Laptop & Tablet Reviews

I reckon we've turned the corner on gaming notebooks. And not just gaming -- the likes of ASUS, Acer, MSI, Gigabyte and more are pumping out models from the ultrabook to ultrabrick with performance that rivals their desktop counterparts. The problem is, few -- if any -- are configurable. Enter Metabox, with its customisable range of notebooks. Today, we're looking at the company's Prime-X P750TM-G, which packs enormous grunt in the form of an 8th gen i7-8700K and an NVIDIA GTX 1060.

A couple months ago I reviewed MSI's GT75VR, and even though I respect how hard it is to cram desktop-level components, ridiculously loud speakers, and a custom mechanical keyboard in a laptop body, gigantic 17-inch systems like that don't really do it for me. That's because weighing in at almost 5kg and measuring 5cm thick, the GT75VR doesn't really deliver the portability I expect from a gaming laptops. With a starting price of $3799, it sure as hell ain't cheap either. But the GS63VR Stealth Pro is a whole 'nother story. It's slim, it's sleek, and it's got one of the most colourful RGB keyboards out there - all starting at $2,999.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

Typing at work on Microsoft's new 15-inch Surface Book 2, I can't shake the feeling that this thing's not for me. Don't get me wrong, it's a powerful laptop, it's beautiful, and the workspace its giant screen affords made me completely forget I wasn't seated at my desk with my usual 32-inch extra-wide display. So sure, the thing is for me, in the way that a very expensive sports car will most definitely sit in city traffic for hours right next to a yellow cab. But do I need the thing, and should I spend $US3,300 (expect upwards of $4,361 here) on it? Of course not.

I'm not terribly fussy about how I read. I used an old Kindle Keyboard until a stray pen in my backpack broke its display, and I've long happily used a Paperwhite without so much as considering the fancier Kindles Amazon has released since I got it back in 2013. Hell, half the time I'm just reading on the Kindle smartphone app for a few minutes here and there between glances at my email. So the new Kindle Oasis, the company's most advanced reading gadget yet, is not designed for me. But goddamn, it's great.

Truly wireless in-ear headphones have only been in vogue for the last year or so, but we're starting to see some pretty excellent attempts pop up. B&O's E8s currently reign supreme in my heart, but Sony's new WF-1000X promises the same minute attention to sound quality -- with the addition of integrated noise cancelling. And the WF-1000X delivers on that promise; these are up there with the best of the best.

I had to change how I think because of Google's new $US1000 Pixelbook. This gorgeous 2-in-1 is some of my favourite hardware for the price, but it's loaded with Chrome OS, the worst operating system you could put on your computer. If you've grown up a power user of MacOS, Windows, or Linux than Chrome OS feels like getting cut off at the knees, and hardware can't possibly distract you from how hamstrung Chrome OS is compared to its more mature competitors.

So in order to not spend another Chromebook review complaining about the severe inadequacies of Chrome OS, I decided to think like an ideal Chrome OS user. It was worse than that time I tried to stop drinking sodas, but as painful as living a wholly different existence was it made one thing very obvious: If you are an ideal Chrome OS user this is the very best laptop you can buy.

There are always going to be people who want a big, powerful laptop. I'm talking about people like developers that want to show off early game builds at trade shows or stubborn people who simply can't compromise on performance when they are away from home. But is there any benefit to turning these 17-inch behemoths into something that thin and light too?

People have been forecasting the death of the PC for years, and while all that noise is clearly overblown, there is one segment of the computing world that should probably go away: the traditional clamshell laptop. Now I'm not saying we should do away with notebooks PCs as we know them or more specialised notebooks like mobile workstations or gaming laptops, I just think it's past time we replaced all the boring old notebooks with 2-in-1s.

About a month ago, Intel announced its new 8th-gen CPUs, so we put together a little roundup of all the coolest notebooks getting new Core silicon. But one company was notably left off the list, because it didn't have anything to share at that time. Now, HP is finally ready to show off its new Spectre and Spectre x360, and even though the saying goes beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I think it's HP -- not Apple, Dell or Microsoft -- that's now making the best looking laptops on the market.

