A 2 in 1 laptop/tablet with some performance?


#1

So hello guys, after starting a topic about a cooling fan for the Eve V and the idea of a competitor for the surface book, I am here to discuss another idea. A 2 in 1 system that has performance. Why? Since I got a surface pro 3 for cheap (damaged touchscreen) I am seeing it as something handy and I have the feeling of being more productive. But it seriously lacks performance for me. I have started a youtube channel recently and I use my asus laptop for video editing (i7 4720HQ, 16gb ram, gtx 950m). I tried out some light video editing on the surface pro 3 and it kind of went awful, which is as can be expected. But I did quite like the touchscreen for editing, at least I found it as functional as a mouse and much better than a touchpad (I’m sorry guys, I am not a touchpad person). Another great thing is that I don’t need a keyboard for video editing, so I can just flip it around out of the way. So I have been searching if there are 2 in 1’s available that do have a decent dGPU and a decent CPU. What I found:

  • Vaio Z canvas which has a quad core processor (i7 4770HQ if I’m not mistaking) but no dGPU and no thunderbolt 3 which could allow for dGPU
  • Asus new zenbook flip 560 and the HP spectre 15" X360 both have the newest i7 7500U dual core combined with nvidia 940mx dGPU and thunderbolt 3 which could allow for dGPU

So I guess it should be possible to get some performance with a 2 in 1. My idea for such a 2 in 1 is a bit like the asus/HP but with a quad core instead of a dual core. Ofcourse some extra cooling would be required and there would be a higher battery consumption. But for me that would be ideal, having the cpu that I need and having a dGPU should make it possible to replace my current laptop but having the advantage of a 2 in 1. Clearly, this would require a 2 in 1 convertible layout, but I do like that better than the 2 in 1 tablet form factor.

There could be multiple ways to get this done. One of the possibilities is making it convertible such as the asus or HP, but there is the problem of it focusing in thinness which does impede with cooling. Another way would be to admit such thin things can’t have the needed cooling capacity and accept that the keyboard part should be a bit bigger so that there is more room for cooling solution.
On the other hand I was hinter about the acer aspire R7 and R13 which both were 2 in 1 convertibles, but in another way. Instead of the 360° flip, they made it so that the screen could swivel around its own central axis. This way you can place it in the possition you want without having to swivel the base around. This seems easier for cooling since the 2 in 1 form factor doesn’t impede with the cooling openings. I would think that this is more versatile than the standard form factor such as asus and HP do.

What could also be done is a 2 in 1 laptop formfactor with a quad core and making a dock for it with a dGPU, that dock could be a fixed dock such as microsoft sells for with its surface pro, but it could also be a laptop/keyboard base such as microsoft has for the surface book. But I doubt that the last one could be an option since the vaio Z canvas seems pretty thick and hefty in contrast to surface book.
This idea could possible be altered to make it work: instead of docking it at the bottom side to a keyboard base, the docking could be made to make the screen swivel around it’s central axis, kind of like how acer did for his convertible, but than as a base not as a part of a laptop.

I was wondering if there were others interested in this idea?

For me at least the ideal 2 in 1 would need:
i7 quad core
16gb RAM
dGPU such as 940mx
Thunderbolt to be able to connect a eGPU
14-17" multitouch screen of at least 2K resolution
Weight limited to 3kg for portability reasons (but if for example a nvidia gtx 1060 is used, I would understand if it were heavier).
batterylife of 6 hours while webbrowsing
SSD memory of at least 256gb if combined with a hdd, or 512gd if not combined with a hdd

I know this is very specific and just my own needs, but that is also why I post here, to see if I am just a special snowflake or to see if there are others who want a 2 in 1 with some decent output.

Greetings,
Brecht


The V blew me away but whats next?
#2

If I understand you correctly, you’re looking for something like the surface book with performance base?

And then probably for a cheaper price and maybe a better GPU?

I think that this would indeed be a good computer for many people. It’s just hard to make it thin, portable with high graphic power and at the same time have a long battery-life and a good cooling solution. But it’s imo a good thing and next device to consider and I can really see market for it as it doesn’t sound too specialized to me.


#3

With the surface book you basically detach it, and flip it 180 degrees in the horizontal instead of the vertical direction before attaching it so I think this is similiar to the swivel function on the acers, both dont have the keyboard at the bottom in the end …
Am I correct in assuming that you basically want a surface book with a quad core and thunderbolt? hooray from me if it’s cheaper, but I expect microsoft to bring out a new surface book and a surface pro 5 soon. I’d be very surprised if they don’t add thunderbolt and maybe they will pack a more powerful processor in the surface book as well?


