Lenovo Flex vs Yoga in 2021 – Differences Compared

lenovo flex vs yoga cover

Lenovo Flex vs Yoga Laptops in 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Jan 18, 2021

Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit

Lenovo is one of the greatest names in the PC manufacturing business.

This brand has produced countless iterations of decent portable choices, and standing tallest amongst their Ideapad laptops are the Flex and Yoga series models.

But how do you decide between these 2 offerings?

Today’s feature is here to help by detailing the differences between the Lenovo Flex and Yoga, and informing you which is better depending on your budget and requirements.

Table of Contents

Differences Between Lenovo Flex and Yoga

Short answer: the IdeaPad Flex laptops are usually defined by being the cheaper, more mainstream choice of laptops. While the IdeaPad Yoga is the “premium” range designed for users after the longest-lasting 2-in-1 machines.

First Main Difference – Price

There’s no denying it; a majority of the Flex choices are notably cheaper than the Yoga offerings. However what you’re getting for your money is really what the question is about, which we talk more about in the other 2 key differences.

Bear in mind that there are expensive Flex laptops and cheap Yoga laptops, we break down which is best in each price-bracket later in this feature.

Second Main Difference – Build Quality

  • Lenovo Flex laptops are generally made of cheaper plastics/metals and may have more basic hinges and designs to keep costs as affordable as possible for the mainstream.
  • The Lenovo Yoga series, on the other hand, are often made with very high-quality metal, feel impressively durable, and are often extremely slim/some of the most beautiful laptops you’ll find on the market.

Now don’t get us wrong; for the average consumer, the build quality of an IdeaPad Flex laptop is still excellent. The durability of their hinges is unrivaled at their price range, you really won’t find better without spending significantly more.

The Yoga’s build quality is more important if you’re purchasing something pricey (say, around/over $1,000) and want to make sure that your expensive laptop is built to last (especially important with those who plan on constantly switching between tablet and laptop mode and challenging the longevity of the hinge).

Third Main Difference – Hardware

  • Lenovo Flex laptops are usually built with less powerful specs. Think less RAM, slower CPUs, smaller SSDs, and screens that are slightly less colorful/vibrant.
  • Yoga laptops will often come with better main specs. One area this range often shines in is the quality of their displays. If you’re purchasing a premium Yoga PC, some of the options expand into 4k, 500-nits, and excellent color accuracy.

As we alluded to in the price discussion, the hardware is very dependent on budget. Don’t assume you are getting a laptop with better specs just because it is a Yoga. We’ll explain more below…

Lenovo Flex vs Yoga – Which is Better?

So, now that we’ve been through the key differences, which comes out on top?

As a rule of thumb, we’d say that if you are looking for a budget to low-mid range laptop, the Lenovo Flex range is perfect for you.

If you are looking for a premium 2-in-1 laptop that is built to perform and last, go for the Yoga series.

BUT, this is just a rule of thumb, and we want to help you choose the exact right laptop for your needs.

The problem? This rule of thumb is not universal when considering the IdeaPad Flex vs Yoga. These types of Lenovo laptops come in many different models of different quality.

To put it another way; the most expensive IdeaPad Flex laptop will be way better than the cheapest Yoga laptop. Other resources imply that the Yoga series is “always” better. Yes, this will usually be true, but stating it’s “always” the case is just lazy.

So, how do you determine which one is right for you?

This will all depend on what requirements and budget you have.

This is why the rest of today’s feature is dedicated to which series comes out on top for each of the main budget requirements, or even where a different laptop range should be considered.

Overall Best Flex / Yoga Laptop (Budget Choice): Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5 14″ 2-in-1 Laptop

Arguably one of the best laptops available on the market in any category, this pick feels like a bit of a no brainer to satisfy most readers of the list.

The Ideapad Flex 5 14″ hits the perfect sweet spot between build quality, hardware, great battery life, and price. The only touchscreen laptop that really comes close to this Lenovo offering is the latest HP Envy x360 model. However with that machine, you’re paying more to get less RAM, so you can probably see why we rate the Flex 5 so highly.

Boasting a 4th gen Ryzen processor, 16GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD, the specs on this machine are unrivaled in its price range. You have hardware that is perfect to provide enough performance for general use, media, and drawing/notetaking.

You’re getting an IPS panel touchscreen here with decent brightness. We appreciate Lenovo not going for a TN/VA panel as many convertible laptops do at this cost. You’re not going to get quite the same display vibrance as that of the premium Yoga picks below, but we doubt you’ll find better at this price.

The build quality is also deceptively good for the budget; with a nice, sturdy hinge that feels designed to be rotated 360 degrees regularly. The laptop’s material is decently durable, looks great, and also comes with a thermal design capable of keeping at decent temps even during intensive computer work.

Yes, the build quality will be inferior when compared to our Yoga picks, but we still think that the average user that can’t stretch to 4 figures will still be pleasantly surprised by what’s on offer here.

We love that Lenovo has still included a pen despite everything else on offer here. The pen is usually one of the sacrifices manufacturers make at the very low price-points.

Lenovo Yoga C740 vs Flex 5

Before we count the Yoga series out at this price range, it’s only fair to show you the Yoga laptop that the Flex competes with.

The latest Yoga C740 model is a decent offering focussed on the Yoga’s superior build quality. It also offers a large SSD than the Flex.

But we simply can’t recommend it over the fantastic Flex 5 for pretty much every type of user because the C740 comes with half the RAM and a significantly inferior CPU. You’ll miss the performance boost of the Flex 5 way more than the slightly superior build quality of the C740 (if you want both, check our next pick out).

What else is there to say? By what feels like wizardry, this IdeaPad Flex laptop is the clear winner at a budget to mid price range, and arguably one of the best touchscreen laptops on the market. If you can’t stretch to our Yoga picks below, we think you’ll love this Flex model.

Best Flex / Yoga Laptop Under $1,000: Lenovo ThinkBook Yoga 14s

Next up is one of the best Yoga laptops on the market and perfect for someone after a Windows 10 PC just under the 4-figure mark.

