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8 Best Laptops for Programmers in 2020- Code with Confidence and Style

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Best Laptops for Programmers in 2020

Are you a programmer or developer? If so, you want a high-end computer that allows you to create applications, programs, websites, and whatnot.

Although expensive desktops are great, some programmers would prefer using a laptop for portability and convenience.

Today, I am going to be talking about the best laptops for programmers in 2020 so that you can code with confidence knowing that your work is going to push through without any hitch.

Best Laptops for Programmers

1.HP Spectre x360

Price: Starts at $1099

HP Spectre x360

 

Considered to be one of the best laptops for programming, the HP Spectre x360 is a 13-inch laptop that has the specs to back your profession up.

It comes with the newest 10th generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and you get to choose which one you prefer. Opting for the much faster i7 processor will of course increase the price, so bear that in mind.

You can also get a configuration with 16GB of RAM and up to 2TB SSD for all of your high-speed storage needs.

But, enough about the internals, let’s talk about how the laptop looks. It is one of the more professional-looking laptops on the market that has the specs that programmers will love.

Its screen is a bit smaller at only 13.3-inch but the display just allows you to bring the device with you anywhere you want to with ease.

The display has a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 (4K) and it is an AMOLED multitouch panel so it is a 2-in-1 laptop for professional needs.

As a programmer, you might need more hours to work and that is why the Spectre is a good choice since you are going to get more than 10 hours of battery life, assuming that all you do is code and compile. Of course, your mileage may vary, but that should be a good benchmark.

The only negative here is that the laptop can run hot at times. That is due to the fact that the exhaust pattern on this device is not as optimized as others.

Still, I would wholeheartedly recommend the HP Spectre x360 for any programmer or developer out there due to its amazing battery life and svelte looks.

2.Dell XPS 15

Price: $1,250

Dell XPS 15

Second on the list is no slouch either, despite the fact that it still uses the previous generation processor. The Dell XPS 15 is lauded for its amazing performance across the board.

It has an Intel Core i5-9300H processor, a GTX 1660Ti graphics processor, 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD, 24GB of DDR4 memory, and it is coupled with the Windows 10 Home OS right off the bat (for free).

The laptop has a much bigger screen at 15.6 inches, but its resolution is still stuck at 1080p (but that is okay considering that developers wouldn’t mind a fair compromise). It does, however, have impressive Anti-glare LED backlighting so that you can stare at the display without worrying about your eyes.

Despite the bigger display, the laptop still remains to be lightweight at only 4 pounds so you can easily transfer from one point to another while bringing this beast of a machine with you.

If I had to nitpick, the device could have been better if it had the 10th generation Intel Core processors. But hey, this is still one of the best out there.

3.Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

Price: Starts at $1,769

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

Professional looks, 4K display, amazing battery life, and the processor to back things up, those are the things that you should remember when you think about the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme.

As a programmer, you need to have the processing package that allows you to develop programs without any problems and the X1 Extreme, thankfully, has all of that power.

It comes with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, a whopping 32GB of DDR4 RAM, 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD, an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 Max-Q, and you even have the choice to upgrade some of the components as well (such as upping the RAM to 64GB, though you’ll have to pay extra).

Aside from its amazing internals, the laptop also comes with a 15.6-inch 4K IPS display with the Dolby Vision HDR 400 certification. Not only will the graphics ‘pop out’ but it will definitely make your programming life a lot easier.

With an amazing package, you should also expect that the price is also going to be quite expensive as well. But hey, if you have the money, I can recommend this to you in a heartbeat.

4.Razer Blade Studio Edition

Price: $1,999

Razer Blade Studio Edition

You might have heard of the company, Razer, before. I mean, who doesn’t? It is one of the only companies that specialize in creating amazing peripherals, components, and laptops for gamers.

But, you might think that the company is only limited to producing quality gaming products, Razer has actually developed a separate line that focuses more on professional workloads. Hence, the Razer Blade Studio Edition.