#4

I see your point and I was eyeballing the Lenovo Yoga series for a while when they had models with quad core CPUs and dGPUs. But those things were expensive… And the battery life was horrible.
And if Eve V costs over $1000 already, I doubt they could make a competitive powerhorse for an acceptable price…

@SyrtakiVampir Surface Book has a weakling CPU, almost like Eve V. I think the OP wants a 2in1 to replace his laptop, which means a quad core CPU.


#5

Oh yeah. I actually completely ignored the CPU, haha… But well, then an overall better Surface Book :wink:


#6

It is not really meant to be like a surface book, that is just 1 possible way to go. I pointed out 4 ways:

  1. like the surface book, but I pointed out that this form factor probably can’t be combined with a quad core. Ofcourse the surface book will be renewed this year, but they won’t place a quad core in it. Probably just a i7 7500U just like the others, which is a powerful dual core, but I think it is not powerful enough for video editing

  2. crossover between surface book and acer aspire R7/R13. To accommodate the extra weight linked to a quad core and the cooling solution for it, the connection between the base and the 2 in 1 could be made so that you can swivel the screen over the base, that way the mass won’t make the thing fall over. If we are talking about 15" than it would be possible to place the keyboard (and touchpad) lower, so that there is a decent amount of free space close to the connection point, so that in laptop-like usage, the 2 in 1 can be slightly tilted without needing the heavier 2 in 1 to be pushed back for a good viewing angle, but can be pulled forward for a good viewing angle. That way the center point of gravity stays above the base.

  3. the classic convertible 2 in 1. This would be easier since it is closer to a laptop than to a tablet. And they are already available with geforce 940mx which would be enough for video editing (although higher GPU would perform better, it would be a great improvement on the iGPU).

  4. the formfactor like acer aspire R7/R13. In this the laptop base can be a real laptop base since here the screen will not cover the back in ‘tablet mode’ so cooling wouldn’t be really impeded, something that manufacturers of classic convertibles do need to take in account. I guess here the base part would be the easiest to do, the hard part would be the hinge. But acer did achieve at making a decent hinge for it, so it would not be impossible.

For me it is not about a surface book, instead, I think that for what I want the acer aspire R7/R13 would be better since it gives you the advantage of a 2 in 1 but it does not have the disadvantage of a tablet formfactor (where quad core is almost impossible without creating a bulky thing) or the classic 2 in 1 convertible (where cooling can be impeded by turning the screen to the back side). But I can understand that there are people who have there preferred system (since the acer aspire R7/R13 is kind of specific) so that is why I thought about these 4 scenario’s instead of just the one that would suit me the best.

I did also point out that I do know that quad core and dGPU wouldn’t be able in todays thin convertibles, and that for me it wouldn’t matter is it would be a bit bigger than the rest. After all, they would need to do the same if they want some power in it. And it is not that it should be less than 2 cm’s thin (HP spectre 360 15" is 1,8cm and asus zenbook flip is 2,2cm thick). My laptop is 3,1 cm thick and that is easy enough to handle. I guess if the 940mx is used, it can get under 3cm thick.

about the price: if the hinge can be figured out and is not that expensive, I think the price would be more like a laptop than like a surface book. https://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Dell-Inspiron-15-i7559-5012GRY-Signature-Edition-Laptop/productID.333475500?icid=homepage_featured_1_DELL15_170216
Dell had a 15" gaming laptop with touchscreen for 1100$ in the signature edition. I guess creating a hinge for the laptop so that it becomes a 2 in 1 wouldn’t add a 1000$. But ofcourse a gaming laptop based 2 in 1 can be to bulky or heavy for people. The 15" dell inspiron gaming 7000 is 2,5cm thick, and weighs 2,62kg and that is with a GTX 1050 Ti which I guess need more cooling than a GTX 950m or a 940mx and is bulkier, especially compared to a 940mx.


#7

Could you elaborate on option 2 a bit more? I’m not sure what you’re you’re trying to suggest. Is the tablet detachable in this case but at the same time able to swivel like on the acer?


#8

What I mean is that instead of a hinge like the surfacebook, a hinge system like the acer R7/R13 but than where the tablet 2 in 1 can be detached from.


