Why Yes, I Would Love to Build My Own Customizable, Upgradable, Totally Repairable Laptop

Illustration for article titled Why Yes, I Would Love to Build My Own Customizable, Upgradable, Totally Repairable Laptop

Image: Framework

San Francisco-based startup Framework just announced a thin, lightweight productivity laptop unlike any other on the market right now. Sure, it looks similar to the aluminum options almost every other laptop maker offers, but this laptop can be upgraded, customized, and repaired in ways that others just can’t.

To start, Framework laptops have four swappable port bays, which can eliminate the need for a separate port dock all together. Framework calls this the Expansion Card System. There’s the default USB-C card, which supports USB4, 20V/5A charging, and DisplayPort Alt Mode for connecting a monitor; a USB-A card that supports USB 3.2 Gen 2; an HMDI card that supports HDMI 2.0; a DisplayPort card for DisplayPort 1.4 support; a MicroSD port; a card for an extra 250GB or 1TB of storage, which kind of functions like an external drive; and Framework has more expansion cards in development for headphones, microcontrollers, and others.

You can not only choose what ports you want, but you can choose what side you want them on. So if you’re like me and use an external mouse with your laptop sometimes, you might want the charging or HDMI port on the left side so the cables don’t get in the way. (Also good news for left-handed mouse users!)

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The laptop’s guts can all be completely customized. Framework says the entire mainboard can be swapped to boost performance as it launched new models with new processors down the road. The battery, screen, and keyboard are also totally replaceable, and Framework laptops also let users swap their keyboard language and layout, as well as customize the color of the detachable magnetic bezel.

The laptops can either come pre-assembled or disassembled for those who enjoy the DIY process.

According to The Verge, Framework founder Nirav Patel, who was one of the original Oculus employees and also previously worked at Apple, hopes to address the issue of electronic waste by allowing its laptop customers to swap out a host of different components in their device.

Illustration for article titled Why Yes, I Would Love to Build My Own Customizable, Upgradable, Totally Repairable Laptop

Image: Framework

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“As a consumer electronics company, your business model effectively depends on churning out constant tons of hardware and pushing it into channels, and into market, and into consumers’ hands, and then sort of dropping it and letting it exist out there,” Patel told The Verge. “It encourages waste and inefficiency, and ultimately environmental damage.”

Framework also puts the right to repair directly—and literally—in its customers’ hands. By maintain an ecosystem of easily replaceable parts, customers won’t have to replace their entire laptop if something goes wrong, or ship it back to the manufacturer just to replace a stick of RAM. (Some companies like to solder the RAM to the motherboard.)

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Framework is not the first company to attempt some form of modular laptop or mini desktop design. We previously reviewed Intel’s NUC 9 Extreme Kit, and Intel also quietly launched its Phantom Canyon NUC 11 lineup during CES last month. Alienware also had its big dream of swappable components with the Area-51m R2, but it didn’t translate so well with customers due to the unavailability of Nvidia RTX Super GPUs for upgrades. Google even had a modular phone, Project Ara, which it eventually scrapped.

But it seems like Framework could be the first company to make a modular laptop work. The advent of Intel’s 11th-gen Tiger Lake mobile CPUs, which contain both the CPU and GPU on a system-on-chip (SoC) form factor, not to mention the smart design choice of swappable ports, make this laptop an attractive option for those who want or need that little bit of extra customization.

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Framework will start shipping its customizable laptops in summer 2021. You can sign up on its website to be notified by email when you can place an order.

Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Monitors in Today’s Best Dell and Alienware Deals

Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

Featured Deal: Alienware m15 R3 Gaming Laptop | $1,300 | Dell

You can save some serious cash on a Dell laptop, desktop, or monitor right now, as well as Alienware laptops and accessories. Dell’s own website has many of the deals, although we’ve also rounded up some of the top discounts we’ve found elsewhere as well.

Whether it’s for home, work, educational, or gaming purposes, these are some of the best deals you’ll find on Dell and Alienware hardware right now.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 | $380

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Monitors in Today's Best Dell and Alienware Deals

Image: Andrew Hayward

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One of Dell’s most affordable Windows laptops right now is the Inspiron 15 3000, which has lower-end specs at a stellar price of just $380 right now. That’s $70 off the list price. This notebook has an Intel Core i3 processor inside along with 8GB RAM and a 256GB solid state drive, although the sub-1080p screen and integrated graphics reinforce its status as a lightweight performer. Still, if you just need a basic laptop for everyday use, this could do the trick.

Dell XPS 13 | $730

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Monitors in Today's Best Dell and Alienware Deals

Image: Dell

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Get a sleek and beautiful laptop at a modest price with the Dell XPS 13, currently just $730. It comes with a powerful Intel Core i7 processor and 8GB RAM, with a swift 256GB SSD and a 13.3” Full HD display. You’ll save a hearty $320 off the list price right now from Dell.

