The Macbook Air has been around for so many years now but its previous iterations are hard to recommend because they always come with glaring quirks. For instance, last year’s model has a pretty bad keyboard that it is atrocious to type on. That certainly changes, though, as the new Macbook Air 2020 holds a lot of promise.
Not only is this new version highly improved, but it is also the first-ever Macbook Air that is priced under $1000 ($999 for the base model). Read further to find out more about this new and improved laptop from Apple.
What You Get for the Price
When you are planning to buy a Macbook Air 2020, you will be given different price tiers with various configurations. The base model is priced at $999 and comes with a 10th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD for storage.
If you want to upgrade a little bit, say, increase your CPU and storage a notch higher, then you will have to pay $1,299. At this price, you will be getting a 10th-gen Intel Core i5 processor and 512 GB SSD storage. Of course, you also have the ability to increase its RAM capacity, but that is going to cost you extra.
The Macbook Air 2020 is a 13-inch laptop that comes in two colors: Gold and Space Gray. Space Gray is the most popular, but the gold one is really fancy-looking and is definitely a head-turner.
There are a lot of things that have improved when it comes to the design of the said laptop. For one, it has thinner bezels on the sides and while it provides you with even more screen real estate, the top portion still looks clunky thanks to the included webcam.
This laptop weighs about 2.8 pounds which is relatively lightweight (thus, earning its ‘Air’ moniker) and it also measures about 11.9 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches. If you have a previous model Macbook Air, you might find that the design aspects are quite the same and you are correct. The only major difference is the new and improved keyboard and it is definitely way better than last year’s.
One of the things that I do not like about Macbook Airs, in general, is their non-inclusion of a USB 2.0/3.0 port. This is a compromise that people would have to make considering that Apple wants this product to be as slim as possible while providing considerable performance in a smaller chassis.
If you are to use any of your USB-powered peripherals (like a mouse, for example), then you will need an adapter for that.
Why do you think people who have creative professions (editors, graphic designers, etc.) love Apple laptops? Well, that is because of their amazing screens and the New Macbook Air 2020 is no exception.
This laptop has a 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600 Retina True Tone Display, which is technically an IPS LED screen that produces punchy and vibrant colors. True enough, using a colorimeter on the device’s display yields an sRGB gamut of 113%, which is definitely more than the recommended 100% for high-end laptops.
Since it is an IPS display, you can get the best possible color performance no matter where you look at it. Vibrant and punchy- the two words that I would use to describe the laptop’s screen.
One of the best things about the 2020 version of the Macbook Air is its keyboard. A lot of people have complained about the keyboard in the last year’s version mainly because it is not a joy to type on. Well, that has certainly changed in this year’s iteration.
The Macbook Air now comes with what the company calls the ‘Magic Keyboard’ that has been implemented in the Macbook Pro 16 (that was released last year). It is definitely way better to type on, has a good tactile response, and it will not tire your fingers out no matter how many words you need to type.
Considering that this is a lighter version of Apple’s laptops, its performance is okay but not as good as the Pro models. Depending on your configuration, you might experience lags or stutters here or there.
For example, using a 10th-gen Intel Core i5 with 512GB SSD, I experienced some lags whenever I switch to different programs. It is not a dealbreaker since the lags only happen a split-second, but it is still worth noting. Such a thing is non-existent in last year’s pro model, however.
It is pretty hard to quantify how long a device can last, especially since the device’s battery drain relies heavily on what the users intend to do with the said thing. That being said, in my testing, I was able to get a little over 9 hours just by doing menial tasks such as surfing the web, consuming video content, all while doing that at the screen set to 150 nits brightness. To me, that is definitely respectable, though if you decide to play graphically-intensive games, battery life will be lower than that.
The Macbook Air 2020 is definitely the best version of the Macbook Air yet. It has a much-improved keyboard, pretty respectable specs, and a vibrant display. Its base model is also much cheaper than the previous ones.
Having said that, the said laptop is only best for your everyday work tasks and processes. It is not meant to be used as a gaming machine (though you can fire up your favorite games if you want to). It does have a pretty good battery life, but that really depends on how you use the device.
Still, recommending the said laptop is easy given that it is the best version of the product line to date.
HP Omen 15 Review- A Competitive AMD Ryzen Gaming Laptop Under $1500
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Huawei Matebook 13 Review- Ryzen Needs More Power
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Best Laptop Deals in September 2020
A laptop is an invaluable tool in this day and age, especially since most countries all over the world are under quarantine or some sort of lockdown.
If you are looking for one, then you are in the right place. Today, I am going to go over some of the best laptop deals in September 2020 that I could find.
You can rest assured that each laptop that you find in this article is worth your money, so without further ado, let’s get started.
Best Laptop Deals in September
1.Asus Vivobook (X512DA)
There are now more and more laptops that are using AMD’s Ryzen mobile processors, so you can expect better performance across the board, especially when it comes to productivity tasks.
