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What is a CyberPower Fangbook 4 SK-X17?

The latest gaming laptop to arrive on my test-bench is a monster. The CyberPower Fangbook 4 SK-X17 is one of a heftiest notebooks I’ve seen for some time, though that’s not all that impresses.

It has high-end components, too, including some silicon that’s customarily found inside desktop machines. Finally, with Nvidia G-Sync support, this is one of a many fully-featured laptops I’ve seen in utterly some time.

Video: Trusted explains a disproportion between tablets and laptops

CyberPower Fangbook 4 SK-X17 – Design

The CyberPower has a 17.3-inch screen, that puts it right into a tip tier of gaming notebooks in terms of size. This is matched by a gigantic weight of 3.9kg and a corpulent 47mm chassis.

The Fangbook’s distance and weight meant I’d wish a stout trek to use when lugging this appurtenance to LAN parties. It also means that it’s bigger than a pivotal rivals. The Acer Predator 17 and XMG U706, both reviewed recently, import about a same as a CyberPower, though both of those are roughly a centimetre slimmer. And that’s usually as this finish of a marketplace – many other gaming notebooks are thinner and lighter still.

Despite a heft, a Cyberpower Fangbook 4 SK-X17 won’t spin heads. The matte black lid is totally plain aside from a pointed CyberPower trademark along a tip edge.

Ease a outrageous lid open and not an awful lot changes: a keyboard is usually surrounded by a little Intel plaque on a right and a quarrel of tiny by-pass buttons on a left.

Related: Best gaming laptop 2016

Cyberpower Fangbook 4 SK-X17 5

CyberPower’s appurtenance competence not mount out, though it’ll mount adult to punishment. It’s done from tough things and we had a tough time removing a element to give underneath even sincerely impassioned pressure.

Despite a strength, a innards of a laptop are entirely permitted and partially upgradable. The whole bottom row can be removed, that means a storage, memory and wireless label can all be accessed. There’s a gangling M.2 hollow for high-speed storage, and a cooling rigging can all be messy if it needs a clean.

It’s versatile inside and out: Six USB 3.0 ports is a inexhaustible assisting for any laptop, and there are 4 3.5mm audio jacks – twice as many as many portables. There’s an SD label reader and a USB 3.1 Type-C port, and HDMI and mini-DisplayPort outputs. It beats both of a high-end, 17.3-inch rivals in this respect, that is accessible for what is radically a desktop PC in all though name.

CyberPower Fangbook 4 SK-X17 – Features

This laptop competence be complicated and bulky, though as we competence expect, it’s not bricks though high-end components that fill out a chassis, so a weight is some-more than justified.

Graphical grunt comes from an Nvidia GeForce GTX 980. That’s a desktop chronicle of Nvidia’s many absolute GPU, rather than a mobile 980M used in a Acer and XMG machines.

There’s a large disproportion between a desktop and mobile chips. The Fangbook’s desktop chronicle has 5.2 billion transistors and 2,048 tide processors, a time speed of 1,126MHz and a large 8GB of 1,753MHz GDDR5 memory. The mobile indication has 1,536 tide processors and a obtuse time speed and, in a box of a Acer, it’s usually serviced by 4GB of RAM.

The tables are incited in a processor department. The CyberPower’s Core i7-6820HK sits in a center of Intel’s mobile operation with 4 cores and a 2.7GHz core that can boost to 3.6GHz. The XMG has a desktop-class i7-6700K, that starts during 4GHz and boosts to 4.2GHz, that is a outrageous step adult from a laptop-class chip in a CyberPower.

Related: Best games 2016

Cyberpower Fangbook 4 SK-X17 components

In other departments a CyberPower ticks many of a boxes. It comes versed with 16GB of DDR4 memory, that matches a XMG, and a foot expostulate is a 256GB Samsung SM951 PCIe-based M.2 SSD. That’s a same indication as a XMG, though half a ability – and simply improved than a SATA-based expostulate in a Acer.

Connectivity is conventional, too: Killer Ethernet is useful for prioritising games traffic, and there’s dual-band 802.11ac wireless. That Killer Ethernet tie has a messenger app for trade management, and a Fangbook also comes with program to change a colour of a keyboard’s backlight and fast entrance simple shade and connectivity options.

CyberPower’s appurtenance has an considerable specification, and it’s probable to change many of a components on a firm’s online configurator. The memory can be forsaken down to 4GB (not recommended) or 8GB or increasing to 32GB, and there are dual dozen storage options available, widespread between M.2 drives, required SATA SSDs and bog-standard automatic tough disks. CyberPower also sells cheaper variants of this indication during a reduce cost with a mobile GTX 980M GPU instead of a desktop one on exam here.

There’s some-more flexibility here than on a Acer, that can usually be purchased with one choice selection – though a XMG appurtenance still wins when it comes to customisation. As good as charity memory and storage changes, a processors and graphics cards can also be altered.

The Fangbook arrives with a one-year work and tools guaranty that includes a month of collect-and-return coverage. That’s excellent – and matches a Acer – though it’s half as prolonged as a XMG’s warranty. The U706 has a two-year collect-and-return understanding that also includes tools and labour.

