Question Stupid question: Metal laptop, mid-range, able to play WoW and multi-side charging port

jjkr

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So stupid question but I'm really hoping for some help because frankly I keep getting confused by the different YouTube videos and my Google-Fu has failed me: I'm looking to find a metal-case laptop (I'm guessing that means aluminum?) that can handle playing WoW and some cartography software (Wonderdraft, CC3 and similar). That much I think I can track down. But the thing that's a pain is finding a model with a charging port similar to the Asus tablet/keyboard (or I think the MacBooks) that has the charging port on both sides (I need to be able to go from having the charging block on either side of the laptop.) I guess I'm looking for anywhere between the $1,500 - $2,500 range. Does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations?

-j
 
Feb 19, 2020
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You're looking for either a laptop with a Docking port, and a dock, to have the charging on either the laptop, or the opposite side of the dock. Or you'd want a USB Type-C laptop with a Type-C port on either side to charge from, (just look at the pictures, or at the ports at your retail location.)
Something like the Dell XPS 13 or the XPS 15 if you need more gaming horsepower, and the razer blade stealth if you want to go all out, would be a great fit for you. They have plenty of power, are in your budget, available in metal, and have Type-C charging, with a port on the back of the PC on both sides, which would allow to do exactly what you're looking for without the need for a dock. Also the type-c ports can be used for another monitor, hub, and all kinds of other things in addition to charging.

The laptops I recommend can be found here:
XPS13: https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/xps-13-laptop/spd/xps-13-9380-laptop#features_section

XPS15:https://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-laptops/xps-15-laptop/spd/xps-15-9570-laptop

Razer Blade Stealth: https://www.razer.com/gaming-laptops/razer-blade-stealth

and purchased through your preferred retailer.
 
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jjkr

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Thank you so much for the response. From what I'm reading the Razer might be overkill - I'm a casual gamer and I keep seeing it described as being for more hard-core (or, at least more hard-core than I am :)) That said, I keep seeing negative comments about Dell support. Have you found that to be an issue? According to the Dell website the XPS15 is no longer offered for sale on their site, but I think this one on Amazon is the one you're referring to?

Thank you again for the help!
 
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In my experience, yes dell support is trash, but so is HP, Acer, and insert your brand here... With few exceptions. And yes I agree the alienware would be overkill for your specific needs, in terms of power, but this would also provide the most bang for buck, but this may not be a factor for you if you aren't a power user; however their better support structure may draw you in.
The link you sent on amazon is NOT the same laptop (that is a XPS 15 7590 and will only support charging on ONE side, like a traditional laptop; and you want the XPS 15 9570 with the USB charging on both sides of the PC); I apologize for the confusion as well, the reason the XPS 15 I linked isn't for sale, is that those particular models have yet to be released (they should be released officially within the next few weeks-months). It was my assumption this may be a near future, and not yet immediate purchase. In the case you need one immediately, the other 2 models are available immediately; You could settle for the cheaper 13 in the meantime, which is available now, and should handle your workloads pretty well; or you might spend a bit more for the overkill alienware, it is full RGB and has a ton of extra pretty's, and although alienware is technically also dell, their branded support is somewhat better than dell consumer support, and just below the quality of dell EMC (business support).

If support is a major factor for you, I may recommend the alienware anyway, the reason is your budget, and the price range of the other 2 falls pretty close; however there is much more value in the Razer blade, while being at a similar price point to the other 2, it is the only one with a dedicated GPU, which is quickly becoming required for even basic applications. IMHO, You'd have a better experience "gaming, and with productivity suites like adobe." And you might appreciate seeing WoW at MAX settings in high res on the razer (albeit, overkill) you're spending overkill level money on a laptop anything over $600 kind of is tbh), why not consider the overkill option? ;)
 
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jjkr

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Alright - I think I've narrowed it down to two. The Stealth was amazing, but the 13.3" screen is too small for gaming and the Alienware was too loud (I feel like Goldilocks :)). There seem to be trade-offs - I think the Razer has the better video card and more storage but the Dell has twice the memory. SFPCIT, you've been amazingly helpful. Based on my babbling, which do you think would be the better fit?

Razer Blade 15 - Base Model ($1,699.99)
9th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-9750H 6 Core (2.6GHz/4.5GHz)
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1660 Ti (6GB GDDR6 VRAM)
16GB Dual-Channel (8GB x 2) DDR4 2667M
256GB SSD (NVMe) + 1TB HDD

XPS 15 Touch Laptop ($1,799.99)
9th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-9750H
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5
32GB DDR4-2666MHz, 2x16G
1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
 
Feb 19, 2020
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In all honesty, I myself couldn't say for sure. You hit the head on the nail, both of those PC's are right for you. I'd need to know more specifics about your workloads to make a recommendation between the 2. And nothing will be like finding these at a retailer, and interacting with them yourself to get the "feel" of each. But I can guide you to the best and most efficient option.