#9

The main problem with detaching the tablet and wanting a quad core is that the CPU would have to be in the screen making it very thick and also the battery needed would be very large to get a decent amount of hours with just the tablet. I think that the best would be a second CPU in the display/tablet and the quad core and GPU in the keyboard/base, but I have no idea, if windows works with two CPUs or how. And it would increase the price dramatically, if you want similar specs than a V for the display/tablet unit.


#10

I know about that problem, that is also what makes the Vaio Z Canvas so bulky. I had also the idea about an extra CPU in another thread, but that is not possible, since dual CPU motherboards are mostly for servers, and there is no way for using an external CPU


#11

Would be nice, if you could just put one half of the cores on the display and the other half with the keyboard, haha


#12

I know, but that system isn’t on the market so Eve can’t make a cheaper and/or better version of it. I guess it will be choosing between a dual core tablet form factor or a quad core convertible form factor. I would prefer the latter one since I can use the extra power. With my current laptop with an i7 4720HQ I hit 99-100% CPU usage when video rendering, I think a dual core would take much longer. A laptop with a 940MX dGPU connected via DDR5 would perform 2/3 of what my GTX 950m gets, I can live with that, and if needed I could add an eGPU (would certainly be needed if I get 4K footage). But on the side of CPU there is no ability to expand so it should come with quad core.


#13

Nope, 2 CPUs is not a thing. You can’t “hotplug” a CPU. Maybe if they designed a hinge connector with insane bandwidth it would be possible to switch between two CPUs, but that would need a complete reboot of the system and it’s hardly possible at all to have such high bandwidth.

So, if the tablet needs to be detachable, it will need to have its own support mechanism (kickstand), or the keyboard must be even heavier…


#14

I did fin d something: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Kaby-Lake-Quad-Core-ULV-Processors-in-2017.172188.0.html

If that were to be true, that could be a great way to have a quad core convertible with a 940mx dgpu. But as it seems it is just some speculation about it.


#15

What sort of price would you be prepared to pay for your specs?


#16

Even if it’s true, the performance will be mostly similar to dual core. They’re still at 15W, which is a big limitation even for dual core processors… So either they run at lower frequencies or they get throttled all the time, neglecting the performance gain.


#17

The HP spectre X360 15,5" comes for 2000€ in the Netherlands:
http://store.hp.com/NetherlandsStore/Merch/Product.aspx?sel=NTB&id=Z6K98EA&opt=ABH&p=c-hp-spectre-x360
It has 1tb ssd which is double of what I would need, also the screen is UHD, while I could have enough with just QHD. So I guess that the specs I want, which only differs in CPU wouldn’t be much higher.

And I don’t know if the acer aspire R7/R13 would be an as expensive form factor since the base can be made like those for a regular laptop, not some specialty stuff that the classic convertibles need.


#18

It is indeed possible that those wouldn’t be more powerful than the dual cores, but it does double the thread count which can also be beneficial for certain tasks. I also think they probably would have a performance comparable to the strongest dual core CPU (the i7 7660U if I don’t mistake) so it would an improvement over the i7 7500U that we see now available on those 2 in 1 systems. It is just an option if they make it. Otherwise a regular laptop quad core would be the way to go, extra performance and extra threads at the same time over the i7 7500U.


#19

Well, if the performance is similar to 7660U then why not use 7660U? I really don’t think it’s a good idea to put 4 cores into this thermal envelope, there will be too much throttling… A high-end dual core would probably be more cost-effective with the same performance :slight_smile:


#20

It would probably be more cost effective, although on the performance side a 4 core 8 core can process more at the same time, which would be useful for certain people. But as I said, if it would be that bad, I would prefer to see a 45W quad core. I think that even if it were put on the lowest TDP, 35W, it would be beneficial in comparison to the regular dual cores for performance. It could be that the 7660U is strong enough, but I should see the benchmarks for that, and I haven’t seen them. If they would perform close to what my i7 4720HQ can, it would be good enough for me. But the i7 6660H gets a geekbench of 7242, the i7 4720HQ gets 10588. So there is a big gap to overcome. I would say if it can get 9000 or higher it would be enough performance for me, but if it doesn’t, I would prefer to see a i7 quad core in it.

But if we think about the years of development, we would have passed several generations of intel core i7 so it could very well be that a dual core would surpass my quad core on performance.