Make a compelling laptop for serious work and some play

I recently started to search for a good laptop, that fits somewhere between a regular laptop and a gaming laptop - it’s powerful spec wise, but is not loaded with a ton of “high end gaming stuff” that makes it prohibitively expensive.

  • Has a quad-core CPU, obviously with built in graphics.
  • Has 16GB or 24GB of RAM (or 16/32 versions for sake of simplicity - you either need 32 or you good with 16)
  • Has SSD only - 512GB+, NVMe PCI Express slot. No HDD, even optionally. Use the space for cooling and/or battery.
  • Has a dedicated middle-level GPU - GeForce 1060 probably would be ideal price and TPD wise. Don’t make it optional, please.
  • Is not a gaming laptop with all the bells and whistles that skyrocket it’s cost into stratosphere.
  • Is not as thin as possible - has a good cooling system for it to be able to run for long periods of time at load
  • Uses the free space for the battery, not making it thin. Make the battery run 8-10 hours while actually working, not just browsing web or watching video.
  • Has a quality 15" ISP panel type display, 1080p is enough - otherwise it is going to cost a ton :frowning:
  • Has the ports to handle a few monitors. And please, for the love of god, ship it with convertors to DVI and DP/HDMI depending on what type of port is chosen as being the port of choice.
  • Camera and microphone should be a high quality once. Give me, for the love of god, a high quality camera and a microphone.
  • Backlit keyboard.

The problem is, that almost anything that fits that power level, is a gaming laptop, most of the time some 17" monstrosity. And a 15" are usually not as powerful, they are artificially limited because of positioning.
And cameras and microphones usually are appalling - I talk a lot on skype and other voice comms - I have dedicated headsets both at home and office, because the built-in stuff just does not cut it. And I want to present a high quality web cap to a long-term customer that we have regular calls with because the built in stuff is just bad.

The main point of such a laptop is you plug it in at home and work into monitors, keyboard, mice and a headset. Think of it as a portable PC, with the ability to use it on the go.

What I’m thinking, actually, is make a laptop that ships with 2 dock stations - one for home, one for work, so you plug it with one cord (probably two, because you need the power cord - I don’t think USB-C can deliver high power and high data transfers, or is it?).

I guess such a laptop is going to get over 1500 eur, probably close to 2000 eur. But most of what I see, goes over 2000 easily, usually to 2500 or even 3000 euros. Definitely room for improvement.

Surfacebook came close, but it’s a 2 core cpu and video is not as powerful. It’s a dealbreaker for me, it can’t handle the workload.

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So something like the ASUS UX501VW or Dell XPS 15 but with better graphics, more battery life and less bells & whistles at a lower price?

While I think it is a good idea, laptops like you describe for that price exist, or nearly do. - look a dedicated gaming lines not gaming versions of mainstream brands. There are things thing like the Razer Blade - quad core, 1060 etc $1800 usd (i think) or look at custom gaming laptop providers - I know of pcspecialists and XMG amount other in Europe and more in the USA. Only thing lack is battery life, but a as a gaming laptop being used to game will use 5-10x the power of most current 8-10 hr battery life devices I’m not sure it is practical with current battery technologies.

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What are your use cases btw?

Sounds like an overpowered gaming laptop with tons of bells and whistles to me. For example, why bother with a 512GB SSD if you can get a 128/256GB SSD and 1TB HDD for like… half the price? You get double storage for half the price…
Edit: ok I just checked the prices, SSDs are cheaper than I remember (bought one myself recently - the prices dropped crazy fast) so 1TB HDD + 128GB costs slightly less than 512GB SSD, and it’s slightly more with 256GB. So you still get double storage for the same price. And 256GB has enough space to stash Windows with all its Windows Update and other nasty bloat, and most of my apps (and I have tons of them). 100GB for Windows partition, 150GB for apps partition. Games that take up a crazy amount of space can be offloaded to an HDD.

Razers heat up a lot, because they are so thin. They can’t sustain a long-term high load, they are not designed for that.