This laptop comes in multiple configurations and its price tag starts at $1,999. You get to choose from a variety of different screen sizes, resolutions, and some components can be upgraded depending on your preference as well.

Its base specs include a 10th generation Intel Core i7-10875H processor, an Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 Studio Edition, 1TB SSD, 32GB Dual-Channel DDR4 memory, per-key RGB-illuminated keyboard, Thunderbolt ports, WiFi 6 compatibility, and so much more.

With all of those specs, you would think that the laptop weighs more than 5 pounds, but that is actually not the case. For a 15.6-inch 4K display configuration, the laptop only weighs only 4.85 pounds or roughly 2.2 kilograms which is really nice!

Now, you might be wondering why this isn’t at the top of the list. Sure, it has impressive specs and all, but Razer isn’t particularly well-known for its amazing customer service.

Do not get me wrong, you can get a hold of one of their representatives and talk to them, but the manner that they handle customer requests is not up to par with big brands like HP and Dell.

But despite all of that, the Razer Blade Studio Edition is one of the best out there for professionals and programmers alike.

5.MacBook Pro

Price: $2,550

MacBook Pro

 

An article about the best laptop for programmers will not be complete without mentioning one of the best products from Apple- the MacBook Pro. Considered to be the best laptop from a reputable company in Cupertino, this device has got you covered (especially if you are developing software for the macOS).

The choice of laptop that you get will depend on the parts that you select. At the time of writing, you get to choose between any 9th generation Intel Core processors ranging from the i5 lineup to the behemoth i9 processors.

Its GPU solution is the AMD Radeon Pro 5300M but you can spend more to get the 5500M variant if you want.

Developers and programmers will surely love the fact that you can have a laptop with a maximum of 64GB of DDR4 memory in it, though that will be really expensive.

Apple is always praised for its high-quality displays and you can find one in their MacBook Pro laptops as well. You can get a 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone colors. The latter technology might be more suited for creative workloads, but it would still be nice to develop software on a screen that looks incredible, right?

Of course, you get to choose your own storage configuration. You can opt for a 512GB NVMe SSD or you can go all out and get a whopping 8TB SSD while you’re at it!

MacBook Pro laptops have always been really good-looking both from the inside and out and this is no exception. This device looks svelte and has the professional aesthetics that any true programmer and developer deserves.

While not really a negative, you do have to remember that this laptop only runs on macOS, so if you’re not comfortable with the said operating system, you might find our other recommendations more appealing.

However, if using the said OS is your preferred choice, then the MacBook Pro 2019 edition is worth considering.

6.Microsoft Surface Book 3

Price: Starts at $2300

Microsoft Surface Book 3

The newly released Microsoft Surface Book 3 should definitely be on this list. Not only is it great for programming but its included stylus also makes it ideal for productivity tasks as well.

Microsoft’s Surface Book 3 comes with a 10th generation Intel Core i7-1035G7 quad-core processor, a whopping 32GB of RAM, 512GB SSD (upgradeable), Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660Ti with Max-Q, Thunderbolt 3 ports, and WiFi-6 compatibility.

Its 15-inch ‘PixelSense’ display has a maximum resolution of 3240 x 2160 (4K) and so that colors will definitely be punchier than others. If you want a more compact form factor, you can also get this laptop with a 13.3-inch display as well.

I also have to commend Microsoft for creating a 2-in-1 laptop that has an amazing keyboard. It is pretty easy to type on which makes it ideal for both app developers and programmers alike.

Where this laptop falls short, however, is in more CPU-intensive workloads. The processor is a 15-watt chip so it may not be as powerful as its competitors.

But, since this device technically is a laptop/tablet hybrid, it is also worth utilizing in other kinds of work as well.

7.Huawei Matebook X Pro

Price: $1,599

Huawei Matebook X Pro

If you want the design of the MacBook but you still want to use Windows 10 as your main operating system, then the Huawei Matebook X Pro has got you covered.