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What is a Asus N552VW?

You don’t need to spend £1,500 on a high-end gaming laptop to get plain gaming performance. The many desirable, many monsterous notebooks might make all a headlines, though it’s a machines a integrate of rungs down a ladder that yield a best bang-for-buck. As such, a Asus N55VW looks really competitive.

The section tested here is one of a top-spec variants of this sold model, that has a familiar full name N552VW-FI043T. It has a high-end Intel Core i7 processor, gaming-capable Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 GPU, an Ultra HD shade and a 128GB SSD interconnected with a large, 2TB tough disk.

Video: TrustedReviews explains a disproportion between laptops and tablets

Asus N552VW – Design, Build and Connectivity

The N552VW looks and feels usually a small cheaper than it indeed is. The lid is coated with a dim grey, lead element with brushed concentric circles fanning out from a backlit Asus logo. The edges finish off slightly, though during scarcely 3cm thick there’s really small that Asus can do to censor a fact this is a corpulent laptop.

Open it adult and a somewhat weak pattern continues. The dull corners and neat edges demeanour fine, though a outrageous 18mm bezels bushel a altogether visible allure.

The gradually radiating dots on a tip corners of a keyboard – presumably to pull courtesy to this laptop’s audio credit – piquancy adult what is differently a sea of china plastic.

It’s heavy, too, weighing in during 2.53kg though a energy brick. It’s not back-breakingly bad and hardier buyers should be means to lift it around in a trek though too many bother, though in a universe filled with lighter, compress laptops with usually a small reduction power, a N552VW feels a bit old-school – and not in a good way.

There’s a decent volume of connected connectivity around a edges of a N552VW. On a right, we get dual USB 3.0 ports alongside a 3.5mm multiple headset jack and a DVD drive. On a left, there’s a third USB 3.0 connector and a USB 3.1 Type-C connector means of a fanciful limit throughput of 10 Gbit/s, if we have any peripherals that support it.

Also on a left is a gigabit Ethernet port, an HDMI pier and a DisplayPort connector, definition we can simply set adult a span of outmost displays while also gripping a laptop’s built-in arrangement active. Finally, an SD label reader sits on a front edge.

Asus ships a N552VW with a 128GB SATA SSD and a 2TB tough disk. 2TB is some-more than adequate for a decent-sized media collection, nonetheless a 128GB SSD won’t be vast adequate for large Steam diversion libraries, so you’ll have to conduct where your games are stored sincerely carefully.

Both sticks of RAM can be replaced, as can a 2TB tough disk. However we had a lot some-more difficulty gaining entrance to a rest of a laptop’s innards and wouldn’t suggest doing so unless you’re prepared to vacant your guaranty and repairs your laptop.

Related: Best laptops to buy in 2016

Asus N552VW 1

Asus N552VW – Keyboard and Trackpad

The built-in keyboard is corpulent and pretty grippy, with a satisfactory volume of travel. we didn’t find it leant itself to ultra-fast typing simply since a volume of transport and force compulsory for a keypress is sincerely high. It’s backlit, too, that is good for gaming in a dark.

There’s a full numberpad (albeit somewhat squashed) on a right side, while a tip quarrel of F-keys have choice functions, activated by a Fn button. F3 and F4 have been left mysteriously blank, that seems like squandered space. Media buttons such as Play and Skip are found on a arrow buttons as Fn-activated functions, that annoyingly need dual hands to use.

The touchpad is a churned bag. Its strongest fit is that it supports a infancy of critical Windows 10 gestures, including window preference and Cortana. It doesn’t feel as accurate as laptops propitious with a Microsoft-certified Precision Touchpad, however.

It’s not bad, by any means, though we spasmodic feel a really slight undo between what your fingers are doing and what’s function on-screen. The earthy click is fine, if a small rattly, and we frequency had any issues with a altogether reliability.

Asus N552VW – Display

Asus’ choice of arrangement is a extraordinary one. It’s a 3,840 x 2,160-pixel panel, definition all is super-sharp and high-resolution calm looks fantastic, though in many ubiquitous use situations you’ll frequency see a benefit.

In sequence for on-screen equipment to be remotely legible, Windows’ arrangement settings need to be set to scale adult by 250%. What’s more, while a graphics label is uncommonly capable, it usually offers good gaming opening during Full HD resolutions and below, so such a high-resolution shade seems like overkill.

With that said, photographers will really conclude it. You’ll be means to see some-more of any of a shots we take in aloft detail, definition we won’t have to wizz and vessel around your snaps so often.

Actual shade opening is reasonable. It’s comparatively splendid during 260nits, nonetheless this is generally eclipsed by higher-end screens, and a 0.27nits black levels proportion to nice, low blacks when personification windy games.

I did find a shade erred towards rather dejected blacks and greys during times, that reduced fact in some scenes. Colour coverage is reasonable, too, with a shade handling to cover 97.5% of a sRGB colour gamut, and correctness is rated during a delta E of 6.7, that isn’t quite great, though ideally excellent for dilettante use.

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What is a Asus ZenBook UX303UA?

