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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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Best Laptop Deals in October 2020

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Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 4K

I think that at this point, Laptops have become an essential part of our lives. This is true especially during a time where most businesses let their employees work from home.

Because it is a necessity, I understand that not a lot of people have the money to buy the most expensive laptops out there. The good news is that there are plenty of affordable options to choose from and today, I am going to be providing you with the best laptops deals in October.

I have scoured the internet for the best deals in order for you to get one that is in line with your budget. Without further ado, let’s get on, shall we?

Best October Laptop Deals

1.Microsoft Surface Pro 7 w/ Type Cover Keyboard

Price: $699 (was $959) @Best Buy

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Review

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 may not be a ‘true’ laptop, per se, but this tablet is actually a 2-in-1 device wherein you could add its keyboard attachment and make use of its gorgeous display.

The beauty of a 2-in-1 device is that you can use the display for more portability but you can also choose to utilize the keyboard if you want to type documents or even play some games.

Its convenient kickstand allows you to look at your documents or watch your favorite movies and TV shows without any issues.

Although this deal is just a modest setup with an Intel Core i3 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and just a 128GB SSD, the entire system is quite a steal, in my opinion, because it is now sold for only $699.

If you want a good laptop for productivity, I suggest that you take a look at the Surface Pro 7.

2.Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 4K

Price: $549 (was $999) @Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 4K

If you fancy a Chromebook, I highly recommend that you check the Galaxy Chromebook 4K right now because it is on a huge discount.

The beauty of Chromebooks is that the platform has become more diverse than ever before- allowing you to do a lot of things from making your documents to playing some Android games.

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook was one of our picks for the best Chromebooks because of its vivid display and really good specs.

Speaking of specs, this particular laptop is equipped with a 10th generation Intel Core i5-10210 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD. Of course, you could choose to expand its storage by spending more money if you want to.

3.Asus Vivobook 15.6

Price: $479.99 (was $599.99) @Best Buy

Asus Vivobook 15.6

A professional-looking machine with the specs to match its exuberance, the Asus Vivobook 15 is a laptop that I am sure a lot of people will love.

Here, you are looking for a machine that is built with a Ryzen 5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD which, for a laptop that is sold under $500, is a pretty good deal.

I understand that not a lot of people are familiar with AMD Ryzen processors, especially if they have come from using Intel machines, but I am here to tell you that the Ryzen 5 chip that this thing comes with should be more than enough for most use-cases.

I would also like to add that the display of this thing is quite vivid and punchy and it is definitely one that I would recommend for most people.

4.HP Pavilion x360 14t

Price: $590 (was $690) @HP

HP Pavilion x360 14t

If you are fond of using laptops with a capacitive touch screen display, then the HP Pavilion x360 14t might tickle your fancy.

What I love about this thing is that not only does it have a pretty good display, but you can also utilize it as an amazing touch screen with an included multipoint pen as well.

If you are interested to know more about its specs, you will be getting a portable workhorse that has the 10th generation Intel Core i5 chip, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD.

Although its discount is not as high as the others on this list, this is still a pretty good purchase if you wish to buy this one.

5.Asus Zenbook S

Price: $1,099 (was $1,499) @Best Buy

Asus Zenbook S

If having a 4K screen is really something that you want in a laptop, I recommend that you look at the Asus Zenbook S 4K.

It’s got a really nice 4K display and I am quite surprised by how Asus has crammed a lot of amazing things inside a laptop with a relatively slim form factor.

Aside from its suave looks, you are looking into a portable machine that comes with an Intel Core i7-8565U, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD. If you ask me, this is a pretty good deal.

6.Dell XPS 13

Price: $749.99 (was $858) @Dell

Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS 13 is one of my most favorite ultrabooks in 2020. It is lightweight but it definitely packs enough punch to handle almost any workload you can imagine.

Here, you are getting a laptop that has the 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD. Even though you are only getting a small amount of storage right off the bat, the good thing is that you can actually choose to expand it either by paying a little bit more or spending some money to get your own NVMe SSD.

Seriously, I am glad that Dell has given you the chance to get this thing because it is really that good.

7.Lenovo ThinkPad E15

Price: $729 (was $850) @Newegg

Lenovo ThinkPad E15

Lenovo’s Thinkpad line of laptops has always been known to be great productivity machines and the Lenovo ThinkPad E15 is no different.

It packs some punch because it is built with an Intel Core i5 10th generation processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB of storage. This processing package should give you enough oomph to handle any workload you throw at it.

If there is one complaint that I have about this laptop, it would be its plastic chassis. It doesn’t feel as premium as the others on this list.

Still, I can recommend this in a heartbeat, especially if you are looking for a productivity machine that can do a lot of things.

8.Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED

Price: $1,589 (was $1,899)

Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED

The Gigabyte Aero 15 is one of those laptops that truly amazing displays. So much so that if you are a creative content creator, I suggest that you put this into consideration because it is really good for such workloads.

Here, you are getting a laptop with an Intel Core u7-9750H CPU, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and a dedicated Nvidia GTX 1660ti GPU which is good enough for both gaming and creative needs.

Because of the fact that it is built with an OLED display, you can expect impressive visuals at a relatively affordable price.