The Thinkbook 14s Yoga has some similar main specs to our top Flex choice. Led by the 11th Gen Intel i7-1165G7 processor, this CPU rivals the performance of the Ryzen 4500U (with both laptops having a decent 16GB RAM).

So, in the Lenovo Flex 5 vs Yoga 14s battle, where does this premium option come out on top?

Well firstly, the 14s Yoga boasts a 512GB SSD, twice the size of our top Flex pick and what we consider a nice storage option if your budget can stretch this far.

This Yoga choice also takes its display further. Led by another IPS panel, you are getting 300 nits of brightness and a 100% sRGB color gamut all housed in a gorgeous thick glass glossy display. If you plan on consuming a lot of media or writing/drawing a lot, it’s hard to overstate how beautiful a screen this will be to perform on.

Finally, there is the build quality of the Yoga 14s.

Like we said before, the Flex 5 is a well-built machine that feels deceptively sturdy for its price range.

But there’s no denying that the Yoga 14s is not just notably more durable, but also one of the best looking laptops at the $1,000 dollar mark. With some gorgeous colors, a high-quality metal, and excellent hinges, the machine is a sight to behold.

And what’s more, this thing is light. It’s impressive to see specs of this magnitude in such a lightweight machine. It’s even notably thinner than the Flex (which is already very thin as it is).

Performance-wise, you won’t see crazy benefits from spending the extra money on the Yoga 14s over the top Flex PC.

But that’s only because all the real benefit has been recorded in its amazing screen, build, design, and storage space.

The Yoga 14s is built to last. If you’re looking at the $1,000 price-point, this is comfortably our best choice for the best 2-in-1 touchscreen laptop.

Best Premium Flex / Yoga Laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga 5th Gen

Our next pick is for those after the best convertible touchscreen laptop possible in either the Flex or Yoga range.

The X1 Yoga combines the sleek, beautiful 2-in-1 design of the Yoga series with the incredible durability and first-class performance of the ThinkPad series (Lenovo’s most classic offering designed to last an incredibly long time).

In terms of RAM and CPU, the X1 Yoga doesn’t do better than our Yoga pick directly above.

But that’s not what you’re paying the extra money for, the performance is already good enough with these specs. Where this Yoga offering goes so much further is in its screen.

A 4k laptop, this screen doesn’t just have a striking UHD resolution, but also 500-nits of brightness, excellent color accuracy, and a finish that works well as an anti-reflective/fingerprint surface. It’s one of the nicest laptop screens we’ve come across.

What’s more, the X1 Yoga has a pair of Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C ports, alongside all of the other ports you’d hope for in a premium model. Perfect for transferring data to and from it’s enormous 2TB PCIe SSD. You won’t find a better storage solution on a laptop this lightweight.

The final area we want to discuss on the X1 is its superb build quality. Yes, we’ve made it clear that beautiful design and top durability is what the Yoga series is all about. But the X1 takes this further, with excellent results across noise and thermal benchmarks, the fact that the machine offers stable performance as a lightweight 4K convertible laptop is truly remarkable; there really isn’t anything else like it on the market.

Don’t be concerned by the lack of customer reviews here; this is just because the 5th gen is the latest iteration of a long line of ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptops, the series already has a great reputation.

If budget isn’t a concern for you, and you like the sound of having an incredible 4k screen to go alongside the top-of-the-line build quality for ultralight laptops, then we don’t think you’ll find better than the ThinkPad X1 Yoga 5th gen.

Cheapest Flex / Yoga Laptop: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 13″

Our final pick is for users who are essentially after the cheapest touchscreen laptop possible that is still suitable for general use.

The Chromebook Flex 5 is an excellent option for this. While you may be getting a reduced Chrome OS instead of Windows 10, we think this will cover the needs of many people looking at this budget range (if you do want a full Windows laptop, the cheapest offering we would recommend is this Flex model).

What really stands out to us with the Chromebok Flex 5 is how it doesn’t feel like a cheap laptop. The build quality is decent, the display bezels are relatively thin, the weight/dimensions are low and yet the battery life is fantastic. 

Of course, in a laptop of this price, the specs are notably diminished from our other picks. With only 4GB RAM, a Core-i3 processor, and 64GB memory, you can expect a reduction in performance over the more expensive picks. The full HD laptop screen is well built and relatively pretty, but won’t provide the same brightness and colors as our other picks.

But with that said, with the Flex 5 13″ running on Chrome OS, the machine is still perfectly suitable for general web browsing, media use, and simple document tasks.

Would we push you towards our IdeaPad Flex 14″ top pick if you can? Absolutely, but if your budget can’t stretch that far, know this Flex offering is a fantastic one and gets a lot done for its low price.

Lenovo Flex vs Yoga for Gaming?

If you’re after the best gaming laptop, we cannot recommend either of these laptop models.

There are companies that not only have laptops with significantly better graphical capabilities (full GPUs, not just integrated graphics) but also come with screens designed for high refresh rate gameplay.

The only time we’d recommend these Lenovo PCs is if you absolutely need a 2-in-1 laptop that also has some gaming potential. If that’s the case, then go with one of the premium Yoga picks above.

But for most after a gaming laptop, look at our features on the best 144hz laptops, or the best gaming laptops available on Amazon.

Lenovo Flex vs Yoga Final Word

If you’re a general user with a low to mid-range budget, chances are you’ll prefer our Flex laptops picks above.

If you’re a buyer with more of a budget after the best touchscreen laptop possible (and perhaps the best-looking laptop range too), then the Yoga will be for you.

Either way, whatever your budget, we love both of these ranges and think you will too. Lenovo has shown again and again that they can create laptops ahead of the competition in their respective price brackets.

What's Next?

The 10 Best Gaming Laptops on Amazon in 2021

Best Gaming Laptop on Amazon

The 10 Best Gaming Laptops on Amazon in 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Dec 23, 2020

Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit

There are thousands of different laptop specs on Amazon.

It can be difficult to decide exactly what’s best for your gaming setup (and wallet).