Asus has been churning out some good Ultrabooks in a form of a ZenBook range. I’ve been quite tender with a stellar UX305, that offers reward build peculiarity and pattern during an affordable price.

With a UX303UA, a association has once again delivered a same glorious build yet this time with softened hardware to contest with a likes of Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air and a Dell XPS 13. Inside a UX303UA sits one of Intel’s new Skylake Core i7 processors, 12GB of DDR3 RAM, and 256GB of solid-state storage.

The Ultrabook is accessible in a operation of configurations, charity possibly a i3-6100U or i5-6200U chip, with 128GB, 256GB, 500GB or 1TB storage options. But it’s a i7, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB storage chronicle that appears to be a customary configuration, judging by a discerning peek during online stores.

At £899, a UX303UA isn’t a cheapest laptop, yet conjunction is it a many costly Ultrabook. In fact, it’s really pretty priced, that creates it an sparkling awaiting for anyone looking for a top-performing Windows machine.

Asus ZenBook UX303UA – Design

What’s bizarre about a UX303UA is that while a build peculiarity is great, a pattern is a small underwhelming.

First, that signature Asus concentric circle, brushed steel finish has been defended for a aluminium case. It’s accessible in 3 colours: Smoky Brown, Icicle Gold and Rose Gold. we was sent a Icicle Gold chronicle for my examination and can contend that while it positively doesn’t feel inexpensive or flimsy, there’s something about a elementary aesthetics that roughly undermines Asus’ reward aspirations.

Related: Best Laptops 2016

AsusZenBookUX303UA

Prior to a UX303UA we reviewed Asus’ most lower-end Transformer Book Flip TP200SA, and to be honest, there’s really small to heed a dual in terms of pristine looks. The UX303UA apparently has a improved build peculiarity and feels decidedly sturdier, yet from a outward both laptops demeanour a same.

Perhaps it’s a “Icicle Gold”, that was some-more like a faded silver, that done it seem as yet a laptop had seen improved days. Or maybe it was that there was no standout pattern underline – a Lenovo Yoga 900’s perplexing hinge, for example. Whatever it was, we usually wasn’t removing a thought of “premium” that Asus is earnest here.

AsusZenBookUX303UAMain

The vast bezel doesn’t assistance either, detracting from any try to settle a high-end finish. Unlike a super-slim bezel on a Dell XPS 13, Asus’ laptop proudly sports a outrageous shade limit that doesn’t do most for a altogether look.

In terms of build quality, however, this laptop can’t be faulted. It feels robust, there are nothing of a issues that mostly come with lower-end inclination – such as a rattling trackpad – and a tip half of a box feels sturdier than a rather groundless bid on a some-more costly Lenovo Yoga 900.

The laptop is also sincerely light during 1.45kg. That’s somewhat heavier than a prior ZenBook UX305 and a XPS 13, that both import in during 1.2kg, yet it’s about a same as a 13-inch MacBook Air’s 1.35kg.

AsusZenBookUX303UASide

At 19mm, a UX303UA’s is thicker than a MacBook Air’s 17mm and a Dell XPS’s 15mm. It’s also bulkier than a UX305, that was an considerable 12.3mm during a widest point. The UX303UA isn’t a lightest or thinnest laptop we can buy then, yet it’s still sincerely compress and, like a Dell and MacBook Air, you’ll have small emanate carrying it around.

In terms of ports, Asus has done decent provisions. The right side of a box facilities a energy socket, mini-DisplayPort, USB 3.0 port, HDMI port, and a combo audio jack. On a left lay dual USB 3.0 ports and an SD label reader.

Unfortunately, there’s no USB Type-C support, that would have done a UX303UA a most some-more appealing choice in terms of future-proofing, nonetheless it’s good to see that Asus has enclosed a HDMI-out port.

AsusZenBookUX303UASide2

Asus ZenBook UX303UA – Keyboard and Trackpad

While some might find a UX303UA’s keyboard a small shoal when it comes to travel, we didn’t find it an issue. The non-backlit keys do feel a small spongy, yet in my opinion blueprint is some-more important. If arrows are in an unknown place, or a Enter pivotal has been reduced in size, it can chuck we off. Thankfully, there are no such issues with a UX303UA; we could form simply yet attack wrong keys.

AsusZenBookUX303UAKeyboard3

It would have been good to have enclosed backlighting, a underline offering by both Dell and Apple, generally given Asus has left to a bid to yield considerable specs elsewhere. These days it seems backlighting has turn a customary further for many companies.

The distance of a trackpad is considerable for a 13-inch laptop. It’s surrounded by a china trim, and doesn’t humour from any rattling.

I did have a repeated emanate with drumming and dragging, however. When opening tabs in Chrome for instance, I’d daub on an open link, afterwards pierce a cursor downwards usually to have a add-on follow me. It’s a teenager issue, yet one that we haven’t gifted with a MacBook, nor any other laptop in this cost category.

AsusZenBookUX303UATrackPad

Overall, though, a trackpad felt manageable and we gifted no other issues regulating a features, including a three-fingered app switching and two-finger wizz functions.

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What is a HP EliteBook Folio 1020 Bang Olufsen Limited Edition?

