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There’s a massive sale on Alienware gaming laptops and PCs

Dell is currently hosting a sale featuring powerful gaming laptops and gaming PCs from its gaming-focused Alienware brand, which offers products that will let you avoid getting stressed out by frequent crashes and dropped frames. You can enjoy discounts of up to about $800 from the best Alienware deals that are still online, so you can stretch your budget as these machines don’t come cheap. You shouldn’t hesitate in taking advantage of an offer if one catches your eye though, as you may miss the chance at savings if you take too long to finalize your purchase.

Contents

  • Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 Gaming Desktop — $1,274, was $1,800
  • Alienware Aurora R12 Gaming Desktop — $1,372, was $2,130
  • Alienware x15 Gaming Laptop — $1,568, was $2,300
  • Alienware x17 Gaming Laptop — $2,107, was $2,900

Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 Gaming Desktop — $1,274, was $1,800

Dell’s gaming PC deals for its Alienware brand include this offer for the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10 gaming desktop. It’s powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X processor and the Nvidia GeForce RTZ 2080 Super graphics card. The machine also features 16GB of RAM, which is the best place to start for gaming PCs, according to Digital Trends’ guide on how much RAM do you need. It also comes with a thermal design that includes quad 10mm copper heat pipes with integrated vapor chambers to maintain low temperatures, and 512GB SSD for storage with Windows 11 Home pre-installed so you can start installing games as soon as you set up the gaming PC with the necessary accessories.

Alienware Aurora R12 Gaming Desktop — $1,372, was $2,130

If you prefer Intel over AMD, you might want to go for the Alienware Aurora R12 gaming desktop, which is also part of Dell’s desktop computer deals. Inside are the 11th-generation Intl Core i7 processor, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, and 16GB of RAM, with a 1TB SSD for storage that comes with Windows 11 Home pre-installed. These specifications are similar to what you’ll find with the best gaming desktops, so you’re sure that you won’t encounter issues when running the latest releases. The Alienware Aurora R12 features the same thermal design as that of the Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition R10, which means you shouldn’t have to worry about performance issues if you’re playing for several hours at a time.

Alienware x15 Gaming Laptop — $1,568, was $2,300

Alienware m15 gaming laptop on a desk.

For those who are looking for gaming laptop deals to be able to bring their video game machine anywhere they go, the Alienware x15 gaming laptop is currently on sale from Dell. It’s equipped with the 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, and 16GB of RAM, with a 512GB SSD and Windows 11 Home pre-installed. You’ll love playing on the device’s 15.6-inch Full HD screen, which features Dell’s ComfortView Plus technology that maintains eye comfort by reducing harmful blue light emissions. The gaming laptop will keep itself cool with Alienware’s Cryo-Tech, which includes the brand’s exclusive Element 31 thermal interface material that pulls heat away from the CPU, four independently functioning cooling fans, and exhaust layouts that create maximum airflow.

Alienware x17 Gaming Laptop — $2,107, was $2,900

Intel announces Intel Arc dGPU for Alienware x17 laptop.

For performance that rivals the best gaming laptops, check out the Alienware x17 gaming laptop in Dell’s laptop deals. With the 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card, and 16GB of RAM, your gaming experience will be smooth and lag-free. The gaming laptop also features a larger display at 17.3 inches, with Full HD resolution and ComfortView Plus technology, in addition to support for Nvidia’s G-Sync to further reduce the chance of stuttering while you play. It’s also pre-installed with Windows 11 Home on its 512GB SSD, and protected from overheating by Alienware Cryo-Tech.

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Computing

Vaio laptops are back, and they’re surprisingly affordable

The Vaio laptop brand is dipping its toe into the affordable space with a new series of notebooks featuring several impressive specs at prices under $950.

The new Vaio FE Series are currently selling at Walmart and Walmart.com and will also be available at Sam’s Club.

You might remember the legendary Vaio brand from a bygone era, known for its high-end build quality and cutting-edge design. The new Vaio is no longer owned by Sony, however, but that hasn’t stopped the brand from attempting a comeback.

The 14.1-inch notebook comes in three models, with Full HD anti-glare screens, two built-in speakers, a front-facing camera with a privacy shutter, a fingerprint scanner, and a precision touchpad, the brand noted.

The series is powered by 12th-gen Intel Core processors, which power many of the highlight features of the Vaio FE notebooks. These include THX Spatial Audio technology, which allows for a 360-degree sound experience that can be enjoyed over speakers, earbuds, or headphones, the brand added. The processors also allow for up to 46% energy conservation, which supports a battery life of up to 10 hours on each model.

The Viao FE series will be available at Walmart at Sam's Club.

Running Windows 11 Home as its operating system, the Viao FE Series benefits from such features as password-free unlocking, Focus Assist to block notifications, Microsoft Photos, and Snap layouts to better organize apps and windows. The system also features an Xbox Game Bar, which allows gamers to chat, track performance, and screen record.

The base model Vaio FE sells for $700 and features a 12th-gen Intel Core i5-1235U processor, 512 GB Solid State Drive, and 8GB memory. It comes in Black, Blue, Silver, and Rose Gold color options.