It has svelte looks that are a bit similar to what Apple has to offer and it has some respectable specs to go along with it.

Although it is only fitted with either a 10th generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor of your choosing, 16GB of RAM, 512GB/1TB NVMe SSD storage, its display and professional looks would make any programmer want to buy it.

It does have a 13.9-inch LTPS display with a resolution of 3000 x 2000 so colors are vibrant across the board.

One of its main features is that it is so lightweight. It only weighs 1.33 kilograms so you will have no problems bringing this device with you wherever you go.

8.Google Pixelbook

Price: Starts at $1500

Google Pixelbook

Chromebooks do not have powerful specs like other laptops on the market, but they still have special use-cases that would warrant their purchase. In fact, some Android developers do not mind using a Chromebook for creating applications for the said platform.

So, without a doubt, I can recommend the Google Pixelbook which is one of the best Chromebooks on the market.

It does have pretty respectable specs, though nothing outstanding compared to its counterparts. But, where this makes up for its middling specs is within the Android ecosystem.

Android app developers who are on a budget should definitely look into buying the Google Pixelbook for their needs.

What to Look for in a Laptop for Programming?

Programmers and developers have special needs when it comes to owning a laptop or a desktop. Here are some of the things to consider before buying one:

1.Display

Most of the laptops on the market come in 13-inch or 15-inch form factors. Ideally, you want a bigger screen so that you can fit a lot more elements on the display. However, you also sacrifice portability and if you are a programmer that is always on the go, a 15-inch laptop might not be the best for you.

A 13-inch laptop is great from a portability standpoint, but you are sacrificing screen real estate. So, you’d have to decide for yourself which display size you’re going to go for.

2.Specs

When you are into programming and development, you will need a machine that has the processing power to make your life easier.

You’d want to get a processor with high core count and you also need at least 8GB of RAM (more is always preferred).

Graphics cards and storage capacity are secondary to a programmer, though getting one that is a bang for the buck won’t hurt at all.

3.Keyboard

I cannot stress this enough: You need a laptop with an amazing keyboard. Although you can certainly plug in your favorite gaming keyboard in the device’s USB slot, having a laptop that already has an amazing keyboard is surely worth considering.

Since programming and coding require you to type in thousands of lines of code, it is imperative to have a keyboard that is great to the touch and has great tactility that makes your typing experience amazing.

4.Operating System

Programmers have their own preferred operating system. While Windows 10 certainly has a lot of useful features, some coders would want to use other operating systems such as Linux, macOS, or even Chrome OS as well.

You can always change the operating system of a laptop but having one that is already installed on the machine just makes your life so much easier.

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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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Huawei Matebook 13 Review- Ryzen Needs More Power

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Huawei Matebook 13 Review

Getting a decently priced laptop that can do a lot of things is quite common nowadays, especially since people are forced to work remotely due to the Covid-19 virus.

The Huawei Matebook 13 is a pretty good laptop, though the version I am reviewing today is a bit of a letdown compared to its Intel counterpart.

Read further to find out why.

Design

The Huawei Matebook 13 is a sleek laptop that has an all-metal chassis. It looks and feels premium and although it is an all-metal build, it still remains lightweight at just 2.9 pounds which is quite impressive.

On the right, you will find a USB-C port and on the left, you will find another USB port and a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack and that’s pretty much what you’re going to get.

If you are wondering where the ethernet port is, well, the Huawei Matebook 13 doesn’t have one. Instead, you are going to have to rely on your router as it uses 2.4GHz or 5GHz WiFi connections. This can be a deal-breaker for some, but I think that most people are okay with the omission.

Now, if two USB-C ports are not enough for you, you can buy its separate USB-C adapter that allows you to plug in an HDMI-compatible device, a slew of USB-A ports for your peripherals, and even a VGA connection.