Which is why today’s feature has been built to guide you through the best gaming laptops on Amazon today, for all different budget considerations.

Top Picks

Overall Best Gaming Laptop on Amazon (Mid-Range Pick): Acer Nitro 5 RTX 2060

Featured previously on What in Tech, Acer has created a very impressive offering with this Nitro machine.

We wanted to find the best gaming laptop under $1,000 on Amazon for our top pick as we appreciate this is the price-range many users will be looking at. This choice is just a touch more expensive than that, but paying that tiny bit more is definitely worth it, as you gain access to an RTX 2060 laptop.

This graphics card, as far as portable gaming goes, is the best you’ll get around the $1,000 mark. With great performance, you’re going to be able to play a majority of games at 1080p high settings with good framerates. And it will be well future-proofed for big upcoming titles like Cyberpunk 2077 (of course, if you’re looking to get very high framerates & resolutions with max settings, you’ll have more luck with our premium picks below or desktop options, but rest assured, titles will look fantastic on the Nitro 5).

Working with the RTX 2060 to achieve this great value is an Intel Core i7-9750H, 16GB DDR4 RAM & a 256GB NVMe SSD. Not only are these specs more than enough for ensuring the GPU isn’t bottlenecked by the hardware, but they’re capable of giving you a very smooth general-use experience with the laptop (be it web browsing, videos, or other program usages).

The gap that you may notice is the drive space. It will serve you initially but is a little low for a gaming PC. There is another drive bay you can easily use to upgrade this space should you need it. Don’t be fooled by lower price laptops that have larger drives; we’ve been through them and their specs suffer in other ways to compensate for this (especially GPU, which is more important for your setup).

The laptop is well designed; with a good track record of thermal management for the powerful specs, a beautiful backlit keyboard, and a fantastic full HD IPS 144Hz screen (we particularly like this last part as many gaming laptops at this price still are the standard 60Hz, so this is a nice extra touch and makes this a great competitive gaming laptop).

Simply put, if your budget is around the $1,000 mark, this is the best gaming laptop on Amazon for you, without question.

Best Gaming Laptop under $1,500 on Amazon: MSI GL65 Leopard 

If you can stretch your budget a little further, the MSI GL65 is a fantastic laptop where you can expect a further 20-30% improvement in games over our fantastic top pick.

This is achieved with the great combination of the RTX 2070 and Intel Core i7-10750H, both fantastic specs for this price range. You can expect to comfortably play pretty much every title in excellent settings, 1080p with a very high frame rate.

You have a wonderful screen to enjoy those high frame rates on too, which boasts a full HD, IPS, 144Hz panel with 3ms latency, and 100% sRGB (essentially, you can expect vibrant colors and a laptop to match fast reaction times for competitive gaming).

Working alongside the CPU and GPU is 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512GB NVMe SSD (if your budget was around $1,500, you could always use the savings to add an additional drive in the laptop, but this PC has decent room out of the box).

The list goes on: beautiful design, tactile RGB keyboard, good thermals, solid build quality, we really like that this 15.6″ gaming laptop doesn’t feel like it skimps on any area and is a good all-around pick worth of its price tag.

There’s a reason we ranked this offering as one of the best 144Hz laptops and choices for people after something particularly long-lasting.

If you can stretch your budget to the MSI GL65 Leopard, you’re going to love it. This machine is such a fantastic value for what you’re getting.

Best Budget Gaming Laptop on Amazon: Acer Nitro 5 GTX 1650

We’re back to another variation of the Nitro 5 for those looking for the best cheap gaming laptop on Amazon.

You have to respect that at this budget, manufacturers are very limited on what kind of parts they can include. With that said, we’re very pleasantly surprised by just how good this Nitro 5 model is for its ridiculously low price-point.

Led by the GTX 1650, you still have a graphics card capable of running most games at fair settings/frame rates; and if you’re playing older games/many of the popular titles that are well optimized (Fortnite, Overwatch, WoW, etc.) you’re still going to get great frame rates on them suitable for competitive gaming.

Accompanying the GPU is the very capable 9th Gen Intel Core i5-9300H, 8GB DDR4 RAM & a 256GB NVMe SSD. While you won’t get very far with high-end production work on this laptop (4k video editing, rendering, etc.), it will still do very well when it comes to general use for things like web browsing, videos, and standard work if needed.

You have some easy options to upgrade this laptop also. Acer has sensibly installed 1 stick of 8GB RAM (instead of 2 x 4GB) to allow you to easily add a second 8GB RAM stick if you like. There’s also a 2.5″ drive slot if you wish to expand your storage.

Another reason we picked this as the top budget choice is that the laptop still has some impressive design features for its price range. With a good build quality, a 1080p IPS screen, and a USB 3.1 Type C port, you’re really getting a lot for your money here.

On top of being a great budget choice, I’d also suggest this is one of the best gaming laptops for beginners, kids, teenagers, or simply someone who’s behind on gaming and has some titles to catch up on alongside their general laptop use.

Reset assured, although it isn’t going to give you the same performance as our top picks, we still love the value of this Nitro 5 model. There’s a reason it’s one of the best selling gaming laptops on Amazon.

Most Powerful Gaming Laptop on Amazon: MSI GS66 Stealth

What an incredible portable gaming machine this is.

Our next pick is for those looking for the most expensive gaming laptop on Amazon that will still give them notable improvement.

There are some diminishing returns when comparing this laptop to our laptop pick under $1,500 for gaming alone (that said it has a whole lot more going for it). We’ve included a laptop under the $2,000 range further below but really, the laptops with prices between this pick and the MSI GL65 don’t improve notably on graphics performance (they up the price by including more RAM, drive space, and better CPUs, but these are all secondary for machines that are already powerful enough when it comes to these specs). The only middle-ground pick is the RTX 2070 Super version of the GS66 if your budget is somewhere in between.