The mid-tier Vaio FE model sells for $800 and features a 12th-gen Intel Core i5-1235U processor, 1 TB solid-state drive, and 16GB memory. It comes in Black, Blue, Silver, and Rose Gold color options.

The top-tier Vaio FE model sells for $950 and features a 12th-gen Intel Core i7-1255U processor, 1 TB solid-state drive, and 16GB memory. It comes in Black, Blue, Silver, and Rose Gold color options.

This isn’t the first Vaio laptop to make a resurgence. The Vaio Z launched last year as an attempt to recapture the premium branding of the original line.

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Computing

These are the only laptops thinner than the M2 MacBook Air

The new M2 MacBook Air is incredibly thin — 0.44 inches (11.2mm), to be specific. But numbers don’t quite do it justice. Unless you were to hold this thing in your hands yourself, you might not realize just how thin this really is. But Apple didn’t claim this to be the thinnest laptop ever made — because it’s not.

And while there are a couple that exist, you’ll see quickly that they aren’t exactly one-to-one comparisons.

Samsung Galaxy Chromebook

The thinnest laptop ever made, as far as I’ve been able to determine, is the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook. This fiery red, premium Chromebook came out in 2020, and it has a thickness of just 0.39 inches. As you can see in the photo, that’s just large enough to squeeze in a headphone jack and USB-C port. It was an astounding device to see in 2020, and it remains among the thinnest laptops you can still buy.

This 13-inch laptop is downright tiny, and it’s well-built too. But it’s a Chromebook. And strangely, Samsung hasn’t updated the laptop in the past two years. The company chose to release a sequel in 2021 called the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, but it was a thicker and more budget-friendly laptop. I’m not sure whether or not we’ll ever see a true update to the original Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, but I seriously hope we see Samsung reuse this style of chassis, because in many ways, it felt ahead of its time.

Acer Swift 7

Acer Swift 7 review
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Acer Swift 7 was the laptop that was the champion of thinness for many years, even before the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook came around. This one also measures in at the same 0.39 inches thick, matching that Chromebook. It’s also incredibly light at 1.96 pounds — one of the lightest laptops you can buy. That’s considerably lighter than the 2.7-pound M2 MacBook Air.

Both of those measurements blow the M2 MacBook Air out of the water — but there’s a catch. First off, the Acer Swift 7 had a number of frustrating compromises, including an awkward touchpad and keyboard, and a strangely positioned webcam.

But the bigger problem? Acer hasn’t updated this model since 2019. That makes it even less of a viable laptop to buy in 2022, especially since it still uses an old 8th-gen Intel processor. A lot of the sacrifices made to ensure that the Acer Swift 7 was the thinnest and lightest of all clearly didn’t convince many buyers it was worth the trade-off.

Like the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, I don’t know that Acer has plans to update the Swift 7, but clearly it’s taken a break from the design.

Some that are really close

The back of the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4.

So, while there aren’t many laptops that are quite as thin as the M2 MacBook Air, there are a lot that come close. The half-inch mark is right around where many of the other thin-and-light laptops fall. On the Windows side of things, you have options like the new Dell XPS 13, which comes in at 0.58 inches thick.

There’s also the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 4, which is slightly thinner than the XPS 13 at 0.57 inches. The Asus ExpertBook B9 falls into a similar size, as does the Zenbook S 13 Flip OLED at 0.59 inches.

Of course, 2-in-1 tablets like the Surface Pro are technically thinner. The Surface Pro 8 is only 0.37 inches thick, but add on the Type Cover keyboard, and you’re back up another 0.2 inches.

It’s entirely possible that I’ve overlooked some laptop here or there, but suffice it to say, the M2 MacBook Air is likely in its own league. Unless you count experimental concept devices like the Craob X, Windows laptops definitely have some catching up to do.

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Computing

Charging via USB-C for laptops: Here’s what you need to know

The arrival of USB-C and USB-C laptop chargers has been a game-changer for many electronics. You can use the connection to charge devices and transfer media, and it’s conveniently reversible. Top laptops no longer need a big power brick — you can just use USB-C.

But there are some precautions you should take when charging over USB-C. Here’s everything you need to know.

USB charging and laptops

You have probably already used USB connections to charge smaller devices either from your computer or from an outlet. That works well because past USB connections had enough wattage to successfully power up those smaller batteries. Prior versions of USB could only handle a limited amount of power, which is why laptop chargers have typically retained their larger, bulkier cables.

USB-C changed that. This type of connection now provides enough power to juice up most laptops (particularly the Type-C 3.0 version). That’s why laptop charging is a new topic of conversation for USB connections, especially now that more laptops are entering the market with USB-C charging compatibility.

So, how do you know if your current laptop has a USB-C port that also works with charging? You could always look it up, but the easiest way is to simply examine your charger. You can identify a Type-C charger by its unique features. USB-C’s connector is small and rounded, significantly different from the old USB version. It also works no matter which way you connect it to the right port, so there’s no need to flip it the right way around. If your charger uses this connection and plugs into your USB-C port, you have a winner!

USB-C chargers are turning up on many different devices, so it’s not strictly relegated to laptops. Newer phones use USB-C charging, car chargers may come with USB-C ports, and portable chargers (discussed more below) can have USB-C options. But laptops tend to have USB-C more frequently than other devices, at least for now.

