Laptop: the comparison of the best models in 2020

1.GIGABYTE Aero 15 OLED laptop: the ultra-powerful laptop PC for creatives and professionals

GIGABYTE Aero 15 OLED laptop (YA-7FR5450SP of its little name) is attached to the RTX STUDIO label, an initiative launched by NVIDIA to primarily meet the expectations of creatives in terms of performance and sobriety. Therefore, abandons the excesses of the gaming style, to sign a machine all in black dressed with high specifications. Its main assets? A crying beautiful OLED display and a furious RTX 2080 Max Q.

Designed primarily for professionals, small businesses, and creative people of all stripes, Aero 15 is not a machine GIGABYTE is trying to sell-off. The price of the entrance ticket for this real teraflops fair is therefore set at 3,599 euros. It’s 100 euros more than the ASUS Zen Book Pro Duo (tested here), also created for professionals, but less efficient on the GPU side.

It must be said that in this area, the Aero 15 OLED is difficult to surpass. And for good reason, it ships a GeForce RTX 2080 Max Q and its 8 GB of GDDR6. Beyond its in-game potential, this chip is quite simply formidable in video editing, as we have seen during our test. Coupled with a Core i7-9750H, 32 GB of RAM (DDR4 2666 MHz), and equipped with an Intel 760p M.2 PCIe SSD with a capacity of 1 TB, the GIGABYTE-stamped RTX STUDIO laptop ranks easily among computers most powerful laptops on the market … and at the same time manage to fly without the slightest difficulty the most high-end of the MacBook Pro 15 from Apple. Something to think about users who need maximum performance in mobility for their business.

As mentioned above, this raw power is also complemented most beautifully: with truly stunning image quality. For this variant of the Aero 15, GIGABYTE turned to the insolent mastery of Samsung Display in terms of OLED panels. Result of the races, the device houses a screen with infinite blacks. On the colorimetric side, we are also on what does best with 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 space and 125% of the sRGB spectrum. A VESA Display HDR True Black 400 certification is finally in the game as well as a response time-limited to 1 ms. Perfect for stringing kills after a hard day of editing or modeling.

GIGABYTE Aero 15 OLED laptop, Reviews from Cubic:

Expensive, very expensive even, the GIGABYTE Aero 15 is not a PC to play with. It is a tool, no more and no less. A formidable work tool that will be able to motorize, on the move, a professional activity for several years. This is where the device is strong. To play, we refer you to the Acer Predator Triton 500, much more affordable and which also has the merit of being present at the bottom of the article.\

GIGABYTE Aero 15 OLED laptop
GIGABYTE Aero 15 OLED laptop

2. HP Specter X2: The most stylish hybrid computer laptop

Born Hewlett-Packard, HP is one of the most renowned companies in the field of computers, especially in consumer and professional models. But the top of the range is not forgot with the “Specter” family advancing better performance, study design, and select materials.

HP Specter x2 12-c000nf overview: design and construction

Within the Specter range, there are X2 hybrid computers with detachable keyboards, including this 12-c000nf model that can appeal to those looking for use between advanced office and professional.

Its compactness marked by 30 centimeters long and 1.3 cm thick guarantees the Specter x2 easy transport in your bags, while its total weight of 1.15 kg makes it one of the lightest in the field, keyboard included.

A well-calibrated screen

Wanting to be high-end and having to justify its price, this HP 2 in 1 PC has a beautifully crafted 12.3 inch (31 cm) screen, IPS technology for wide viewing angles, and brilliant. To reduce visual fatigue with high density, its resolution is well beyond Full HD, with 3000 x 2000 pixels. Tactile, this HP model can be handled with the fingers, but also with a stylus included in the price, object appreciated by graphic designers for quick sketches, or for taking notes in a work meeting. On the table, the keyboard is slightly raised to make typing comfortable, and a stainless steel foot with a non-slip base supports the back of the screen, going almost to use flat.

For sustained use, without going into the extreme performance

This HP Specter X2 laptop PC has an Intel Core i5-7260U processor, a mid-range Dual Core with 4 MB of L3 cache memory, programmed for low consumption (28 W). So don’t expect to do high-performance computing or extensive video editing. There’s also no question of running a recent video game, even if the integrated Intel Iris plus 640 card is capable of displaying multiple screens and 4K. As for storage, it is provided by an SSD due to the thinness of the machine, while opening your operating system and your programs faster. The 256 GB capacity is sufficient, but for the most demanding a micro SD port can increase the size, while other Specter x2 models can climb to 1 Terabyte, and even 16 GB of RAM.