The EliteBook operation represents a apex of HP’s pattern efforts. Although business laptops, they’re distant from a dull-looking workhorses you’d pattern with this category of device. In fact, they’re sharp Ultrabooks with high-quality designs that stir distant over a boardroom.

The latest EliteBook is a singular book section constructed with high-end audio organisation Bang Olufsen, a partnership that brings much-improved audio firmware to HP’s machine.

Related: The World’s Best Ultrabooks

HP EliteBook Folio LE 11

HP EliteBook Folio 1020 Bang Olufsen Limited Edition – Design

The link-up with Bang Olufsen hasn’t usually brought changes in a sound dialect – it’s had a large change on this machine’s design. The aluminium customarily seen on EliteBooks and other Ultrabooks has been transposed by a darker gunmetal amalgamate of aluminium and magnesium, and a finish outcome is stunning.

The many accents that customarily heat with resplendent steel are instead orange, from a hinge and a logos to a trackpad approximate and a keyboard font. The HP’s slim front corner and minimal lines tumble in step with other Ultrabooks, though a darker steel and burnt orange assistance it mount out.

HP mixes adventurous pattern with considerable distance and strength: this Folio weighs 1.2kg and it’s 16mm thin. The latest Apple Macbook Air and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon are a millimetre or dual thicker, and a HP’s weight sits between those machines. Simply put, a EliteBook will fit orderly in your bag.

HP EliteBook Folio LE 4

Despite all of that, HP says a EliteBook can withstand copiousness of punishment. HP has tested a EliteBook to MIL-STD-810G standards, that means it’s undergone make-believe of 1,000 miles of car ride and has been left using for 6 hours while lonesome in dust.

HP has forsaken a EliteBook 26 times from 30 inches onto each angle and edge, and it’s been subjected to outrageous heat changes. In short, this pacifist cover will keep operative in probably any sourroundings that you’d take an Ultrabook. HP’s military-grade braggadocio is corroborated adult by hands-on time: a Folio is strong, with small give in a surfaces or screen.

HP EliteBook Folio 1020 Bang Olufsen Limited Edition – Features

The Folio backs adult a considerable pattern with a good line-up of features. Internal connectivity extends to dual-band 802.11ac wireless and Bluetooth 4.0, and a edges have dual USB 3 ports, a microSD label reader and a headphone jack. Its webcam is accompanied by a dual-array microphone and noise-reduction program for clearer video conferencing. It includes TPM, Intel vPro and a fingerprint reader, though no NFC.

The appurtenance has an HDMI output, and a advancing pier connects to an enclosed dongle that adds an Ethernet jack and D-SUB output. Also benefaction is business software, with apps enclosed to conduct and strengthen whole fleets of notebooks.

It’s a improved underline set than consumer laptops, though business machines offer more. The Lenovo has a 4G-ready SIM label container and improved inner access, while a HP ZBook 14 G2 had a incomparable series of ports and ascent room.

HP EliteBook Folio LE 22

Under a hood, it’s business as usual. This pacifist unstable is powered by an Intel Core M-5Y71 processor. It’s a 14nm low-power partial designed for longevity and efficiency. Its 4.5W rise energy requirement is a prolonged proceed brief of a 15W indispensable by a Core i7-5600U inside a Lenovo and a MacBook Air’s Core i5.

The HP’s chip is a dual-core Hyper-Threaded partial with a 1.2GHz time and a Turbo rise of 2.9GHz. There’s 4MB of L3 cache. The Core i7-5600U in a Lenovo is also dual-core – though a bottom speed of 2.6GHz rises to 3.2GHz.

The Core M chip comes with Intel’s HD Graphics 5300 core, that has 192 tide processors and runs between 300MHz and 900MHz. That’s excellent for this turn of machine, though rivals are improved equipped: a Lenovo’s HD Graphics 5500 chipset peaks during 950MHz. The MacBook Air has HD Graphics 6000, that boasts 384 tide processors.

Elsewhere, HP’s appurtenance has 8GB of memory and a 512GB SSD. That’s sweeping for a corporate machine, though it’s a SATA drive, so a speed will be limited when compared to a MacBook’s PCI-based storage.

It’s usually probable to get a Folio’s Bang Olufsen book with this specification, though some-more movement is accessible elsewhere in a range. An comparison selection with a smaller SSD and somewhat slower processor is accessible for £1,319. There’s an even cheaper indication that costs £1,199 that maintains those obtuse components though creates do with a 1080p screen.

This model’s high cost also invites a horde of alternatives. The pivotal contender is a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon, that comes in 3 models that operation from £1,160 to £1,770. They all have Core i5 or Core i7 processors and 8GB of RAM; a dual pricier models have 1440p screens. The many costly indication has a PCI-based SSD, and it’s still cheaper than a HP.

It’s also value looking during HP’s possess range. The ZBook 14 is a small incomparable and therefore heavier, though not adequate to import down a bag – and a combined bulk comes with a some-more focused approach. These machines have Core i7 processors, SSDs and 1080p 14in screens, and some have AMD FirePro graphics. The ZBooks also cost usually around £1,000.

