Top 5 Gaming Ultrabooks of 2017

Top 5 Gaming Ultrabooks of 2017

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With CES ending in two days, more horsepower gets cramped into smaller and smaller devices. Such is the case for 2018, but let’s go back just a few weeks and see what 2017 had to offer in the way of ultraportable gaming laptops or gaming ultrabooks.

Back in mid-2017, NVIDIA’s MX150 was released and was meant to be the mobile counterpart of the desktop GT 1030. Succeeding the older, Maxwell-based 940MX, it was built for portable laptops that can output and boost graphical tasks when needed.

For the gamer on the go who doesn’t like a bulky companion, MX150-powered ultrabooks can run eSports titles at 1080p in 60FPS and AAA games at 30FPS.

5HP Envy 13

First off the list is the HP Envy 13, which was the first laptop to be outfitted with the MX150. Being 14mm thin, this is one of the most compact laptops with the MX150. Imagine gaming-on-the-go with something this light for say, business travels and holiday outings. With this GPU, the starting price ramps up to around $1400 or 1199 Euros, which is definitely not cheap. However, with the Envy 13, performance isn’t everything. It is beautiful in its own right, HP-style.

Specs

Display 13.3″ 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 166 PPI, BOE070E, IPS LED
Dimensions

(H x W x D) 14 x 305 x 216mm, 1.3kgs
Power supply: 295g

Design Metal unibody frame
Colors
N/A
Chipset LGA 1151
Processor

Intel® Core™ i7-7500U processor

2.7GHz dual-core with Turbo Boost (up to 3.5GHz) and 4MB cache

Graphics Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 + Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5
Memory 8GB DDR3L-1866MHz; soldered on
Storage Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK, 256 GB; PCIe NVMe M.2 2280 SSD
Interface
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1,
2 DisplayPort,
Audio Connections: 3.5mm Audio-Kombo-Port,
Card Reader: micro SD
Keyboard and Touchpad

Keyboard

6-row chiclet, TKL (tenkeyless)

Touchpad

Glass clickpad

Audio
Stereo speakers;
Bang & Olufsen-tuned
OS Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Connectivity

Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/h/n/ac),

Bluetooth 4.2

Battery

51 Wh Lithium-Polymer

65W power adapter

Official Price 1199 Euro / US$1400

4ASUS Zenbook UX430UN

Next is the ASUS Zenbook UX430UN. With a dedicated SD card reader thanks to its 14-inch form factor, this will probably be a content creator’s top choice out of this list. Not only that, but the 1080p 100%sRGB color gamut of the LED-backlit NanoEdge display is nothing short of amazing for something meant for long hours of productivity. While we have had only had the UA variant, the experience with using the laptop is simply amazing as seen in our review here.

Specs

Display

14″ NanoEdge anti-glare LED-backlit with 178˚ wide-view technology; 1920 x 1080 with wide 100% sRGB color gamut

7.18mm-thin bezel with 80% screen-to-body ratio for larger visible screen area

Dimensions

(H x W x D) 15.9 x 324 x 225mm, 1.25kgs

Design Metal unibody frame
Colors

Royal Blue, Rose Gold (with NIL* finish), Quartz Grey, Shimmer Gold (standard finish)

* Crystal-like coating via nanoimprint lithography

Chipset LGA 1151
Processor

Intel® Core™ i5-7200U processor

2.5GHz dual-core with Turbo Boost (up to 3.1GHz) and 3MB cache

Graphics Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 + Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5
Memory 8GB 1866MHz LPDDR3 onboard
Storage 512GB SATA3 M.2 SSD
Interface

1 x Type-C™ USB 3.1 Gen 1 with support for external display

1 x Type-A USB 3.1 Gen 1

1 x USB 2.0

1 x Micro HDMI

1 x Combo audio jack

1 x SD Card reader

Keyboard and Touchpad

Keyboard

Full-size backlit, with 1.4mm key travel

Touchpad

Glass-covered with optional integrated fingerprint sensor supporting Windows Hello; intelligent palm-rejection and handwriting input support

Precision touchpad (PTP) technology supports up to four-finger smart gestures

Audio

Dual 1.5W speakers

3.5mm headphone jack

Certified by Harman Kardon

OS Windows 10 Home/Pro
Connectivity

Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/h/n/ac),

Bluetooth 4.2

Battery

Up to 9 hours of battery life

50Wh 3-cell lithium-polymer battery

65W power adapter
(Output: 19V DC, A, 65W)
(Input: 100-240V AC, 50/60Hz universal)

Official Price Starts at US$1199 for i5/8GB variant

3Acer Switch 7 Black Edition

Number three would be the Acer Switch 7 Black Edition. While not exactly an ultrabook, being a 2-in-1 holds its place in portability. While you do lose mainstream ports, you get a rather powerful Coffee Lake-equipped 2-in-1 that can game, do work, and work on Photoshop and such. Equipped with a 2256×1504 display, it would even be great for watching videos. Also, it comes with a stylus embedded with Wacom EMR technology with 4096 pressure levels for detailed computer graphics work.

