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Steve Schardein (Review Editor)
In grade school, my first computer—an Apple IIGS—started it all for me. Later, in the nineties, if I wasn’t repairing computers for family and friends, I was busy cooking up nifty Visual Basic projects and playing PC games like Command & Conquer and Heroes of Might and Magic. Soon, much of my free time was spent moderating popular gaming forums and covering the industry for various websites. All the while, I never stopped repairing computers, and in 2006, I started a technology consulting company in Louisville, KY — Triple-S Computers — which I have been fortunate to nurture to great success by specializing in not only repairs, but also new machine consultations and purchasing, data recovery, and malware/security. And since 2012, I have proudly contributed many dozens of reviews to Notebookcheck, a site which I have long considered to be the ultimate authority on laptops and related technology. Today, I am truly living my dream: still a child at heart, ever-curious, constantly learning, and thankful to you, our readers.
Eurocom Tornado F5W (Xeon E3-1280 v5, Quadro P5000) Workstation Review
Zero compromises… Today we evaluate the Tornado F5W, a high-end workstation from Eurocom. Considering that it’s decked out with an Intel Xeon E3-1280 v5 desktop CPU and NVIDIA Quadro P5000 GPU along with an NVMe SSD and 64 GB of RAM, are there any weaknesses to speak of? If so, we’ll find them.
MSI GP72VR 7RFX (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1060) Laptop Review
Deceptively lightweight… MSI’s latest 17.3-inch gaming notebook to reach our labs covers most of the bases just as we’d expect, with a little twist: it’s surprisingly light! How does this $1,600 mid-range gaming notebook stack up against its peers?
Lenovo ThinkCentre M910z All-in-One Desktop Review
All work and no play. The ThinkCentre M910z is true to its heritage with an understated, functional design, easy maintenance, and capable performance—thanks to a Core i5 CPU and NVMe SSD. But how did it fare in our bevy of extensive tests and benchmarks?
Lenovo Legion Y920-17IKB (i7-7820HK, GTX 1070) Laptop Review
Black and red behemoth. Lenovo’s successor to the massive Y900 desktop replacement features a Kaby Lake CPU and a powerful GTX 1070. Much of the rest of the package remains the same—so are these updates enough to keep it relevant in such a competitive and selective market?
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2017 20JD0015US (i5-7200U, FHD) Convertible Review
Less expensive… but still expensive. Today’s ThinkPad X1 Yoga configuration preserves most of the major plusses of our previous review unit while dropping the price nearly in half. Is this the true sweet spot in the convertible PC market?
MSI GP62 7REX (i7-7700HQ, GTX 1050 Ti) Xotic PC Edition Laptop Review
Looks familiar… Not a lot has changed with regard to the design of the MSI GP62 notebook over the years—but it’s what’s inside that counts, right? Today’s review unit features a Core i7-7700HQ paired with a GTX 1050 Ti. How does it compare to its peers in the budget gaming category?
HP Pavilion Power 15t-cb2000 (i7-7700HQ, Radeon RX 550) Laptop Review
With great power… comes great affordability? The HP Pavilion Power 15t is back, this time with an AMD RX 550 GPU and an even lower price tag than before. Unfortunately, we ran into some unexpected challenges with our review unit.
Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook Laptop Review
Barebones utilitarianism… One truly bright spot for Chromebooks has been the education sector, wherein their adoption has been disproportionately high. In recognition of this opportunity, Lenovo seizes the moment with what is arguably their most utilitarian—yet still affordable—notebook to date, specifically intended for students.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2 (i5-7Y54) Tablet Review
Evolution, not revolution. The first generation of Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Tablet was decent, but it had its fair share of flaws. A year later, the latest version has seen little more than a chipset refresh with a few component updates. Is that enough to remain competitive?
Lenovo Legion Y520 15IKBN (7700HQ, FHD, GTX 1050 Ti) Laptop Review
Subdued, yet capable. Lenovo’s latest budget gaming notebook may not possess the pomp and showmanship of the Legion Y720, but it still manages reasonably good performance—even in spite of its relatively affordable price tag. We take it for a (lengthy) spin in our full review.
Lenovo ThinkPad T470s (7300U, FHD) Laptop Review
Serious business. Today we evaluate another T470s configuration; this one features an FHD anti-glare touchscreen and a somewhat more mainstream setup than our previous candidate—with a lower price to match. Find out how well it stacks up against the competition in our full review.
