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Zero1 Awards 2018 – Laptops – Mainstream

December 6, 2018 — by Digit0

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It’s the Digit Zero1 awards season again, and we choose a winner based purely on their performance. Price does not matter. That’s a great idea for the category of mainstream laptops. We’ll explain why…

Mainstream laptops are generally designed for performance. They may, in addition, feature a longer battery life or a screen with touch capability, but they’re primarily meant to crunch numbers in the shortest time possible. That’s exactly what we’re looking for at Digit too. Mainstream laptops are getting more powerful, slimmer and lighter these days. Laptop makers are chopping off bezels in order to house a larger screen in a compact body.

On the performance front, more and more models feature a PCIe solid-state drive for faster boot times. Many of them house a hard drive as well so storage capacity is not compromised. Intel Optane memory is gradually making its way into laptops, giving these models a speed advantage over the ones with only hard drive storage. We present this year’s Digit Zero1 award winner…

2018 Zero1 Award Winner: Asus ZenBook Pro 15

Zero1 Awards Mainstream Laptop Dec2018_Asus ZenBook Pro 15

A glance at this machine’s specs should tell you enough about its speed. The Asus ZenBook Pro is the first laptop in the world to integrate a display in its touchpad, making it a second display. You could, for example, use it for playing a video on YouTube or have dedicated controls for a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. Under the hood, the ZenBook Pro packs an 8th-gen Intel Core i9, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB PCIe solid-state drive.

Graphics is handled by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 RAM. The ZenBook Pro tore through its competitors in our scoring sheet by a large margin. Battery life too was nearly on par with the Lenovo IdeaPad 530S. Without a sliver of doubt then, the Asus ZenBook Pro 15 is our Digit Zero1 award winner this year.

Runner-up: Dell Inspiron 7572

The Dell Inspiron 7572 looks as subtle but packs interesting specs. Additionally, its web camera sits below the display. Inside its unpretentious exteriors resides an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU and 8GB of RAM. An additional 8GB of RAM can be slapped on for an extra cost at a Dell store. For storage, it offers dual drives: a 128GB solid-state drive and a 1TB hard drive spinning at 5,400 rpm.

For graphics, an NVIDIA GeForce MX 150 with 4GB of GDDR5 video RAM. That should be sufficient for lightweight video games. During our evaluation, the Inspiron 7572 was one-third of the distance away from the ZenBook Pro in terms of overall performance. All other numbers considered, it comes in at as the runner-up for this year.

Best Buy: Acer Aspire 5

The Acer Aspire 5 may look as boring but can move swiftly. The Acer Aspire 5 consists of an 8th-gen Intel Core i5 CPU and a 1TB hard drive. The Aspire 5 is equipped with 8GB of RAM and 16GB of Intel Optane memory, which gives the hard drive an added performance boost. To handle graphics, it’s got an NVIDIA GeForce MX 130 GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 video RAM.

That should be good for a few light video games like Portal 2 and Tomb Raider (2013). All put together, the Aspire 5 scores rather well on our scoring sheet. Considering its somewhat approachable price tag, we believe the Acer Aspire 5 should be this year’s Zero1 Best Buy.

Laptop

Zero1 Awards 2018 – Laptops – Convertible

December 6, 2018 — by Digit0

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It’s time to pick the best Convertible Laptop for the Zero1 award that sports great performance. Before we see who the winner is, let’s explore the concept of convertible laptops. Convertible laptops are an ideal choice for users looking for portability and comfort. They typically feature a display setup that converts the laptop into a tablet by either folding back all the way back to meet the base or by detaching from the base altogether.

Pivoting displays were a thing back in the days of the ThinkPad X-series Tablet but it’s been replaced by displays that do ‘Yoga’. Convertible laptops can now be used comfortably in landscape or portrait mode. Like Thin and Light laptops, Convertible laptops employ light materials and a solid-state drive for better portability. They generally weigh less than 1.6 kgs and the screen size is less than 14 inches, also typically sporting a stylus.

2018 Zero1 Award Winner: Lenovo YOGA 920

Zero1 Awards Convertible Laptop December 2018 Lenovo YOGA-920

2018’s Lenovo YOGA may only be a mild refresh from last year’s model but it sure packs punchy performance. The sharp-edged convertible laptop features an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. Graphics are taken care of by an integrated Intel GPU. The YOGA 920 features a super-fast Samsung 512GB PCIe solid-state drive making it the fastest in the storage department among our contenders. The YOGA’s battery outlasted the HP Spectre x360’s by ten minutes, giving it a slight edge there as well. Therefore, the Lenovo YOGA 920 is this year’s winner of the Zero1 award for this category.