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Dell Inspiron Desktop | $450

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Monitors in Today's Best Dell and Alienware Deals

Image: Andrew Hayward

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Need a new tower to replace an older desktop? Dell’s new Inspiron Desktop is 16% smaller than previous models and provides a solidly affordable option. This mid-range configuration comes with a 10th-gen Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB RAM, as well as a swift 512GB SSD. It’s $210 off the list price right now.

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Dell New XPS 15 Laptop | $1,550 

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Monitors in Today's Best Dell and Alienware Deals

Image: Andrew Hayward

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Dell’s redesigned XPS 15 is a beauty, pairing a sizable 15.6” Full HD+ resolution display with a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, a GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU, a beefy 16GB RAM, and a 512GB NVMe SSD in this configuration. This powerful and polished offering is $250 off the list price right now.

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Alienware m15 R3 Gaming Laptop | $1,300

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Monitors in Today's Best Dell and Alienware Deals

Image: Dell

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Got the cash to go nuts on a gaming laptop right now? If so, then Alienware has a deal for you. The Alienware m15 R3 Gaming Laptop is stocked with gaming-ready hardware, from an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 and Intel Core i7 chip to a 15.6” 144Hz screen, 512GB SSD, and Cryo-Tech cooling v3.0. You’ll save a whopping $650 off the list price with this deal right now.

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Dell Inspiron 24 5000 All-in-One | $600

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Monitors in Today's Best Dell and Alienware Deals

Image: Andrew Hayward

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If you’re keen on a desktop computer that doesn’t take up a ton of space, Dell’s Inspiron 24 5000 All-in-One is an attractive option. It doesn’t have a standalone tower, instead bundling all of its components within the same housing as the 24” screen. You’ll get modest power here, thanks to an 11th-gen Intel Core i3 chip and 8GB RAM, plus there’s speedy storage thanks to the 256GB SSD. It’s $30 off right now.

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Dell Chromebook 3100 Education | $239

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Monitors in Today's Best Dell and Alienware Deals

Image: Dell

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Need a decently-capable laptop for a kid? Dell’s Chromebook 3100 Education is a good, affordable option. It’s entry-level for sure, with an 11.6″ screen and modest specs, but you don’t need a lot of horsepower to run the cloud-centric Chromebooks. This one’s $100 off the list price right now, although you can pay a smidge more for nice-to-haves like more storage or a touch display.

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Alienware 34” Curved WQHD Monitor | $930

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Monitors in Today's Best Dell and Alienware Deals

Image: Andrew Hayward

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Get a stunning new view of your gaming worlds with Alienware’s 34” curved monitor. Not only does it have that curvature for a purportedly more immersive experience, but it’s also stacked when it comes to the specs.

This 3440×1440 monitor is ultra-crisp and has a 120Hz refresh rate and G-SYNC compatibility, which means your games should run super smooth on it. Save $270 right now through Amazon.

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Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 Gaming Desktop | $1,700

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Monitors in Today's Best Dell and Alienware Deals

Image: Alienware

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Get a beast of a gaming rig with Alienware’s Aurora R10 Ryzen Edition desktop, which looks about as awesome as it surely performs. It’s powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 chip with 16GB of HyperX Fury DDR RAM, along with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8GB GPU onboard. You’ll save $610 right now when ordering from Dell.

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Dell 27 Monitor | $170

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Monitors in Today's Best Dell and Alienware Deals

Image: Andrew Hayward

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Some computer monitors blow you away with their size, crispness, refresh rate, or curvature. Others just get the job done at a reasonable price. The Dell 27 Monitor is decidedly the latter, delivering a solid 27” 1080p picture without any bells and whistles in tow. But at $90 off right now, it’s a pretty decent bargain.

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Alienware RGB Gaming Keyboard (AW510K) | $120

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Monitors in Today's Best Dell and Alienware Deals

Image: Andrew Hayward

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If you want a keyboard with some visual punch to it, Alienware has a rainbow-colored delight to adorn your gaming setup. This RGB gaming keyboard features low-profile Cherry MX switches and per-key RGB lighting with 16.8 million different color options. It’s currently $10 less than Dell sells it direct, and $40 off Dell’s list price.

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Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Nano Takes the Lightest Laptop Crown

Illustration for article titled Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Nano Takes the Lightest Laptop Crown

Photo: John Biggs/Gizmodo

As we lean into a few more months of WFH life, none of us are looking for the thinnest and lightest laptops out there. The road warriors hunting for something slightly lighter than a cinder block are stuck inside, and couch surfing is now usually done on the phone, not on some wafer-thin slab of plastic and silicon. But we’ll be taking to the air soon enough, I reckon, and you’ll probably want to bring the Lenovo X1 Nano along.

This ultra-thin laptop is the lightest Lenovo makes. It’s exactly 1.99 pounds (907 grams) but is as capable as a laptop twice its size. This laptop is Intel Evo-certified, which means a Core i7 chip powers this laptop along with Intel’s Iris Xe graphics chipset. You’ll also get Wi-Fi 6 and USB-C or Thunderbolt built in, and this new specification supposed to offer one-second wake from sleep and nine or more hours of “real-world” battery life, according to Intel. In reality it offers much more.