Dell Precision 5520 (E3-1505M, UHD) Workstation Review
Professional luxury. Dell’s well-regarded XPS 15 has a professional-grade counterpart in the Precision 5520. But can this ultrathin looker defy physics and keep up with the heavy demands of a mobile workstation?
HP Pavilion 15t-bc200 X7P44AV (7700HQ, UHD, GTX 1050) Laptop Review
A sharper image… The latest Pavilion 15t to make the trip through our labs features all the same amenities of the previous configuration, but accompanied now instead by a higher-resolution display. Could this be what the Pavilion needed to earn top marks?
HP Pavilion 17t (7700HQ, UHD, GTX 1050) Laptop Review
Pascal Pavilion Premiere… A UHD configuration of the Pavilion 17t-ab200 we reviewed last month has made it through our labs… but are the extra display panel perks enough to put it over the top?
Dell Latitude 7280 (7600U, FHD) Laptop Review
Smaller and sleeker. Dell’s latest 7000 series ultraportable migrates even further toward high-end consumer-grade luxury, even while maintaining most of what sets a business-grade machine apart from its mass market brethren. Does it remain a top contender?
HP Pavilion 17t-ab200 Notebook Review
Pascal Pavilion… HP has updated their Pavilion 17 with Kaby Lake and Pascal, which should provide better performance, longer battery life, and more thermal headroom. Is the Pavilion 17t-ab200 a budget gaming machine worth considering?
Gigabyte P57X v7 Gaming Notebook Review
Marginally improved. Not much has changed since the last Gigabyte P57X we reviewed. But with a newer Kaby Lake CPU, more RAM, and a greatly improved 4K display, is this perhaps the one to own?
HP Pavilion x360 13t-u100 Convertible Review
Good, basically. HP’s Pavilion x360 line provides a relatively affordable entry into the convertible market for those disinterested in the frills of typical high-end Ultrabooks but still unwilling to spring for bargain-bin fare. Today’s model even features a solid-state drive and IPS screen. Is this the ideal middle ground?
HP Envy x360 15t-w200 Convertible Review
Jack of all trades… The latest Envy x360 15-inch convertible is strikingly similar to the previous ones. And as before, it’s here to convince us that it can do it all: be a laptop, be a tablet, play some games, do some work, all for an affordable price… but is it really the ideal choice for these tasks?
Aorus X7 DT v6 Notebook Review
Boundless performance. Gigabyte has taken the design of their AORUS gaming notebook to the next level with the advent of the X7 DT v6. With class-leading GPU and CPU performance, speedy solid-state storage, and powerful networking and display options, can anything slow it down?
Lenovo ThinkPad P70-20ER000XUS Workstation Review
Pricey yet powerful. Lenovo’s latest P70 configuration features an Intel Xeon Skylake CPU and bumps the GPU to an NVIDIA M4000M, while also introducing NVMe SSD storage. How do these upgrades affect overall performance? And is this still a workstation worth considering today?
Gigabyte P57X v6 Notebook Review
Plain, yet Pascal. Gigabyte hasn’t changed much in their latest refresh of the P57 series gaming machines, but the big headliner here is the introduction of newer NVIDIA Pascal architecture GPUs. With a GTX 1070 in charge, is the P57X v6 likely to turn any heads?
HP Chromebook 13 G1 Core m5 Notebook Review
A Pixel Competitor… Premium materials, meticulous design, a high-res screen, and great performance. HP seeks to redefine the Chromebook with the closest thing we’ve seen to a Pixel since Google first introduced it.
Lenovo ThinkPad 13 Chromebook Notebook Review
Practical and affordable? A couple of months ago, we evaluated Lenovo’s entry-level ThinkPad 13, which we found to be a good value overall. Today, we turn our sights to the Chromebook counterpart. Is it a viable alternative to the world of Windows?
Dell Precision 7510 (4K IGZO) Mobile Workstation Review
Thoughtful evolution. The long-awaited Precision revision from Dell seeks to modernize the design without compromising the functionality of the professional device. However, this is not an exercise without compromise... can it succeed?
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Review
Surface Potential… Lenovo’s first Surface-style ThinkPad device has a lot of great ideas. Can it translate those into a cohesive, practical product for the everyday business user?
MSI PX60 6QD Prestige iBuyPower Edition Notebook Review
All play and no work… Known in part for their hulking portable gaming machines, MSI introduced the PX60 Prestige last year, which marked the company’s first foray into the business realm. Can this 2016 refresh correct some of the missteps of the previous model?