Runner-up: HP Spectre x360

The Spectre sub-brand represents the sharpest and slimmest laptops from HP since 2016. The Spectre x360 is a Convertible aimed at portability and premium looks. But it seems that’s not all HP had in mind while designing it. Our review unit impressed us greatly with its rock-solid performance. The Spectre x360’s battery outlasted the Acer Switch 7’s by nearly 80 minutes. It comes with an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. Storage is taken care of by a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive. Graphics are handled by an integrated Intel GPU.

It has support for digital styli like the HP Active Pen that comes bundled with the device. Apart from facial recognition using Windows Hello, it has a fingerprint scanner on the right side of its body so the device can be powered on and accessed directly in tablet mode. The 2018 HP Spectre x360 is this year’s Digit Zero1 runner-up.

Best Buy: Acer Switch 7 Black Edition

The Acer Switch 7 may not be a very popular or well-known model in India but that’s only because of Acer’s weak marketing strategy. The Switch 7 is a Convertible that can be detached from its keyboard to be a standalone tablet. Unlike the other two Convertible laptops vying for the coveted Digit Zero1 award, the Acer Switch 7 features a dedicated graphics card, which makes it ideal for creators who deal with heavier graphics and want to indulge in a bit of light gaming. The Switch 7 comes with an Intel Core i7 CPU, up to 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SATA-based solid-state drive.

To handle graphics it’s got an NVIDIA GeForce MX 150 GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 video RAM. That’s enough to justify a Photoshop install or the purchase of some light video games like Dirt Rally and Bioshock Infinite. It’s also enough to justify its rather bulky build. We believe the Acer Switch 7 Black Edition is this year’s Zero1 Best Buy.

Laptop

Zero1 Awards 2018 – Laptops – Thin and Light

December 6, 2018 — by Digit0

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It’s finally time to pick this year’s best devices. As before, the Digit Zero1 award is presented to the devices with the best performance; other aspects like features, and most of all, price don’t matter in our testing process for these awards. Our definition of a Thin and Light is a laptop that measures no more than 1.5 centimetres in thickness and weighs no more than 1.5 kilogrammes.

It’s a definition whose meaning we expect to make stricter and stricter by the year. As brands bring out newer and more interesting models packing the latest hardware in sleeker packages, our selection process becomes even more difficult. Then again, we wouldn’t be able to tell you about the deserving winner by taking the easy way out, will we? So, which model takes home the prestigious Digit Zero1 award? The winner is…

2018 Zero1 Award Winner: Dell XPS 13

Dell’s popular Thin and Light, the XPS 13, was first unveiled at CES in 2012. Since then it has only been getting thinner and lighter year after year, warming the cockles of its patrons’ hearts in the process with the promise of top-notch performance. The Dell XPS 13 comes with an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive.

Its 13.3-inch display is a solid 4K unit with content rendered by an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU. Its web camera may be set down low but its performance goals sure are up there! The 2018 Dell XPS 13 bags this year’s Digit Zero1 award for the title of Best Thin and Light Laptop due to the sheer performance metrics that it can achieve in this form factor.

Runner-up: Lenovo IdeaPad 530S

The Lenovo IdeaPad 530S is, in theory, a mainstream laptop in a Thin and Light laptop’s clothes. What that means is that it comes with specs that could easily belong to a mainstream laptop but measures only as much as any other Thin and Light out there. We were confident the new and improved IdeaPad would bag the award, but alas! It lost points on our grading sheet in the battery department by scoring only half as much as the Dell XPS.

For a segment where the main criteria is portability, that’s a major drawback for any candidate looking to bag the top position. It’s still a very capable machine though. The IdeaPad 530S features an 8th-gen Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive. Graphics is taken care of by an NVIDIA GeForce MX 150 GPU with 2GB of video RAM. Due to the few shortcomings, it has as compared to the Dell XPS 13, the 2018 Lenovo IdeaPad 530S is the Zero1 runner-up for this year.

Editor’s Pick: HP Spectre x360

A steady sub-brand of HP now, the Spectre brand was created only a couple of years ago. It now stands for the slimmest and sharpest laptops from the house of HP. The Spectre x360 offers great performance and a long battery life for the price it demands. It’s powered by an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 CPU and 16GB of DDR4 RAM.