Looking at the new Pixelbook from afar, it's really hard to understand why anyone, let alone Google, could demand a retail price of $US1,000 (about $1300) for this thing. It's got Chrome OS inside -- the operating system you stick in cheap laptops with cheap guts because it needs practically no processor power to run. And Google made no attempt to explain why a Chromebook should go for $US1,000 during its presentation. After playing with it, I've got a better idea of why Google would ask that kind of price.

For more than decade, Razer has peddled aggressive, brightly coloured peripherals and PCs to people who cared more about frame rates and kill death ratios than mainstream appeal. But when Razer launched its first ultraportable laptop last year, it was a very different, relatively game-free story. Now, the Stealth is back with an even more refined design and a slightly bigger screen, but it still isn't any good at playing games -- and there isn't even a speck of neon green paint on it. That's very not Razer.

When companies continually try to shoehorn features like curved displays or modular add-ons into devices where they don't necessarily belong, I often find myself wondering why they're working so hard to include features of such dubious value. But perhaps the best example of this are all the manufacturers trying to install mechanical keyboards on gaming laptops. Every laptop with a mechanical keyboard seems to also feature a long list of compromises that include gargantuan chasis, excessive price tags, or awkward layouts that leave the system with a scrunched up touchpads. But then the MSI GT75VR Titan Pro came along and showed that it was really poor execution, and not a bad idea, that has made laptops with mechanical keyboards so frustrating. The set on the GT75VR is different; this thing is legit.

There's no shortage of computer makers that would like to sell you a big, expensive gaming laptop. So in an effort to differentiate themselves, companies are thinking of ways to make a portable screen attached to a keyboard and some silicon inside seem more attractive. Asus latched onto Nvidia's new Max Q design program for its new Zephyrus gaming laptop and crammed top-of-the-line specs into previously unheard of thin-and-light body. Meanwhile, Acer's Predator 21x stretches the very definition of a laptop (and your wallet) by packing pretty much anything the company could think of into an absolutely monstrous body. Lenovo is taking a different, and unfortunately, slightly more sedate path with its flagship Legion Y920 gaming laptop -- this laptop looks like one made by everyone else, and for Lenovo, which is known for some really out there and often stunning design choices, this is an uninspiring take.

For the last couple of weeks, I've been travelling a lot, and I've been using Apple's new 10.5-inch iPad Pro just as much as I've been using my Surface Laptop. And it's been entirely up to the tasks I've asked of it. It's a fantastic piece of technology, and not just because it's got some fancy new features. It's a tiny tablet that actually can replace a PC.

Concerns over online privacy and security are increasingly changing the way consumers spend their money and behave online. According to a Pew Research study conducted one year ago, 86 per cent of internet users have now taken at least some steps to conceal their digital footprints, though many say they would like to do more, if only they knew how.

The new Razer Blade Stealth is an unusual beast, in a good way. It exists as a product manufactured by a company that proudly states on the cardboard box that it ships in they are “For Gamers, By Gamers” but, like the previous model, it doesn’t really feel like a gaming laptop.

No, the Blade Stealth isn’t a gaming laptop.

But it is one of the best ultrabooks you can buy.

There's a never-ending list of things you can do on a laptop, but at their core, they are pretty simple devices. More often than not, it's feature bloat and things you never even wanted to use that cause a system to go haywire. Instead of gussying up systems with magical touchbars and ridiculous expandable screens, laptop makers should take a page from LG's playbook and keep things light and simple.

Microsoft have made it even more difficult to choose which Surface product to buy with the release of the revised Surface Pro and the new Surface Laptop. Which one do you buy? Which one is better? Surface Pro. Surface Laptop. Surface Pro. Surface Laptop. The mental back-and-forth is real. We've put together this nifty guide to help you decide which one is the right one for you.

The new Surface Pro gets an extremely minor upgrade to the Surface Pro 4 -- apart from dropping the number at the end, it's minor under-the-hood changes at best, as well as a more versatile kickstand. Not much is different to tempt existing owners. But that doesn't change the fact that it's still the best 2-in-1 tablet-laptop hybrid you can buy today.