HP ZBook 15u G3 Workstation Review
Affordable, portable, professional… The HP ZBook 15u G3 brings us a thin-and-light mobile workstation with capable specs, all within the realm of affordability. But is it a workstation, or is it an Ultrabook… or is it a little bit of both?
Gigabyte P35X v5 Notebook Review
This looks familiar… Gigabyte hasn’t wasted any time reworking their P35X, now suffixed with “v5” so as to indicate that this is merely an iterative update. Given that, can the conservative revisions to the $2,300 P35X v5 preserve its relevance in the gaming market?
HP EliteBook 745 G3 (FHD) Notebook Review
Right down to business. Just last week, we evaluated HP’s new 745 G3 update with WQHD IPS screen and Windows 7 preinstalled. Today’s configuration features a lower-end 1080p panel, but it’s also correspondingly more affordable. How does it hold up against the bevy of available business choices?
Toshiba Portege Z30t-B1320W10 Notebook Review
Old dog, new tricks. The latest Z30t from Toshiba is yet again nearly identical to its brethren from two years ago, though this time, it’s sporting a Broadwell chipset and a 1080p touchscreen with antiglare filter. Are these changes enough to keep pace with its fierce competition in the business space?
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (Core m3) Tablet Review
Fourth Time's a Charm. The highly-anticipated fourth rendition of Microsoft’s Surface Pro is finally here, and it brings some valuable refinements. Thanks to a low-power Core m3 CPU, our review unit is completely devoid of moving parts—making this more tablet than ever before. But is it finally the tablet than can replace your laptop, or is it just another product of compromise?
Dell XPS 13-9350 InfinityEdge Ultrabook Review
Skylake successor… Dell’s adoption of an evolutionary approach to revising their flagship XPS 13 Ultrabook seems appropriate given the splendor of the machine’s futuristic design and the universal praise heaped upon its predecessor. But can its chipset refresh and tweaks under the hood keep it perched at the top of the pile? We leave no stone unturned and no key unpressed.
Asus Transformer Book T100HA Convertible Review
More than meets the eye? Asus has leveraged the criticism of their T100 Chi to concoct a completely refined successor which corrects nearly all of its issues. Plus, just for kicks, it’s 25% less expensive, too! Is this the Chromebook killer Windows needs?
Dell Inspiron 15 7558 Convertible Review
A fresh take. Dell’s Inspiron 15 7558 continues the manufacturer’s expansion of the Inspiron line into more premium territory, this time with a 2-in-1 convertible design (similar to Lenovo’s smaller Yoga machines). Can it inspire us with its rebalanced priorities?
HP Pavilion x2 10-n013dx Convertible Review
Versatile and affordable… The Pavilion x2 10-n013dx is the latest in HP’s rather crowded convertible line, sporting a familiar detachable design and a power-sipping Intel chipset intended to handle the basics. But with its multimode design and reasonable components, it’s an enticing candidate for the price tag.
Asus Chromebook Flip C100PA-DB01 Convertible Review
Luxury for less than $300. The C100PA Chromebook Flip is the latest model to borrow the 360-degree hinge design from Lenovo’s Yoga series. But with sleek aluminum construction, a comfortable keyboard, and a remarkably affordable price point, there’s a lot more to this story.
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501JW Notebook Review
The Ultimate ZenBook? Sporting nearly identical specifications to the recently-reviewed G501JW, the UX501JW—with a 4K LCD display, discrete graphics, and quad-core CPU—targets an audience who may in fact be a better fit for its choices. Is this truly the ultimate ZenBook?
Asus Transformer Book T100 Chi Convertible Tablet Review
Stylishly affordable… The latest Chi convertible from ASUS might not satisfy those with heavy computing needs, but it seems a compelling proposition for those in the market for an inexpensive 2-in-1. Can this lower-end alternative to Microsoft’s Surface line make a splash?
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook Review
Carbon-based evolution. While Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon series laptop has always been an impressive piece of hardware, some design decisions have polarized the audience. The X1 Carbon 3rd Gen answers the criticism with solutions which aim to please all parties. We explore the results in excruciating detail in our full review. Update 04/20/2015: Core i7 and PCIe-SSD in review!
Asus C300MA Chromebook Review
Basic and balanced… The 13.3-inch Chromebook from ASUS is now in our labs, and there’s a lot to like for $219—provided you can deal with a few compromises. We break down all the relevant pros and cons in our full review.