Will any port work with any charger?

USB-C is a universal charging standard. That means that, technically, it doesn’t matter what USB-C charger you use — it should be able to power up a laptop with a USB-C charging port and power bank. In the real world, this is taking a while to come true. Today the majority of laptop USB-C chargers are interchangeable, but it’s not guaranteed.

Some laptops come with USB-C ports that don’t charge. This is most common on laptops that come with their own proprietary charger — although a number of laptops can be charged either way, only the propriety charger tends to power up a laptop more quickly. The Samsung Notebook 9 is an example of that, as is the 2019 HP Envy 13. If you’re not sure exactly how to charge your laptop, check the manufacturer’s website, or look up a review of the system here at Digital Trends.

Laptops that rely entirely on USB-C, meanwhile, might not charge with just any charger. PCWorld, in its testing, found that HP’s Spectre x2 wouldn’t charge with any USB-C charger besides its own. HP said that that was intentional because a bad charger could damage the device or cause it to malfunction. Other devices, like the Apple MacBook Pro, don’t have such tight restrictions — a new USB-C authentication system could help with this issue in the near future.

While we haven’t personally heard of any damage from using a USB-C charger other than the one that came with your laptop, there’s always a slim risk when plugging a laptop into an unknown power source. Faulty cables can also be a problem. Microsoft acknowledges this by saying that you can charge a Surface with a USB-C port, but it’s highly recommended that you use the Surface charger that came with the laptop because a USB-C charger would end up being very slow due to how power is metered within the device. In short, it’s a good idea to buy cables and chargers from reputable sources and think twice about using that cable you found laying on the ground in a conference room.

You can buy additional USB-C cables for your own security.

Your settings are important

You will also want to watch your USB-C power mode, which you can find in your laptop settings, usually in the power/battery section. Here, you may find that you can switch Type-C’s output, choosing whether to receive power or send power. If your USB-C laptop charger isn’t working when by all rights it should be, check your settings to make sure it is set to receive power.

Complex charging arrangements

U USB-C cable (Ravpower C to C cable) attached to a MacBook and an external battery power bank.

Because USB-C is universal and can do multiple things at once, this allows for some unique charging circumstances. Two worth noting are:

Pass-through: Today’s charging hubs also offer something called pass-through charging. This refers to a hub that can connect multiple USB peripherals to a laptop while also charging that laptop’s battery. Basically, it’s a combination between a hub and a USB-C charging cable, so you don’t need two different USB-C ports for each task. HooToo’s popular 6-in-1 USB-C Hub is a good example of this technology. There are other innovative options, too, like sending video to an external monitor while also making sure your laptop is charged during a presentation.

Portable chargers: Maybe you have a portable charger with an old USB connection but a phone that only has a USB-C connection (which is not compatible with older USB ports). You can link the charger to a laptop that has both types of ports, and use it to power up your phone in a roundabout way. Do not try to use your laptop Type C charger to charge your phone directly. The voltage requirements are too different for most devices currently available, and multi-device chargers are still a nascent part of the market.

USB-C and Thunderbolt 3

The output and input ports of a Thunderbolt 3 USB-C cable.

There’s a variant of USB-C that’s a lot more powerful — Thunderbolt 3. Choose a laptop with at least one Thunderbolt 3-enabled USB-C port, and you can connect multiple 4K monitors at 60Hz and greatly increase your laptop’s gaming performance via an external GPU enclosure.

Thunderbolt 3 allows for a number of charging arrangements: It can “chain” up to six different devices together and easily charge while transmitting data at higher speeds than USB-C alone, up to 100W.

Since Thunderbolt 3 uses the same connection as USB-C, manufacturers are quick to label laptop ports if they also have Thunderbolt 3 technology — you can usually tell just by reading their descriptions. However, Thunderbolt 3 connections only work if you use the right cables, so make sure you have Thunderbolt 3 cables if you want to take advantage of those ports’ full features and bandwidth.

For Apple users

An Apple Lightning cable connected to an iPhone.
Nomad Lightning cable

Apple users should know that they aren’t immune to the USB-C transition we’re seeing. Currently, Apple uses Lightning cables for iOS charging, a proprietary design that silos off of all  Apple mobile charging accessories. The company has already switched to USB-C charging for MacBooks, and today’s iPad Pros also use USB-C charging. iPhones and iPads are currently unique in their Lightning cable reliance.

Apple is going to have to reimagine its current Lightning cable situation to fulfill the EU’s suspected precedent, demanding a set model of USB-C charging cables. Failure to comply with these demands will result in the loss of valuable European laptop buyers. Combine that with speculation of Apple ditching charging cables entirely, instead of focusing on a portless setup (most likely using a magnetic attachment on the back of the iPhone), and we may see the end of the Lightning cable in the next couple of years.

Furthermore, a recent rumor suggests that Apple will forgo its Lightning port for all its devices, starting with its iPhone range from 2025 onward. Another report also highlights how the company is reportedly preparing to remove the port entirely from the AirPods’ charging case, mice, etc.