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The model I tested ran Windows 10 but you can also get Ubuntu pre-installed if you’re more of an open-source fan. Windows ran surprisingly fast on this little guy, so you’re good either way.

There are some tradeoffs for the size, however. The laptop has two only USB-C ports on the left side of the laptop next to a headphone jack. If you were looking for an HDMI port or even a USB-A port, you’re out of luck. This is a barebones machine that is more akin to a non-touchscreen tablet-and-keyboard combo than a full laptop. But sometimes that’s all you need. Again, you’ll want this if you’re traveling or moving from room to room or office to office. For real desktop performance, you’re going to want to look elsewhere.

True Lenovo fans will enjoy the backlit scissor-lift keyboard familiar across the ThinkPad line. These machines have always had excellent keyboards with plenty of travel and a comforting click, and except for obvious design considerations, you get all that here. Although it doesn’t have that much travel, the chiclet-style keys are big, very readable, and can take some solid tapping. The key material is slightly rubbery, making them a pleasure to touch, and the springs offer excellent return with each key press.

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The key depth is sufficient, especially for a thin and light laptop. These are not MacBook Pro keys, to say the least: They are beefy and solid, as befitting a ThinkPad workhorse. The keyboard has three levels of backlighting, from dim to bright. The brightest definitely makes things visible in the dark. This shot, taken in the late afternoon in a dark room, shows the keyboard shining with lots of light leakage from around the edges of each key.

Illustration for article titled Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Nano Takes the Lightest Laptop Crown

Photo: John Biggs/Gizmodo

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The laptop has a full trackpad as well as the traditional ThinkPad TrackPoint nubbin at the center of the keyboard. Both of these input devices are very usable and should be familiar to anyone who has used ThinkPads in the past. I found no discernible difference in them except that once I started using the nubbin I stopped using the trackpad. Old habits die hard.

The system also includes two security features: a fingerprint sensor and a physical webcam switch that blocks the top camera entirely. The laptop also offers “zero-touch login,” which wakes the computer when you approach it and then, using Windows Hello, logs you in automatically. The ultra-wide-band radar sensor built in can sense a human approaching the laptop, thereby reducing power consumption and allowing for quicker laptop access.

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The 13-inch screen on this laptop is gorgeous. It has a matte surface and offers a 2K display with 450 nits of brightness. In real terms it’s not exactly hitting 4K levels, but the pixel density is more than enough for watching videos and getting work done. The screen brightness is surprising and definitely adds clarity to the package.

One thing you might miss is a touchscreen. Because of the small size, my hand was drawn to the screen more often than not, which was an odd feeling. Because it’s as thin and light as a 13-inch tablet, you forget that this thing is a standard laptop. Obviously expectations will vary when it comes to what you want a laptop this size to be, but it’s something to consider when comparing it to similar touchscreen models.

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Illustration for article titled Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Nano Takes the Lightest Laptop Crown

Photo: John Biggs/Gizmodo

When it comes to performance, the latest Lenovo is respectable. The WebXPRT 2015 score, a test of simple office-type computing, was 388—higher than WebXPRTs standard Core i7 score of 277. This improvement has a lot to do with the chipset and the 16GB of on-board memory. GeekBench spat out an acceptable 13,607.

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But battery life came in at a surprising 16 hours and 13 minutes in our video playback test at half brightness with the keyboard backlight turned off and, even taking into consideration the diminished resource usage, that’s an impressive number. Only the M1 MacBook Air performed better in recent memory.

Overall this is still a thin and light laptop. Media professionals will want to look elsewhere if they’re planning on rendering video or audio, but everyone else—including coders—will find their needs satiated by this light little machine.

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I like the X1 Nano. It’s a great machine that brings to mind another thing and light favorite, the early Dell XPS 13. If I were traveling, it would definitely be a tossup between this and a MacBook Air in terms of portability and usability. The Nano is one of those laptops that could actually be very easy to loose in a stack of papers on your desk but it definitely would work wonderfully as you move around your WFH space or—dare we dream?—needed to get some work done on a long red-eye flight. As a laptop for browsing, web work, and office apps, it’s a definite winner. It just goes to show that Lenovo is still able to hit that sweet spot of design, usability, and power.

READ ME

  • Over 16 hours of battery life
  • Amazing size and power for the price
  • No touchscreen but do you need one?
  • Only two ports
  • A great little laptop for nearly everyone

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Razer’s Kiyo Pro Is a Webcam Designed to Make You Look Good in Bad Light

Illustration for article titled Razer's Kiyo Pro Is a Webcam Designed to Make You Look Good in Bad Light

Photo: Sam Rutherford

Webcams are a hot commodity these days, and if your laptop’s built-in cam isn’t doing you any favors, Razer’s new Kiyo Pro promises to make you look good even in bad lighting.