Dell XPS 13-9343 Touchscreen Ultrabook Review
Refusal to compromise… You can’t have it all—or can you? Dell’s latest XPS 13 pushes the envelope in a number of different critical categories, but most notably portability: this is the smallest 13.3-inch notebook we’ve reviewed. Could we be witnessing the best ultraportable to date?
Lenovo Edge 15-80H10004US Notebook Review
Yoga-like entertainer. Lenovo’s Edge 15 notebook is a Best Buy exclusive with a sleek and sturdy aluminum build and some transformative properties that almost resemble the Yoga line of machines. It’s an interesting combination of features, but is it a practical addition to the lineup?
Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Convertible Review
Often imitated, never duplicated. Lenovo was a first-mover in the 360-degree hinge segment, but they’re not content to rest on their laurels. Instead, the company brings us the thinnest, lightest, and most ambitiously-designed Yoga yet. Don’t miss our full review to see how the Yoga 3 Pro stacks up.
Toshiba Satellite Click 2 L30W Convertible Review
Budgetary constraints. Detachable keyboard base? Check. IPS touchscreen, svelte metallic casing, Windows 8.1? Check, check, check. It all sounds enticing, but it’s what Toshiba had to cut that sends the Click 2 along an uphill battle.
Toshiba Tecra Z40T-A1410 Notebook Review
Touchscreen Office Notebook. Toshiba hopes this premium Tecra, with a 1080p matte screen and many of the typical amenities of a top-end business notebook, can entice those looking for a touch business computer that’s light and long on battery. Does it check all the boxes?
Lenovo N20p-59426642 Dual-Mode Chromebook Review
Dual-mode Chromebook… As convertible notebooks continue to pique consumers’ interest, Chromebooks have yet to capitalize on the concept. Lenovo’s N20p flaunts its ability to transform, Yoga- or Flex-style, in pursuit of a piece of the convertible pie. Can it succeed?
Lenovo Z40-59422614 Notebook Review
With great power… comes great compromise? The Z40 is most certainly among the most affordable machines to combine a Core i5 CPU, a discrete GPU, and good battery life into a single package. Surely you’re asking yourself: what’s the catch?
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Tablet Review
Reshaping the Surface. Microsoft’s latest Surface is thinner, lighter, sexier, and even more versatile than before. Has the world finally met the successor to the modern laptop?
Lenovo ThinkPad 10 Multimode Tablet Review
Business tablet reprise… The latest multimode tablet out of Lenovo is the ThinkPad 8’s slightly bigger brother. Can its larger form factor and other design adjustments resolve the limitations of its predecessor?
Dell Venue 11 Pro 5130 Tablet Review
Detachable Convertible. Dell’s Venue 11 Pro is their most versatile professional Windows 8.1 Pro tablet yet, and coupled with its unique base, it makes a pretty strong case for its design. But at $499 MSRP without the base, is it worth the investment?
Review Update HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G1 (F2R72UT) Ultrabook
Business luxury. Our latest Folio 1040 G1 review unit arrived with a 1080p IPS display panel and an upgraded CPU—not to mention a bevy of preloaded security software to make corporate IT life easier. Is this business as usual, or was it worth the wait?
Review Update Dell XPS 13-9333 Touchscreen Ultrabook
Predictably great. Dell’s 2014 refresh of its critically-acclaimed XPS 13 brings with it a conservative selection of evolutionary enhancements, not least of which is the option of an included touchscreen. But can it still stand with the latest and greatest ultraportables?
Review Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet
ThinkPad Differently. The avalanche of new Windows 8.1 tablets continues, offering plenty of choices for those so inclined. Lenovo’s professional ThinkPad 8 bumps the resolution to near-Retina-grade levels and boasts a powerful configuration for a tablet. But can it find a spot in the corporate workplace?
Review Acer Aspire E1-470P-6659 Notebook
Basically basic. Cramming as much computer as possible into a case for $400 is a challenging and often perilous task. With their Aspire E1-470P, Acer takes another swipe at low-cost leadership in the Windows touchscreen category of devices. Was it worth the effort?
Review Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro Convertible
Pixel-packed performer. Last year’s Yoga 13 was one of the most popular Ultrabooks yet, and for good reason: while it wasn’t perfect, it was smartly-designed, with a unique (and sturdy) build and good performance for its price point. One year later, can Lenovo’s successor carry the torch?
Review Acer C720-2800 Chromebook
Back to basics. While efforts continue to try and rework the Chromebook equation to provide a more enticing balance of performance and build quality, Acer sees no harm in sticking to the original plan, with a budget plastic case design, an understated appearance, and an x86 chipset—all for $249. How does it compare?