Second - no one is talking about gaming on the battery :slight_smile: The battery is for work, travel, conferences, visits to clients. First and foremost this should be a work laptop, sturdy and designed for high amounts of usage - at least 10-12 hours a day - thermals are very important here.
I work with heavy IDE’s, lost of VM’s, browsers with lots of tabs, and so on. All that generates constant load, that needs a powerful cooling solution, usually not found in work type laptops.
And as I said - gaming laptops have additional bells and whistles, all that RGB crap that I hate and just overpriced as hell.
And gaming laptops have a heavy premium on any options you choose - for example a Samsung M.2 NVMe SSD costs at least 2 to 2.5 times more as an option, than it’s price in the shops. I know, you need to have a premium, but making it cost 600 eur instead of 300 euro for a 512 GB version is just ridiculous. Same goes for other components - it costs ridiculous amounts of money to build yourself something besides a base model.
What i’m talking about, is having a single model that is powerful, but because it’s a single product without additional customizability, you don’t need to worry about customization and having to handle it at the assembly line. That makes thing cheaper.

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http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/quotes/defianceII-15/qe08kxxdXN/

Is this cheap enough for you? :slight_smile: I actually checked the prices of those parts (where possible). They don’t overprice them. If you want 32GB RAM instead of 4GB RAM, you pay just as much as 32GB RAM costs in shops. You kind of lose the price of the initial 4GB, but you can count that as assembly fee. It really isn’t much, and no way it doubles the price of RAM.

Because 256GB can be a bit claustrophobic. It’s like a 16GB phone - looks like it’s enough, but after a few months you need to clear out you gallery, start purging cache data and remove all the media from it you don’t need. With a 32GB version you usually stop caring about that. Same principle with the SSD - 512GB is where you stop really caring about storage and need to clean up on rare occasion.

HDD’s are slow and prone to shocks. Laptop HDD’s are slow as hell. I prefer the space HDD takes up to be devoted to additional battery storage or/and better cooling. If I need storage, there are external drives and network storage (NAS, clouds, all that stuff).

Also, there are already 1TB SSD’s, 2TB models are incoming. I didn’t saw any vendor giving the ability to put a higher capacity HDD model - always the 1TB one.

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That’s why you have an HDD. Is 1TB “claustrofobic”?
I can confirm that during several months of using my SSD, I only had to move one game out of it. And it took around 40GB of space, so I kept questioning myself why the heck I installed it on SSD in the first place.

I know there are enormous SSDs. But you said you don’t want to waste your money. First of all, their prices are way more enormous than their capacity.
And I’ll tell you this: most of your files are just files that don’t need the speed of an SSD. When you offload all the running apps to SSD, the hard drive becomes about 10 times faster than normally, because instead of trying to read the program files, their configurations, the registry, and the file you’re opening/copying, which are all in different places… it just reads the file you need. All in one place. All the slowness of HDDs comes from the fact that their “needles” can’t keep up with all the different locationa they need to jump across. But when you move that job to an SSD, hard drives actually become spectacularly fast.

And no, I don’t care about my storage limitations. Because there are no limitations. The only thing I need to think about is not to install anything above 10GB to the SSD. Everything else goes without thinking. You don’t encounter apps that take more than 10GB very often. You usually have just a couple of them. For the sake of simplicity, you can just keep your Steam library on the HDD. I have tested a number of games and neither of them seems to gain any performance from the SSD. Because my HDD is now fast enough for anything I throw at it. Yes, those games now launch faster than before I moved to an SSD. Even though they’re still running from the same 5400RPM dinosaur. I think this simple step isn’t hard to do, considering that it saves you over a hundred bucks.

WEB Development - meaning tons of VM’s (sometimes 2-3 running in parallel), a good IDE (in my case, PHPStorm, that east quite a lot of resources, but has a ton of bells and whistles you actually use during work), naturally a few browsers eating up a ton of memory and CPU, messaging apps, cloud based storage sync apps. In the evenings I like to play some games that don’t require high-end graphics cards, but are not integrated graphics level either (I would really like 4GB of video memory), and of course - Netflix :slight_smile:

Right now I use my work PC as a sort of “smallest notebook ever” :smiley: Because getting a laptop that fits the needs is just too pricy.