It is also worth mentioning that if you are to charge this laptop, you will have to use the left USB-C port as it is both for charging and data transfers. The one on the right is solely used for transferring data.

Display

Huawei Matebook 13 Review 2020

Here, you will get a 13-inch IPS touchscreen display with an sRGB rating of 80% using my monitor calibration tool. If you are going to do some editing or video rendering on this laptop, you can certainly do so because the display is somewhat accurate for such use-cases.

The screen also has slim bezels to provide you with a lot of screen real estate that you can use for your documents and creative tasks.

Although the laptop is relatively thin, I am surprised that you cannot open this thing with just one hand because the base is not heavy enough to stay on the desk. It is easy to open with both hands though, so I don’t think this would be a huge issue.

Keyboard and Trackpad

Huawei Matebook 13 Keyboard

If you are going to look at the layout of the keyboard and trackpad, you will find that it is quite similar to the Macbook Air. I think that this is one of the biggest compliments that Apple can receive since it is really almost identical.

Although the keyboard itself looks Apple-esque, I’d have to say that I am a bit disappointed. The keys feel heavier to type on and as a typist and writer, this can prove to be a bit challenging compared to other laptops. Perhaps your mileage may vary though because I may have been accustomed to mechanical keyboards so this could have been the issue here and not with the actual laptop’s keyboard.

As for the trackpad, it is a bit larger to allow for easy mouse glide and precision tracking. Gesture-based actions are also possible with the touchpad and I am pleased with it.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  • RAM: 8GB Samsung LPDDR4 2400MHz
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Display: 13-inch IPS touchscreen display, 2160 x 1440 resolution
  • Battery: 41.8 WHr
  • Weight 2.9 Pounds

It is important for you to know that there are two versions of this laptop. One has an Intel processor and this review unit has the AMD Ryzen chip. To summarize its performance, it is lackluster, though it is really good for productivity and general everyday tasks.

If you are into some photo editing work and you also do some light rendering tasks, the Ryzen CPU that is inside this thing can pretty much handle those workloads.

However, it is pretty disappointing that the AMD Ryzen CPU runs hotter here and as a result, you can experience severe throttling issues when the chip is under full load.

I’ve asked other reviews who’ve had the Intel version and they say that they didn’t experience similar issues at all. I think that this is only true for the AMD version and I am really disappointed here.

You can do some light gaming on the side, especially those steam games that are not really graphics intensive, but you shouldn’t expect groundbreaking performance here.

All in all, I am disappointed with the performance package. I don’t know if there is a fault with my review unit but if how this performs on my end is similar to other units with the AMD chip, then you might want to consider the Intel version instead.

Battery Life

Huawei Matebook 13

Because this is just a thin and light laptop, you can expect that there are some compromises that have to be made, especially in the battery department.

And, true enough, the Huawei Matebook 13’s 41.8 Wh battery is not as good as the other 13-inch laptops out there.

With moderate use (everyday tasks, watching online content, and web browsing), I was only able to get roughly 7 hours from full battery down to 0%.

This is not the same as the Intel version, however, as you can comfortably see 9-10 hours of screen on time with it.

Verdict

I am disappointed with the AMD version of the Huawei Matebook 13. Its performance is okay when it comes to multi-core workloads, but its battery life and how it performs in games (at least when compared to the Intel version) leave much to be desired.

I do like its chassis and its lightweight form factor, but the omission of an ethernet port and the fact that this thing doesn’t have USB-A ports right off the bat might deter you from getting this thing.

What is worth noting, though, is that the AMD version of this laptop only costs $899 compared to the Intel version that costs $1,199. The price disparity could lead you to buy this one instead.

But for me personally, I wouldn’t recommend the AMD version, so you should turn your attention to its Intel counterpart if you are really going to buy the Huawei Matebook 13.