Now with all that said, what you’re getting in the GS66 is one of the best gaming graphics cards available today: the RTX 2080, with some incredible additional specs to go with it. You can expect this laptop to perform about 20-30% better than the GL65 in games. That is an incredible improvement considering how top-end the GL65 pick already feels. This would be perfect for someone looking for a VR ready laptop (for the best settings) and someone who doesn’t want to compromise on game settings now or in the next few years.

Accompanying the powerhouse GPU is a beastly i7-10750H, 32GB of DDR4 RAM (upgradable to 64GB, but we can’t imagine you’ll need that for a long time) & a 512GB NVMe SSD. These are some seriously fantastic specs that will empower you to do some serious production work, with the GS66 doubling as a 4k video editing laptop/suitable for other intensive tasks (things like browsing the web won’t even phase this machine).

What’s more, we are floored by the fantastic design achievements in the GS66; this PC is incredibly thin and light for the amount of power it holds. The build quality is what you’d hope for in a premium gaming laptop and although the machine runs hot, the thermal solution is more than capable of keeping the device manageable.

And then there is the amazing display. On top of reaching great color accuracy and a sharp 3ms latency, it’s running at a very impressive 300Hz. Some laptops with these ultra-high refresh rates don’t have the specs to actually run games to take advantage of this, but the beauty of the MSI GS66 Stealth is that it does. This is our pick for the best esports laptop and anyone who takes their competitive gaming very seriously.

There’s a reason the Stealth has won a whole host of awards. If you’re serious about getting the best portable gaming computer on Amazon that you possibly can, you’ve found it.

Cheapest Gaming Laptop on Amazon: Lenovo IdeaPad 3

Now let’s be clear, I’m being very generous calling this device a gaming laptop and I would highly recommend you save up the extra money to at least get the budget Acer Nitro pick above for gaming.

That being said, I appreciate that some readers will be looking for the cheapest laptop for gaming on Amazon, even if that means some serious limitations.

This Lenovo laptop is impressive for its price point, with a capable Ryzen 5 3500U processor, 8GB DDR4 RAM & a 256GB SSD. You can still expect this laptop to be a decent runner for general usage and office work.

For games, you’ll be relying on the integrated Vega 8 graphics; which to be fair, still does a semi-decent job on older titles. You’ll be able to run games like Fortnite, Minecraft, and league of legends on lower settings.

Another credit to the IdeaPad 3 is that it has a nice build quality for its price. It’s a very slim, lightweight laptop that would be ideal for travel.

If your budget is very tight and you need a new PC now; then as long as you can respect that this is a light gaming PC, you’re still getting excellent value.

Alternative Picks

The top 5 picks are our main favorite choices for your various budgets when considering the best portable gaming PC on Amazon.

That being said, we’ve included some additional worthy choices for some other price brackets that are popular – we’d still recommend these laptops if they work for your budget.

Best Gaming Laptop under $1,200 on Amazon: ASUS TUF506IV-AS76

Between our top 2 picks is a choice that doesn’t upgrade the GPU, but does offer a fantastic design, upgraded processor, and impressive 1TB SSD. We featured one of the cheaper TUF models in our best 144HZ laptops feature.

Best Gaming Laptop under $800 on Amazon: Acer Nitro 5 10300H

Inbetween our top overall and top budget picks is space for this fantastic Acer Nitro 5 unit – it has the same GPU as our budget pick but offers great storage and CPU improvement.

Second Best Amazon Gaming Laptop under $1,200: Acer Predator Helios 300

One other very decent option in this price range was worth calling out; this doesn’t have the same storage capacity as the ASUS laptop but has an improved thermal solution and fantastic 3ms response time which is why we ranked it at the top of our list for high-refresh-rate laptops, perfect for competitive gaming.

Best Amazon Gaming Laptop under $1,500 Alternative: ASUS ROG Strix G15

Now if you’re up for spending a little more than our top MSI pick, this is one of the top gaming laptops on Amazon by ASUS. And their ROG brand really stands out with its fantastic design. For the extra price, you’re getting 240Hz and more storage, so worth considering.

Best Laptop under $2,000 on Amazon: CUK MSI GP65 Leopard

If you like the look of our best laptop under $1,500 pick, but want something with a little higher spec, this is a great future-proofed choice (it won’t get you much more performance in gaming, but it’s RAM, CPU, and storage are very impressive for other tasks).

What's Next?

The 5 Best 144hz Laptops of 2021

144hz Laptop

The 5 Best 144hz Laptops for Gaming in 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Dec 21, 2020

Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit

If you’ve tried 144hz before, then you’ll know how exciting it is that the top manufacturers have moved towards creating more laptops with this high refresh rate.

Gaming feels like a whole new, buttery-smooth experience when you’re reaching such high frame rates, whether it’s for immersive titles or to give you the edge in competitive e-sports.

So, today’s feature is here to take you through the best 144hz laptops for gaming available today with a few different budgets in mind.

Top Picks

Overall Best 144hz Gaming Laptop: Acer Predator Helios 300

Sitting comfortably at the top of the list is this fantastic mid-range offering from Acer.

Lead by its RTX 2060 6GB GPU, you’ll not only be able to run newer/upcoming games at respectable settings, but you’ll have the capability to use this Acer 144hz laptop’s fantastic screen to its full potential with games like Fortnite, Overwatch and other competitive esports titles (playing these in 144FPS really makes all the difference).

Alongside the GPU is an Intel Core i7-10750H CPU & 16GB DDR4 RAM, which are both perfectly placed specs to not only work with the RTX 2060 but ensure your system has some longevity for business and personal use if required.

For storage, you have a 512GB NVMe SSD, which is perfect to maximize the speed of your OS & favorite software/games. If you play large titles and want them installed at once, you will likely need to upgrade the storage at a later date. The Helios 300 has a convenient second drive bay that could easily host a second SDD/HDD at a later date.

But let’s talk more about that screen! On top of its capability as a 144 FPS laptop, the panel is IPS, Full HD with 72% NTSC (good for gaming, effectively the same as 99% SRGB accuracy meaning great colors), 300-nits of brightness, and 3ms response time. We love these specs. Balancing a bright, colorful IPS panel with a high refresh rate and low latency is perfect for snappy gameplay and it’s an impressive set of features for the price.