The $200 Kiyo Pro is taking aim at popular premium webcams like Logitech’s Brio and SteamCam, among others, but also has a few major upgrades from Razer’s older webcam.

The biggest change is that unlike the standard $100 Kiyo, the Kiyo Pro doesn’t feature a built-in ring light. Instead, Razer upgraded the Kiyo Pro with a larger 1/2.8-inch full HD CMOS Sony Starvis backside illuminated sensor, which has been tweaked to deliver improved image quality even in harsh conditions like low light or a backlit background. The end goal for the Kiyo Pro is to deliver solid image quality without the need for additional lighting.

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The Kiyo Pro connects to your computer via USB-C to USB-A cord.

The Kiyo Pro connects to your computer via USB-C to USB-A cord.
Photo: Sam Rutherford

The Kiyo Pro can capture video at up to 1080p/60 fps or 1080p/30fps with HDR for improved color and exposure. The webcam also offers three fields of view: 80 degrees, 90, degrees, or 103 degrees. And for audio, the Kiyo Pro also comes with a 16-bit stereo mic with an omni-directional polar pattern, which seems fine for general use, but isn’t really meant to replace a high-quality external stand mic.

While I haven’t had a chance to fully test out the Kiyo Pro just yet, I do have to say I like its design. It’s simple and surprisingly understated in a way that should work for both gamers and folks who work from home, and it comes with a detachable stand that can be used to prop up the Kiyo Pro on a desk or on the back of a monitor. I also appreciate that Razer included two tripod mounts for additional flexibility: one on the bottom of the camera itself, and another on the bottom of the detachable stand.

There’s one tripod thread on the bottom of the camera itself, and another on the bottom of the Kiyo Pro’s included stand.

There’s one tripod thread on the bottom of the camera itself, and another on the bottom of the Kiyo Pro’s included stand.
Photo: Sam Rutherford

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Razer even throws in a plastic lens cover, which is nice, but I have to admit, it seems a bit like an afterthought. Unlike privacy shutters, which are becoming increasingly common on new laptops, the Kiyo Pro’s cover is closer to what you’d get on a DSLR or mirrorless camera, and when you remove it, there isn’t really anywhere to store it, so it ends up being extra clutter on your desk. I wish Razer had made the cover so that it flipped up or behind the camera when not in use.

Video from the Kiyo did look to be slightly sharper and more colorful in my early testing than the Logitech Brio I’ve been using for the last year. Razer said it specifically designed the Kiyo Pro to handle more gamer-style environments, including setups with RGB lighting, but I haven’t been able to compare quality across a number of different lighting conditions just yet.

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Since people probably won’t move their webcams around a lot, I think it would have been nice if the Kiyo Pro’s lens cover had a way of attaching to the webcam, instead of being two separate pieces.

Since people probably won’t move their webcams around a lot, I think it would have been nice if the Kiyo Pro’s lens cover had a way of attaching to the webcam, instead of being two separate pieces.
Photo: Sam Rutherford

Logitech still dominates when it comes to higher-end webcams, but it’s good to see a competitive alternative from Razer. Many jobs are expected to transition permanently to partial remote work post-pandemic, so it’s probably time for a lot of people to start considering upgrading from the panic placeholder gadgets they bought last year.

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The Razer Kiyo Pro is available online today direct from Razer for $200, with additional availability from third-party retailers sometime before the end of Q1.

MSI’s Stealth 15M Is the Most Portable 15-inch Gaming Laptop You Can Buy

Illustration for article titled MSI's Stealth 15M Is the Most Portable 15-inch Gaming Laptop You Can Buy

Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

MSI is one of the best makers of powerful but still portable gaming laptops. And with this year’s Stealth 15M, aside from a couple minor quibbles, it really feels like MSI has honed its craft. Not only is the Stealth 15M the thinnest 15-inch gaming laptop you can get right now, it features a 144 Hz screen combined with surprisingly solid battery life, so you can actually game away from home in confidence.

Instead of the loud black and red paint jobs you get on a lot of other MSI laptops, the Stealth 15M is delightfully minimalist. It has a matte carbon gray aluminum body (also available in white for a small premium), and MSI even opted for a more stealthy logo (sorry, I couldn’t resist) instead of its typical black and gold badge. The selection of ports is also good: one USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4, two USB-A 3.2 ports, a full-size HDMI 2 port, 3.5mm audio jack, and even microSD slot lining its left and right sides. And while there is some flex to its inner deck, for a system that’s thinner and lighter than an XPS 15, the Stealth 15M feels quite solid.

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When you open the Stealth 15M, you’re greeted by one of the system’s greatest strengths—although though depending on your preferences, it may also be one of its weaknesses. In keeping with the push for higher refresh rate displays, MSI includes a 1920 x 1080 144 Hz screen on all but one config (which gets a standard 60 Hz panel), which is great for players looking for that added bit of responsiveness.