If I were to ask you if you prefer to have 1,000 tabs open in chrome, play for 1,000 hours on WoW, or play in 1000K beautiful graphics on WoW, which one of the three would you pick?

If I told you you could have your WHOLE computer on one drive, meaning you lose everything if it breaks and isn't backed up. but it would be WAY FASTER to copy a file, or work with a 4k video timeline without lag OR you could have 2 drives, and MORE total space, where windows and your apps are on the really fast drive, and you have a built in drive to store pictures music, and even apps, like the sdcard on a phone. which of the two would you prefer?

A few key differences and a final thought:
The difference between 16GB and 32GB of memory is negligible in your use case; I feel you won't even utilize the 16GB, and the upgrade to 32GB is dirt cheap if you want 6,000 tabs in chrome instead of 2,500 later down the line for any reason and I can SAFELY assume the memory in the alienware wil be better wuality over the XPS, and if you ever need support, alienware is premium support for free for the duration of your warranty, dell consumer support is more of a free support for a premium, if you catch my drift ;)
The XPS has a touchscreen, and the Razer doesn't; but, The Razer has RGB, while the XPS doesn't. I know this doesn't sound like much especially if you've never had RGB's. Until you're laying in bed with the lights off, typing on a keybaord that is illuminated in your favorite color out of 16MILLION. Or you set it on your desk and activate the rainbow effect ;)
Both charging ports are on the same side on the back on the Razer, whereas one of the ports is moved forward on one side of the dell, this may be inconvenient.
Finally, I KNOW FOR SURE the razer will charge from both sides, If the model you get from dell, is not the EXACT one I suggested, it is likely it will not charge from both sides, as it is currently the ONLY one, the same is true for the Razer; ONLY the 13 supports this new technology as of now.
THERE ARE VERY FEW laptops that meet your needs, and personally, I'd be genuinely surprised if you wren't satisfied with the razer specifically, and if I was working with you, in a professional capacity (i.e. you were one of my real life customers) I'd go so far as to offer to purchase it back from you, if you didn't love it. (this isn't an offer to purchase it from you, insomuch as it is to represent my level of confidence, in that it would be the best fit, available currently.)

Unfortunately, neither of the 2 you've chosen in your last post will support the type of functionality you need, and you would be pretty limited to the 3 I linked, specifically; or you'd have to decide on one of the 2 you've chosen and a dock. If the 13" screen on the razer is too small, you could always get an external display, which would, plug directly into, and operate from the same port on either side of the laptop, or even operate over WiFi thanks to the better GPU using WiDi (Wireless Display) giving you more flexibility without the need for cables unless you want them, This is a benefit of the better GPU as well because it can drive, for example, your WoW on MAX settings, in 2K/4K60FPS resolution, on a Large TV or projector. Or you can rely on the 13" screen when mobile, and then throw it onto your 4k 60" when you get home, or plug into and display device, and so on. You have multiple ports, want 3 monitors, go ahead, that GPU can handle it while sleeping. Want to save power, and have the battery last longer? switch to the integrated graphics on the beefy i7 and you can still run wow with decent settings and great performance for a good hours on end. You could put this in a small purse, or a large pocket, or i'd recommend a messenger bag; you could fit the PC, a type c charger, and the external displays i'll recommend in a moment, a couple of external storage drives, and other accessories like a full size mouse/pad and keyboard, portable battery (to charge the razer), and even a car charger and more,ALL, in a say, single targus 15" laptop bag: https://us.targus.com/products/15-6-inch-laptop-messenger-bag-tcm004us .

In summation I think the Razer 13" and an external display would be the best option. If you didn't want portability I doubt we'd be discussing laptops,

For a display, I'd recommend something like this (this is powered by the port, and will drain your battery more, and that can be offset by putting the built in display to sleep when using it, managing brightness and so on.):
https://smile.amazon.com/ASUS-ZenScreen-MB16AC-Portable-Monitor/dp/B071S84ZW7/ref=sr_1_20?keywords=usb+c+external+display&qid=1582405769&refinements=p_85:2470955011&rnid=2470954011&rps=1&sr=8-20
or this (this one has a built in battery, and wouldn't drain your laptop as fast.):
https://smile.amazon.com/ASUS-MB169B-1920x1080-Portable-Monitor/dp/B07J4SX1MS/ref=sr_1_35?keywords=usb+c+external+display&qid=1582405783&refinements=p_85:2470955011&rnid=2470954011&rps=1&sr=8-35&th=1