The top-end Apple MacBook Air 13in indication is twice as inexpensive as a HP. It looks likewise stylish, and there isn’t most to compute a specification. It’s blank usually a EliteBook’s business features.

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Hands-on with Lenovo’s compress Windows 10 convertible

Windows 10 convertibles have been all a fury this year. Samsung kicked off a trend during CES in Jan when it denounced a Galaxy TabPro S. Huawei followed fit during MWC 2016 when it denounced a initial ever laptop convertible, a Matebook.

Both inclination demeanour great, yet are set to cost we a flattering penny. And that’s indeed demonstrative of a wider problem within a Windows 10 automobile space – there haven’t been any decent affordable hybrids.

Enter Lenovo and a IdeaPad MIIX 310, a hybrid Windows 10 inscription with a entirely functioning keyboard wharf that’s set to sell for a piddly €269.

4 things we need to know about a Lenovo IdeaPad MIIX 310

1) It has an tangible keyboard

Keyboards are a cause that can make or mangle a laptop’s or convertible’s altogether appeal. Which is because I’m gratified Lenovo’s bundled a IdeaPad MIIX 310 with a earthy keyboard, not usually a groundless Microsoft Type Cover rip-off.

The 10-inch keyboard isn’t a biggest in a universe and isn’t backlit. But we found it to be flattering gentle to form on. The keys aren’t overly squashy and have suitable travel, despite they are a small squidged together.

What’s more, a keyboard also adds full-size USB sockets, that will be a pivotal offered indicate for people who wish to use a Lenovo IdeaPad MIIX 310 as a laptop first, inscription second.

2) Bloatware has been kept to a minimum

Lenovo betrothed it would stop loading a consumer inclination with bloatware after a name series of a laptops were found using a Superfish adware a integrate of years ago.

However, to date it’s usually partially kept this promise. As we remarkable in a Lenovo Yoga 900 examination final year, many of a laptops still come with neglected third-party applications installed.

But during my hands-on we found, generally, that Lenovo’s taken a light hold with a IdeaPad MIIX 310. The usually large third-party app we found was Lenovo’s REACHit service. REACHit is a cloud file-management underline that aims to make it easier for laptop owners to find and curate all their documents, photos, music, videos, from one application. I’ve never had many use for it, yet a participation is frequency a understanding breaker.

3) This isn’t a Surface rival

While these facilities sound great, buyers should know this isn’t a Microsoft Surface rival. The IdeaPad MIIX 310 is a netbook-grade product with low-end hardware designed for energy potency and portability, not opening horsepower.

It’s powered by an Intel Atom X5 8300 CPU and has a medium 4GB of RAM. These specs unequivocally aren’t anything to write home about, yet are on a standard with many other affordable, small-form-factor Windows 10 convertibles, such as a Asus Transformer Book T100HA.

This means a IdeaPad MIIX 310 should be excellent for web browsing, video streaming and simple bureau tasks, yet even tolerably perfectionist tasks will be over it.

4) But it has some good facilities

That said, a IdeaPad MIIX 310 does have some certain features. For starters, Lenovo’s quoting a IdeaPad MIIX 310 as charity a plain 10 hours of video playback. If loyal this could be a critical offered point. Most other Windows 10 convertibles in a same cost joint onslaught to make it past a 6- to 7-hour mark. Those who wish to can also ascent a 10-inch shade to be FHD and supplement 4G connectivity – yet doing so will apparently strike adult a device’s price.

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Lenovo IdeaPad MIIX 310 in pictures

ideapad MIIX 310The FHD 10-inch shade looks pointy and vibrant

ideapad MIIX 310The device feels good built

ideapad MIIX 310And a keyboard is gentle to form on

ideapad MIIX 310The inclusion of full-sized USBs is a bonus

ideapad MIIX 310Overall it looks flattering good for a bill convertible

Lenovo IdeaPad MIIX 310: Opening Impressions

The Lenovo IdeaPad MIIX 310 might not be a sexiest automobile on a market. That pretension still belongs to Microsoft’s awesome, yet woefully expensive, Surface Book. But it could be a good choice for buyers on a budget, or students looking for something affordable for word estimate and Netflix bingeing.

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What is a Surface Book?

Microsoft’s Surface operation of tablets has usually been flourishing a outrageous following given a US powerhouse started shipping a inclination in 2012. And for reasons that go over grievous amounts of selling and product placement.

The 2015 Microsoft Surface Pro 4 offering top-end specifications within a neat unstable pattern and is, in my opinion, a ultimate capability inscription during a moment. However, a usability as a laptop is injured by a miss of a dedicated GPU and bundled keyboard – a Type Cover keyboard appendage still costs over £100 extra.

The Surface Book, on paper, fixes these flaws, and is being marketed by Microsoft as a laptop initial and a inscription second. But with pricing for a many simple chronicle starting during £1,300, can it transparent a large upfront cost?

Check out a video examination of a Surface Book

Related: Best laptops 2016

Surface Book – Design

Since a Surface Pro 3, Microsoft’s unequivocally come into a possess on a pattern front, that is because I’m gratified it hasn’t rocked a vessel too many with a Surface Book.