However, with a tested brightness of just 250 nits, the Stealth 15M’s display is a touch dimmer than I’d like (300 nits and higher is better). It’s not low enough to be a dealbreaker, but if you’re the kind of person that likes to work or game outside, you might struggle more with the Stealth 15M compared to an XPS 15, which pumped out nearly 500 nits from its 4K screen.

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Illustration for article titled MSI's Stealth 15M Is the Most Portable 15-inch Gaming Laptop You Can Buy

Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

The other important thing to know is that the Stealth 15M comes with a matte display, which is where things can get more divisive. Compared to the glossy screens that so many people have become accustomed to, colors don’t pop quite the same on matte screens, which might result in some people thinking the Stealth 15M’s display looks slightly washed out. Though on the flip side, you don’t see any reflections, which minimizes distractions while gaming. On this system, I think going matte makes a lot of sense.

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Inside, the Stealth 15M remains understated with the same dark gray finish. But if you want to show off, you can do that, too, with MSI’s colorful (and quite comfortable) RGB-lit keyboard, which can be easily customized using the Mystic Light tab in MSI’s Dragon Center. Below the keyboard, there’s the obligatory trackpad, which is both accurate and responsive, though I do have to mention that the size of the touchpad does seem a bit small compared to the Stealth 15M’s overall dimensions.

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I have a couple other small nitpicks with the Stealth 15M. For a laptop in 2021, its huge bottom bezel looks out of place. I don’t think MSI needs to completely eliminate every single border around its screens—a small bottom bezel can help prevent your hands from blocking content while gaming—but a small reduction would be nice. In its default mode, the Stealth 15M’s fans can also get loud quick, going from a gentle whir to a miniature jet engine as soon as you boot up a game. Thankfully, there are settings in the Dragon Center that allow you to control its fan speeds, including a silent mode if you’re just browsing the web and don’t want to cause a ruckus. But if you’re looking for top performance, you’re going to have to put up with some fan noise.

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MSI is looking to fix its webcam issue across all of its laptops this year with new full HD sensors, but unfortunately the Stealth 15M currently ships with a 720p webcam that’s mediocre at best. Even in a relatively well-lit room, photos look quite noisy. The Stealth 15M can render your face on a Zoom call or livestream, but anyone who cares about image quality will probably want to get an external webcam.

Here’s a sample pic from the Stealth 15M’s webcam. It’s not good, and this was the best of the bunch.

Here’s a sample pic from the Stealth 15M’s webcam. It’s not good, and this was the best of the bunch.
Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

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However, the Stealth 15M makes up for most of that with great specs for its size, routinely delivering around 30% better graphics performance than an XPS 15. Not only does the Stealth 15M come with a new Intel Core i7-1185G7 chip, it also features an Nvidia RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU compared to the XPS 15’s GTX 1650 Ti card. That advantage is visible in games, with the Stealth 15M hitting 77 fps in Far Cry 5 at 1920 x 1080 and “Ultra” settings (54 fps for the XPS 15), and 70 fps in Shadow of the Tomb Raider at 1920 x 1080 and “Highest” settings (53 fps for the XPS 15). Granted, this isn’t world-shattering performance when compared to larger 15-inch systems like MSI’s own GP66, which has room for bigger and more powerful RTX 3070 and 3080 cards, but in a system this thin and light, the Stealth 15M remains a sleek and powerful package.

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Even with its beefier GPU, the Stealth 15M still offers solid battery life, coming in at 7 hours and 59 minutes, just 30 minutes less than the XPS 15 (8:28). In addition to its included power brick, the Stealth 15M can also be recharged via USB-C in a pinch, which is useful for people on the go. But because USB-C chargers typically can’t deliver the full 150 watts of power you get from MSI’s included adapter, charging isn’t quite as fast. If you want to make sure you’re getting optimal performance, you’ll still need to use the default power brick.

Illustration for article titled MSI's Stealth 15M Is the Most Portable 15-inch Gaming Laptop You Can Buy

Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

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Unlike so many gaming laptops, the Stealth 15M is a system that actually encourages you to move around. It’s got excellent performance for its size, a solid minimalist build, and pretty decent battery life to boot. I expect MSI will address the Stealth 15M’s minor issues in a future model, but even now, aside from its lackluster webcam, the 15M’s shortcomings are more like quirks than actual drawbacks. And while there are larger 15-inch gaming notebooks that can deliver a bit more graphical oomph, you’re also looking at shelling out $250-$300 extra for a Razer Blade 15 or MSI’s GP66. If you don’t mind turning down graphics settings a touch when playing new AAA titles, the Stealth 15M is a finely balanced notebook for gaming both at home and on the go.

README

  • Weighing 3.7 pounds and measuring 0.62 inches thick, the Stealth 15M is actually a tiny bit smaller and lighter than an XPS 15.
  • Thankfully the Stealth 15M’s fans are adjustable, because when taxed, things can get pretty loud.
  • The Stealth 15M is available in two colors, carbon gray and white, though white costs extra.
  • You can charge the Stealth 15M in a pinch with a USB-C cable, but if you want max performance, you’ll need MSI’s power brick.
  • If you care about built-in webcam quality, the Stealth 15M might not be for you.

