Technophile

The best laptops of CES 2016

Visvaksen P | Updated on January 19, 2018 Published on January 13, 2016

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Ever since the smartphone era began about a decade ago, the form factor of the ideal personal computer has been in a constant state of flux. With manufacturers now able to squeeze enough processing power to handle most standard use cases in to the palm of your hand, desktop towers and bulky mobile workstations have gone the way of the dodo. The netbook proved to be a false dawn as did the tablet – the former is all but dead and the latter is more of a media consumption device than a computer. But the hazy contours of mobile computing are finally beginning to clear up and the detachable, convertible, expandable form factor seems to be the new standard. Several major manufacturers exhibited a number of path breaking designs at the recently concluded CES expo in Las Vegas. Here’s a lowdown of the cremé of the crop.

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet

The Thinkpad line of laptops has a legendary reputation for reliability that stretches back all the way to its IBM days. It is run through a number of military specification tests that ensure that it is capable of surviving in the most demanding enterprise environments. Lenovo announced a new device at CES that incorporates the best features of the Thinkpad line into a detachable tablet form factor. The 12-inch screen connects to a full keyboard complete with the iconic TrackPoint nub via a hinge. Lenovo is also offering a number of optional modules that can be used to extend the capability of the Thinkpad Tablet such as battery packs, 3D imaging cameras and even a pico projector.

HP Spectre x360

The 2016 version of HP’s Spectre x360 laptop features a 1TB SSD, Core i5 or i7 processors, Iris graphics, 12-hour battery life and audio by Bang and Olufsen. But this is all pretty standard for a laptop these days. What makes it stand out it is its stunning OLED display. The superior contrast ratios and truer blacks offered by OLEDs are unmatched by any other kind of display technology. Better still the difference is actually noticeable unlike other incremental upgrades we have been seeing in recent years. Lenovo also had a device from its Yoga line with an OLED display at CES but unlike the Spectre it runs on low voltage Intel processors – which are alright for a lot of people, but not quite the complete package in terms of mobile computing power.

Razer Blade Stealth

The Razer Blade Stealth is our new favorite gaming laptop. There were multiple models on show at CES that could easily outclass it in an all-out specs war, but this high performance machine also comes in a form factor that is – true to its name – razor thin. It also continues the trend of modular expansion of processing capabilities by providing an external GPU that can be connected over USB-C. The standard set of Razor goodies including programmable keyboard,

ASUS ROG XG Station 2

As laptops get skinnier by the day, expect more and more of their power to be transferred into external hot swappable accessories. This device isn’t technically a laptop. But it is a mobile computing solution that can turn the puniest of laptops into a gaming powerhouse. ASUS’ Republic of Gamers XG Station is an external dock into which you can plug your own NVidia or AMD graphics card. The device interfaces with the laptop via USB-C and only works with ASUS laptops for now.

Dell Latitude 13 7000 Series

Continuing the trend of impossibly thin laptops with impossibly powerful processors, Dell’s 13-inch Latitude 7000 is a business class laptop line which features a design that is less than an inch thick but still manages to pack a full Core i7 processor, 512GB SSD and 16GB of DDR4 RAM.

The barely there bezel further adds to its barely there proportions and Infinity display completes a package that will be at home in the boardroom and the bedroom.

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Published on January 13, 2016
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