From a stretch you’d be forgiven for mistaking a inscription territory of a Surface Book for a Surface Pro 4. The device’s framework is built of a same grey magnesium, with a usually apparent pattern underline being a glossy Windows trademark on a back.

Up close, however, you’ll notice a few pivotal changes. For starters, it’s a tiny incomparable than a Pro 4, measuring in during 7.7mm thick and 312 mm far-reaching – measure that place it in roughly a same distance joint as a 13-inch Macbook.

Microsoft’s also ditched a Pro 4’s kickstand to make approach for a Surface Book’s biggest underline – a detachable keyboard dock. Unlike past Surface models, a Book comes bundled with a full-on earthy keyboard, not relying on an discretionary Type Cover.

Surface Book

The keyboard houses a Surface Book’s many engaging feature: an discretionary delegate NVIDIA GeForce GPU. The GPU activates when a inscription territory is docked in a keyboard, and in speculation will radically urge performance. When undocked a Surface Book’s inscription territory runs regulating a lower-power Intel HD graphics.

The wharf also houses a Surface Book’s primary battery and a lion’s share of a ports – a indicate that serve emphasises a concentration on being a laptop first, inscription second. Ports-wise, a Surface Book is flattering good stocked when we cruise a small dimensions. Along a dock’s sides you’ll find dual USB 3.0 ports, an SD label reader, a Mini DisplayPort, a headphone jack and a exclusive charging socket.

The sleak measure and resources of connectivity options make a Surface Book feel unashamedly reward and, in my mind, one of a nicest-looking convertibles around.

Surface Book – Keyboard and Trackpad

The earthy keyboard is another neat addition. we privately didn’t have an emanate with a Surface Pro 4’s Type Cover, yet know many did. For starters, a Type Covers are paper skinny and aren’t weighted, that meant regulating a Pro 4 on your path is something of a balancing act. Many people also didn’t click with a touchpad, feeling they were too tiny and somewhat unresponsive.

By comparison a Surface Book’s backlit keyboard is an wholly physical, steel affair, some-more same to Asus Transformer Books’ docks than past Type Covers. The keyboard is a transparent step adult and offers a significantly softened typing experience. This is mostly down to a keys’ softened transport and spacing.

Surface Book

The some-more gentle typing knowledge is aided by a Surface Book keyboard’s intelligent hinge. The hinge has been designed to uniformly adjust a Surface Book’s weight change to safeguard it doesn’t turn tip heavy, irrespective of a screen’s angle. The pattern works a provide and means it’s one of a many lap-friendly convertibles around.

My usually emanate with a keys is that they aren’t utterly as pleasing as I’d like, compared to, say, a Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi or Dell XPS 12. With enlarged or fast typing a keys feel a tiny squashy and aren’t utterly as reactive as I’d like – though, being satisfactory to Microsoft, this is an emanate we have with many laptops and convertibles.

The trackpad’s also been improved. As good as being larger, a glass-finished pad feels some-more manageable and accurate than a Type Cover siblings. Two finger gestures work a provide and in ubiquitous we have no issues regulating it.

Surface Book – Display

The Surface Book’s shade has also had a medium makeover. Microsoft’s increasing a Surface Book’s PixelSense shade distance to 13.3 inches, creation it over an in. bigger than a Surface Pro 4’s.

For ubiquitous consumers a shade is brilliant. The 3,000 x 2,000 fortitude and 267ppi pixel firmness meant icons and content are constantly sharp. Brightness levels and observation angles are stellar and we didn’t notice any backlight bleed.

Cracking out my reliable colorimeter, we found a Surface Book’s shade also to be good calibrated. The 1,750:1 contrariety ratio we available is good and means a shade can arrangement formally good low and sable blacks alongside clear, unmuddied whites.

Surface Book

The 6,377K colour heat we available is reduction than 200K divided from a 6,500K ideal – definition colours don’t demeanour overcooked or too cold to a exposed eye. The Surface Book’s 0.19 Delta E is stellar – any measure floating around or subsequent 1.0 indicates glorious colour accuracy. The screen’s 94.3% sRGB colour progression coverage is above average, and some-more than far-reaching adequate to accommodate ubiquitous users’ needs.

My usually emanate with a Surface Book’s shade is a normal coverage of a Adobe RGB colour gamut. For non-techie folks, a Adobe RGB is a customary used by many artistic professionals that dictates a operation of colours a shade can accurately display. As a order of ride any critical art or photography arrangement should cover 90% or above of a Adobe RGB. The Surface Book usually covers 67.6% of a Adobe RGB.

Being fair, Microsoft’s never done any claims about a Surface Book’s Adobe RGB coverage, yet when we cruise a fact that it’s selling a device as “ideal for creatives” I’m still a tiny disappointed. Hopefully Microsoft will repair this emanate with a subsequent call of Surfaces.

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What is a Asus ZenBook UX305CA?

The Asus ZenBook UX305 was my second favourite laptop of 2015, usually losing out to a somewhat some-more absolute Dell XPS 13 (2015). Its multiple of stylish, reward design, glorious shade peculiarity and well-developed battery life done it utterly a discount for £649.