The future of USB-C charging

Current USB options are about to receive a major overhaul. According to industry insiders, not only will USB have the fastest speeds ever, but they will also be universally compatible across all brands of devices. The dawn of 2021 could see an entirely new generation of laptops that espouse the new USB4 port. Of course, USB4 adds yet another layer of complexity when it comes to USB protocols. There’s even more to know about the new tech:

  • USB4 will be available on USB-C ports.
  • USB4 increases speeds and charging power to match Thunderbolt 3, up to 100W.
  • USB4 will require cables formatted for USB4 to enable its new features.
  • USB4 will be backward compatible with USB 2.0.

We’re guessing that all other ports may start giving way to the USB-C. USB-C ports will soon outweigh all other ports in importance, taking over as the primary port. In the future, USB4 and Thunderbolt will likely be the standard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all USB-C ports allow charging?

Although USB-C is increasingly becoming more commonplace as the go-to standard for charging, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all USB-C ports allow charging.

There are certain laptops — generally the systems that sport their own charger — that feature USB-C ports which don’t offer charging capabilities.

Can I charge my laptop via USB-C?

Generally speaking, if your laptop comes with a USB-C charging feature, then you should have no problem with charging your system via USB-C. That said, some mobile systems (notebooks and laptops) require you to use a specific cable that is exclusively made to be compatible with that system.

Is USB-C charging better?

USB-C charging is better than any other alternative charging platform. Due to the advanced technical capabilities of the standard, using USB-C charging for your system means it will generally charge it faster than, say, a regular power cable.

For example, a USB Type-C cable that offers up to 240 watts of power was recently revealed, which is unheard of for USB-C. It just goes to show the possibilities that USB-C brings with it.

Can USB-C let you charge your laptop without a charger?

Yes, and no. Providing your notebook or laptop comes with a USB-C port that was specifically designed to supply charging support, then you can charge it without a regular charger. However, as we mentioned above, not all laptops offer USB-C ports that you can utilize in order to charge your device.

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Game

Acer brings glasses-free 3D to its gaming laptops

3D TVs may be dead, but Acer isn’t giving up on the dream of going beyond 2D just yet. It’s spent years hyping up its SpatialLabs technology, which lets you view stereoscopic 3D content without any clunky glasses. Now that innovation is headed to the company’s gaming laptops, starting with the new Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition. The company says you’ll be able to play more than 50 modern and classic games in 3D, including Forza Horizon 5, No Man’s Sky and God of War (no Halo Infinite yet, sadly).

Naturally, though, you’ll have to pay a huge premium to be an early glasses-free 3D adopter. The Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition will start at $3,400 when it arrives in the fourth quarter. You’ll get some killer hardware under the hood, like Intel’s latest 12th-gen CPUs, 32GB of DDR5 RAM and up to NVIDIA’s RTX 3080, but it’s clearly not meant for the typical gamer. It weighs a hefty 6.6 pounds, and the small amount of supported 3D titles makes this laptop seem even more like a niche product.

Acer Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition

Acer

Still, the display nerd in me is eager to see how Acer actually implements this technology. I was impressed by some early SpatialLabs demos years ago, but it’s another thing to transform a game into a fully 3D experience. The technology relies on a combination of eye tracking (which helps the image stay in focus without additional glasses), real-time rendering and a stereoscopic 15.6-inch screen. Acer is also bringing SpatialLabs’ 3D hardware to its ConceptD7 laptop this year. 

If you’re just looking for a thin gaming laptop, without any fancy 3D screens, Acer is also updating the Predator Triton 300 SE with 12th-gen Intel chips, RTX 3000-series GPUs and 16:10 OLED panels. A 16-inch model with a 240Hz 1,440p display is joining the existing 14-inch version, giving the company options for gamers who want the lightest possible machine or something with a bit more breathing room. The smaller model tops out with an RTX 3060, but the larger one can squeeze in a beefier 3070 Ti.

Gallery: Acer Predator Triton 300 SE hands-on | 5 Photos

We’ve generally liked Acer’s gaming hardware over the years (except when they introduce useless concepts like swiveling screens). Based on my brief hands-on time with the Triton 300 SE, it seems like yet another solid option for a stylish-yet-portable gaming rig. The new OLED screen is clearly the star of the show, delivering deep black levels and glorious colors in a few Halo Infinite matches, but its 90Hz refresh rate may disappoint gamers used to faster LCDs. Those folks can just opt for the 165Hz 1080p and 1,440p LCDs, instead. The 14-inch Triton 300 SE is lighter than the Razer Blade 14, clocking in at 3.7 pounds instead of 3.9, and its overall build quality feels just as premium.

You’ll find the 14-inch Triton 300 SE in July starting at $1,600, while the 16-inch version will arrive in August for $1,750.

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Future Intel Laptops Could Mandate 8-Megapixel Webcams

Tired of a miserly low-resolution webcam on your Intel-powered laptop? That could soon be a thing of the past, if leaked specifications for Intel’s Evo 4.0 platform are anything to go by, as much better picture quality is apparently in the offing.

According to NotebookCheck, the fourth generation of Intel’s Evo platform — which could be introduced with the upcoming Raptor Lake series of processors pegged for the third quarter of 2022 — will mandate 8-megapixel cameras on all laptops running this spec. In other words, if laptop manufacturers want to work with Intel to be Evo-accredited, they will need to up their webcam game.

