Gaming Laptops: I'm Out for 2018, and Here's Why
As I recently mentioned on Twitter (@agasiclesstamas), in November I had to factory reset my Lenovo Y50, I believe that’s the predecessor of the Y520 about two models ago , for the fourth time in 20 months of ownership. The first time it ate itself, I had not even owned it a year. Across all of my machines, and I’ve run about six at a time in the lab over the last ten years, my self-built machines run much more reliably than any vendor-spec gaming laptop that I've run. The most reliable vendor-PC gaming laptop I’ve owned recently was my CyberPowerPC FangBook III, basically a white-box laptop assembled by a configurator with stock Win10 and no bloatware.
So I think I’m done with the big box vendors when it comes to gaming laptops. In fact, I'm just done with the notion of gaming laptops in general for the foreseeable future, now. In the last seven years, I’ve had laptops from Asus, MSI, Lenovo, and HP completely fail and have to be replaced, with all of them except the MSI being gaming laptop (two oiut three gaming laptops were Asus machines). I just don’t think I can trust how a machine appears to perform out of the box or within the first several months of ownership.
While they are more expensive and take some time to build, I’ll have to look at boutique maker’s from now on, or online-only vendor’s like Eluktronics and Sager. The mainstream manufacturers seem to not have a clue when it comes to building a gaming laptop and their performance over the long haul has proven to be represented by low reliability and high instability.
In general, I am pivoting away from laptops. I am on my HP Envy 13 now, but I have it set now to use it as an auxiliary device; mostly coffee shop sessions and when on travel. But I do not plan on using it for any heavy lifting. I am going to leave that for the desktops. I have gotten into a pretty good groove now when it comes to multi-media editing and production, and those activities work best when I have the added feature-set and power of my DiY machines. It's going to be a strange move for me who, seven years ago, thought that the power available in portable computing systems was on par with desktop parts, and was slowing down to a point where I would be confident in buying any laptop that it would be good for a full two year lifecycle in the lab. But the pace of change in the desktop arena has increased, and that is where I feel most comfortable in spending money. And spending gaming component money appears to be a waste if I throw that at a gaming laptop. Best reserve that for the desktop parts for the time being.