However, for some-more perfectionist users a Achilles heel was a processor that was usually a small underpowered. That could be set to change with a new UX305CA, that includes a latest Intel Skylake processor technology.

Asus has also given a shade a boost, augmenting a wholly adequate 1080p fortitude to a whopping QHD (3,200 x 1,800) resolution.

So do a changes supplement adult to an even some-more constrained device, or does this appurtenance still falls brief of complete perfection? Let’s find out.

Asus ZenBook UX305CA – Design

This is a poetic looking machine. Fully clad in anodised aluminium and with a limit density of usually 12.3mm, a UX305CA is a slim and light design of reward perfection.

Related: Best Laptops 2016

Asus ZenBook UX305CA

Design-wise, there’s positively some-more than a curtsy to a MacBook Air here. However, it doesn’t utterly share a rock-solid feel.

Where a bottom of of a MacBook Air is milled from a plain square of aluminium, a UX305CA has a pulpy sheet-aluminium tip that’s set over a cosmetic frame. The outcome is that there’s a bit of flex in a keyboard and base. This isn’t conspicuous when typing, though becomes apparent if we collect adult a device by a dilemma – a customary stratagem if you’re watching/reading something and wish to lift your laptop to another room, for instance.

Still, severely helping a cultured is that a atmosphere intake and empty for a fan is – again, like a MacBook Air – contained in a frame that sits usually in front of a hinge. As a result, there are no unsightly grilles on a underside of a machine.

When non-stop a shade also raises a behind corner of a laptop slightly, providing a smidgen some-more airflow to assistance keep things cold a device is sat on a prosaic surface.

Asus ZenBook UX305CA

Asus ZenBook UX305CA – Features

One area where a UX305CA displays a potentially pivotal advantage over a MacBook Air is in a somewhat improved preference of connections. You get not dual though 3 USB 3.0 ports and a micro-HDMI for easy tie to a guard (the Air offers a Thunderbolt for this purpose), and there’s an SD label reader too.

Network connectivity is taken caring of by 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and a USB 3.0 to Gigabit network adapter is enclosed in a box.

In use this valid an ideal selection, nonetheless I’d be meddlesome in saying some-more companies adopt a USB charging pier record used on inclination such as a Lenovo Yoga 700.

Asus ZenBook UX305CA

Initially we was endangered about a energy hollow on this machine; it was sincerely lax and a block would simply work a approach out. However, this valid to be usually a proxy issue. we think something had done a approach inside and was restraint a block somewhat – after a week of use it unexpected worked fine.

The energy supply is incorporated into a plug, so there’s no mid-cable energy section to worry about. However, fanciful plugs aren’t included, nor is there any form of crafty wire tidying system, with usually a velcro tag and a shave on a cable.

The title underline of this laptop is of march a 3,200 x 1,800 pixel screen, that I’ll demeanour during in some-more fact a small later. A 1080p fortitude device can be had for as small as £550.

Asus ZenBook UX305CA

Other variations embody a choice of 4GB or 8GB of RAM and possibly a 128GB or 256GB SSD. The latter adds a large £150 or so to a price, with a tip spec indication going for around £815. It’s this latter indication I’m reviewing here.

Perhaps a many critical care for many buyers will be what lies during a heart of this laptop, that is a Intel Core M3-6Y30 processor. This brings a opening boost over a Core M processor in a strange UX305, that was usually a hold indolent for some-more perfectionist users.

The UX305CA also offers a large 40% graphics opening boost. All that and it uses a hold reduction energy too, that could lead to a medium strike in battery life – nonetheless a additional shade fortitude is expected to take a fee with this sold device.

An area where some cost saving can be seen is on a keyboard, that lacks a backlight. As a result, typing in a dim is a small some-more of a struggle.

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What is a Gigabyte P55W?

Gigabyte competence be best famous for desktop components such as graphics cards and motherboards, though a Taiwanese organisation has a clever concentration on mobile computing as well, many quite with gaming laptops.

With a 15.6-inch 1080p IPS display, Core i7 5700HQ processor and GeForce GTX 970M, a P55W fits into a center of a operation that includes 17-inch and 14-inch models. Configurations embody Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 965M, a mid-range mobile graphics processor, and models that have a some-more high-end GeForce GTX 980M.

The pattern sent to me had a quoted cost of £1,100 including VAT. While frequency container change, it isn’t a bad cost for a gaming laptop that offers good performance.

Related: Best Gaming Laptop 2016

Gigabyte P55W

Gigabyte P55W – Design

When shopping a gaming laptop from a organisation such as Alienware, many of a reward we compensate can be apportioned to a great-looking design, with equipment such as tradition LEDs that unequivocally uncover off a machine. At initial peek of a Gigabyte P55W, you’ll see nothing of these adorned additions.

Although it isn’t a many exciting-looking machine, it’s still pretty stylish. The framework and lid are done of a well-spoken black plastic, with red stripes manifest on any side. Subtle curves and angles can be seen all turn a chassis, and during a back of a appurtenance there’s a slight gradation. The mouth fluctuating over a side of a lid is likewise angled, and completing a pattern that works rather well.

