptops, the TUF FX505DY is made of durable materials but I am pleasantly surprised by the fact that engineers from Asus were able to make this laptop relatively lightweight at only 4.85 pounds.

The keyboard is great and has backlight illumination so that even if you are trying to work in dark environments, it wouldn’t be an issue to you.

The only thing that brought this laptop down a bit is its storage solution is limited to just 256GB. It is an SSD though so its performance is speedy, but it would’ve been better if it had more.

Still, for the price, the Asus TUF FX505DY is a great gaming laptop that can also be used for your online job.

8.Dell Inspiron 15 5593

Price: $628

Dell Inspiron 15 5593

The last item on this list is no slouch by any means. The Dell Inspiron 15 5593 is a 15-inch laptop that is equipped with the right specs and is offered at an affordable price.

It has the 10th generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, Intel UHD graphics solution, 6GB of RAM, and 256GB NVMe SSD for its storage.

The 15.6-inch IPS Full HD display has an anti-glare coating so even if you are staring at the screen without any glasses, it wouldn’t hurt your eyes at all.

Other good things about this machine include a wealth of ports to plug in your favorite mouse or other USB-powered devices. It has Windows 10 Home pre-installed and the keyboard and trackpad are okay but there are better options out there.

The only downside to this otherwise amazing budget laptop is that its storage is only limited to 256GB. You do have the option to get a higher capacity SSD, though again, you will have to spend more money.

Still, the Dell Inspiron 15 5593 is a good budget option for people that do not want to spend too much on a laptop for home-based work.

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Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 Review- A Great Business Laptop Under $1,000

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Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 Review

Lenovo’s ThinkPad laptops are made specifically for office use and because of the Covid-19 situation we are in, getting a laptop in this day and age is considered a must.

Having said that, the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 is made for business professionals that want a fairly light laptop that they can bring with them anywhere they need it.

Today, I am going to review the said laptop. Find out why I think it is a great business laptop under $2,000 by reading further.

Design

The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 is a 13-inch laptop that has all of the bells and whistles that business professionals would love in a portable machine.

You have the ability to tilt the screen 180-degrees and its minimalistic design fits right in. It has a pure matte black aesthetic which I think is a great idea because it doesn’t attract too much attention, especially if you are in an office setting.

Most people want to feel secure and the good thing is that this laptop comes with a fingerprint scanner which is situated slightly to the right of the trackpad. It is fairly accurate and it can readily scan your fingerprint in a matter of seconds.

Although this is a 13-inch laptop, the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 is a bit heftier than its counterparts. It is still incredibly lightweight at only 2.8 lbs though, so I wouldn’t make too much of a fuss about it.

While most laptops have their ports scattered on both sides (and some even on the back), the ThinkPad X13 has all of its ports situated on the left side of the unit.

Here, you will find a single USB Type-A port, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack. The inclusion of two Thunderbolt 3.0 ports is great because you can also use it to power up another display if you want to.

Display

Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 Review 2020

This particular machine comes with a 13.3-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. In most cases, the screen is fairly accurate, though the colors do not pop out too much, at least, when compared to other 13-inch laptops that you can find on the market.

I am also surprised that the viewing angles aren’t that great compared to most IPS display panels out there. But, this is not to say that the ThinkPad X13’s screen is bad; it is just that it could have been better.

I am also not impressed with the color accuracy of this thing, as well as its peak brightness. Using a colorimeter, this thing only scored 72.3% on the DCI-P3 color spectrum and it only averaged 278 nits of brightness.

Now, the colors are fairly accurate, but it just doesn’t pop out. This means that this laptop is not meant for creative workloads, but it is more than enough for productivity tasks and typical office workloads.

There is also a 720p webcam on the top-middle portion of the display that provides a clear output, which is nice considering that most people work from home nowadays.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 Keyboard

While most laptops out there use fairly flat chiclet-style keycaps, the keyboard on the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 actually has more concave keycaps. To my surprise, I was able to type better with this style compared to what you can find on other laptops in the market.

Because of how the keys are shaped, you can easily discern if you’ve changed to an entirely different key. This helps typists to type really fast without having to constantly look at the keyboard.

I also like the fact that it has a fairly good key travel and tactile feel. It is not a mechanical keyboard, but I still love how it feels every time I type.

For the touchpad, you are getting a 3.9 x 2.5-inch precision glass trackpad that has a relatively good feel and performance as well. It is smooth enough for better scrolling and it can register multiple taps at once which can be really helpful in some tasks.

While most laptops have ditched the two physical buttons that are supposed to be for the left and right mouse buttons, the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 still has them, albeit they are positioned at the top of the trackpad and not at the bottom.