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Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 3 is Up to $400 off at Best Buy

Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (Core i5/128GB) | $800 | Best Buy
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (Core i5/256GB) | $900 | Best Buy
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (Core i7/512GB) | $1,600 | Best Buy

If you’re on the hunt for a sleek new Windows laptop, Best Buy is offering the current Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 for up to $400 off the list price, depending on model. Each has a slim build and a soft, suede-like Alcantara lining around the keyboard, plus solid speed for your everyday needs.

The base Surface Laptop 3 with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and a 128GB SSD is marked down to $800 right now. Bump up to a 256GB SSD for $900. And if you want to go nuts on the specs, a version with a Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD is $1,600.

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Microsoft is also offering bargains on the Surface Pro 7 tablet with Type Cover, as we’ve explored in another post today, plus there are discounts on the affordable Surface Laptop Go and the premium Surface Book 3 laptop too. There are discounts on Xbox games and Xbox gift cards in the three-day Microsoft sale, as well.

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Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HP’s Extended Presidents’ Day Sale

Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

Featured Deal: Extended Presidents’ Day Sale | HP

HP’s savings are truly presidential this week, even after the actual holiday, as the leading PC maker has extended its Presidents’ Day sale with up to 45% off a wide array of products. That includes affordable laptops, powerful desktops, printers, and monitors, making it easy to get up and running with better hardware than you’ve got right now.

HP Chromebook 14” | $211/$250

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HPs Extended Presidents Day Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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On the hunt for a cheap laptop right about now? Amazon has HP’s Chromebook 14” for just $211 for a version with an HD/720p screen, or $250 for a Full HD/720p model. Each is $50 off the list price. They seem to be identical otherwise, packing low-end specs—but it should be enough power to get the job done, since ChromeOS isn’t a very demanding operating system.

HP Omen 25L | $1,341

Use promo code 10GAMER2021 at checkout

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HPs Extended Presidents Day Sale

Image: HP

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NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card is damn near impossible to find at list price, but computer manufacturers have ‘em. Right now, you can order an HP Omen 25L gaming desktop configuration featuring the GPU for about the same price as secondary markets are selling the RTX 3070 on its lonesome. Just pop in these configuration details to get it for $1,341 and then use 10GAMER2021 at checkout:

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64 (default)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 (default)
  • Memory: HyperX 16GB DDR4-2666 XMP SDRAM (2 x 8 GB)
  • Storage: WD Black 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6
  • Networking: Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2×2) and Bluetooth 5 combo (default)

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HP Laptop 14Z | $300

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HPs Extended Presidents Day Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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Here’s one of the most affordable laptops that HP has right now: an entry-level Windows 10 device that might not be a powerhouse, but should be just right for basic everyday usage and media streaming. You’ll get a 14” HD screen here with an AMD processor and GPU, along with 8GB RAM and a solid 128GB SSD for storage. It’s only $20 off, but it’s already at a killer price.

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HP Laptop 15Z | $330

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HPs Extended Presidents Day Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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The HP Laptop 15Z is a lean little number: modest on power, but with a big screen and solid enough specs to handle everyday browsing, streaming, and such. The base 15Z has an AMD Athlon Silver processor with AMD Radeon Graphics, Windows 10 Home, 8GB RAM, and a 1TB hard drive within. The 15.6” screen is low-res at 1366×768 and it doesn’t sound like it’s super bright, but Netflix and YouTube ought to look just fine on here. And you can upgrade to a touchscreen if you please. It’s $50 off right now.

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HP Laptop 17Z | $420

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HPs Extended Presidents Day Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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Want to go big at a bargain? Amazingly, you can get a Windows laptop with a huge 17.3” screen for just $420 right now in HP’s Presidents’ Day sale.

This HP Laptop 17Z has lightweight specs, as you might expect, with an AMD Athlon Gold processor and AMD Radeon Graphics, plus 8GB RAM. It does have speedy storage with a 256GB SSD, though. Look, a 17.3” display at 1600×900 resolution isn’t going to be super crisp, but at least you’ll have ample real estate for multitasking. It’s $160 off right now.

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HP Omen Laptop 15T | $950

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HPs Extended Presidents Day Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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You don’t have to be tethered to a desk to get solid gaming performance. HP’s Omen Laptop 15T gives you a 10th-gen Intel Core i7, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU, 8GB memory, and a 512GB SSD. The large 15.6” screen ought to be great for both gaming and media, while that kind of power should be plenty fine for games like League of Legends and CS:GO. Save $100 right now.

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HP Slim Desktop | $320

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HPs Extended Presidents Day Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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This is the cheapest desktop in HP’s sale: a slim tower that should have just enough power to give you smooth sailing across everyday tasks like streaming media, browsing the web, and typing up documents.