Not up to the association

Two familiar letters from IT meet two others from the world of sound: HP finds here B&O, in this case, Bang & Olufsen, which baptizes the sound system integrated into this Specter x2 PC. But despite the partnership with the Danish firm, the nature of this 2 in 1 model leaves little room for large speakers, so forget about total immersion in your favorite series or the musical entertainment of an evening. Only Skype-type conversations will be acceptable, especially as the 5 MP front camera (+ 13 MP on the back) facilitates video exchanges. It is only once a headset is connected that this HP offers good sound performance.

Our opinion on the HP Specter X2 laptop

Half tablet and half PC, the elegant HP Specter x2 is undeniably a major competitor to the latest Surface Pro since it is offered at nearly 500 euros less while benefiting from a design and neat finishes. And unlike the latter, the keyboard, meanwhile, is included in the overall price.

HP Specter X2
HP Specter X2

3. Microsoft Surface Go: The entry-level hybrid computer from Microsoft

Recently invited into the production of computers to compete with Apple, Microsoft launched the Surface and Surface Studio with large touch screens, followed by high-end ultraportable Surface Pro and Laptop PCs in front of the MacBook / Pro.

Presentation of the Surface Go: design and construction

In 2018, the American manufacturer continued its offensive with the Surface Go, a 10-inch ultra-nomadic format; slightly more tablet-oriented than a 2-in-1 PC, with lower performance. But it is at a much more attractive price: between 579 and 729 € by adding the keyboard only offered as an option at 130 €. The latter also has a backlight; flattering colors to choose from, and an Alcan Tara finish with pleasant touch, but not very durable over time.

Resolutely tablet-oriented laptop

The Surface Go has a touch screen with a diagonal of 10 inches (25 cm) whose panel is logically brilliant (therefore be careful with outdoor use and reflections); and especially robust thanks to its “Corning Gorilla” glass. »Resistant to nomadic use. Its resolution almost reaches the Full HD standard since it is 1,800 by 1,200 pixels, or a good density of 217 PPI; limiting visual fatigue. But we note a slightly modern design with its very wide edges when the trend is for finesse. Supporting up to 5-finger use, the screen is unfortunately not compatible with a stylus, unlike Surface Pro models.

Performance is not his credo

Microsoft has installed a low-frequency Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y Dual Core processor (1.6 GHz); and above all a small cache memory (2 MB L3) whose speed is equivalent to a Core i3 from 2013. It will therefore not be necessary to ask too much about speed; especially since the basic storage is eMMC type and has a capacity of 64 GB; which can be very insufficient to store its data. The optional 128 GB SSD model will be recommend, and much better. It will also be necessary to take into account the absence of a “normal” USB; port to connect a USB key or external disk (a micro SD port is however possible); unless you have an adapter or a recent peripheral. The 4 GB RAM is decent if you stay in the office,

Comfortable autonomy

The low-speed components described above have the advantage of being very low consumption, thus allowing 9 hours of use with a full charge (count 6 hours in practice), enough for a whole day. Small flat, charging is not perform by the new USB-C standard, but a specific “Surface Connector” port.

Does not have the ambition to be a music studio

Too compact to integrate high-power speakers, the Surface Go does not provide good audio quality; but the front layout allows an acceptable rendering that does not reduce the bass too much. You will have to limit yourself to the headphone jack to enjoy your films; series, or music, the sound card ensuring a satisfactory balance between treble and bass.

Our opinion on Microsoft’s Surface Go

The flagship asset of the Surface Go is undeniably its nomadism. With only 522 grams on the scale, this 2 in 1 PC thus displays a weight worthy of a tablet, but it will be necessary to add the 243 grams of the keyboard, or 0.76 kg in total. It will slip easily into your saddlebags or the palm of your hand during transport because it is only 25 cm long and 8 mm thick (1.2 cm with keyboard).

Microsoft Surface Go
Microsoft Surface Go

4. Apple MacBook Pro: The ultraportable under macros

The previous version of this comparison already included the inevitable Apple MacBook Pro. We maintain it without batting an eyelid in these places; but still take a few moments to come back to the novelties lavished in the meantime by Apple on its favorite laptop; one of the most pleasant devices to discover the delights of macros; the system of ultra-intuitive operation of the firm at the apple.

Apple has made some changes to its laptop offer in recent months. The group notably eliminated from its catalog the (aging) 12-inch MacBook Pro and the anachronism that the older generation MacBook Air had become; lowered the price of its new MacBook Air, and updated the technical sheet of its MacBook’s. Pro 13 and 15 inches. No revolution or any novelty in terms of design, but an (a little) more choice in terms of storage; a Touch Bar now included on all models, an “improved” butterfly keyboard (note the quotes) and Intel processors renewed.

In May, Apple switched to new eighth and ninth-generation Intel processors. As for the MacBook Pro 13, nothing foolish; but a little more power on the latest models thanks to frequencies inflated by a few MHz; There is therefore a choice of an 8th generation Core i5 quad-core clocked between 2.4 and 4.1 GHz; or an 8th generation quad-core Core i7, again, clocked between 2.8 and 4.7 GHz. The amount of RAM remains the same as before, with 8 GB of 2133 MHz LPDDR3.

