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  • iCruiser - Friday, June 02, 2017 - link

    Where's the review for the new MacBook Pro? Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, June 02, 2017 - link

    Mini review -
    I actually had the UX330CA within a return window, I think they're identical apart from the CA using fanless Core M processors.

    My first impression was, well, 'quartz grey' means more of a pink in Asus world, lol. Some people have said it's so slight it's hard to notice – I don't agree, it's definitely decidedly pink and not grey, even if it's a light pink. A non-issue for some, some will like it, it's a bit too toyish for my liking. Also only the display rear is metal, the chassis below is plastic with metal specks.

    But, bigger issue for me, the trackpad. Granted, I did come from a Macbook, but I've read a lot about microsoft precision trackpads and how much better they were than others, so I'm not sure if it's the Precision trackpad or the hardware Asus chose for it, but I don't find it all that great. Scrolling feels laggy and motion doesn't reflect your fingers well, and both that and pointing can't seem to distinguish involuntary hand movement we all have from intended motion, making fine detail movement a pain. There were several moments where clicking down made the cursor fly off from where you were pointing.

    Also the fingerprint reader integrated into the trackpad is better in theory than in practice, got in the way a few times.

    Keyboard action is fine to good, with just a few layout gripes I could get used to. The screen is decent but marred by an overly grainy antiglare film. This is an issue I think when the grain size is larger than the pixel size and light comes out hazy?

    It's also possible there are different screen makers, I forget which one but one of the big three is known for overly aggressive antiglare iirc.

    The screen hinge was very loose, picking it up and moving it would make it move from a set position. Bottom firing speakers were just passable but like any bottom firers, would get quieter on a soft surface or no surface.

    Unsurprisingly, went back for me. It's good for the asking price and I'd keep it in mind for budget ultrabook shoppers, but for me I wanted something a bit more upmarket.
    Reply
  • skavi - Friday, June 02, 2017 - link

    Asus makes pretty shitty Precision trackpads. Microsoft's and Dell's trackpads are a much closer match to Apple's, but still don't quite get there. Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, June 02, 2017 - link


    Good to know. I was wondering if they were all similar, or some were still better than others despite the software side being handled by MS.
    Reply
  • neogodless - Friday, June 02, 2017 - link

    I'm guessing from this article that I'm weird, but I simply won't buy a laptop with less than a 17" screen. Are they so unpopular that they don't deserve a category in this collection?

    I mean, obviously you have to pick some (arbitrary-ish) limits since you could easily go for "best ultrabook for gaming, best ultrabook for travel/business, best DTR for gaming, best mid-range detachable for playing MineCraft, etc." and you have to limit to a few categories. But I'd love to see the bigger laptops celebrated more. They are quickly becoming my primary go to device as they close the gaps with desktop performance. (Core i7 dual-core chips notwithstanding....)
    Reply
  • xype - Friday, June 02, 2017 - link

    17" is great for working if you don’t need to lug your laptop around much. A lot of people prefer thin/smaller/lighter for day to day carrying. I live in Adobe’s ecosystem and 15" is kinda the sweet spot, 17" would be nice but no MBP in that range and when I had one it got tedious after a while. The majority of the market, though? 12-13" is what people seem happy enough with as it gives them benefits if battery life and portability. Reply
  • Dribble - Friday, June 02, 2017 - link

    But not everyone needs to lug their laptop around every day. The 17's have much more screen space, and more powerful cpu/graphics/cooling. Hence when not moving are just better. Yet they are still laptops - so work unplugged, or at least can be moved and plugged in somewhere else easily. Great if you want to use it at the kitchen table, and move it out the way for dinner, or later plug it into the big tv to game.

    They certainly have a place.
    Reply
  • vanilla_gorilla - Friday, June 02, 2017 - link

    Most people don't need anywhere near that screen size or horsepower for those use cases. Almost no one games on their TV and if they do they have a PC with a real dedicated GPU, most more powerful than what you'll find in any 17" laptop. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, June 02, 2017 - link

    Excluding big GPUs for gaming/workstation models cooling is a more or less moot point in 15 vs 17" models; other decisions (eg thickness and fan volume) are much more important; and gaming laptops are a very small segment of the total market. And if it's going to be fixed in location 90% of the time you might as well plug in a 22-27" external screen as your primary display.

    PS In previous Best XXX roundups, Anandtech has often done gaming laptops separately from mainstream ones. Assuming it's up next the Best Gaming Laptops article should have 1 or more 17" models.
    Reply
  • bigboxes - Saturday, June 03, 2017 - link

    It's all about portability and battery life. If those aren't important to you then get a desktop. If you have to occasionally take your whole system with you and your phablet is not enough then just get you a monitor and you'll never have to look at that tiny 17" screen again. Reply
  • neogodless - Monday, June 05, 2017 - link

    There are slightly more people buying laptops than, say... you.

    I care about portability in that I want to be able to sit my living room while my wife watches TV, and get work done. How would I do that with a desktop? Just pick it all up and set it up in the middle of the living room? No. The size of the screen is important, but 17" in your lap isn't terribly tiny, and it's certainly a huge upgrade from the 13" screens that are becoming popular (because of "portability" i.e. I don't want a heavy backpack or case to carry around.) I really can't imagine a life where you move a desktop and 22"+ monitor around! Especially if 17" is tiny, so we must be talking about, what, 27"? 34"?