Finally is the build quality, the Helios 300 not only looks and feels durable and made to last but has a good reputation from its userbase as a laptop with long-lasting, well-performing thermals/cooling (such an underrated feature when buying a laptop, not having good cooling leads to all sorts of doom and gloom down the road).

While you can take the capability of a high refresh rate laptop even further if you invest in one of our slightly more expensive picks below, we think the Helios 300 represents the best balance of build quality, specs, display, and price which is why we confidently rank it as the overall best 144hz laptop available today.

Best 144hz Gaming Laptop Under $1500: MSI GL65 Leopard

Now, as much as we love our top Acer pick, this 144hz MSI laptop is one of the best for gaming in any category (previously featured on What in Tech) if you can stretch your budget a little further.

The difference? Well, the GL65 is an RTX 2070 laptop. While the RTX 2060 is a great GPU, you can expect to see an increased FPS of around 20% in a majority of titles with this upgraded card. Given we’re talking about very high refresh rate laptops here, this performance bonus really means a lot (e.g. being able to max out specs on older games at 144FPS and being able to play newer/upcoming games even more fluidly).

The fact that this bonus comes at around a 15% cost increase feels like a steal, as most laptops with more expensive GPUs tend to have diminishing returns. The GL65, on the other hand, feels like a value add.

Elsewhere on the system, like our top pick, you’re getting the great 10750H CPU, 16GB RAM, and a fast 512GB NVMe SSD (with a second drive bay for a later upgrade should you need it, but we love how these picks have a decently sized main-drive via NVMe as it’s ideal for your OS and favorite software).

You’re getting another fantastic Full HD IPS 72% NTSC 3ms latency display that is so perfectly suited for taking advantage of the powerful hardware on here, games will look fantastic.

And finally is the build quality. With great thermals (gets loud when running games, but keeps temps under control), a sturdy frame/material, a great tactile keyboard, and overall beautiful design (with all the extras you’d expect: USB type C port, decent Wi-Fi, etc.), we don’t really have any major complaints with the GL65 (the battery life isn’t amazing, but then that’s pretty much the case with any demanding gaming laptop at this price).

If you’re looking for a capable 144 fps laptop and can go a little bit beyond the budget of our top pick, this is an amazing offering.

Best Cheap 144hz Gaming Laptop Under $1000: Acer Nitro 5 RTX 2060

Previously featured at the top of our overall best gaming laptops list, the Nitro 5 represents an incredible value offering and is the cheapest RTX 2060 laptop with a high refresh rate (that doesn’t feel like it’s taped together!).

With the fantastic RTX 2060 GPU, it packs a great punch for high FPS Minecraft, Fornite, and other less intensive titles (and can still play any new game at more traditional framerates).

You may be asking “why didn’t we rank this as #1 if it runs an RTX 2060 at the price”. Well, it’s a great laptop, but for people specifically focussed on very high FPS gaming, there’s a couple of slight downfalls:

  • The CPU is an i7-9750H – don’t get us wrong, this is still a great processor at the price range. But with our top two picks coming with the 10th gen version of this processor, you’re going to be slightly more bottlenecked with this previous-gen CPU.
  • The display (available in 15.6 or 17.3-inches), while still a great-looking 144hz IPS panel, lacks a couple of the extra-sharp specs our top picks possess, namely the color accuracy and response time which are not as good on this model. We think these improvements are worth the extra money for a competitive gaming laptop.
  • The included storage is a 256GB NVMe SSD – like our top picks, you have the option to add a second SSD/HDD, but we like the main NVMe storage to be a little larger to handle your favorite software.

Now with all that said, this is still a fantastic deal if your budget is around the $1000 mark.

There’s a reason we ranked this is as the top overall choice on our larger laptop feature, we just think that high refresh rate laptop-focussed users may appreciate the lower response times, better colors, and faster CPU of our top picks.

But if you want to stick to this price range, go for it. The Nitro 5 is easily the best budget 144hz laptop available today.

Best 17.3″ 144hz Gaming Laptop: ASUS ROG Strix G17 2020 Edition

Also ranking as the most powerful 144hz laptop for those with an extended budget, the G17 2020 edition is a beast of a gaming laptop.

Leading this PC’s graphical capability is an RTX 2070 Super GPU. This is easily the best video card on the list, and you can expect around a 10% performance increase in games compared to the RTX 2070 MSI laptop listed above, perfect for 144fps gaming with esports titles (and you’ll still get great settings/frame rates from new & upcoming games too).

The other important specs are similar to the MSI Leopard. With an Intel Core i7-10750H, 16GB DDR4 RAM (upgradable to 32GB+ in the future if needed, but 16 is more than enough) & a 512GB NVMe SSD (with a second slot for upgrades). All of these, especially the 10th gen Intel processor, compliment the RTX 2070 GPU beautifully. It feels like a well-balanced machine that isn’t getting bottlenecked in any area.

The display also looks phenomenal for gaming, with a Full HD IPS panel, 3ms response time, and its large 17.3″ screen size. Combined with the most powerful GPU we’ve seen for today’s 144hz picks, this laptop is a great sweet-spot for gaming.

Finally, with this being one of ASUS’s premium 144hz laptops, the build quality, design, and thermal functionality of the device are all fantastic.  The addressable RGB lighting on the keyboard and bottom strip is particularly stunning (if you don’t know, ARGB means that instead of being stuck with a static single color, you can change the lighting to however you please, as the stock photo suggests).

If you’re in the market for a large gaming laptop or are simply looking for the most powerful 144hz portable computer we recommend, this is it.

Cheapest 144hz Gaming Laptop: ASUS TUF Gaming A15

What about those who want to game at 144hz as cheaply as possible? This ASUS laptop is your ideal choice.