The MacBook Pro 15 benefited from slightly more marked improvements than its little brother last spring; with the switch to ninth-generation Intel processors and the addition of an optional 8-core Core i9. The latter is clocked at 2.4 GHz and can reach the threshold of 5 GHz in boost. The traditional 6-core Core i7 laptop of the 15-inch model is of course maintained, but also benefits from slightly higher frequencies; between 2.6 GHz and 4.5 GHz. We finally find 16 GB of DDR4 RAM at 2400 MHz, and dedicated GPUs signed AMD. It is in this case the Radeon Pro 555X and 560X; supported by 4 GB of GDDR5 memory two now old chips that Apple keeps on machines sold at high prices.

The price side, precisely, Apple remains Apple. The prices are therefore high: between 1499 euros for the MacBook Pro 13 equipper with only 128 GB of SSD and 3199 euros for a MacBook Pro 15 with Core i9 and 512 GB of storage.

Finally, let’s mention the unchanged Retina screen of the MacBook Pro 13 and 15. For those who do not yet know it, it is an IPS panel redesign by Apple; provided on both models with a 2K definition (2560 by 1600 pixels on the MacBook Pro 13; and 2880 by 1800 pixels on the MacBook Pro 15 laptop). The brightness is for its part measure at 500 nits, which is still copious. This perfectly calibrated Retina display remains one of the biggest strengths of the MacBook Pro.

Our opinion on the MacBook Pro

The MacBook Pro is Apple’s laptop computer dedicate to office automation and advanced multimedia. If we regret the absence of a dedicated GPU chip on the 13-inch model; we must admit that the high-end laptop from the Cupertino company offers an experience; without real flaw at least if we put aside from the important reliability concerns encountered (including by yours truly) on the “butterfly” keyboard.

Powerful, very elegant, and equipped with a neat screen; the device is a safe bet despite an exaggerate price about the components offer (especially in terms of storage capacity and RAM). Finally, take into consideration that Apple will soon unveil a 16-inch MacBook Pro. We will undoubtedly have the opportunity to tell you about it shortly on Cubic.

Apple MacBook Pro
Apple MacBook Pro

5. ACER Swift 3 2019 (314-41-R16): the honest office laptop all the way

The Acer Swift 3 314-41-R16 is one of the good news for back to school. Cleverly thought out from a hardware point of view, the device can rise to the occasion in a variety of situations. At the bar,

At the level of competition from Intel laptop and its Core i5-8265U, for example; the APU of the reds allows the Swift 3 to remain at an attractive price; in many cases below the threshold of 600 euros. Better, it embeds within it a graphics part (iGPU) signed Radeon Vega 8; which allows it a great versatility without however equaling the computing power conferred by a dedicated NVIDIA GPU chip. Anyway, the presence of 8 GB of RAM and an SSD (with a capacity of 512 GB in M.2) gives the product exemplary responsiveness.

Also capable of casual play, the Ryzen 5 3500U can reach, in Full HD, and without too much problem, the threshold of 40 FPS in “Medium” under Fortnight. It also holds without flinching the 60 FPS in “High” under CS: GO,

Swift 3 can for its part boast a copious battery life, estimated at more than 8 hours of video playback. Enough to use the laptop all day for office use … what it is intend for.

Note, however, the few concessions made by ACER in terms of screens. If we find a 1080p panel, endowed with an honest contrast; the restitution of the colors, it, is to point the finger for its lack of fidelity laptop. Nothing prohibitive for the majority of users, but this observation could prove to be problematic for photo editing, for example. However, we doubt that the device will be purchased by professionals in the sector; which greatly limits the impact of this defect on the current use of this model.

For the rest, the new Swift 3 uses the design adopted by ACER on this range a few years ago. We thus inherit an aluminum dress and an aesthetic that is both simple and elegant. The assembly is serious and we can only welcome the possibility of easily changing the battery; also the RAM or the SSD. Perfect for keeping your device technically up to date for several years. The presence of a complete connection (despite the absence of an Ethernet port) and a fingerprint sensor is also to be emphasize. The keyboard, meanwhile; does not suffer from any particular defect and is pleasant despite a fairly dry typing that you will have to get used to.

Acer Swift 3 2019, Cubic’s opinion:

By betting on an AMD processor, ACER kills two birds with one stone with its new Swift 3. Not only does this processor save money compared to a Core i5 from Intel (at the equivalent performance); it also gives the laptop an iGPU worthy of the name; capable of making the Swift 3 2019 versatile for office and multimedia use. Its classic but efficient design is also worth pointing out; as is its autonomy and the ease of access to certain components (RAM, battery, SSD).

ACER Swift 3

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