Storage is handled by a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive. Graphics is taken care of by an integrated Intel GPU. It weighs 1.26 kilogrammes and has support for styluses like the HP Pen, which means it’s a convertible laptop at heart. This particular ability sets it apart from the other entrants in the category. We believe the HP Spectre x360 is this year’s Zero1 Editor’s Pick.

Laptop

Zero1 Awards 2018 – Laptops – Gaming

December 6, 2018 — by Digit0

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A major boost for the gaming laptop industry early this year was the introduction of Intel’s most powerful hexa-core mobile CPUs. Practically everything under the sun is using NVIDIA GPUs, so there’s no apparent competition in that arena for the last 15 months. We haven’t noticed any Kabylake-G based machines either. The only ones that are available are the Intel NUCs and they aren’t exactly what you would call laptops.

A few AMD Ryzen based SKUs are available but they do not boast of any significant market share. We’re yet to see laptops based on NVIDIA’s RTX GPUs, but given that benchmarks have started leaking, we suspect that laptops based on the 2000 series should be unveiled at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2019. So, all we’ve seen for most of this year were gaming laptops featuring the same hardware but shrinking considerably in size.

Slim gaming machines have become a possibility and practically all manufacturers have a slim SKU. We’re just excited to see what the next year will bring. Another thing of note would be the lack of laptops with SLI (Scalable Link Interface). It appears that we might not see another Acer Predator 21X or ASUS GX800 in the coming year. That being said, let’s take a look at the winners.

2018 Zero1 Award Winner: Alienware 17 R5

Alienware had the best of both worlds, owing to it coming out with the hexa-core Intel Core i9-8950HK and the NVIDIA GTX 1080. The perfect combination for getting the most from any gaming machine bar SLI. The unit is a bit heavy but it spreads all the bulk along a larger surface area quite efficiently. For gaming machines, we couldn’t care much about the bulk, so a 17-inch QHD panel on the Alienware is very much a welcome feature.

On the other hand, the Alienware is also really well built on the inside which is a huge plus point in this segment. Just throwing in the top hardware isn’t enough, ensuring durability is also extremely important. However, this being the Zero1 Awards, we didn’t score the build quality and the Alienware 17 R5 won purely on merit i.e. by beating every other contender by a clear, well-defined margin.

Runner-up: MSI GT75 TITAN 8RG

We had a crack at the MSI GT75 TITAN 8RG early this year when the unit had just been launched. The only reason it came in second place was because of the CPU, which happens to be the Intel Core i7-8750H. It’s still a hexa-core CPU but the Core i9-8950HK is a good 8-9% ahead in most CPU bound benchmarks. As for the laptop itself, it’s a bit bulkier than the Alienware 17 R5 but the GT series is known for the mechanical keyboard and the additional software suite. Everything about these units is geared towards catering to the teensiest whims of the gamer that doesn’t like to compromise.

Best Buy: ASUS TUF FX504

The ASUS TUF Gaming FX504 is a great gaming laptop given that you’ve got the additional 2 CPU cores for no added money over the older quad-core variant. That with the NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti and the 120 Hz panel make for a much better combination. As for gaming experience, it isn’t completely out of this world as one would probably expect because of the improved CPU. The display panel is average but we’re not complaining because you get a 120 Hz panel at the end of the day and that’s much better than the usual combination.

Laptop

Zero1 Awards 2017 – Laptops – Convertibles

December 13, 2017 — by Digit0

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While we didn’t see a lot of action in the thin and light category this year, the convertible category got quite some attention from all laptops manufacturers. So this year we decided to talk about the best convertibles you can buy. In an age when Microsoft is working towards making the Windows experience equally comfortable in tablet mode as it is in laptop mode, the thin and light convertible category makes much more sense from a design and functional point of view. It is an epitome of what all Windows laptops or laptops in general will be in the future. However, it easier said than done since there is a lot cleverer engineering required to maintain size, weight and design of an ultraportable, without compromising on performance.