Riley Young/Digital Trends

High resolution isn’t the only thing that could become a requirement. NotebookCheck claims other specs are likely to be part of the Evo 4.0 specification, including an 80-degree field of view, plus a passing grade on the VCX benchmark.

What is VCX, you ask? Well, Intel is now part of the VCX forum (short for Valued Camera eXperience), which scores laptop webcams based on certain benchmarks. These include texture loss, motion control, sharpness, dynamic range, the camera’s performance under various lighting conditions, and more. At the end, a final score is given. And it now seems that Intel will be expecting manufacturers’ webcams to hit a minimum score (as yet unknown) in order to pass muster.

Interestingly, NotebookCheck’s report says that any webcams placed below the user’s eye line will be awarded negative points in the VCX test. Someone better tell the Huawei MateBook X Pro.

With Intel’s Raptor Lake series set for later in 2022, could we see some of these webcam improvements in this year’s Alder Lake-based laptops? That’s certainly possible. Intel will allegedly have VCX benchmark scores ready by the first quarter of 2022, so we might see a few devices appear that meet these standards before Raptor Lake steps into the limelight. Just don’t bet the farm on it.

Alongside Intel, Microsoft has also reportedly begun enforcing minimum standards for its partner devices. Like Intel, the company wants manufacturers to hit certain specs for webcams, microphones, and speakers. With two giants of the industry pushing manufacturers to up their game, we could finally be able to bid flimsy webcams and crackly mics adieu.

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Game

Qualcomm is making 5nm ARM chipsets for Windows laptops

is expanding its lineup of ARM-based chips for Windows and Chromebook with Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and 7c+ Gen 3 platforms. In addition, the company aims to power handheld gaming devices using Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 chipsets.

Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3, which , is the first 5nm PC platform, according to Qualcomm, which designed it with ultra-slim and fanless laptops in mind. It says that moving to a 5nm process node and other optimizations allowed for improved Kryo CPU performance while sustaining similar power consumption levels as Gen 2 chipsets. The company claims the chipsets will deliver up to 85 percent improved performance compared with the previous generation and up to 60 percent better per-watt performance than x86 chips.

Along with 5G and WiFi 6/6E connectivity, the platform is said to offer multi-day battery life, upgraded camera and audio functions and chip-to-cloud security. Systems with 8cx Gen 3 chipsets will be able to take advantage of “29+ TOPS of AI acceleration,” which Qualcomm claims is three times the performance of “the leading competitive platform.” The AI acceleration could speed up tasks like face detection and background blur on calls. In addition, Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 supports up to 4K HDR camera quality, and as many as four cameras.

Qualcomm also says 8cx Gen 3 will offer up to 60 percent improved performance over previous-generation chips during GPU-intensive tasks thanks to the Adreno GPU. You’ll be able to play games in Full HD at up to 120 fps, and Qualcomm claims the platform is optimized to let folks play up to 50 percent longer “than certain competing platforms.”

Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3 chipset.

Qualcomm

As for Snapdragon 7c+ Gen 3, that platform’s designed for entry-level PCs and Chromebooks, and it emerged only six months after . It too supports 5G, both sub-6 and mmWave, thanks to the inclusion of the Snapdragon X53 5G Modem-RF system. You can also expect Wi-Fi 6 and 6E support. Qualcomm says the 6nm 7c Gen 3 platform will deliver up to 40 percent improved CPU performance and as much as 35 percent improved graphics performance over the previous-gen chipsets.

haven’t exactly , and it remains to be seen whether Qualcomm can help the Windows on Snapdragon platform turn the corner with its latest, more powerful options. Devices with Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 and 7c+ Gen 3 chipsets are expected to debut in the first half of 2022.

Qualcomm Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 chipset on top of a handheld gaming device.

Qualcomm

Elsewhere, Qualcomm is making moves in a new chipset category: gaming handhelds. It says the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform will support game streaming from consoles and PC, cloud gaming services and Android games and apps. The Adreno GPU can run games at 144 fps and at 10-bit HDR, according to the company, while the FastConnect 6900 system offers 5G mmWave and sub-6 and WiFi 6/6E connectivity.

To show off the platform, Razer collaborated with Qualcomm on a handheld gaming dev kit that’s available to developers starting today via Razer’s website. The device features a 120hz, 6.65-inch OLED display with 10-bit HDR support, four-way speakers and a built-in controller. The device can even be used for live streams that include audio and video feeds from players, since it has a 1080p 60 fps camera and dual mics.

Should Snapdragon-powered handhelds come to market, they’ll be vying against the likes of the Nintendo Switch, , smartphones and tablets. It’s a competitive sector, but one that’s growing rapidly, so there might be room for devices with Qualcomm chipsets to carve out a niche.

A person sits on rocks by the beach, playing a game on a handheld gaming device created by Razer.

Qualcomm

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Intel Alder Lake-P For Laptops Could Beat AMD By Over 35%

The new Intel Alder Lake-P Core 7-12700H laptop processor has just been tested in a new benchmark, and the results are just as promising as those of the desktop version of Alder Lake CPUs.

The leaked test, found in the Geekbench 5 database, shows a huge performance jump in multithreading operations. The results of this benchmark propel Intel’s 12th generation of processors even higher above the competition.

