Updates later:

I think that it’s reasonable to go with Tiger Lake speficically right, right now. Xe graphics are significantly better than the integrated Ryzen GPUs (which were better than Iris). There would be access to Thunderbolt 4, which means I can buy things that are USB4-compatible and they will work well into the future. Intel is better optimized for Linux for a couple of different reasons, and while this can change, right now it’s not. I’m definitely looking at the HP Spectre x360 14 because of the nice OLED panel and build quality. The things I don’t like about it are: there’s no ability to save money with no OS and 16GB of soldered RAM isn’t ideal (32GB of unsoldered RAM would be my preferred option). What I’m waiting on is Thailand to have the option to order this laptop and I have emailed sales about this (though the last gen wasn’t listed on their site for … who knows?).


Updates old:

What’s on my eye now is a version of the Mechrevo Code 01. There’s supposedly a 4K, 100% DCI-P3 OLED panel coming out for the TUXEDO Pulse and Schenker Via 15 Pro using the Samsung ATNA56WR06. When the basic model out of China comes with an ANSI layout, will I really be able to tolerate these EU options using ISO over ANSI layouts? I’m quite set in my ways when it comes to travel distances to my Shift and Enter boards and really don’t understand moving the | key.

What this checks off (with display upgrade):

Where it lacks:

So what’s holding me up? Two things.

The first is that this better panel still isn’t out yet. I talked to the Mechrevo store on Thailand’s Lazada but they said they didn’t have this in stock. I could look around some more and probably order and assemble the panel myself, but it’s the ordering of this laptop that is tricky. I wouldn’t be surprised if supporting all these keyboard layouts is a part of the upcharges (and I still prefer ANSI using digraphs in Neovim for accented characters).

The second is the Tiger Lake announcement will be out in September. There seems you can trade off some battery efficiency and multi-core performance for better single-core performance and the Xe-powered APU. Additionally since a lot of the major OEMs partner with Intel on design, we don’t see their flagships going AMD so most of the top-of-the-line laptops are (at least this year) all Intel which a better Intel chip really opens up the doors to more selection (and the Thunderbolt thing).


Currently I’m on a 2016 Razer Blade. My verdict about the machine comes down to it being a good-build-quality machine that has has done me pretty well in over 3.5 years. However it’s starting to age, and batteries, even bought new, don’t hold a good charge. The premium price has paid off mostly since there really hasn’t been as many big jumps in tech since the NVIDA 10xx series of GPUs; I like being on the edge of tech often and not much has really come to actually contend. But with the new AMD 7nm chips, this could be another change of the guard (while Intel goes down to 10nm and is saying their next integrated GPU will have some power). Despite the quality holding up, Razer’s hostility toward people asking for basic Linux support is such a turn off that I would not recommend the brand and I don’t want to repeat the mistake.

Specific beef with laptop

There were BIOS upgrades to fix fans and security vulnerabilities with Intel’s chips. Razer requires Windows 10 + a GUI just to upgrade BIOS. This is dumb. I miss the days where you but a .bin file on a USB and loaded it up from the BIOS screen. There’s no good reason not offer this as at least a fallback—the GUI should just exist for normies. OR even being able to upgrade via FreeDOS is infuriating, but workable. I tried using Windows PE to install and that didn’t work either because you need Windows 10-Windows 10. I asked support and they don’t care about supporting LVFS or any other method to upgrade.

I’ve replaced my battery twice already. They start swelling and it warps the machine. They’re like $50-80 a pop.

I’ve had to replace the power supply due to shorts in cables twice.

Not sure who to blame Razer, Nvidia, Linux or myself, but I’ve never had luck with outputting video via the HDMI port.

Super minorly, the move to SEA has caused the rubber grips on the bottom have fallen off—and while I quickly recieved some replacements from support, after I alcohol wiped clean the base and stuck the new guys on, they didn’t stay for more than a couple weeks. Humidity?

I’ve been keeping my finger on the pulse of laptops for over a year now, but it’s been disappointing.

So what am I looking for

Philosophy:
Hard-want specs:
Nice-to-have specs

Put these specs in Amazon or Newegg and you get no results. :(

Let’s hope this changes.