The compact computer has an Intel Pentium processor inside with integrated graphics, 8GB RAM, and a huge 1TB hard drive paired with a speedy 256GB SSD. You even get a DVD-RW drive in the mix. Save $80 off the list price.

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HP All-in-One 22 | $550

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Image: Andrew Hayward

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This HP All-in-One PC bundles both the brains and screen into one package, saving space while delivering a solid home desktop. With a 10th-gen Intel Core i3 chip and 8GB memory, it won’t be a beast for gaming or intense productivity. However, the 21.5” 1080p display and pairing of a 1TB hard drive and 128GB SSD will give you loads of space for media and more. It’s $100 off right now.

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HP OfficeJet Pro 8025e | $170

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HPs Extended Presidents Day Sale

Image: Andrew Hayward

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HP’s OfficeJet Pro 8025e is a fairly modest all-in-one printer/scanner/copier with a 2.7-inch touch display and wireless printing, and it can handle up to 20 pages per minute in black and white (or 10 in color). The printer is shown at list price, but right now HP is offering a bonus in the form of six months of free ink and a two-year warranty bundled in.

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HP 22er 21.5” Monitor | $115

Illustration for article titled Save Big on Laptops, Desktops, and Printers in HPs Extended Presidents Day Sale

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HP’s slimmest-ever LCD monitor is an affordable option right now at a $30 discount from the usual price. This 21.5” display comes at a solidly crisp 1080p resolution and has both HDMI and VGA inputs. There are larger, pricier HP monitors right there, but this is a bargain choice if you’re looking to save some cash. Take an extra 5% off if you buy it alongside a new PC.

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Buy a Whole PC With an RTX 3070 Built-in for Around the Same Price as an RTX 3070 by Itself

HP Omen 25L | $1,341 | HP | 10GAMER2021

HP Omen 25L | $1,341 | HP | 10GAMER2021
Graphic: Gabe Carey

Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

HP Omen 25L | $1,341 | HP | Promo Code 10GAMER2021

When new product stock is so barren that a company has to dig through its archives to go back and play the hits, you know things are dire. But when that same product can be purchased as part of another product for the same price as the first product on its own, it starts to raise some serious questions. Concerns around Nvidia’s ongoing GPU scarcity freakout is, at least to some extent, legitimate. Building chip hardware on new process tech is expensive, and cryptocoin mining has breathed new life into the company’s consumer market, driving up the cost of the latest RTX 3070 to anywhere between $1,000 and $1,400 on eBay.

That said, for the chronically impatient, you could always buy a pre-build. After years spent toiling away on upgrades and RMAs, all while working 10- to 12-hour days, I had to cut out either work or PC building to afford the time to actually play games. So I chose the one that didn’t pay my bills. While my own pre-built PC is getting a bit long in the tooth now, the HP Omen 25L packs an Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of DDR4-2666 RAM, 512GB of NVMe SSD storage, and a Wi-Fi 6 card into one 6.5″ x 15.5″ x 17″ box for less than the aforementioned RTX 2070 graphics card-only price ceiling you’ll find from resellers online. If you were planning to build from scratch anyway, here’s an alternative that will save you money while sparing you some extra work as well.

All you have to do is configure the desktop on this page like so, and enter the promo code 10GAMER2021 for the discount to appear:

  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64 (default)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 (default)
  • Memory: HyperX 16GB DDR4-2666 XMP SDRAM (2 x 8 GB)
  • Storage: WD Black 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6
  • Networking: Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2×2) and Bluetooth 5 combo (default)

Note that you can always upgrade individual components later, either by yourself or with the help of a friend you should most definitely pay or buy beer for their services.

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Lenovo Can Do No Wrong With Its Yoga 7i Laptop

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Lenovo’s newest Yoga 7i is a tiny but mighty, 2-in-1 Intel Evo-certified laptop, which means its core features are a 10-hour battery life, a 1-second wake-up time, and a lightning-fast charging time. It has what other Evo-certified laptops have, but Lenovo has a special knack for combining just the right components together to hit lower price points than other laptop makers. It’s not the fastest laptop out there; don’t expect to edit 4K videos on this thing. But like MSI’s Prestige 14 Evo, if you need a machine for school or something to quickly make PowerPoint slides for a work presentation, the Yoga 7i has you covered.

On the outside, Lenovo’s Yoga 7i isn’t that much different than its older counterpart, the Yoga C740. The number and types of ports are identical, except now the Yoga has two USB 4 Type-C ports that are Thunderbolt 4 compatible thanks to Intel’s Evo certification standards. The keyboard layout is identical. Speaker placement, hinges—all the same. The one reviewed here is a darker color, but I’m glad Lenovo didn’t mess with the design. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? The design is clean and simple, perfect for a 2-in-1 laptop.

But the most important changes are on the inside.

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The 10th-gen Intel i5-10210U processor has been swapped out for the newer Intel Core i5-1135G7 with Iris Xe graphics, giving this new Yoga a big performance boost over the previous generation across all our usual benchmark tests. Both are 4-core, 8-thread processors with a max clock of 4.20GHz, but the 11th-gen’s smaller transistor architecture (10nm SuperFin verses 14nm) and 2MB of extra cache mean the Core i5-1135G7 can do more with basically the same specs.