Intel’s latest mobility CPU was tested in terms of single-threaded and multithreaded performance. The processor scored 1,340 points in single-core operations and 11,138 points in multi-core. Measuring the CPU against its predecessors, as well as current-gen AMD processors, reveals a huge lead for the new Alder Lake chip.

Comparing Core i7-12700H to its predecessor, the Core 7-11700H, shows that the new CPU is up to 45% faster in multi-core operations. The same is true when it comes to the 10th generation of Intel processors — the Core i7-10750H scored a mere 5,422 points compared to Alder Lake’s 11,138.

Intel stands victorious against AMD in this test, too. Although the new CPU was outperformed by AMD’s Ryzen 5900HX in single-core tests, it blew Team Red out of the water in multithreaded operations. The Ryzen 5900HX, which is the best mobility AMD processor out right now, scored 8,217 points in multi-core benchmarks.

Intel Core i7-12700H is a mobility processor that is still, as of yet, unreleased. It was found inside a Gigabyte Aero 5 XE laptop. We’ve already seen benchmarks of the high-end Core i9-12900HK recently, and it seems that this processor will feature the same core lineup, with 14 cores and 20 threads. This most likely means six Golden Cove (performance) cores and eight Gracemont (efficiency) cores.

According to the Geekbench test, the CPU has a base frequency of 2.7GHz and up to 4.6GHz in turbo mode. This is combined with a 24MB L3 cache and a reasonable TDP of around 35 to 45 watts. The system it was tested on ran a 64-bit version of Windows 11 Pro and had 16GB of DDR4 memory with a frequency of 1330MHz.

Intel Alder Lake pin layout.

It’s worth noting that the clock speeds are different than those shown in a previous benchmark of the same model that was found inside an upcoming HP Omen laptop and combined with an RTX 3080 Ti graphics card. The new, still only rumored HP Omen actually featured lower clock speeds than the Gigabyte Aero 5 XE laptop, running a base clock of 2.45GHz that can be boosted up to 4.2GHz.

The reason for the discrepancy in core speeds could be related to the TDP of the two processors. Although both laptops are equipped with a Core i7-12700H processor, it’s possible that the Gigabyte Aero 5 XE version runs at the higher TDP of 45W, thus allowing for better performance. Gigabyte’s Aero laptop will likely feature increased cooling capabilities, which should enable it to sustain the increased TDP.

Intel Alder Lake processors have been performing well across the board, sometimes dominating the previous generation of Intel and AMD by more than 60%. AMD is currently at a disadvantage as the manufacturer has not yet released the next generation of comparable processors. We can expect to see AMD catch up in 2023 with the new mobility Raphael-H line of CPUs.

Editors’ Choice




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Computing

Early Dell Black Friday Deals 2021: Gaming Laptops, Monitors & More

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Every year, shoppers take advantage of Black Friday deals to purchase new computers, laptops, and accessories with discounts. That won’t change this year, as retailers are expected to roll out a deluge of Black Friday laptop deals and Black Friday gaming laptop deals.

If you’re not good with waiting, you can already start shopping some early Black Friday deals from Dell that involve the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 laptop, the Dell XPS 13 laptop, and the Dell G15 gaming laptop. You can also look around and search through Dell’s offers yourself if you think there’s a deal out there that’s a better match for you.

27-inch Dell S2721H Monitor (Full HD) — $200, was $320

If you’ve recently upgraded your computer, you’ll need a monitor like the Dell S2721H to give justice to the extra processing power. The monitor features a 27-inch screen at Full HD resolution and ultra-thin bezels on three sides, with built-in dual HDMI ports and support for AMD’s FreeSync technology to eliminate tearing when playing games. Dell is offering a $120 discount on the Dell S2721H, bringing its price down to $200 from its original price of $320.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 — $250, was $355

The new Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Laptop on white background.

For an affordable laptop that won’t have trouble keeping up with basic tasks, go for the Dell Inspiron 15 3000. The laptop is powered by the Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB of RAM, and Intel UHD Graphics 600, with a 15.6-inch HD screen. It also features Dell’s ExpressCharge technology, which recharges the battery by up to 80% in just 60 minutes. You can purchase the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 for only $250 from Dell, after a $105 discount to its original price of $355.

Dell XPS 13 — $750, was $950

The Dell XPS 13 laptop, opened.
Dell.com

The Dell XPS 13 sits on top of Digital Trends’ best laptops to buy in 2021, with a 13.3-inch Full HD screen that uses a 16:10 aspect ratio for a larger display without increasing its overall size. The laptop is also no slouch in performance, with the 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and Intel Iris Xe Graphics. It’s cut from a block of aluminum in two pieces, so it’s more durable than a laptop that’s pieced together. Dell is selling it at $200 off, bringing the price of the Dell XPS 13 down to $750 from its original price of $950.

Dell G15 Gaming Laptop — $880, was $1,185

The Dell G15 gaming laptop with a colorful creature on the screen.

Gamers shouldn’t settle for anything less than gaming laptops like the Dell G15, which will be able to run the latest games without any issues as it packs the 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card. With a 512GB SSD for storage, you’ll be able to install and play multiple games at a time, while the laptop’s thermal design, which is inspired by the Dell-owned Alienware brand, will keep it cool and running at optimum performance even after hours of playing. You can purchase the Dell G15 gaming laptop for $880 at Dell, after a $305 discount to its original price of $1,185.