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8 Best Laptops for Programmers in 2020- Code with Confidence and Style

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Best Laptops for Programmers in 2020

Are you a programmer or developer? If so, you want a high-end computer that allows you to create applications, programs, websites, and whatnot.

Although expensive desktops are great, some programmers would prefer using a laptop for portability and convenience.

Today, I am going to be talking about the best laptops for programmers in 2020 so that you can code with confidence knowing that your work is going to push through without any hitch.

Best Laptops for Programmers

1.HP Spectre x360

Price: Starts at $1099

HP Spectre x360

 

Considered to be one of the best laptops for programming, the HP Spectre x360 is a 13-inch laptop that has the specs to back your profession up.

It comes with the newest 10th generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and you get to choose which one you prefer. Opting for the much faster i7 processor will of course increase the price, so bear that in mind.

You can also get a configuration with 16GB of RAM and up to 2TB SSD for all of your high-speed storage needs.

But, enough about the internals, let’s talk about how the laptop looks. It is one of the more professional-looking laptops on the market that has the specs that programmers will love.

Its screen is a bit smaller at only 13.3-inch but the display just allows you to bring the device with you anywhere you want to with ease.

The display has a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 (4K) and it is an AMOLED multitouch panel so it is a 2-in-1 laptop for professional needs.

As a programmer, you might need more hours to work and that is why the Spectre is a good choice since you are going to get more than 10 hours of battery life, assuming that all you do is code and compile. Of course, your mileage may vary, but that should be a good benchmark.

The only negative here is that the laptop can run hot at times. That is due to the fact that the exhaust pattern on this device is not as optimized as others.

Still, I would wholeheartedly recommend the HP Spectre x360 for any programmer or developer out there due to its amazing battery life and svelte looks.

2.Dell XPS 15

Price: $1,250

Dell XPS 15

Second on the list is no slouch either, despite the fact that it still uses the previous generation processor. The Dell XPS 15 is lauded for its amazing performance across the board.

It has an Intel Core i5-9300H processor, a GTX 1660Ti graphics processor, 512GB NVMe PCIe SSD, 24GB of DDR4 memory, and it is coupled with the Windows 10 Home OS right off the bat (for free).

The laptop has a much bigger screen at 15.6 inches, but its resolution is still stuck at 1080p (but that is okay considering that developers wouldn’t mind a fair compromise). It does, however, have impressive Anti-glare LED backlighting so that you can stare at the display without worrying about your eyes.

Despite the bigger display, the laptop still remains to be lightweight at only 4 pounds so you can easily transfer from one point to another while bringing this beast of a machine with you.

If I had to nitpick, the device could have been better if it had the 10th generation Intel Core processors. But hey, this is still one of the best out there.

3.Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

Price: Starts at $1,769

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

Professional looks, 4K display, amazing battery life, and the processor to back things up, those are the things that you should remember when you think about the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme.

As a programmer, you need to have the processing package that allows you to develop programs without any problems and the X1 Extreme, thankfully, has all of that power.

It comes with an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, a whopping 32GB of DDR4 RAM, 1TB NVMe PCIe SSD, an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1650 Max-Q, and you even have the choice to upgrade some of the components as well (such as upping the RAM to 64GB, though you’ll have to pay extra).

Aside from its amazing internals, the laptop also comes with a 15.6-inch 4K IPS display with the Dolby Vision HDR 400 certification. Not only will the graphics ‘pop out’ but it will definitely make your programming life a lot easier.

With an amazing package, you should also expect that the price is also going to be quite expensive as well. But hey, if you have the money, I can recommend this to you in a heartbeat.

4.Razer Blade Studio Edition

Price: $1,999

Razer Blade Studio Edition

You might have heard of the company, Razer, before. I mean, who doesn’t? It is one of the only companies that specialize in creating amazing peripherals, components, and laptops for gamers.

But, you might think that the company is only limited to producing quality gaming products, Razer has actually developed a separate line that focuses more on professional workloads. Hence, the Razer Blade Studio Edition.