With that being said, the Asus Vivobook 15 is equipped with a Ryzen 5 processor and 8GB of RAM. But more importantly, this thing has a 512GB SSD which is something that you normally wouldn’t find for a laptop that costs $500.
It has a premium look and finish and its silver aesthetic makes you want to look at it all of the time because it just looks darn amazing.
If you are interested in buying this laptop, you can get this at Bestbuy. I would hurry if I were you since this offer is only good until supplies last.
2.Dell Inspiron 15 5000
Thanks to AMD’s rise in the laptop scene, Intel is forced to cut down on the prices of some of its processors. If you are interested in buying a laptop that comes equipped with the Intel Core i7 chip, then the Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is for you.
As just mentioned, this thing has an Intel Core i7 processor built-in and what’s interesting is that this laptop also uses Intel’s Optane memory for faster performance.
Its build quality is not as good as the previous laptop deal but it is certainly okay for most use-cases.
You also get 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage and you can add more SSDs in the future if you want (provided that you know how to open up the laptop to reveal its components).
The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 is available on Walmart.
3.Lenovo 100e Chromebook
If you want a chromebook and you don’t want to spend a lot of money getting one, then the Lenovo 100e Chromebook might appeal to you.
At just $200 at Adorama, this 11.6-inch chromebook should fit most of your needs. Its specs might not be as competitive as the others on the market, but you can certainly do a lot of things that you normally could do on an Android device.
For people that are generally curious about what a chromebook can offer, this is quite an appealing option that you should definitely consider.
If you want a simple laptop that can do all of your office tasks with aplomb, then you do not need to spend a lot of money. All you need is a reliable and inexpensive laptop and the HP 14z is certainly one.
For just $360, you are getting an AMD-powered laptop that has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage space. Its 14-inch screen leaves much to be desired, but for an inexpensive Windows 10 machine, this will be a good choice.
The HP 14z can be purchased at a discounted price directly from the company’s website.
5.Dell G5 15
Do you want to get a cheap gaming laptop that can handle most games at considerable frame rates? If so, the Dell G5 15 is currently on sale for just $800 (down from its original price of $999).
For the price, you are getting a gaming laptop that has an Intel Core i7 processor along with an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1050 Ti GPU.
Since this is a relatively cheap portable gaming machine, I would advise that you get yours as soon as possible. You can buy this from Walmart.
6.Samsung Galaxy Chromebook
If you want a chromebook that has an amazing display, then the Galaxy Chromebook is for you. This thing has a massive price drop as this was originally sold for $999. You can get yours now for just $549!
So, what are you getting for the price? Well, you get a chromebook with pretty good specs, but the headliner here is its 4K display. As you can expect from the company, you are getting amazing visuals for a really affordable price.
Although chromebooks are generally not used in creative workloads, the color accuracy of the Galaxy Chromebook is certainly one of the best out there and if you are in the creative industry, this is the one thing that should definitely be in your consideration.
If you are interested, you can get this directly from Samsung’s own website.
7.Asus Zenbook S (UX391FA)
The Asus Zenbook S is a 13.3-inch laptop with a 4K touch display. Although it only comes with an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, its 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage should be adequate for office and professional use.
What’s interesting about the Zenbook S is that it is ultra-portable thanks to its really slim form factor. So, if you want a laptop that you can slide into your bag without any hassle, this is worth considering.
8.Gigabyte Aero 15
Another gaming laptop, the Gigabyte Aero 15 has the right specs that are offered at a really affordable price. This was originally sold for $1899, so the $300+ discount is certainly quite appealing.
The Aero 15 is equipped with a 9th generation Intel Core i7 processor alongside Nvidia’s Geforce GTX 1660 Ti. To complete the specs, you will also be getting 16GB of RAM and 512GB NMVe SSD.
This configuration is the 4K model which means that you get the best possible resolution both for gaming and productivity/creative tasks.
Although its performance package would have to be beefier if you were to enjoy most of your games at high frame rates, the GTX 1660 Ti should allow you to play your favorite games anywhere between 45-60 frames per second.
In my opinion, this is a definite steal thanks to its components and its reputation. You can get this from Amazon.
9.Lenovo Ideapad 5
Lenovo offers a suite of office laptops that you can use if you work from home and the Lenovo Ideapad 5 is currently on sale for $699 (originally sold at $899).
This thing comes with a 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor which should be able to handle any productivity tasks that you throw at it. It only has the Intel UHD graphics as its GPU, but for office use, it should be okay.
It has 16GB of DDR4-3200 memory and has 512GB SSD to complete the package. Its 15.6-inch display is also quite vibrant as well.
You can get over to B & H Photo if you are thinking of purchasing this thing.
10.Acer Predator Helios
Despite the fact that this gaming laptop has some outdated specs at this point, this is not to say that you cannot play your favorite games on it. In fact, its $999 price tag (originally sold for $1999) makes this quite an appealing purchase nevertheless.
You are getting a laptop with a 1080p, 144Hz display and its Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 1060 GPU should output the necessary frames to tap into this thing’s full potential.
You are also getting 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The Acer Predator Helios can be bought from Amazon.
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