Specs

Display 13.5″ QHD (2256 x 1504) 3:2 IPS

10-point multi-touch

Dimensions

(H x W x D) 9.9 x 329.44 x 229.6mm, 1.6kgs (with dock)

Design Unibody frame
Colors
Black
Chipset LGA 1151 (Coffee Lake)
Processor

Intel® Core™ i7-8550U

1.8 GHz (TurboBoost up to 4.0GHz); Quad-core, octa-threads

Graphics Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 + Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5
Memory 16GB LPDDR3
Storage 512GB SSD
Interface
1x USB 3.0
Audio Connections: 3.5mm Audio-Combo-Port,
Card Reader: micro SDXC
Keyboard and Touchpad

Keyboard

On-keyboard dock

Touchpad

Plastic

Audio
One mic  + two speakers
OS Windows 10 Home
Connectivity

802.11ac wireless LAN

Bluetooth 4.0

Battery

Rated 10 hours during regular use

2-cell 4870 mAh Li-ion

65W power adapter

Official Price US$1699

2Lenovo Ideapad 720s

Coming in second is the Lenovo IdeaPad 720s. It’s far from how premium the others are in terms of material and build quality, but it did not compromise on being thin and light despite being heavier than most. Starting at $899 with an i5 Kaby Lake and MX150, it is the cheapest of the bunch that we have discussed so far. It even comes with a 2-lane PCIe Thunderbolt port at its price. For creatives, there is an SD Card with decent speeds for same-day edits.

Specs

Display 14.0″, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS, non-touch, glossy
Dimensions

(H x W x D) 15.9 x 321 x 223mm, 1.48kg (laptop) + .155kg (charger)

Chipset LGA 1151 (Kaby Lake)
Processor

Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-7500U

2.7GHz dual-core with Turbo Boost (up to 3.5GHz) and 4MB cache

Graphics Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 + Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5
Memory 16GB DDR4
Storage 512 GB M.2 NVMe SSD
Interface
2x USB-A 3.0
1x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3 (2 PCIe lanes)
1x HDMI-out
1x SD Card-reader
1 x 3.5mm Audio-Combo port
Keyboard and Touchpad

Keyboard

On-keyboard dock

Touchpad

Plastic

Audio
Stereo Harman Kardon speakers
OS Windows 10
Connectivity

Wireless AC (Intel AC 3165), Bluetooth 4.1

Battery

56 Wh,

45W charger

Official Price Starts at US$899

1Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro

And in our first place would be the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro. While having essential improvements over its smaller brother, it still is the one and same. Great performance, above average battery life, and Chinese-only Windows 10 out-of-the-box, if you’re into that kind of thing. For around $1140, you’ll be getting the latest i5 Coffee Lake CPU for ultrabooks paired with an MX150, making for a great entertainment and workhorse machine that weighs under 2kgs.

Specs

Display 15.6″, 1920 x 1080
Dimensions

(H x W x D) 15 x 360 x 244mm, 1.99kg

Chipset LGA 1151 (Kaby Lake)
Processor

Intel Core i5-8250U

1.6GHz quad-core with Turbo Boost (up to 3.4GHz) and 6MB cache

Graphics Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 + Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5
Memory 8GB DDR4
Storage 256GB Samsung PM961 SSD
Interface
2 x USB Type-A
2 x USB Type-C
1 x HDMI
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x microSD
Keyboard and Touchpad

Keyboard

Chiclet-styled tenkeyless

Touchpad

Buttonless with fingerprint scanner

Audio
Stereo Harman Kardon Infinity speakers
OS Windows 10 (Chinese)
Connectivity

802.11ac Wi-Fi,

Bluetooth 4.2

Battery

61Wh

45W charger

Official Price Starts at US$1140

So, what is your favorite out of the five ultrabooks that we’ve mentioned? While 2018 may not be the year for surprises and innovations, tech has improved a lot over the course of time, to the point that 1080p gaming is made possible in 14mm-thin powerhouses.