The A15 is lead by a GTX 1650 GPU. Now, while we would recommend at least an RTX 2060 if possible, the GTX 1650 can still get a lot done for high refresh rate gaming if you’re playing older esports titles and don’t mind lower settings (laptop benchmarks have seen this machine play Overwatch, CS: GO Fornite and more at 144 fps with a balance of medium-low).

Elsewhere on the system is a Ryzen 5 4600H CPU, 8GB DDR4 RAM & a 512GB SSD. We like that at this budget range, the CPU is one of AMD’s new models (which have recorded some great performance in and out of games), and the A15 could’ve easily included a 256GB SSD at this price. It’s nice that budget gamers won’t feel the need to upgrade their storage early on.

Of course, 8GB RAM feels a little low, but thankfully ASUS has sensibly installed a single 8GB stick (as opposed to 2 x 4GB that some brands frustratingly go with). So upgrading with an additional 8GB RAM at a later date is entirely doable.

Note: As per the laptop Amazon listing, there are two versions of this model: the AMD 4600H version, and the Intel i7-9750H version. While the AMD CPU is the new generation, the Intel processors is a higher version of their previous 9000 series. Essentially, these two CPUs perform very similarly, so pick whichever model is in stock/lower-priced (we’ve only focussed on the AMD model here because it is currently the best price).

Finally, we’re happy to see that despite this being a very cheap 144hz laptop, ASUS has still retained great build quality (including the RGB keyboard/trackpad), decent thermals, and an IPS panel for a good display (albeit not as good as our top picks, but great for the cheapest option).

If possible, we recommend forking out the extra %10-20 cost for our Acer Nitro pick as an RTX 2060 and 16GB RAM makes all the difference.

That being said, we know some users just want a machine for 144 fps Fortnite, Minecraft, Overwatch, and other less-demanding esports titles. If that’s you, then the A15 is a great budget choice.

What's Next?

The 5 Best 120hz Laptops of 2021

120hz Laptop

The 5 Best 120hz Laptops of 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Dec 20, 2020

Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit

60fps? That’s old-school!

Nowadays, the big laptop manufacturers have come out with some fantastic machines that can output double the standard 60fps framerates.

This is why today’s feature will be taking you through the best 120hz laptops on the market for gaming (and other uses) with lots of different budgets in mind.

Top Picks

Overall Best 120hz Laptop for Gaming: MSI GF65 Thin 9SE-013

At the top of the list is an offering from MSI that represents fantastic value for its price range.

An RTX 2060 laptop, this GPU can handle a lot for its price. If you’re into newer titles you can expect to achieve decent graphics settings on these (with nothing on the horizon that the RTX 2060 couldn’t handle in some capacity).

But of course, with its 15.6-inch 120hz display, where the machine really shines is its ability to play mid-tier games at very high refresh rates. This is one of the best laptops for Fortnite, Overwatch, and other competitive esports at 120fps.

Working alongside the GPU is a Core i7-9750H & 16GB RAM, great components to go alongside an RTX 2060 (we don’t expect you’ll need more than 16GB of RAM for a long time which is why most of our longest lasting picks have this much, but the RAM slots could be upgraded to up to 64GB at a later date should you desire). These specs will be decent for business and personal use too (not just a gaming machine).

At the bottom of our list, we’ve included a cheaper 120hz laptop that also has similar specs to this MSI PC.

While that option may be best for those on tight budgets, the reason we’ve picked this offering as our top choice is its fantastic reliable performance.

With great thermals, solid material, and a sturdy (+ beautiful) keyboard, this gaming laptop has been built to last. The TUF alternative has some minor issues that we talk about below; while it was a very close race to the top pick, we think it’s worth paying an extra 5-10% for a laptop that is durable and doesn’t run very loudly.

Overall, the MSI GF65 offers a fantastic value at its mid-range price and is our choice for the best 120hz laptop available today.

Best Cheap 120hz Laptop under $800: ASUS TUF FX505DT

Now, we appreciate some readers will be looking for the best budget 120hz laptop.

It’s important to realize that if you want to achieve high-FPS gaming, you do need to have some horsepower. That’s where this ASUS gaming laptop strikes a fantastic balance (we think it’s incredible that they’ve managed to produce a laptop capable of 120fps gaming at this price range).

Lead by its GTX 1650 graphics card, AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H & 8GB RAM, this PC packs a decent punch for gaming. You can still expect to achieve 120fps on Fornite, Minecraft, Overwatch, LoL, and other older competitive games (providing you play with the settings to around medium). A GTX 1650 will still be able to run newer titles, as long as you can limit your expectations (i.e. low settings, 30-60fps at 1080p).

We love also that despite the budget price-point, this TUF laptop is still of excellent build quality, and comes with all the usual quality-of-life features you expect on a good portable gaming PC (RGB keyboard, Windows 10 included, and a decent thermal solution).

The one downside of the cheapest 120hz laptop on the market is its subpar battery life, you can expect a few hours for general use and 2-3 for gaming (but again, at this budget, you won’t find anything better).

You’re of course not getting the performance of a more expensive future-proofed laptop, but the fact that you can have a machine that balances 120fps gaming for older esports and can still play most newer titles at lower settings/fps really is an impressive feat for its price.

This is, without a doubt, the best cheap 120hz laptop available on the market today.

Best 14-inch 120 Hz Laptop under $1500: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

If you’re after a more portable gaming PC than the rest of our choices, the G14 is one of the best examples of how to achieve an excellent lightweight high-refresh-rate laptop.

With an RTX 2060 Max-Q, its performance is slightly less than our top choice’s GPU (in the region of 5-10%, as Max-Q cards are made for ultra-thin laptops). However, the G14 also boasts a Ryzen 9 4900HS CPU. This is a fantastic edition and for CPU-intensive games, will gain back a lot of the lost performance from its GPU’s “Max-Q” label. You’ll still be able to use its great 120hz display for esports titles like Overwatch, Fortnite, and Dota 2

With 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, this machine has plenty of capability as a business and personal use laptop too.