This laptop comes in multiple configurations and its price tag starts at $1,999. You get to choose from a variety of different screen sizes, resolutions, and some components can be upgraded depending on your preference as well.

Its base specs include a 10th generation Intel Core i7-10875H processor, an Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 Studio Edition, 1TB SSD, 32GB Dual-Channel DDR4 memory, per-key RGB-illuminated keyboard, Thunderbolt ports, WiFi 6 compatibility, and so much more.

With all of those specs, you would think that the laptop weighs more than 5 pounds, but that is actually not the case. For a 15.6-inch 4K display configuration, the laptop only weighs only 4.85 pounds or roughly 2.2 kilograms which is really nice!

Now, you might be wondering why this isn’t at the top of the list. Sure, it has impressive specs and all, but Razer isn’t particularly well-known for its amazing customer service.

Do not get me wrong, you can get a hold of one of their representatives and talk to them, but the manner that they handle customer requests is not up to par with big brands like HP and Dell.

But despite all of that, the Razer Blade Studio Edition is one of the best out there for professionals and programmers alike.

5.MacBook Pro

Price: $2,550

MacBook Pro

 

An article about the best laptop for programmers will not be complete without mentioning one of the best products from Apple- the MacBook Pro. Considered to be the best laptop from a reputable company in Cupertino, this device has got you covered (especially if you are developing software for the macOS).

The choice of laptop that you get will depend on the parts that you select. At the time of writing, you get to choose between any 9th generation Intel Core processors ranging from the i5 lineup to the behemoth i9 processors.

Its GPU solution is the AMD Radeon Pro 5300M but you can spend more to get the 5500M variant if you want.

Developers and programmers will surely love the fact that you can have a laptop with a maximum of 64GB of DDR4 memory in it, though that will be really expensive.

Apple is always praised for its high-quality displays and you can find one in their MacBook Pro laptops as well. You can get a 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone colors. The latter technology might be more suited for creative workloads, but it would still be nice to develop software on a screen that looks incredible, right?

Of course, you get to choose your own storage configuration. You can opt for a 512GB NVMe SSD or you can go all out and get a whopping 8TB SSD while you’re at it!

MacBook Pro laptops have always been really good-looking both from the inside and out and this is no exception. This device looks svelte and has the professional aesthetics that any true programmer and developer deserves.

While not really a negative, you do have to remember that this laptop only runs on macOS, so if you’re not comfortable with the said operating system, you might find our other recommendations more appealing.

However, if using the said OS is your preferred choice, then the MacBook Pro 2019 edition is worth considering.

6.Microsoft Surface Book 3

Price: Starts at $2300

Microsoft Surface Book 3

The newly released Microsoft Surface Book 3 should definitely be on this list. Not only is it great for programming but its included stylus also makes it ideal for productivity tasks as well.

Microsoft’s Surface Book 3 comes with a 10th generation Intel Core i7-1035G7 quad-core processor, a whopping 32GB of RAM, 512GB SSD (upgradeable), Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660Ti with Max-Q, Thunderbolt 3 ports, and WiFi-6 compatibility.

Its 15-inch ‘PixelSense’ display has a maximum resolution of 3240 x 2160 (4K) and so that colors will definitely be punchier than others. If you want a more compact form factor, you can also get this laptop with a 13.3-inch display as well.

I also have to commend Microsoft for creating a 2-in-1 laptop that has an amazing keyboard. It is pretty easy to type on which makes it ideal for both app developers and programmers alike.

Where this laptop falls short, however, is in more CPU-intensive workloads. The processor is a 15-watt chip so it may not be as powerful as its competitors.

But, since this device technically is a laptop/tablet hybrid, it is also worth utilizing in other kinds of work as well.