The placement is not intuitive in my opinion, but for people that still want to use mouse buttons when they are using the touchpad, then I guess this is still a welcome addition.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 4650U
  • GPU: Integrated Radeon Graphics
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4-3200
  • Storage: 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD
  • Display: 13.3-inch IPS, 1920 x 1080 Resolution
  • Connectivity: 802.11AX Wifi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
  • Battery: 48 WHr
  • Dimensions: 12.3 x 8.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Weight: 2.8 lbs

I am glad that a lot of laptops that you can find in 2020 are already equipped with AMD’s Ryzen mobile processors. The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 is packed with the AMD Ryzen 5 Pro 4650U and an integrated Radeon graphics solution.

While you cannot play games on this thing (technically you can, albeit with very low frame rates), the ThinkPad X13 is actually a pretty good productivity machine.

The processor is more than capable enough of doing some rendering tasks, as well as the usual office workloads that you normally would do on a business laptop.

As configured, the storage could have been improved. Fortunately, you can spend a bit more to get higher storage capacities. Furthermore, if you know how to pry open a laptop safely, you can actually upgrade with another SSD as well if the current storage option is not enough for you.

I am pretty impressed with the performance package of this thing. Even though it is considered a modest machine, it still performed admirably in most business workloads, though I wouldn’t use this machine for creative workloads like photo or video editing mainly because of the underpowered specs, as well as a less than stellar display.

Battery

Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 Side

Normally, laptops for professionals should last the entire day because you will never know when you’re going to need it.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 lasted 7 hours and 53 minutes in my battery of tests, which includes some web browsing, watching movies, and doing some usual office tasks.

Its battery life is respectable, though the MacBook Pro and other 13-inch laptops fared better in this regard.

Verdict

Affordable laptops are highly sought after nowadays because most of us work from home. But, despite the fact that this event will pass, you will still need a relatively good laptop that can handle your office and productivity tasks.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen 1 is a competitive portable machine that is priced under $1,000 and I can highly recommend this for people that want a laptop that they can rely on in these trying times.

This thing costs $975 but you can have some components upgraded at an increased cost.

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HP Envy 15 (2020) Review- A Great Laptop for Creatives

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HP Envy 15 (2020) Review

Are you a professional photographer, video renderer, photo editor, or any profession that involves creative work? If so, you’re probably looking for a portable laptop that you can bring with you for a quick edit and I can highly recommend the HP Envy 15.

Read further to find out why the HP Envy 15 is a great laptop for creative professionals.

Design

You are probably thinking about a flashy portable machine since I am talking about a laptop for creative professionals, right? But, even though this thing can handle any creative workload, it is best that the chassis itself remains subtle and that is what HP delivers.

The HP Envy 15 has an all-aluminum chassis that looks tame but professional. Here, you get a silver build that looks and feels premium- so much so that this laptop weighs 4.7 pounds. It is a bit heftier than other laptops of this type on the market, but this should just tell you that this thing is robust in terms of build quality and reliability.

On the lid, you will find the company’s logo which is presented with lines that have off-angles which I think is done for aesthetic appeal.

On the sides, you will find some air vents alongside some USB-A and USB-C ports, a microSD card reader, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack. The USB-C ports have Thunderbolt 3 support which is pretty nice.

Display

HP Envy 15 (2020) Review 2020

Unlike most of the laptops that you find on the market, the HP Envy 15 is actually equipped with an AMOLED display that is quite similar to some flagship phones that you can find on the market.

Because of the said panel, you get vivid and punchy colors with amazing contrast and brightness. Creating content on this thing is a dream thanks to the display’s color prowess.

After using my colorimeter, I got a 100% sRGB rating, 97% Adobe RGB, and an impressive 142% DCI-P3 color gamut rating which is truly superior to others. Now you know why HP is marketing this as a great laptop for creative professionals.

It is worth mentioning that the HP Envy 15 also supports true HDR which means that you can watch any HDR content online and enjoy it on its 15.6-inch AMOLED display.

You can also use the company’s dedicated touch pen on the screen itself and it is pretty accurate as well. Just remember that the said accessory is not included in the box, so you will have to spend a bit more money just to get one.

There is also a 720p webcam at the top which produces good quality images, albeit on its color is a bit on the cooler side. It does have a privacy shutter that you can use to hide the camera when you are not using any application that warrants its usage.

Keyboard and Touchpad

HP Envy 15 (2020) Keyboard

I am more of a typist than a creative type but I have to say that this laptop has an amazing keyboard. It has a good feeling on every keypress and its tactile feedback is on point. It doesn’t have any backlighting whatsoever, but I think that is a fair compromise.

I find the keyboard’s layout a bit odd considering that there is a lot of real estate that can be used here. I think that has something to do with the speaker grilles that are found on both sides of the keyboard, but I would’ve wanted the company to go the usual route and have a layout that is used by many laptop manufacturers out there.