But perhaps the best of all of its unique features is its superb design and build quality. With a gorgeous aesthetic and thermal solution for its size (only 3.64 lbs and 0.7″ thick!), the G14 really feels like a very premium laptop built to last

Finally, with the Max-Q and Ryzen 4000-series both being power-efficient iterations, the laptop has a superb battery life; which, alongside its build quality, really solidifies its place as a machine for portable gaming.

The G14 is comfortably our top pick for the most portable 120hz laptop. We love that in its tight space, it still manages to pack a great punch.

Best 120hz Laptop under $1000: MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-252

For those who can’t stretch to our top pick, there is thankfully a fantastic alternative MSI gaming laptop under $1000.

This is from the exact same GF65 range as our top pick, but instead, this model runs off a GTX 1660ti GPU. Which, while not as powerful as the RTX 2060, doesn’t run too far behind in capability. Typically, the difference is usually around 5-10% less FPS, which will still give you all the horsepower you need to use its beautiful 120hz screen for mid-range competitive esports (and enough power to still enjoy newer/upcoming titles).

Alongside the GPU, you are getting the same fantastic processor as our top pick which is perfect for handling business and personal use laptop needs also. This edition has 8GB RAM instead of 16GB. However, you can simply upgrade that to 16GB at a later date if you need to.

With the same excellent build quality, keyboard, and trackpad as our top pick, we still rate this choice very highly (still including the nice quality of life features too, like a USB type C port and a 720p webcam).

If you can’t stretch to above $1000, know that this is easily the best 120hz computer below that threshold.

Alternative RTX 2060 Choice: ASUS TUF FX505 Gaming Laptop

As mentioned in our top 120hz laptop pick, although we love the MSI RTX 2060 offering, there is a cheaper choice in this ASUS TUF PC.

The price seems like wizardry for what you’re getting. The cheapest RTX 2060 laptop on the market, this model comes along with a respectable Ryzen 7 3750H, 16GB DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB SSD. All of which are very worthy of accompanying this GPU and not leaving any bottlenecks for gaming or general use (this is certainly capable of similar high FPS/settings gameplay to the MSI laptop pick) and you’ll have the option to upgrade the RAM to 32GB in the future if desired.

As you would expect with an ASUS laptop, the aesthetic, RGB keyboard, and material for the exterior build are all very nice and perfect for a gaming machine. This 120hz laptop is also IPS, so we have no complaints about the screen.

Where we decided to slightly give the edge to MSI’s offering as our top pick is in its thermals and reliable performance. A notable minority of users have complained of errors, blue screens, very loud fans, and some delays in getting a warranty replacement/repair with the FX505.

Now it’s worth saying that this is a minority, most users seem to be happy with receiving what is largely an insanely cheap budget RTX 2060 laptop for gaming. We just think it’s worth the extra money for the MSI offering as a piece of mind that you’re getting a unit that is unlikely to run into any problems (when you spend this kind of money, you want something that will last).

But with all that said, if you don’t mind the cons mentioned above, you are getting a fantastic GPU, specs, and machine at a mind-blowing price, this ASUS 120hz laptop has a lot going for it.

What's Next?

The 5 Longest Lasting Laptops of 2021

Longest Lasting Laptop

The 5 Longest Lasting Laptops of 2021

Kaelum Ross

I

Dec 20, 2020

Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit

When buying new electronics, it can often feel like what you’re getting isn’t built to last more than a couple of years, which can be really frustrating for a purchase as significant as a PC.

This is why today’s feature will take you through the best long-lasting laptops available on the market today.

This isn’t a list of the most expensive laptops, but ones that represent the best value of specs important for longevity in different price ranges for various types of users (the best future-proof laptops will technically be several thousand dollars, but there are huge diminishing returns over the choices below).

Top Picks

Longest Lasting Laptop for Business/General Use: Lenovo ThinkPad E15 i7-10510U, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD

Lenovo is at the top of the list when anyone asks me “which laptop lasts the longest for business and personal use?” (Think e-mails, web browsing, Netflix, and basic software/Microsoft Office).

ThinkPads have a fantastic reputation as a rugged, high-durability laptop range that are not only made to last physically but also tend to have great battery longevity and performance that retains over years.

Of course, you still need the ThinkPad to have decent specs, and that’s where this E15 model comes in.

The specific capacity that we’re highlighting boasts a fantastic Intel Core i7-10510U processor & 32GB RAM. These specs will work together to handle pretty much any business/general use task you can throw at them (and will do so with incredible speed for a very long time).

We love the inclusion of a 1TB SSD too; not only will this mean the included Windows 10 Professional will run very smoothly, but you’ll have a huge amount of space (more than most laptops) for long-term file storage.

(Note: If you’re running on more of a budget, you can check out our longest lasting cheap laptop pick below, but also you can reduce the specs of this ThinkPad (via its Amazon page) to i5-10210U – 16GB – 250GB SSD, this wouldn’t be the same laptop as our many choices, but still offer great future-proofing over most other competitors).

The build quality, RAM, CPU, and SSD are the parts that really make this machine long-lasting, but the E15 has some other nice quality-of-life features we like to see in a premium laptop like a full HD IPS screen, 720p webcam + shutter for privacy and a USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 port.

Overall, if you’re not doing lots of gaming or work that requires a high-end GPU (video editing or rendering), then this is easily our top pick for the best long-lasting laptop available today.

Longest Lasting Laptop for Gaming / High-End Production: CUK HP Omen 15t

Now, for those after the best long-lasting gaming laptop or something suited for say, video editing/rendering, you’ll want something with a powerful GPU to go alongside the other high-end specs.

That’s where this CUK-upgraded HP gaming laptop excels. With a fantastic RTX 2080 Super GPU, this card’s 8GB of dedicated VRAM works alongside a powerful Intel i7-10750H & 32GB of RAM to achieve fantastic framerates on pretty much any title available today. You can expect Cyberpunk 2077, Red Dead Redemption 2, the latest Call of Duty, and all upcoming games for the next few years to run at an impressive spec.

If you happen to use your machine for general use too, know that between the main specs of the Omen15t, it will pretty much destroy any standard-operation task you can throw at it for a long time.