7.Huawei Matebook X Pro

Price: $1,599

Huawei Matebook X Pro

If you want the design of the MacBook but you still want to use Windows 10 as your main operating system, then the Huawei Matebook X Pro has got you covered.

It has svelte looks that are a bit similar to what Apple has to offer and it has some respectable specs to go along with it.

Although it is only fitted with either a 10th generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor of your choosing, 16GB of RAM, 512GB/1TB NVMe SSD storage, its display and professional looks would make any programmer want to buy it.

It does have a 13.9-inch LTPS display with a resolution of 3000 x 2000 so colors are vibrant across the board.

One of its main features is that it is so lightweight. It only weighs 1.33 kilograms so you will have no problems bringing this device with you wherever you go.

8.Google Pixelbook

Price: Starts at $1500

Google Pixelbook

Chromebooks do not have powerful specs like other laptops on the market, but they still have special use-cases that would warrant their purchase. In fact, some Android developers do not mind using a Chromebook for creating applications for the said platform.

So, without a doubt, I can recommend the Google Pixelbook which is one of the best Chromebooks on the market.

It does have pretty respectable specs, though nothing outstanding compared to its counterparts. But, where this makes up for its middling specs is within the Android ecosystem.

Android app developers who are on a budget should definitely look into buying the Google Pixelbook for their needs.

What to Look for in a Laptop for Programming?

Programmers and developers have special needs when it comes to owning a laptop or a desktop. Here are some of the things to consider before buying one:

1.Display

Most of the laptops on the market come in 13-inch or 15-inch form factors. Ideally, you want a bigger screen so that you can fit a lot more elements on the display. However, you also sacrifice portability and if you are a programmer that is always on the go, a 15-inch laptop might not be the best for you.

A 13-inch laptop is great from a portability standpoint, but you are sacrificing screen real estate. So, you’d have to decide for yourself which display size you’re going to go for.

2.Specs

When you are into programming and development, you will need a machine that has the processing power to make your life easier.

You’d want to get a processor with high core count and you also need at least 8GB of RAM (more is always preferred).

Graphics cards and storage capacity are secondary to a programmer, though getting one that is a bang for the buck won’t hurt at all.

3.Keyboard

I cannot stress this enough: You need a laptop with an amazing keyboard. Although you can certainly plug in your favorite gaming keyboard in the device’s USB slot, having a laptop that already has an amazing keyboard is surely worth considering.

Since programming and coding require you to type in thousands of lines of code, it is imperative to have a keyboard that is great to the touch and has great tactility that makes your typing experience amazing.

4.Operating System

Programmers have their own preferred operating system. While Windows 10 certainly has a lot of useful features, some coders would want to use other operating systems such as Linux, macOS, or even Chrome OS as well.

You can always change the operating system of a laptop but having one that is already installed on the machine just makes your life so much easier.

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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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Huawei Matebook 13 Review- Ryzen Needs More Power

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Huawei Matebook 13 Review

Getting a decently priced laptop that can do a lot of things is quite common nowadays, especially since people are forced to work remotely due to the Covid-19 virus.

The Huawei Matebook 13 is a pretty good laptop, though the version I am reviewing today is a bit of a letdown compared to its Intel counterpart.

Read further to find out why.

Design

The Huawei Matebook 13 is a sleek laptop that has an all-metal chassis. It looks and feels premium and although it is an all-metal build, it still remains lightweight at just 2.9 pounds which is quite impressive.

On the right, you will find a USB-C port and on the left, you will find another USB port and a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack and that’s pretty much what you’re going to get.

If you are wondering where the ethernet port is, well, the Huawei Matebook 13 doesn’t have one. Instead, you are going to have to rely on your router as it uses 2.4GHz or 5GHz WiFi connections. This can be a deal-breaker for some, but I think that most people are okay with the omission.

Now, if two USB-C ports are not enough for you, you can buy its separate USB-C adapter that allows you to plug in an HDMI-compatible device, a slew of USB-A ports for your peripherals, and even a VGA connection.

