Looking for a laptop to be used with an eGPU. What are your thoughts?
I’m in the market to buy a 13 inch laptop, to be used with an eGPU. It will be used in a mix between light gaming with a RTX 2060, some photo editing, both on the go but primarily while coupled to an eGPU. My current eGPU is a Razer Core X.
It is very important to me that the keyboard feels nice for writing, as i will be using this in my studies, as well as for work.
I currently have a 15” MacBook Pro, but the reason for me to move away from it, is that i think it is too bulky to really carry around, while I don’t want to invest in a MacBook Pro 13”. Also, I tend to like WIndows better now than I did back in the days.
I have been looking at the following laptops:
ASUS Zenbook Pro 14
Asus Zenbook S
Razer Blade Stealth (with MX150)
All laptops have similar CPU and 16gb of RAM.
I am considering 2 convertible laptops, but this is only due to their specs and relative low weight, and not because of the touchscreen. I won’t be using any touchscreen for my photo editing, so this is not too important for me.
I have strongly been considering the Razer Blade Stealth previously, since I like it’s design, and i like that the bottom is not too “slopy” in comparison to the XPS 13, which by experience i think can be a bit bulky due to it’s larger rubber feet. On the other side the Razer Blade Stealth only has 1 thunderbolt port. This is not too much of a problem, but i do like the perspective of“expandbility” .
I’m mostly in doubt of the different displays, and how they look, especially their resolutions. I’m not too worried about color accuracy, as long s it’s not totally off. Both the Lenovo and the HP have high resolution displays. But I’m afraid both will be severely limited in their thermal performance.
The XPS 13 again i think is a bit bulky, unless they changed something since my last XPS work laptop (it was from 2015). It has two thunderbolt ports, but only the i7-8550u compared to the i7-8565 U as the others have.
What are your opinions based on the above laptops? Or am i completely missing something here?
In meany ways the RBS is the closest in terms of build materials to the MacBook Pro. Very similar feel in terms of mechanical design too.
If it wasn't for the huge garish logo on the lid it would be the perfect Mac alternative (for those of us who are sick of the Apple people looking all disgusted at our creaky plastic laptops).
In meany ways we are spoiled at this point. Everything on your list is at least good, nothing terrible.
I personally bought a Razer because I wanted to support a company I though deserved it more than the others. At the time the Stealth was almost unique, less so now, but I would argue still one of the best built options out there.
All that said. I personally would cut anything without USB-A ports. So no to the Zenbook S (despite it being gorgeous). No to the Dell. I can live with the RBS no longer having an HDMI port, but needing a USB-C to A dongle to plug ANYTHING in. No, that's a deal breaker for me.
Can you go to a big box store and look at the screens? Might be worth doing that.
What about a Thinkpad X1 Carbon. Thinkpads usually have very nice keyboards. I've never used one, but the keyboard looks like it would be pretty good. Perhaps not as nice as other lines, but certainly better than the current Macbook Pro's. Runs Win10 just fine and has a TB3 port for your eGPU. It may be a little bigger than you want, though with a 14" screen. Especially if you think the XPS13 is bulky.
Toshiba and LG make excellent ultrabooks too. Take a look at our ultrabook buying guide for eGPU so that you know what to look for in each laptop you're considering. Most people are aware of full x4 PCIe lane connection for the Thunderbolt 3 port but the OPI mode is not easy to find.