I just do not like that some keys are in line with each other. For instance, the page up and page down keys are in line with the delete key, which you will find pretty annoying when you are used to the regular layout. This also means that the power button is not on its usual placement on the side, which can be a turn off for some people (no pun intended).

The touchpad has a glass surface. It measures 4.5 x 2.7 inches and I consider it to be respectable enough for most users. Because of the said surface, it is pretty easy to glide your fingers to make gestures, make accurate drawings, etc. It also supports Windows precision drivers as well, so you will know that the company has got you covered if you decide to go all creative on this laptop.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 Max-Q
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4-2933MHz
  • Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD +32GB Intel Optane
  • Display: 15.6-inch 3840 x 2160 AMOLED
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, Intel WiFi 6 AX 201
  • Ports: HDMI 2.0a, 2x USB-C (w/ Thunderbolt 3.0 support), 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack
  • Battery: 86 WHr
  • Weight: 4.7 lbs

The HP Envy 15 has some pretty respectable specs. It comes with a 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor and is coupled with Nvidia’s RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU.

Its performance is pretty good, especially if you are doing some photo editing or even some video rendering workloads. Although it is not as fast as some AMD Ryzen-powered laptops on this front, you still get a fast laptop nonetheless.

Although this thing is marketed as a laptop for creative professionals, its RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU can handle PC games really well. In my testing with the 4K model, it is best that you set the graphical settings to just medium to get anywhere between 45-60 fps depending on the game that you want to play.

I can imagine that you get even more performance on the 1080p model, but 45-60 fps is already quite playable.

You can use the HP Command Center to set the different operating modes depending on your usage. Setting it to Performance mode ekes out every last bit of performance which is great if you really need a powerful system for games and creative workloads. Its balanced profile should be used in most cases.

Battery Life

HP Envy 15 (2020) Keyboard Lid

If there is one downside to this otherwise great laptop, it would be its battery life. The HP Envy 15 is equipped with an 86 WHr battery which, on paper, should be adequate for this kind of machine, right? Well, not exactly.

You see, the 4K AMOLED screen sucks out more battery than an IPS display of the same resolution. Yes, you get better visual fidelity with an AMOLED panel but that is at the cost of battery life.

In my testing, you could get only 2 hours and 36 minutes of effective runtime before you need to reach for the charger. That means that any taxing workload- may it be professional use-cases or playing games- can truly drain the battery really quickly.

You will have to bring the charger with you anywhere you go if you want to continually use this laptop when you are outside, but its hefty power brick can be a bummer to bring for people that want maximum portability.

Verdict

The HP Envy 15 is definitely a pretty good laptop for creative individuals. Its 4K AMOLED display produces vibrant colors with amazing contrast and its pretty impressive dynamic range sets it apart from most of the laptops on the market.

Even though this is not a true gaming laptop, you can still play any games that you want on this thing, albeit you may have to tone down some graphical settings here and there to get good enough frame rates.

The downside to this otherwise amazing portable machine is its battery life. That has something to do with the display panel used as AMOLED screens are generally power-hungrier than their IPS counterparts.

But, if you are okay with the fact that you need to bring the laptop’s charger with you at all times, then the HP Envy 15 is a pretty impressive choice for creative professionals.

The HP Envy 15, as reviewed, costs $1,600.

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HP Omen 15 Review- A Competitive AMD Ryzen Gaming Laptop Under $1500

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HP Omen 15 Review

If you were to shop for a gaming laptop back then, you would have to choose one that is equipped with an Intel processor because they are clocked higher and they have a good reputation in the gaming department.

Fast forward to today and we now have new laptops that are packed with AMD’s Ryzen CPUs and the HP Omen 15 certainly has one of the best out there.

Today, I am going to be reviewing this thing. Find out why I think this is a really competitive AMD Ryzen gaming laptop under $1500.

Design

In terms of aesthetics, the HP Omen 15 is not as ‘loud’ as the other gaming laptops on the market. It has a predominantly black chassis, though you will find that it is actually space gray when given ample lighting.

The lid has the Omen branding in the middle and the colorful diamond situated above the said word actually looks really nice. Other than that, it doesn’t have any other bling.

For the ports, you will find a USB Type-A Gen 3.2 port, an HDMI 2.01a port, an ethernet jack, a full-sized SD card reader, and a 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo jack on the left.

On the right-hand side, you have two additional USB Type-A ports, a mini DisplayPort, and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port.

While most other gaming laptops in 2020 weigh less than 5 pounds, the Omen 15 weighs a bit more at 5.4 pounds. It is still lightweight but I think that this is worth mentioning, especially if you’ve tried the other laptops that were released this year.