Finally, take a gander at this:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOVvO5wtzVU
and compare the settings in the beginning of the video to what it looks like now when you play WoW. That is what you can expect to see, and TBH, when you're that close to the device, EVERYTHING looks better on a smaller high res display ;) If you can find one at a retailer near you, I'd highly suggest, going over, and tinkering with it a bit to see how it feels IRL. Based on what I can infer about your use cases, I'd wager you're usually at a desk when playing wow and would be able to have a larger display available to plug into, and typically not in the car playing wow per-se; however with the razer blade stealth, you could play it in the car over a mobile hotspot well ( I do this alot myself). I wouldn't go raiding on a trackpad of course, but you can get some real questing in, even on a 13" screen, while waiting for your tire/oil change/doctors office/etc... ;) All the while charging the whole thing from a portable power bank, car charger, or anything, really, USB-C is pretty great :D

I almost forgot to mention, a 13" display will probably last FAR longer on battery power. Just because the display is built in, doesn't mean it has to be the MAIN display device ;)

I hope you can see why I'm so passionate about it now, because I want the latop to meet your needs, and I fear you've never actually "experienced" WoW. This is based on the assumtpion that you currently have something like a macbook or the like, because it is metal, and charges from both sides with a dock, and that's a very niche market. This leads me to believe your current hardware is woefully dated. And you'd likely be replacing the dells either due to obsolescence or with a dell, hardware failure, much sooner than the razer. Life expectancy something to the tune of 3 years with the dell, closer to or more than 10 with the razer before you'll be upgrading.

In summation, I think those recommendations are the only 3 options that you "won't" be disappointed in/regret purchase/etc.
 
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hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
So stupid question but I'm really hoping for some help because frankly I keep getting confused by the different YouTube videos and my Google-Fu has failed me: I'm looking to find a metal-case laptop (I'm guessing that means aluminum?) that can handle playing WoW and some cartography software (Wonderdraft, CC3 and similar). That much I think I can track down. But the thing that's a pain is finding a model with a charging port similar to the Asus tablet/keyboard (or I think the MacBooks) that has the charging port on both sides (I need to be able to go from having the charging block on either side of the laptop.) I guess I'm looking for anywhere between the $1,500 - $2,500 range. Does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations?

-j
Few things here, why a metal case specifically? Just because you like the shiny or some other reason? A metal case won't really make the laptop any more sturdy.

You can move the charging block on any side, the cable will still reach. The block itself will be dozens of inches away from the laptop itself. The limitation is the cable length from the actual power brick not the actual location of the brick. And you can even work that out a bit by getting a longer cable that connects to the wall socket, those are mostly removable.

You can spend well under your budget without having those specific things and find a laptop much easier.
 

jjkr

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TBH, most of the reason for metal is aesthetics - I've always liked the look. I was hoping for a metal one to be more lightweight but looking at all of the models they seem to be about the same (>4lbs). In terms of the brick it's really more about the layout of our furniture. I find having the ability to charge via the ports on either side of my Asus Chromebook to be really convenient.

From everything I've been reading and watching on YouTube, those models keep coming up as the best bet, in terms of gaming laptops. TBH (part 2) I'm not sure if that's because of a bias in search terms but they seem to score quite well in reviews for "2020 gaming laptops." Are there specific non all-metal brands/machines I should be looking at as well?
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Don't look for a system specifically for power and gaming and want a light one. You limit yourself to higher price systems with less cooling. Cooling in gaming laptops along with speed, screen quality should be the top things, size should be just about last on the list.

Where the charger is on a gaming system is limited, you won't be powering one of those with a USB C connection, and like I said it's all a matter of how long the cable is, you get 2 more feet of length and you can plug it in on either side.

My favorite site for gaming laptops is www.xoticpc.com they have a nice selection of gaming systems with all sorts of configurations and they are easy to see in one area vs doing web searches on 4 different sites. From the systems there pretty much any of them are good to get, they are all good quality brands.
 
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jjkr

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I figured I'd come back and close the loop on this and thank everyone for the amazing advice. I ended up looking for the more important components of what I need and skipped the dual-sided USB ports and metal case and went for the Eluktronics MAG-15. I watched a ton of YouTube videos, keying in on the stuff everyone recommended and finally settled on it. So far I'm very, very happy with it. It's fairly quiet, definitely light and more than powerful enough for the sort of gaming I do. So cheers to everyone for the help.

(All of that said, I'm now looking at a Chromebook and will be posting something about that, too grin).

Thank you all!

-j
 

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