2017 Zero1 award Winner: HP Spectre x360

HP Spectre X360

As you would know, our Zero 1 awards have always been about performance with price no bar and thus, the HP Spectre x360 is a clear winner in this category. After launching the Spectre last year, the Spectre x360 was HP’s take at the thin and light convertible segment and the company has gone all out on performance. The Intel Core i7-7500U on this machine breaks all previous performance benchmarks set by this chip in the thin and light category as a whole. Not just that, the amount of hardware it packs in that thin and light chassis remains unmatched.
Beyond performance though, the HP Spectre x360 is more about the premium feel. It is a design masterpiece, which looks both elegant and bold at the same time. The matte grey finish on the laptop is in contrast with the copper polish around the sides, which give the machine a beautiful, yet polarising look.

Runner up: Lenovo Yoga 720

The runner up position is secured by the Lenovo Yoga 720, which is the successor to last year’s convertible category winner, the Yoga 710. On paper, the Yoga 720 is almost as powerful as the Spectre x360. However, during our testing, the Spectre x360 did inch ahead of everything else. Still, you get the top of the line hardware available today in addition to the best battery life in the category as well.
The machine also features an updated design and build quality, which is now even more business-like. The laptop looks and feels premium and that also shows in the updated hinge, which now offers better resistance and less wobble while typing. We also like the fact the Lenovo was considerate enough to add a fingerprint scanner on the machine, which in our opinion should be mandatory.

Best buy: Asus ZenBook UX360

This particularly silent laptop brings the goodness of a thin and light form factor to the masses sincce the prices start as low as `50K. However, what’s so impressive is that even with an m-series Intel processor, it can keep up with most day-to-day tasks and never felt underpowered until we ran some games on it.
Still, this thin and light convertible packs in quite a lot of hardware, including a 4K display on highest-end model. At just 1.3 mm thickness, Asus has managed to provide an excellent port selection including an SD card reader, micro HDMI port and two standard USB ports. Hence, making it a complete package.

Laptop

Zero1 Awards 2017 – Laptops – Gaming

December 13, 2017 — by Digit0

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The PC Master Race is all inclusive but gaming laptops were always seen as a step down from their desktop counterparts. But from what we’ve seen this year, that clearly doesn’t hold true. Also, the gaming laptops that we tested this year included humongous beasts that came with their own carrying cases so that you wouldn’t have to invest in those separately. That was until COMPUTEX 2017 where we saw the MAX-Q laptops for the first time. With a few carefully laid down guidelines regarding the performance metrics and cooling assembly, NVIDIA has helped hardware manufacturers to build gaming laptops which pack in all the power of desktop graphics but without all the bulk. As with any new category of products, these are very expensive right now, but rightfully so. We’re a bit unfortunate since the taxation makes it even more expensive but for enthusiasts, price was only a secondary consideration. And this year’s winner epitomises that very fact.

2017 zero1 award Winner: ASUS ROG-GX800VH (7th Gen)

ASUS ROG GX800

With two GTX 1080 GPUs in SLI, there was absolutely no doubt in our minds that the ASUS GX800VH was going to be this year’s Zero1 Award winner the moment it arrived. But we kept our minds open, we waited for the Predator 21 X and we waited for the MSI GT83VR Titan SLI but neither of them turned up. Both are equally expensive but we have to give it to ASUS for bringing such a beast to the Indian market. Powered by a Core i7-7820HK and two GTX 1080 GPUs, we saw a Fire Strike 1.1 score of 24,468. And that’s the highest we’ve seen this entire year. When you compare that against a single GTX 1080, then we’re looking at nearly a 40 per cent gain in gaming performance. The unit comes with a liquid cooling attachment and two power adapters, so for all intents and purposes, you can throw portability out of the window but that’s a minor trade-off for the performance gain that you get at the end of the day. You don’t get the full potential of the laptop without connecting the cooling unit. So you have portability should you need it and when the need arises, you can call in the big guns.

Runner up: MSI GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro

For less than half the price of the GX800VH, you get the GT75VR 7RF Titan Pro. You get the same Core i7-7820HK but just one GTX 1080 GPU. The GT75VR comes with a mechanical keyboard which is a rare thing to find on gaming laptops. And the display is a treat to look at. Since it does have a GTX 1080 that’s air-cooled, you can expect quite a lot of noise during heavy gaming sessions, so it’s best to get a headset with the GT75VR.

Best Buy: Acer Nitro V AN515-51 and ASUS GL553VD

When you’re buying a gaming laptop, the 80-90K is the sweet spot because that’s where you get a GTX 1050 or GTX 1050 Ti. You’re already compromising when getting a gaming laptop, the least you can do is ensure that you can game on it. Both, the Acer and ASUS laptops sport an Intel Core i7-7700HQ along with an NVIDIA GTX 1050. The GL553VD comes with 8GB RAM while the AN515-51 comes with 16GB. And if you look at the pricing, the difference equals the RAM module’s cost, so they’re practically the same.