Dell XPS 15 — $1,800, was $2,200

The Dell XPS 15 Touch Laptop (9th Gen) purple flower on screen, white background.

If you need a laptop that can handle the most demanding tasks, you should consider buying the Dell XPS 15. The laptop is equipped with the 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card, so you can rely on it for work such as editing multimedia content. The 15.6-inch touchscreen features UHD+ resolution for clear details, while its multiple Thunderbolt 3 ports ensure a complete setup for your workstation. The Dell XPS 15 is on sale from Dell at $400 off, which lowers its price to $1,800 from its original price of $2,200.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

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Editors’ Choice




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Computing

The Best Thin and Light Gaming Laptops 2021

Most gaming laptops are large, ostentatiously styled with massive vents and a fighter jet-like aesthetic, and they’re heavy. They’re not meant to be carried around everywhere like regular laptops, but rather from place to place for gaming sessions. Not everyone wants a massive laptop for their gaming needs, though, and that’s where a new breed of thin and light gaming laptops comes into play.

The Razer Blade 14 tops this list. It’s not only a great gaming laptop, but it’s one of the best laptops, period. It’s not the only excellent thin and light laptop worth considering, though. These are our favorites.

The best thin and light gaming laptops at a glance:

Razer Blade 14

Why you should buy this: It’s the best thin and light gaming laptop you can buy.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a thin and light laptop but doesn’t want to give up any gaming prowess.

Why we chose the Razer Blade 14:

The Razer Blade 14 epitomizes the thin and light laptops on this list. It’s thin and light, of course, at 0.66 inches and 3.9 pounds. It’s also elegantly designed with its all-black aluminum chassis and just a single green Razer logo on the lid. You get per-key RGB backlighting, which gamers want, and that’s the most apparent visible nod to this being a gaming laptop.

Inside, you’ll find a blazing-fast 8-core, 16-thread AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX CPU that makes it a powerhouse for CPU-intensive games, and you can configure up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. Even the base RTX 3060 will let you play most games at 1440p and high settings. Razer designed the thermals to handle long-term gaming sessions while maintaining performance.

The Razer Blade 14 utilizes a 14-inch, 16:9, 1440p IPS display with a 165Hz refresh rate, providing both high resolution and a high refresh rate. There’s simply not a better thin and light gaming machine available today.

Read our in-depth Razer Blade 14 review

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 top view showing dots and vents.

Why you should buy this: It’s a solid alternative to the best thin and light gaming laptop.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a thin and light gaming laptop with a bit more gaming aesthetic.

Why we chose the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14:

The Razer Blade 14 is the best 14-inch thin and light gaming laptop, but the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 deserves an honorable mention. It’s 0.70 inches thick, which is a hair more than the Razer, but it’s also lighter at 3.5 pounds. The ROG Zephyrus G14 also has a more gamer-inspired aesthetic for those who want their laptop to stand out. The laptop sports an optional AniMe Matrix Display design on the lid that uses LEDs to create patterns and designs. The Asus also has a more aggressive style, with large vents along the sides and back that scream “gaming.”

The ROG Zephyrus G14 is also a powerful gaming machine with up to an AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS (albeit a specialized 35-watt version compared to the usual 45 watts). The “S” stands for slim, allowing it to fit into a thinner chassis and remain cool. GPU options include the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 and 1660 Ti at the low end and the RTX 2060 at the high end. Those are not as powerful as the Razer Blade 14, but it’s enough for maxed-out 1080p gaming.

Display options include a 16:9 QHD (2,560 x 1,440) IPS panel at 60Hz or a Full HD IPS screen at 120Hz. That’s a good match for the ROG Zephyrus G14‘s performance. If you want a thin and light gaming laptop that looks like a gaming laptop, then this is the one for you.

Read our in-depth Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 review

Razer Blade 15

Fortnite running a Razer Blade 15.

Why you should buy this: It’s the best thin and light 15-inch gaming laptop.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a 15-inch gaming laptop but doesn’t want the typical 15-inch size and weight.

Why we chose the Razer Blade 15:

For quite some time, the Razer Blade 15 topped our list of the best gaming laptops. It’s gorgeous, with the iconic Razer all-black chassis and green logo on the lid, and an elegant design that’s simple yet lovely. In those respects, it’s much like the Razer Blade 14 that replaced it at the top. Like its smaller sibling, the Razer Blade 15’s one nod to gamers is the per-key RGB keyboard backlighting. You can get the laptop as thin as 0.62 inches depending on the model, with a weight of 4.6 pounds.

If you’re looking for a 15-inch gaming laptop that’s thin and light, then the Razer Blade 15 is the best around. It offers a plethora of configurations utilizing Intel 10th- and 11th-gen Core i7 and i9 H-series CPUs and GPUs ranging from the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 to the RTX 3080. It’s fast enough for playing modern titles at 4K with graphics turned up.

You also have a choice of displays, including Full HD IPS at 144Hz, QHD IPS at 240Hz, and UHD (3,840 x 2,160) OLED at 60Hz. The Razer Blade 15 is a powerful machine that only narrowly loses out to the Razer Blade 14 on this list.