Review HP Chromebook 11
Affordability and style. No one will accuse HP’s latest Chromebook of neglecting its appearance; as far as plastic devices go, it’s an attractive contender. But at just $279, is it even possible to supply the parts necessary for adequate performance?
Review Toshiba Satellite P75-A7200 Notebook
Affordable and conservative. While the waves of Ultrabooks and tablets wash over the market, Toshiba’s got something just the opposite: a conventional, 17-inch desktop replacement. Just because you’ve got the latest parts doesn’t mean you have to embrace the latest trends… right?
Review Acer Aspire V5-552PG-X809 Notebook
Aspire differently. Acer’s latest Aspire V5 model steps back from the solid state drives and supreme battery life of most Ultrabooks in exchange for a heavier focus on graphics—all at an affordable price point. But was it worth the trouble?
Review Update Dell XPS 12-9Q33 Convertible
All's well that's Haswell. The critically-acclaimed Dell XPS 12 returns with a nearly-identical form factor but an upgraded chipset and battery. With these improvements under its belt coupled with a $1,200 price tag, can it hope to hang with the best?
Review Acer Aspire V7-582P-6673 Ultrabook
Stamina and Style? Acer’s latest touchscreen-equipped Ultrabook might seem a bit large for its sake, but its promise of great battery life and strong performance make a compelling argument nonetheless. Is it worthy of consideration?
Review HP Pavilion 14-c010us Chromebook
Just the basics. With the advent of Chromebooks came an assortment of netbook-like machines that were often accused as being underpowered and undersized. With its larger size, can HP’s Pavilion 14 Chromebook prove to compete on the same level as the basic home notebook?
Review Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E431 Notebook
Affordable productivity. Lenovo’s latest update to the ThinkPad Edge series brings with it incremental hardware updates and some fresh connectivity options. Can it stand alongside its competition?
Review Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S Ultrabook
The perfect balance? Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga 11S is a combination of their Yoga 11 and Yoga 13, lifting elements from both to rebalance battery life, performance, and versatility. Was it worth the effort?
Review Toshiba Satellite S955D-S5150 Notebook
Slimmer, lighter, better? Toshiba has placed their notebooks on a diet in the latest update to the S-series. But does the sleeker form factor translate to a better overall product, or is there more to the story?
Review Acer Aspire M5-481PT-6644 Notebook
Affordable touch. Want the full Windows 8 experience but don’t want to spend a fortune? Acer’s M5-481PT touchscreen Ultrabook might be just the ticket. But can it check all the major boxes, or do its compromises outweigh its benefits?
Review HP Pavilion Sleekbook 15z-b000 Notebook
Ultra-affordable, semi-ultraportable. Hewlett-Packard’s latest 15-inch budget notebook is a slim one indeed—and it’s hard to find fault in its price. But is the increased portability worth the sacrifice elsewhere?
Review Lenovo ThinkPad Twist Convertible Ultrabook
Windows 8 with a twist. Lenovo’s unique ThinkPad Twist adopts the x-series’ design of a swivel-mounted screen alongside all the obligatory ThinkPad traits. But can it fulfill its intended role as a practical next-gen alternative to a conventional business notebook?
Review Toshiba Tecra R940-S9440 Notebook
Sensible productivity. Toshiba’s well-rounded Tecra line of business notebooks pursues ergonomic luxury with an understated appearance. Can the R940, with the help of its Ivy Bridge chipset, continue to impress?
Review Toshiba Satellite S855D-S5256 Notebook
Discount Entertainment. Toshiba’s updated 15.6-inch mid-range notebook seeks to provide a viable alternative to more expensive gaming-capable models. Sporting an AMD Trinity chipset surrounded by a sleek but basic construction, how does it fare against the ever-fierce competition?
Review Dell Latitude E5430 Notebook
A sense of balance. Dell’s newest 14-inch Latitude seeks a perfect balance of cost, practicality, and portability, bolstered most notably by its newfound optional Ivy Bridge chipset. Is the E5430 everything the budget-conscious businessperson has been waiting for?
Review Dell Latitude E5530 Notebook
Powerful Essentials. Dell's Latitude E5XXX series has long been an affordable alternative to the highest-end Latitude notebooks without sacrificing the essentials. Can the E5530, with its brand-new Ivy Bridge chipset and other minor tweaks, top its predecessors?