It is still somewhat thin, though, at just 14.1 x 9.4 x 0.9 inches, so in terms of portability, you can still put this inside your backpack without any issues.

Display

HP Omen 15 Review 2020

IPS panels have come a long way when it comes to performance and the HP Omen 15 comes equipped with a 15.6-inch IPS screen with a refresh rate of 144Hz. It is a 1080p screen which should be enough for most users.

The screen is vibrant and that is to be expected given the choice of the panel used. Keep in mind that, by default, the screen is set to 60Hz, so if you want to tap this thing’s full potential, you would have to manually set the refresh rate to its maximum.

The color accuracy of the display is pretty good at 90% sRGB and 71.8% DCI-P3 color gamut. In most games, you will definitely see the crisp images and because it is a relatively color accurate screen, you can do some light photo and video editing tasks on here as well.

There is a 720p webcam at the top-middle part of the display and I think that this is the right placement for such a thing. The camera quality is respectable, though the microphone volume could have been improved.

Keyboard and Touchpad

HP Omen 15 Keyboard

The Omen 15’s keyboard has a standard layout without the full Numpad. I think that this is a better implementation considering that having the Numpad would cram the keys so much that it makes it hard to use.

My review unit only has the white LED backlighting and it is pretty bright. However, you can opt for the full RGB version, though you would have to decide if spending an additional $50 for RGB lighting would be the right thing to do or not.

The keys themselves are a bit mushy for my taste but I am glad that I can still type relatively fast on them. My only gripe with the layout is that the power button is situated directly above the backspace and if you have large fingers like me, you could potentially press the power button while you are typing which can be a pain.

For its touchpad, this laptop has a 2.9 x 4.5-inch matte touchpad. While I love its responsiveness, it would have been nice if it had a glass finish (but this is pretty much my personal preference).

It has plenty of surface area to work with and I am happy to report that you can make precise mouse movements just by simply using the touchpad. It doesn’t have physical buttons, but I think that this is a standard affair at this point.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 4800H
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660Ti
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4-3200
  • Storage: 512GB M.2 NVMe SSD
  • Display: 15.6-inch IPS, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 144Hz Refresh Rate
  • Connectivity: WiFi 6 (Intel AX 200), Bluetooth 5
  • Battery: 71 WHr
  • Weight: 5.4 Pounds

The configuration that I have comes with AMD’s Ryzen 7 4800H mobile processor. In terms of productivity tasks and some light rendering, this definitely beats any Intel equivalent chip out there.

For its gaming performance, you could set the game’s graphical settings to high or ultra in some titles, though for more demanding games such as Control, for example, you would have to set it to medium to get considerable frame rates.

I am okay with the 1080p resolution display simply because the GPU cannot produce more than 120Hz if the native resolution is higher.

Playing battle royale games shouldn’t be an issue since they are not too taxing on the laptop and you should be able to reach 144 frames per second comfortably.

I really love the fact that the 8-core/16-thread CPU on this thing can handle whatever workload you throw at it. This is not only a competitive gaming machine but it can certainly go above any Intel counterpart out there.

I do have to point out that if you are taxing the GPU and CPU too much, this machine is quite audible at 56 dBA. That is really loud, but considering that the fans are working as intended, the chassis didn’t go beyond 40C so it is quite okay to the touch.

In terms of thermals, the laptop didn’t go beyond 80C while gaming, and in rendering, it didn’t go above 85C which is indeed impressive. However, always remember that this thing can be really loud, so do bear that in mind.

Lastly, if you haven’t used an AMD Ryzen-powered PC or laptop before, the nature of the CPU ramps the fans up a little bit since the chip boosts quite frequently. This is normal behavior so if you are using this thing and you’ve noticed that the fans frequently go up and down in terms of fan speeds, now you know why.

Battery

HP Omen 15

While I like the performance of the HP Omen 15, it does suffer a little bit in the battery department. In my testing, you could get 6 hours easily doing light to moderate tasks. However, once you put this thing to its limits, you could only go as far as 3-4 hours of use.

The good thing is that you can bring the charger with you and it gives it enough juice in such a short amount of time.

I just wished that HP had beefed up the battery a little bit as the 71 WHr battery on this thing is a bit too low, in my opinion.

Verdict

I am really happy and impressed with the HP Omen 15. Finally, we have a pretty competitive gaming laptop that is priced under $1,500. With the configuration that I have, it only costs you $1,299 which is pretty insane.

Do keep in mind that you can also get the highest spec version of this laptop which comes with a 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor and the Nvidia RTX 2070 Super Max-Q, but that thing costs $1,800 (which is still pretty good).

However, if you are okay with the mid-range performance, the HP Omen 15 with the Ryzen 7 4800H chip is a pretty good gaming laptop.

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