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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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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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Best Laptop Deals in October 2020

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Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 4K

I think that at this point, Laptops have become an essential part of our lives. This is true especially during a time where most businesses let their employees work from home.

Because it is a necessity, I understand that not a lot of people have the money to buy the most expensive laptops out there. The good news is that there are plenty of affordable options to choose from and today, I am going to be providing you with the best laptops deals in October.

I have scoured the internet for the best deals in order for you to get one that is in line with your budget. Without further ado, let’s get on, shall we?

Best October Laptop Deals

1.Microsoft Surface Pro 7 w/ Type Cover Keyboard

Price: $699 (was $959) @Best Buy

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Review

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 may not be a ‘true’ laptop, per se, but this tablet is actually a 2-in-1 device wherein you could add its keyboard attachment and make use of its gorgeous display.

The beauty of a 2-in-1 device is that you can use the display for more portability but you can also choose to utilize the keyboard if you want to type documents or even play some games.

Its convenient kickstand allows you to look at your documents or watch your favorite movies and TV shows without any issues.

Although this deal is just a modest setup with an Intel Core i3 CPU, 4GB of RAM, and just a 128GB SSD, the entire system is quite a steal, in my opinion, because it is now sold for only $699.

If you want a good laptop for productivity, I suggest that you take a look at the Surface Pro 7.

2.Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 4K

Price: $549 (was $999) @Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 4K

If you fancy a Chromebook, I highly recommend that you check the Galaxy Chromebook 4K right now because it is on a huge discount.

The beauty of Chromebooks is that the platform has become more diverse than ever before- allowing you to do a lot of things from making your documents to playing some Android games.

The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook was one of our picks for the best Chromebooks because of its vivid display and really good specs.

Speaking of specs, this particular laptop is equipped with a 10th generation Intel Core i5-10210 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD. Of course, you could choose to expand its storage by spending more money if you want to.

3.Asus Vivobook 15.6

Price: $479.99 (was $599.99) @Best Buy

Asus Vivobook 15.6

A professional-looking machine with the specs to match its exuberance, the Asus Vivobook 15 is a laptop that I am sure a lot of people will love.

Here, you are looking for a machine that is built with a Ryzen 5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD which, for a laptop that is sold under $500, is a pretty good deal.

I understand that not a lot of people are familiar with AMD Ryzen processors, especially if they have come from using Intel machines, but I am here to tell you that the Ryzen 5 chip that this thing comes with should be more than enough for most use-cases.

I would also like to add that the display of this thing is quite vivid and punchy and it is definitely one that I would recommend for most people.

4.HP Pavilion x360 14t

Price: $590 (was $690) @HP

HP Pavilion x360 14t

If you are fond of using laptops with a capacitive touch screen display, then the HP Pavilion x360 14t might tickle your fancy.

What I love about this thing is that not only does it have a pretty good display, but you can also utilize it as an amazing touch screen with an included multipoint pen as well.

If you are interested to know more about its specs, you will be getting a portable workhorse that has the 10th generation Intel Core i5 chip, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD.

Although its discount is not as high as the others on this list, this is still a pretty good purchase if you wish to buy this one.

5.Asus Zenbook S

Price: $1,099 (was $1,499) @Best Buy

Asus Zenbook S

If having a 4K screen is really something that you want in a laptop, I recommend that you look at the Asus Zenbook S 4K.

It’s got a really nice 4K display and I am quite surprised by how Asus has crammed a lot of amazing things inside a laptop with a relatively slim form factor.

Aside from its suave looks, you are looking into a portable machine that comes with an Intel Core i7-8565U, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB SSD. If you ask me, this is a pretty good deal.

6.Dell XPS 13

Price: $749.99 (was $858) @Dell

Dell XPS 13

The Dell XPS 13 is one of my most favorite ultrabooks in 2020. It is lightweight but it definitely packs enough punch to handle almost any workload you can imagine.

Here, you are getting a laptop that has the 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB SSD. Even though you are only getting a small amount of storage right off the bat, the good thing is that you can actually choose to expand it either by paying a little bit more or spending some money to get your own NVMe SSD.

Seriously, I am glad that Dell has given you the chance to get this thing because it is really that good.

7.Lenovo ThinkPad E15

Price: $729 (was $850) @Newegg

Lenovo ThinkPad E15

Lenovo’s Thinkpad line of laptops has always been known to be great productivity machines and the Lenovo ThinkPad E15 is no different.

It packs some punch because it is built with an Intel Core i5 10th generation processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB of storage. This processing package should give you enough oomph to handle any workload you throw at it.

If there is one complaint that I have about this laptop, it would be its plastic chassis. It doesn’t feel as premium as the others on this list.

Still, I can recommend this in a heartbeat, especially if you are looking for a productivity machine that can do a lot of things.

8.Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED

Price: $1,589 (was $1,899)

Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED

The Gigabyte Aero 15 is one of those laptops that truly amazing displays. So much so that if you are a creative content creator, I suggest that you put this into consideration because it is really good for such workloads.

Here, you are getting a laptop with an Intel Core u7-9750H CPU, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and a dedicated Nvidia GTX 1660ti GPU which is good enough for both gaming and creative needs.

Because of the fact that it is built with an OLED display, you can expect impressive visuals at a relatively affordable price.

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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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