Umm actually… web development isn’t exactly “hungry”. You can optimize your VMs because you only need the browsers, and you can freeze them when not testing anything. The browsers running natively don’t eat too many resources either, because the only tabs open there are the websites you’re testing. And IDEs… it’s not like you have to compile Linux kernels there, lol

My workflow is a bit different - I install everything to SSD. If I don’t need it - I remove it. It almost fits into 256GB, but almost. That’s why 512GB - you can put quite a few games there together with the apps, data and all that stuff. Everythng else is offloaded to the network anyway.

As I said, I do not want a laptop, that is designed with an HDD in mind - that means the space is wasted. Just like a DVD drive on many laptops - it’s there whatever you like it or not. Even if you take it out, the space for it was reserved and will not be used for a bigger battery, or a better cooling solution, or anything else. I’m not even talking about the fact that you will have a hole on the side. Same principle here - designing it from ground up to be a pure SSD based laptop with the opportunity to use freed space to do better cooling and bigger battery capacity.

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There is “web development” that puts wordpress sites together, and there is “the web development” that requires you to run 3 VM’s in parallel. do a lot of cross-communication and heavy business logic even in the development environment. It’s the case where a low-power laptop CPU just fails miserably (like MacBook Air - a colleague has it, he finally realized that it is actually not powerful enough and to his big shock realized, he need to migrate to a windows based platform)

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Seriously, you’re using PHP. That’s an interpreted language, it doesn’t need to be compiled. With the spec that I gave you, you can do heavy development on C if you want, with VMs, compilers and stuff. It’s much more than you need.
And just move your games to the HDD. You’ll save $100 with literally 10 seconds of work. Isn’t that a dream? Or whatever. Waste your money if you like doing it so much. Sorry, but I just can’t watch people burn their money. If you really have nowhere to put it, better donate it to charity…

I can only agree that proper laptop experience from Eve is a good potential next product. I think I would like something more in the sweet spot, without going overboard with specs, but with quality and price that may be synonymous with Eve after PF/V launches.

To be honest, this thread was surprising - I wanted to make one like it, but a month or two later. Right now, with Eve members being knee deep in the preparation stage, it’s hard to think there’s enough attention to focus also here, regardless of the idea quality.

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Hi @psihius

Welcome to Eve Family!

I love where you are going. Our idea is that after we launch Pyramid Flipper we will start deciding with community what is the next product that we will develop. Keep this thread going and gather more ideas! Community will decide what next device will be!

Overall i like the idea of laptop you have just described. I have only one question. What type of CPU you had in mind? Is it 45W one? Then battery is a challenge:)

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Hello @Konstantinos

Yes, the 6700HQ one or it’s equivalent (new one’s will come out, so basically the latest gen what is available for laptops)
Yes, I know, battery will be a problem if you do it like other do - make it fin as possible and put a regular sized battery there.
For me, personally, it’s all about the power management settings. If done right, on battery you can make it last a good amount of time - no one expects that gaming or doing heavy workloads on battery will last for long. But when you hook it up to a dock station (or just power) - it is good to have all the power available to you. And not having optional HDD’s, optical drives leaves additional space to make a battery of bigger capacity. Don’t make it thin - and you have even more to do high capacity battery and good cooling solutions.

There are people that want a MacBook Air and alike (Razer Blade and co), and there are people that need a work horse who don’t really care if it’s a 1.9kg laptop or 2.4kg laptop - we don’t really work that much on the go, but a good laptop could replace two PC’s - at home and at work, covering the occasional game playing itch.

And as I mentioned - I think it could be a nice idea to have 2 docking stations (or just plug in splitters, like with MS Surfacebook) that you can setup one at work, one at home and have the ability to plug your laptop into your workspace with one or two cables. Essentially, giving it a positioning on the market from the start.
Making another run-of-the-mill razer blade or something similar kind’a defeats the purpose - it’s already a highly competitive market. Do something different, something interesting. Right now if you buy a laptop and you need to setup your home environment and work environment - you have to spend quite a sum on cables, splitters, figuring out what type of cables you need and all that crap. Ideally, I would like to be able to just unpack the laptop with it’s peripherals, set it all up on the spot (plug in all the cables I have into the box) and forget about it. I’m prepared to pay an extra premium on that convenience. Because it does take some not insignificant amount of time to get it all right, and that can be spent way better.