Read our in-depth Razer Blade 15 review

Alienware x15

Alienware X15 front view showing display and keyboard deck profile.

Why you should buy this: It’s the second-best thin and light 15-inch gaming laptop.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a 15-inch gaming laptop that’s not just thin but packed with technology.

Why we chose the Alienware x15:

The Razer Blade 15 is the tiniest bit thinner than the Alienware X15 at 0.62 inches compared with 0.64 inches and it’s lighter at 4.6 pounds compared to 5.2 pounds, but the Alienware is packed full of technology. It all starts with Alienware’s Cryo-Tech thermal design, which uses quad fans and exotic materials like encapsulated gallium-silicone to ensure adequate cooling for the high-end components packed away inside. It also looks more like a gaming laptop, with a space-age design that includes RGB lighting along the rear edge, stylized venting, and per-key RGB keyboard backlighting.

Even though it’s very thin and light for a more traditionally styled gaming laptop, it maintains power-packed components inside. You can choose between 11th-gen Intel Core i7-11800H and Core i9-11900H CPUs, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 or RTX 3070 GPUs. RAM runs up to 32GB and 1TB of SSD storage is available. The Alienware X15 is powerful enough for running modern titles at the highest graphics settings.

Display options include a 15.6-inch FHD IPS display at 165Hz and an FHD IPS display at 360Hz with G-Sync. The Alienware X15 is the modernistic thin and light laptop on this list.

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE

Acer Predator Triton 500 SE front view showing display and keyboard deck.

Why you should buy this: It’s the best 16-inch gaming laptop.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants a slightly larger gaming laptop without breaking their back.

Why we chose the Acer Predator Triton 500 SE:

The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE isn’t the thinnest or lightest laptop on this list, coming in at 0.78 inches thick and weighing 5.4 pounds. But it’s a 16-inch laptop, offering a little bit more size than either of the 15-inch laptops on our list, but not quite matching the girth of the MSI GS76 Stealth that sports a 17-inch display. Its design is mostly conservative, with only some aggressive venting and per-key RGB keyboard backlighting giving it away as a gaming machine.

Like most of the gaming laptops here, Intel’s 11th-gen Core i7-11800H and Core i9-11900H and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 GPU power the gaming experience. Even the base configuration of a Core i7 and RTX 3070 will run today’s games at 1440p and maximum graphics, aided by up to 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.

There’s only one display option, an IPS display in the 16:10 aspect ratio with a WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) resolution and 165Hz refresh rate. The Acer Predator Triton 500 SE balances screen size with powerful components, earning a spot on this list.

MSI GS76 Stealth

MSI GS76 Stealth front view showing display and keyboard deck.

Why you should buy this: It’s the best 17-inch thin and light gaming laptop.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants an truly massive display in a thin and light gaming laptop.

Why we chose the MSI GS76 Stealth:

If you want a massive display but still don’t want to lug around a massive gaming laptop, the MSI GS76 Stealth is for you. It packs a 17.3-inch display into a chassis that’s just 0.80 inches thick and weighs 5.4 pounds. That’s not a lot for a powerful laptop in this class. Like the Razer laptops, the GS76 Stealth has an all-black chassis with minimal venting, and its keyboard is its standout gaming design feature.

You’re not limited in performance, though. You can choose either an 11th-gen Core i7-11800H or a Core i9-11900H CPU, and the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, 3070, and 3080 are the GPU options. That’s good enough for gaming at 4K with graphical details turned all the way up in almost any game.

You can choose between three display options. The UHD IPS panel runs at 60Hz, the QHD screen at 240Hz, and the Full HD display at a whopping 360Hz. The MSI GS76 Stealth will meet your large-screen gaming needs, and then some.

Asus ROG Flow X13

Playing Fortnite on the ROG Flow X13.

Why you should buy this: It’s the best 13-inch thin and light gaming laptop.

Who’s it for: Anyone who wants the most portable gaming laptop but doesn’t want to give up the power.

Why we chose the Asus ROG Flow X13:

There aren’t many 13-inch gaming laptops — and for good reason. It’s hard to pack gaming-level performance into such a tiny package. Razer did it with its Stealth 13, but that’s been superseded by the Asus ROG Flow X13. Not only is the ROG Flow X13 thin at 0.62 inches and light at 2.87 pounds, it’s also a 360-degree convertible with active pen support. It’s useful for more than just playing games.

It’s also surprisingly powerful, with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS or 5980HS CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU. That’s if you buy the configuration that’s not bundled with the XG Mobile expansion dock. If you buy a bundle, you’ll get an RTX 3050 inside the chassis and up to an RTX 3080 in the dock. That makes the ROG Flow X13 not just fast enough for modern titles at 1080p and medium graphics, but upgradable to handle 4K gaming at higher graphical settings.

We also love that the display is in the taller 16:10 aspect ratio, which is unusual for gaming laptops. The ROG Flow X13 can be purchased with either a 13.4-inch IPS Full HD+ (1,920 x 1,200) panel at 120Hz or a UHD+ (3,840 x 2,400) screen at 60Hz. And all of that can fit most comfortably in your backpack.

Read our in-depth Asus ROG Flow X13 review

Editors’ Choice




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