It is also worth mentioning that if you are to charge this laptop, you will have to use the left USB-C port as it is both for charging and data transfers. The one on the right is solely used for transferring data.

Display

Huawei Matebook 13 Review 2020

Here, you will get a 13-inch IPS touchscreen display with an sRGB rating of 80% using my monitor calibration tool. If you are going to do some editing or video rendering on this laptop, you can certainly do so because the display is somewhat accurate for such use-cases.

The screen also has slim bezels to provide you with a lot of screen real estate that you can use for your documents and creative tasks.

Although the laptop is relatively thin, I am surprised that you cannot open this thing with just one hand because the base is not heavy enough to stay on the desk. It is easy to open with both hands though, so I don’t think this would be a huge issue.

Keyboard and Trackpad

Huawei Matebook 13 Keyboard

If you are going to look at the layout of the keyboard and trackpad, you will find that it is quite similar to the Macbook Air. I think that this is one of the biggest compliments that Apple can receive since it is really almost identical.

Although the keyboard itself looks Apple-esque, I’d have to say that I am a bit disappointed. The keys feel heavier to type on and as a typist and writer, this can prove to be a bit challenging compared to other laptops. Perhaps your mileage may vary though because I may have been accustomed to mechanical keyboards so this could have been the issue here and not with the actual laptop’s keyboard.

As for the trackpad, it is a bit larger to allow for easy mouse glide and precision tracking. Gesture-based actions are also possible with the touchpad and I am pleased with it.

Specs and Performance

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500U
  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
  • RAM: 8GB Samsung LPDDR4 2400MHz
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Display: 13-inch IPS touchscreen display, 2160 x 1440 resolution
  • Battery: 41.8 WHr
  • Weight 2.9 Pounds

It is important for you to know that there are two versions of this laptop. One has an Intel processor and this review unit has the AMD Ryzen chip. To summarize its performance, it is lackluster, though it is really good for productivity and general everyday tasks.

If you are into some photo editing work and you also do some light rendering tasks, the Ryzen CPU that is inside this thing can pretty much handle those workloads.

However, it is pretty disappointing that the AMD Ryzen CPU runs hotter here and as a result, you can experience severe throttling issues when the chip is under full load.

I’ve asked other reviews who’ve had the Intel version and they say that they didn’t experience similar issues at all. I think that this is only true for the AMD version and I am really disappointed here.

You can do some light gaming on the side, especially those steam games that are not really graphics intensive, but you shouldn’t expect groundbreaking performance here.

All in all, I am disappointed with the performance package. I don’t know if there is a fault with my review unit but if how this performs on my end is similar to other units with the AMD chip, then you might want to consider the Intel version instead.

Battery Life

Huawei Matebook 13

Because this is just a thin and light laptop, you can expect that there are some compromises that have to be made, especially in the battery department.

And, true enough, the Huawei Matebook 13’s 41.8 Wh battery is not as good as the other 13-inch laptops out there.

With moderate use (everyday tasks, watching online content, and web browsing), I was only able to get roughly 7 hours from full battery down to 0%.

This is not the same as the Intel version, however, as you can comfortably see 9-10 hours of screen on time with it.

Verdict

I am disappointed with the AMD version of the Huawei Matebook 13. Its performance is okay when it comes to multi-core workloads, but its battery life and how it performs in games (at least when compared to the Intel version) leave much to be desired.

I do like its chassis and its lightweight form factor, but the omission of an ethernet port and the fact that this thing doesn’t have USB-A ports right off the bat might deter you from getting this thing.

What is worth noting, though, is that the AMD version of this laptop only costs $899 compared to the Intel version that costs $1,199. The price disparity could lead you to buy this one instead.

But for me personally, I wouldn’t recommend the AMD version, so you should turn your attention to its Intel counterpart if you are really going to buy the Huawei Matebook 13.

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