Laptop

Zero1 Awards 2017 – Laptops – Thin and light

December 13, 2017 — by Digit0

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Every year like clockwork, laptop makers bring newer models of their flagship thin and light laptops to India with the latest CPUs. This year though, this whole process was marred by long and unwanted delays. Subsequently, due to various reasons, most of these latest laptops miss out on the newest Intel Core 8th gen processors. The end result is that most ultrportables available today in India are refreshed models with older 7th gen Intel processors or older models with minor spec bumps. In either case, you aren’t getting the best of what is available overseas. Nonetheless, of the thin range of ultrabooks available today, here are our top picks.
While there is no industry wide defined parameter for thin and light laptops, we believe that laptops in this category should be lightweight. Hence, for the Zero 1 Awards and going forward, only laptops weighing 1.5 kilograms or lesser will be considered in this category.

2017 Zero1 Award Winner: Lenovo Ideapad 720s (13-inch)

Lenovo 720S

While there weren’t many thin and light options to choose from this year, the best among the few was the Ideapad 720s. It is now better looking, has a sturdier build, rocks a fingerprint scanner, but ends up with similar specifications as its predecessor. That said, there are subtle differences in performance between this machine and its predecessor.
Lenovo has turned down the Intel HD 620 graphics on this machine, which we believe has helped the machine to be more reliable. The dual fan cooling solution in this slim chassis is now less noisy at full chatter and the heat management has also improved. Beyond that, the performance offered by the Intel Skylake i7-7500U is snappy as always and the laptop can easily take on all kinds of day-to-day tasks you may want to throw at it.
The best thing we like about the Ideapad 720s is that even though it is a thin and light laptop, it doesn’t compromise on ports. You still get two USB type-A 3.0 ports along with two USB Type-C ports with one supporting Thunderbolt. The 7-8 hours of battery life is just as good as last time and while the keyboard is good, Lenovo’s new touchpad is far better than the one we used last year on the Ideapad 710s.

Best buy & Runner up: Asus ZenBook UX430UQ

Running just behind the Ideapad 720s, we have the Asus Zenbook UX430UQ. The UX430 is a 14-inch machine, which is essentially crammed in a 13-inch laptop chassis. Asus has done so by slimming down the side bezels, just like the Ideapad 720s. This has also helped it to maintain weight and at just 1.25 kg it is less heavier than many 14-inch laptops we have currently in the market. It offers a similar performance as the Ideapad 720s as it is also powered by the same Intel Core i7-7500U processor.
Apart from the larger display, Asus also managed to cram in a full-size SD card reader along with a micro HDMI port in a 0.63-inch thick chassis. The only thing we think is missing from the I/O array is Thunderbolt support but USB 3.1 is more than enough. As for battery life, the 50 Whr battery of the UX430 offers a similar battery performance as the Ideapad 720s and hence can easily go through a normal work day.
The best part is that, it has more storage, a fingerprint scanner and a slightly lower price tag making it the better buy in the category.

Laptop

Zero1 Awards 2016 – Laptops – Ultrabook

December 16, 2016 — by Digit0

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Thin, light, functional and portable, all these attributes make an ultrabook and this year we saw some really good ones. This year, the category got a lot thinner thanks to the premium HP Spectre 13 and the ultra thin Acer Swift 7. We also saw refreshed ultrabook designs with the Asus ZenBook 3, while others like the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon retained their signature design.
All these laptops offer good functionality, portability and most importantly, decent performance. Now, these razor thin laptops are not meant for heavy duty workloads. We can’t really expect them to run Doom at 1080p, but most of them will play 2K content on your television quite easily.
This year ,we also saw laptops finally adopting the USB Type-C I/O port. In fact, some of these laptops are so thin, a normal USB port won’t be able to exist in those thin chassis. Hence, many of these ultrabooks come with USB Type-C port only.
Thinner form factor also means, new cooling systems, keyboards with lesser travel and heating woes, but not all ultrabooks have become victim to these underlying issues. Some of these laptops are just better designed to offer the convenience of an ultrabook without its compromises.