While it’s impractical to pattern a gaming laptop to be as skinny as an Ultrabook, a P55W isn’t quite complicated or bulky, weighing usually 2.7kg.

Gigabyte P55W

There’s a fan empty pier on a left-hand side, with a Kensington tighten sitting subsequent to it. Five standing LEDs can be found next a rather general trackpad. There’s a energy symbol right in a center of a back section, positioned usually behind a chiclet-style keyboard, and a sincerely inexhaustible charity of 4 USB 3 ports. HDMI and VGA video outputs are benefaction too, and there’s a built-in Ethernet port, DVD author and 3.5mm audio in and out.

Hiding on a underside of a P55W is an SD label slot. So good hidden, in fact, we roughly missed it. And usually next a trackpad are some tiny white standing indicator LEDs, arrangement several aspects of a complement such as Bluetooth, hoop entrance and battery.

Gigabyte P55W – Specifications

At a heart of a Gigabyte P55W is a quad-core Intel Core i7-5700HQ processor, with a customary time speed of 2.7GHz. This jumps adult to a rather juicy 3.5GHz in Turbo mode, however, that is quick adequate to broach glorious gaming performance.

And with 3GB of GDDR5 video memory, a GeForce GTX 970M is towards a high-end of gaming graphics cards, second usually to a some-more absolute GTX 980M, so along with a enclosed 8GB of DDR3 memory, this a good selection for a gaming laptop.

Unlike some gaming systems, Gigabyte has avoided an costly high-DPI display, instead opting for a some-more candid 1080p screen. For gaming, laptop components occasionally offer a opening compulsory for 4K or likewise high resolutions, so it’s a ideally reasonable pattern choice.

Gigabyte P55W

The preference to embody an IPS row also means that observation angles are improved than those you’ll find on a some-more normal arrangement formed on comparison TN technology. Pictures demeanour good in games, nonetheless it isn’t a brightest arrangement I’ve come across.

As with many laptops, there are a series of storage configurations on offer. This representation section enclosed a 128GB LiteOn SSD and a 1TB tough disk, that is usually about excellent for pristine gaming use, as prolonged as all games are kept on a tough disk. You can ascent to a 512GB SSD and 2TB tough hoop if desired.

Note that a 8GB of memory occupies usually one of a dual SODIMM slots, so we can boost this to 16GB by purchasing a second 8GB stick. However, there’s no easy approach to container it in; you’ll need to mislay a screws during a bottom of a device and mislay a reduce partial of a framework to get it in.

Gigabyte P55W – Performance

The GTX 970M is no slump in games, and with a 3.5GHz processor behind it, we approaching some good mobile gaming opening from a P55W.

And that’s accurately what it delivered. In Tomb Raider, during Ultimate fact settings during 1080p resolution, a P55W managed an normal support rate of 58fps and a smallest support rate that never went next 30fps, ensuring well-spoken gameplay during all times. This is a good outcome that even some mid-range desktops onslaught to broach during this fact setting.

Likewise, in BioShock Infinite – with all a fact settings set to Maximum during 1080p – we saw an normal support rate of 69fps, that is another good result.

Grand Theft Auto V managed a ideally playable 60fps normal with Medium fact settings, regulating 2.5GB of a graphics card’s 3GB of memory. Advanced graphics settings such as prolonged shadows and extended stretch scaling were left off, though a diversion still looked glorious even though this additional detail.

Related: Best PC games 2016

Gigabyte P55W

The empty fan on a left-hand side works particularly tough during gaming sessions, spitting out copiousness of comfortable air. The sound is noticeable, though ideally excusable when compared with many gaming notebooks – it’s a important sound rather than a shrill whoosh. The P55W really isn’t anywhere tighten to being a loudest gaming laptop I’ve tested. When idle, a P55W is effectively silent, and on exiting a diversion it earnings to overpower roughly immediately.

The fan infrequently spins somewhat when personification 1080p H.264 video, though thankfully it’s a lot quieter than when gaming – and it doesn’t always flog in.

When examination 1080p video, a battery lasted for 3hrs 45mins – that will see a P55W make it by a whole length of movies. While this isn’t a best outcome I’ve seen, when we cruise that a infancy of gaming laptops turn invalid within an hour away from a energy supply, this isn’t a terrible result.

Related: Best Graphics Card 2016

Gigabyte P55W

Should we buy a Gigabyte P55W?

The Gigabyte P55W competence not demeanour like a torpedo gaming laptop on a outside, though on a inside it has all a right mixture to broach some good performance. It will play games with ease, it offers reasonable battery life – and size-wise it’s a some-more unsentimental tender than some-more grievous gaming units, like a MSI GT72S Dragon Edition. While a pattern competence be a bit sheer and not terribly exciting,the P55W is distant from unattractive.

Add to this a decent shade and keyboard, and it’s formidable to find a vital smirch in a Gigabyte P55W. Given that it’s comparatively good value for income too, this gaming laptop is really one that should make your shortlist.

Verdict

The Gigabyte P55W is plain gaming laptop that offers glorious opening for an appealing price.

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