Because paying 100$ more now I will save a few thousand in the future. I plan my hardware for periods of 5-7 years. My home PC is ~8 years long, because it’s was built with future in mind, with power to spare, with quality hardware and planning. Still works just fine, but of course doing any serious work on it is not fun, so I have a work PC for that. People usually change their PC’s at least a few times in these timeframes and dish out way more money, than they should.
This is why paying some extra on a quality laptop now is going to pay off in the long run. Quality and future proofing is more important, than making as low of a price as possible. The price should be fair, preferably not including an enormous marketing budget :slight_smile:

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I desperately want a notebook that :

1.Looks exactly like chromebook pixel including the bezel size,weight management,port placement especially the two usb type c ports.

2.Has 14 inch display with 1080p or 4k nothing in between.Oled would be appreciated.

3.Has intel iris pro integrated graphics with quad core i7

4.Should be as thin as possible but clean and sharp design like the chromebook pixel.

  1. Atleast 8gb ram

6.Matte Black in colour with either a clean back or just a symbol as your company logo.The triangle in the eve logo can be the symbol.

7.both usb type c should be thunderbolt 3 with egpu option,dont bother for making it with a dedicated gpu.Instead sell a slim mobile graphics card (the new 1060)that can be connected to it externally.

8.Keyboard and Touchpad should be chromebook pixel like.It is the best of all.You can even copy the keyboard layout of chromebook.

9.256gb Ssd or higher

10.Battery life can be 8-12…even if its 8 its good.

Price can be within 2000$…rest of the things can be average.See I read some posts here,they want a not necessarily thin laptop that they could replace there desktop at the same time and be somwhat portable…I have a better solution get an egpu with a thin laptop that has strong integrated graphics and a good cpu.as with egpu you can go all the way upto nvidia titans and maybe even workstation graphics .Also by thin i dont mean macbook 2016 but atleast chromebook pixel.

Actually, I was recently very surprised when my friend showed me his Skylake laptop. Its i5-6300HQ was idling at 0.8GHz despite having the base frequency above 2GHz. And the toral power consumption of his laptop was around 5W. That’s two friggin times lower than my 17W processor!!! And even when you give it some work to do, it finishes the job and goes back to 0.8GHz, just like Core M’s behavior was described. So now I have even more doubts about Core M (or Y). How are they considered so good if even a 45W processor is capable of running at their frequency, or even lower than that? And consuming the same amount of power? So here it comes: the difference between 45W and 4.5W CPUs is very simple. When you give it heavy work, the 45W one will do it without struggle but eat more battery power, and the 4.5W one will just surrender to save your battery. Is that true? If so, why the heck are we going with a weaker processor that eats the same amount of battery power? Is it better if the computer starts lagging than if it starts draining the battery? And if you’re using a computer in a way that does not require more computing power than the Core M can easily give… then does it matter which CPU to use?

Then there is cooling. Sure, 4.5W does not require active cooling. But why lock the maximum TDP to only 7W? Why can’t we put the tablet on a laptop cooling pad and boost it up to 45W? Wouldn’t that give us the same performance as HQ processors? Or go the other way around - lower the barrier for a 45W CPU down to 5W to save battery. It is surely capable of doing browsing and similar actovities with this low power consumption - I have witnessed it personally. And it’s a quad core CPU, not dual core. But if you need more power, you can unlock it back to 45W and let it do its job.

Ok I’m talking too much. I’m just very confused now. What does the base frequency have to do with anything??? Does it mean anything??? The processors that I have (both 2nd gen) are just clocked at the base frequency, no turbo boost etc. It’s very simple. And now… it seems like they can choose any arbitrary point between 1GHz and the turbo frequency and just call that “base frequency”. Because it works that way.

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