Zero1 Winner: Lenovo Ideapad 710s

ultrabook

The most uncompromised ultrabook of them all is the Lenovo Ideapad 710s. A thin body, 1.1 Kg weight and good performance – this laptop has everything. Compared to last year’s Dell XPS 13, the Ideapad 710s, is much lighter and offers a similar bezel less display. What makes it better though, is the fact that it is a matte display, which makes viewing content on it much easier.
Even with the thinner profile, Lenovo hasn’t compromised on I/O ports and the laptop offers all the essential ports you may require in day to day use. The backlit keyboard is good and so is the trackpad. We would have loved to see a USB Type-C port on the machine as well, but unfortunately that has been given a miss.
Inside, you get the latest Intel Core i7-7500U processor with 8GB of RAM, which takes care of all kinds of tasks and applications you might want to run on this device. Out of all the ultrabooks we tested this year, the Ideapad 710s came out on the top.
Good performance of this machine is further complimented by the respectable battery life it offers. On a full charge, the Ideapad 710s can easily manage 6 to 7 hours of usage quite easily. Even if streaming videos all day, the laptop will last for more than 5 hours on a single charge, which is quite good for a portable laptop.

Runner up: Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon

Losing the top position by a hair, is the Thinkpad X1 Carbon. The new and improved X1 Carbon, brings the same iconic yet elegant design of the Thinkpad with newer hardware. The latest edition to the Carbon series is a bit lighter than the last gen model, but in essence the design and form factor remains the same.
Another thing which hasn’t changed is the large 14-inch display, that offers really good viewing angles and a 1080p resolution. You also get the premium carbon fibre construction, which can withstand dust, cold, water, humidity, altitude and even vibration.
This Intel Core i5 powered laptop performs as good as many other laptops, which feature beefier Intel Core i7 chips. This makes it one of the better laptops in this category. Like the Ideapad 710s, the X1 Carbon can also handle day to day task well and is easily one of this better performers in the thin and light category.
Overall, the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon is a really good machine. It performs as well as the Ideapad 710s, has really good battery life and to top it all off, it even comes with a 3 year warranty. But that’s just icing on the cake.

Laptop

Zero1 Awards 2016 – Laptops – Hybrid

December 16, 2016 — by Digit0

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The hybrid category hasn’t seen much action this year. There were a bunch of new launches in this category, which were basically upgrades to older models. We also saw Microsoft launching a new Surface which looks exactly like the old Surface but is relatively new on the inside.
Besides that, there were a couple of new hybrids, which caught our attention. One was the Smartron t.book, which offered a very promising package at half the price of any other hybrid we have seen this year. However, the bundled keyboard dock wasn’t that great and thus foiled its chances of making it into the list.
The other being the new Lenovo X1 Yoga, which merges the classic Thinkpad design with the 360 degree Yoga hinge. It is a very good laptop for the price and is also available with an OLED display. However, some may argue that it doesn’t provide the full functionality a hybrid should i.e. have a detachable keyboard.
We believe, a hybrid laptop should combine the best of performance with portability making it an ideal choice for tablet and laptops users alike. This year, Lenovo seems to have mastered the recipe of Hybrids. Here’s why.

Zero1 Winner: Lenovo Yoga 710-14IKB

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The Lenovo Yoga 710 is the undisputed king among all the Hybrid laptops we tested this year. Here are the specs it has to offer – Intel Core i7-7500U processor clocked at 2.70GHz paired with 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and 2GB NVIDIA GeForce 940MX dedicated graphics along with a 14-inch Full HD touchscreen on the top. Beefy specs do not fail to show in our benchmark results and thus, PCMark Creative returned a score of 4,442 and a fairly long battery life of over four hours on full brightness and under high load. What really impressed us were the 3DMark scores – Fire Strike Extreme – 688, Fire Strike – 1366, whereas the other competitors could only manage about half of these numbers. The only compromise you will have to make in exchange of the unbeatable performance is its weight, that goes above 2 kgs.

Runner up: Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga

Trailing behind the Yoga 710 is Lenovo’s Thinkpad X1 Yoga with an overall score of 62 out of 100. The Thinkpad X1 boasts an even better screen than the 710 and just misses out on the dedicated GPU. However, this sleek and stylish looking machine packs in a 2K display, an Intel Core i5-6200U along with 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD that churns out a PCMark score of 3688 and Fire Strike Ultra score stands at 383 and 852 in Fire Strike Extreme. Weighing in at just over 1.2 Kgs, the Thinkpad X1 is worth your money if weight happens to be the deciding factor for you. Also, the Thinkpad X1 Yoga lasted for the longest, more than four and half hours in our battery test.