Another reason we love this machine is its wonderful screen. This is a 300hz laptop with an IPS panel. Not only are you getting the capability to play full HD games with lightning-fast smoothness, but with decent contrast/color accuracy too. Because the RTX 2080 Super has so much power, you can expect to achieve incredibly high framerates in competitive games like Overwatch, Fortnite, and more (one of the best laptops for esports).

The final mouth-watering spec of this HP laptop is its storage space. With a 1TB NVMe SSD for your OS, top software, and favorite games to load fast, and a 2TB HDD for your other media/games, it’s hard to find a laptop with a better solution than this. While it sounds like a lot of space, when some modern titles exceed 200GB in total size, we really do think you want this kind of storage for a long-lasting laptop for gaming.

You may be able to squeeze similar specs out of a machine that costs 5% or so less, but the Omen 15t also offers excellent build quality which is vital for gaming longevity. With a durable metal/aluminum-brushed exterior, high-quality hinge, and cooling solution that actually manages to retain some respectable temps (CUK’s limited warranty extends to 3 years, which also demonstrates the confidence that this computer is built to last).

There’s no such thing as a fully future-proof gaming laptop, as all specs are eventually outdated. But in terms of getting a machine today that will take you as far as possible? CUK has excelled here, and we can’t overstate how nice it is to play on a laptop with a high refresh rate. It completely changes how games feel.

This Omen 15t model is our comfortable pick for the top long-lasting gaming laptop available today.

Longest Lasting Gaming Laptop (Mid-Range): MSI GL65 Leopard 10SFK-062

Featured multiple times on What in Tech for its fantastic balance between value and performance, the MSI GL65 Leopard is perfect for someone after a long-lasting gaming PC without the budget for our top HP pick.

Boasting an RTX 2070 GPU alongside an Intel Core i7-10750H, this MSI gaming laptop has incredible specs for its price. You’ll be able to play close to every title in excellent sittings at FHD with high FPS (which will last into the future for many games too).

You’re also getting 16GB DDR4 RAM and a 512GB NVMe SSD (with space inside for an additional drive that you can add later should you need more space).

You might be thinking “at this price, where does the GL65 Leopard cut corners?” – well, we can’t really find an answer to that as it excels in its other specs too!

Take its screen for instance, with an IPS panel running at 144hz and 3ms latency, not to mention a 100% sRGB color accuracy, you’ll be getting beautiful, sharp, and smooth gameplay on a laptop that can actually produce high FPS.

Beyond that are a beautiful and sturdy design, comfortable RGB keyboard with enough tactlessness for gaming, and inbuilt thermals that have had a good track record from most other users.

If you can’t stretch to our top RTX 2080 Super laptop pick, don’t fret. This isn’t just the top laptop to last a long time in the mid-range, but the best gaming laptop we can find versus anything else close to its price!

Best Cheap Long Lasting Laptop: 2020 HP 15 15.6″ HD Touchscreen Premium Laptop

Now, for general users, we would definitely steer you towards the ThinkPad if possible (even reducing its specs) because those machines are built like tanks, and have long-lasting battery life.

That said, if you’re looking for the cheapest laptop that still offers specs we see as being suitable for the medium-long term (for business and personal use, not gaming/high-end production), then this HP offering packs a decent punch!

Boasting some specs not often seen from a reputable laptop manufacturer in this price range, you’re getting 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD (plenty for non-gamers) & a Core i5-1035G1 processor. We expect these to all provide you with everything you need for general use like basic software, Office, internet browsing, and Netflix/Amazon Prime/Disney Plus for a long time.

So with all that said, why is this our budget long-lasting laptop choice? Well, there are two areas that may bother some users:

  1. The laptop is thin/lightweight – > While this sounds great on paper, these ultralight laptops that many manufacturers make often suffer from limited thermal performance & slightly less battery life (if your device is just going to be stationary in the home, and for the most part you’re just using it for light software/internet browsing, this won’t be a problem. But for heavier users, go for our top ThinkPad pick.
  2. The screen is a touchscreen, which is great for a budget pick, but it’s also not full HD (1366 x 768), you’ll still get a decent picture for most purposes, but it depends if your idea of a long-lasting laptop includes having 1080p content or not.

With that said, if you’re comfortable with these downfalls, and you’re on more of a budget, then this laptop will serve your personal use for a long time.

Longest Lasting Touchscreen Laptop: LG Gram Laptop 2020 Touch Edition

If you’re looking for a high-performance touchscreen laptop that is as future-proof as a mid-range device can get, the LG Gram 2020 edition is a fantastic option.

The latest version of this classic flagship line from LG’s laptop division has a lot going for it, alongside its 15.6-inch touchscreen (with a gorgeous IPS panel) is a powerful Intel 10th Gen Core i7 1065G7 CPU with 16GB RAM and x 512GB M.2 NVMe SSDs (effectively 1TB of very fast storage, which will make your OS/file use feel like a smooth dream).

With these specs, you can expect this to last a long time for personal use and general work; but the LG Gram excels in another type of longevity: battery life. 

With an awesome 80W lithium battery, powered alongside an efficient set of specs, we consider this one of the longest-lasting battery life laptops on the market today too.

If touch and/or battery are important to you, the LG Gram is a great pick up.

Laptop Brands that Last the Longest?

To end this feature, we just wanted to address this common query. Prospective buyers often ask “how long do Lenovo/HP laptops last?”, etc.

The truth is there isn’t a one-size-fits-all long-lasting brand, it depends on the model (namely build/cooling quality, CPU, GPU, RAM).

If we had to name the longest-lasting laptop brand, it would typically be Lenovo, specifically their ThinkPad range.

However, this is a huge generalization, and a $1,000 HP laptop will (usually) last longer than an $800 ThinkPad.

So we’d highly recommend looking at the picks above which have been tailored to this question, but if you want to look further, focus on user reception and laptop reviews of certain models that seem to fare in the medium/long term and making sure you have decent enough specs (including a beefy GPU if you’re gaming).

What's Next?