Rendering a 3D image in Blender is seven minutes faster with the CPU and GPU, transcoding a 4K video to 1080p 30 fps is five minutes faster, and Civilization VI also performs decently well for a chip with integrated graphics. The Core i7 11th-gen mobile CPUs are punchier, but you can crank down the graphics settings to speed things up. The Iris Xe is still an integrated GPU, and while its light years beyond what Intel’s UHD graphics can do, it’s not exactly a gaming-level GPU.

Can you play games on the Yoga 7i? Yes, but at a low resolution and low graphics. The Core i5-1135G7 is designed for work productivity, which makes it perfect for something like Lenovo’s Yoga line of 2-in-1s. I previously pitted the Core-i5 1135G7 against a few other mobile processors and, not surprisingly, it fell far behind in gaming benchmarks. But running tasks it was designed for, like in Word and Excel, the Yoga 7i proves to be a great convertible machine that’s small and light, and can do way more than a similarly-priced Chromebook. Plus, it’s cheaper than the C740 was when it was first released. The older machine started at $900, but the Yoga 7i starts at $770 with Lenovo’s deal at the time of this review’s publication. The bigger and badder specs you want in this laptop, the pricier it will be (obviously).

In addition to the 11th-gen Core i5 processor, the model reviewed here has 12GB of memory and 475GB of storage, both of which are not only non-standard sizes, but this laptop cannot be configured with either of those sizes. The model on sale for $770 has 8GB of memory. But if you want 16GB you’ll need to select the customization option, which starts at $820 but tacks on another $55 for double the RAM, bringing the total cost to $875. Getting a 512GB SSD tacks on another $45, and then you’re looking at $920 for the Yoga 7i. The RAM is soldered to the motherboard, so unless you’re really adventurous, don’t even think about switching out the RAM down the road.

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If you’re not willing to shell out an extra $150 to get the Core i7 processor, having 16GB of RAM will make a world of difference when paired with the Core i5-1135G7. Thankfully, Lenovo usually has a lot of deals going on at any given time, so if this 14-inch version interests you but you’re trying to save as much money as possible and are OK with 8GB of RAM, the Yoga 7i 15.6-inch version is currently $710. And the only thing you’ll sacrifice is 50 nits of screen brightness. All the other specs are identical, aside from weight and dimensions. The 15.6-inch version is only a pound heavier—coming in at 4.19 pounds compared to the 14’s 3.1 pounds—but it’s still super light and portable.

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Not to keep harping on price, but you can also upgrade the 14-inch model with a Core i7-1165G7 and 16GB of RAM for about $200 less than the MSI Prestige 14 Evo, enjoy the same level of performance, and have a convertible laptop to boot. The Prestige has a Core i7-1185G7, but the Core i7-1165G7 is only 100MHz slower at its top clock speed by comparison.

Price has almost always been Lenovo’s strongest selling point over its competitors, especially when it comes to work-focused laptops like the Yoga 7i. The average user won’t necessarily care about a 100MHz difference in CPU frequency or how many milliseconds faster the Core i7-1185G7 is compared to the the Core i7-1165G7 while running Civilization VI. Price, battery life, and portability would be at the top of the list, followed by overall processing power. The Lenovo Yoga 7i can roll with the best of the best at more attractive price points.

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Lenovo’s own AMD-based IdeaPads are faster than the Yoga 7i in some tasks, though, like the IdeaPad Slim 7. It has a slightly different processor than the one we recently reviewed (performance doesn’t vary by much), but if you are looking for something even cheaper and don’t care for a 2-in-1, that’s another good option. However, the Yoga 7i has the better integrated graphics, and much longer battery life than other 2-in-1s like Asus’ ROG Flow X13 and Microsoft’s Surface Book 3. Yep, it’s another damn good laptop for under $1,000.

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  • Over 10 hours of battery life
  • Noticeable increase in performance over the previous Yoga generation
  • Touchscreen still as responsive as ever
  • Includes Thunderbolt 4 ports that can output to a DisplayPort

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Get This Asus 2-In-1 Chromebook for $329 and Get the Best of Both Worlds

Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

14″ Asus 2-In-1 Chromebook | $329 | Best Buy

It’s my laptop! It’s my tablet! It’s my laptop and my tablet! Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more hybrid laptops that can fold up into a a freestanding tablet. The idea here is to offer the best of both worlds with a keyboard for computing and a touch screen for just casual chillin’. It’s a neat premise for those who want a computer device, but don’t need power. If that’s you, check out this Asus 2-in-1 Chromebook. It features a 14″ full HD touchscreen that can be flipped around 360 degrees. With 4GB of system memory and 64GB of flash memory, this isn’t a device you can get really complicated with, but it’s all you’ll need for some basic multitasking.