Runner up: Lenovo Yoga 900

Coming in third is yet another hybrid from the house of Lenovo, the Yoga 900. PCMark scored 3836 but the Yoga 900 trails with GPU performance. It certainly packs in more power with an Intel Core i7-6500U processor, 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD. The 13.3-inch Quad HD display is definitely a treat, along with all the style and premium build this hybrid laptop has to offer. With a score of 58 out of 100 and weighing in at 2.24Kg, the Yoga 900 is the most stylish and premium looking of them all, on our list.

Best Buy: HP Pavilion x360 13-u131TU

A handy, 13.3-inch ultraportable laptop that comes with Intel Core i3-7100U along with 1TB HDD and 4GB RAM that gets you covered on most basics without spending a fortune. With a PCMark score of 3597 and an overall score of 54 out of 100, the HP Pavilion x360 13-u131TU will get you maximum value for your money.

Laptop

Zero1 Awards 2016 – Gaming Laptops

December 16, 2016 — by Digit0

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With NVIDIA’s release of series 10 GPUs, 2016 saw laptops that came with full sized Pascal-based GPUs, giving tough competition to full-sized desktop rigs. Continuing the trend, gaming laptops were the initial adopters of the new hardware with adoption of the NVMe SSDs as primary storage, packing in the 6th gen Skylake CPUs along with NVIDIA’s 1060s and the 1070s. Here are the best gaming laptops of 2016.

Zero1 Winner: MSI GT72VR 6RE Dominator Pro Tobii

gaming laptop

MSI continues to be at the top in this list with its GT72 VR 6RE Dominator Pro. The laptop packs in an Intel Core i7-6700 HQ processor along with 32GB RAM, 256GB SSD storage + 1TB HDD, a 17.3-inch Full HD IPS anti-glare display with 120Hz refresh rate along with an option to upgrade to 4K resolution. But what makes this laptop the winner is its desktop level performance, owing to the 8GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU. Raw CPU performance is at its best with the i7-6700 HQ that can go upto 3.4 GHz with turbo-boost. Speaking of the GPU, Pascal based GTX 1070 shows a major jump in graphics performance over the previous Maxwell based 980M where users can expect 1.5 times better performance, according to the benchmark scores we saw on 3DMark, where Fire Strike Ultra returned a score of 3898. Throw any game at the MSI GT72 at ultra settings and it just would not disappoint. The laptop just fell short of the 7,000 mark on PCMark 8 but could only manage to survive over an hour under full load. Starting at 3.85 Kgs, the big form factor ensures you miss out on absolutely nothing when it comes to connectivity. Tobii, MSI’s addition of an innovative eye-tracking technology lets you game with your eyes and works pretty well too. Gamers, look no further as the GT72 brings you serious performance swith the no-compromise desktop-class gaming experience, thus making it a worthy winner.

Runner Up: ASUS ROG G752V

Packing in similar specifications, such as the Intel Core i7-6700 HQ processor combined with 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD along with a 17.3-inch Full HD display, what keeps the ROG G752V back from winning is the GPU it packs in. The maxwell based NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M has been there around since over a year and does not even come closer to the performance offered by the GTX 1070 in the MSI GT72. PCMark 8 creative benchmark returned a score of 6742, close to the MSI’s Tobii, whereas Fire Strike Ultra in 3DMark returned a score of 2307, nothing close to the leader on our list. No doubt the GTX 980M is a great GPU from its class and thus showed fairly good gaming performance even with the most resource hungry games, trailing behind the MSI. Speaking about strength’s, the display in the ROG G752V is a visual treat to your eyes. It also managed to survive for over two hours under heavy load which is the longest amongst its competitors. If you do not mind the GTX 980M, the ASUS ROG G752V gaming laptop is quite impressive too.

Best Buy: MSI GE62VR 6RF

Closing in on the ASUS ROG G752V is MSI’s GE62VR 6RF gaming laptop that comes with an Intel Core i7-6700 HQ processor, 128GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD, 16GB RAM and the latest Pascal based NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. In terms of GPU performance, the laptop comes dangerously close to the ASUS ROG G752V and even has the potential to surpass the numbers ASUS puts up. All this performance with a latest generation GPU along at a price tag of Rs.1,39,900 makes the MSI GE62VR 6RF win the Best Buy award as it offers great bang for your buck!