    I just can't follow this simplistic decision-making tree. It's got glaring issues.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, June 02, 2017 - link

    I think they are. Other than massive gaming laptops I don't think I've seen a 17" in retail for years; and anecdotally the 13.3" ultrabook seems to be displacing 15.6" and thick enough for a optical drive laptop as the baseline cheap choice.

    Just looking at a single OEM, under (mainstream) laptops Dell's only offering the 17" form factor in the Inspiron brand now. I know they used to have Latitude and XPS laptops with 17" screens. There're still Alienware and Precision 17" models, but you have to go to the gaming and workstation categories to find them.
    Reply
  • vanilla_gorilla - Friday, June 02, 2017 - link

    17" screen is too small to replace my desktop and 17" is too heavy to carry around. Very small market segment. Reply
  • neogodless - Monday, June 05, 2017 - link

    I think 17" is "mostly sufficient" to replace a desktop in a lot of scenarios. And I also think 6 lbs is "mostly fine" for carrying around your living room and occasional travel. If it's a work machine, ideally the screen size "doesn't matter" because you can connect a screen at home and certainly at the office. But I guess it seems odd that I'm the only person that wants to actually use it on my lap, at home, in a room where there other people, rather than hiding behind a desk. And for sitting on my lap, I find it so much better for getting things done (and playing the occasional game) than a smaller machine. Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, June 05, 2017 - link

    I've been using 17" laptops for the last 10 years - plugged into a 24" monitor at home/work, but also big enough to do real work when I'm traveling, or just want to work on the couch. I have to buy a Dell for work, and the only real option for me now is a 9.7" Alienware - I don't think that will fly too well at work. The 17" Inspirons don't have real core 8-thread Core i7, so not an option for me. Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, June 02, 2017 - link

    It seems a bit too early to recommend the Surface Laptop unless AT has already gotten a unit in for review and is just waiting for the embargo to end. Reply
  • Ruimanalmeida - Friday, June 02, 2017 - link

    It seems that this laptop quarter summary is targeted to those that generally don't read anandtech site. Seems more a generalist review for a newcomer. Doesn't present newer models (just to enter market) or those focused on specific markets. I start to think that is not a kind of topic to enter Anadtech. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, June 02, 2017 - link

    It's limited to models someone at Anandtech has been at least hands on with. Normally they've been reviewed by the site; unless it's in progress and under NDA the Surface Book's a bit of an anomaly in that it's something they'd've only had a brief tradeshow/event session to look at it. Off hand I can't think of anything else that they've recommended as laptop that hasn't been reviewed first.

    Never been hands on will never make the list here because of problems with keyboards and trackpads that are only noticeable when hands on.

    As for other market segments: Gaming laptops will probably be a separate article in a week or two; I don't think enough of the business equivalent to gaming laptops pass the review desks here to support an article here.
    Reply
  • mike_bike_kite - Saturday, June 03, 2017 - link

    It seems strange to me that you're recommending the old HP envy 13 when a new model with infinity display etc is coming out this month. Reply
  • Donkey2008 - Saturday, June 03, 2017 - link

    I am very puzzled why the Lenovo P51 is not on their list of 15.6" laptops. I have been around Dell, HP and Lenovo laptops my entire career and the Lenovo P51 is easily the best workstation laptop that I have ever used. It was around $2,300 for a Xeon E3-1505M with 16GB of DDR4, a Samsung 500GB M.2 drive (fastest SSD I have ever tested on atto) and a Nvidia Quadro M2200 (which plays Planetside 2 and Fallout 4 quite nicely I might add).

    And no, I do not work for Lenovo, lol. I used Dell Precision laptops for years and they rocked, but the P50 and P51 laptops I have used for the past year blow away any other workstation laptop IMO.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Monday, June 05, 2017 - link

    Lenovo hasn't provided a P51 to review yet (or if they have the review isn't done yet). Reply
  • brucek2 - Monday, June 05, 2017 - link

    Can't cover everything in one article maybe, but it's probably worth at least a sentence to acknowledge the categories you're excluding like gaming laptops and desktop replacements.

    Laptops at every price point are an exercise in tradeoffs. Not just in the big ticket items like performance, price, and mobility (size, weight, battery life), but also in the smaller details. It seems no choice gets them all right. Build quality, display quality, keyboard feel, trackpad usability, port selection, cooling effectiveness + noise, aesthetics, sound quality, and storage included (not just total capacity but which model sata vs nvme, performance can differ widely) should be part of any review. In a round up like this, a table showing which models are best for any given reader's priorities among those is probably among the biggest value adds and this article format doesn't make it easy to see that summary. Other publications do much better.

    A final factor which is very important but is almost always missing in every review is the manufacturer's support policies. If there's a problem, how quickly can a reader expect to get back to a working laptop and at what price? and for how long after purchase?
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, June 07, 2017 - link

    all these great laptops, and 0 with iris 650.

    Why does apple seem to be the only company that bothers to use them? I'd love an iris chip for a bit of on the go gaming.
    Reply

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