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The best laptops of IFA 2019

Powerful graphics and sleek designs mark the best laptops of IFA 2019

Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’re looking for the best laptops around, you should be paying attention to IFA. It’s the largest technology show in Europe, and it’s notorious for showing off some impressive new portable PCs. This year’s show has been no different, with several excellent new laptops announced that you’d probably want on your shortlist.

Whether you’re looking for power or portability, you should find something here that catches your interest.

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

Dell 2019 XPS 13 2 in 1 (2019) review
Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

Dell’s XPS 13 is the best 13-inch laptops you can buy, and so it made perfect sense for Dell to produce a 360-degree convertible version of the diminutive machine. The first version of the XPS 13 2-in-1 was a strong effort, combining some of what was best about the XPS 13 but not necessarily stretching any boundaries. The 2019 version of the XPS 13 2-in-1 takes things to another level. It’s a complete redesign, and it’s one of the sleekest laptops we’ve ever held, despite starting at a reasonable $1,000.

Dell also ditched the low-power components used in the previous version for a 10th-gen Intel Ice Lake processor. That means that performance won’t be a letdown this time around, and it’ll even have the option for improved Iris Plus integrated graphics. Dell also switched out the display, moving from the most common (and vertically challenged) 16:9 aspect ratio to a taller 16:10 display that provides more vertical space for getting work done. It all adds up to the laptop we’re most excited to spend more time with in the back half of 2019.

Razer Blade Stealth

Razer Blade Stealth 13 (2019) review
Joel Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Razer Blade Stealth was always the gaming laptop company’s nod to fans who loved the Razer design and build quality but didn’t want to lug around a heavy gaming laptop. The tradeoff? The Blade Stealth was never more than just a casual gaming machine with, at best, an entry-level Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU installed. That’s changing with the latest Blade Stealth just announced at IFA.

Now, if you want all that Razer panache without the weight but still want to play modern games at reasonably high settings, then you can choose the high-end version of the Blade Stealth with a 10th-gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. Packing that level of GPU into a 13-inch laptop is a first, and doing so should allow the Blade Stealth to be reasonably fast at more demanding titles like Battlefield V. You’ll pay for all that power, with the base model (a Core i7 CPU paired with an MX150-rivaling 10th-gen Iris Plus graphics) starting at $1,500 and the 4K/GTX 1650 model costing a cool $2,000.

Lenovo IdeaPad S540

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The Dell XPS 13 kicked off the tiny bezel movement in laptops, and it’s become an unstoppable force. Lenovo gets that, and it has a new take on the tiny-bezel movement — the IdeaPad S540, which not only benefits from some slim bezels but also has a nice surprise packed away inside. Note that while the chassis are similar in depth and width, the XPS 13 is still thinner at 0.46 inches versus 0.58 inches while weighing the same 2.8 pounds.

Specifically, in addition to integrating Intel 10th-gen Comet Lake CPUs (just like the newest version of the Dell XPS 13), the IdeaPad S540 also equips an Nvidia GeForce MX250 GPU, which is good enough for casual games and better than the integrated Intel UHD graphics you’ll find in other 13-inch laptops like the XPS 13. The IdeaPad S540 will compete directly with the XPS 13 in price as well, starting at a very similar $1,000.

Asus ProArt StudioBook One

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Asus has been one of the more innovative laptop makers, and there isn’t a trend the company hasn’t embraced with gusto. At IFA, Asus introduced yet another standout laptop, the ProArt StudioBook One that focuses on pack as much creative firepower inside its relatively sleek chassis as possible. First, there’s sheer processing power provided by a 9th-gen Intel Core i9 CPU and Nvidia’s Quadro RTX 6000 GPU — the latter which is said to be within 10 percent of the performance of its desktop version. But that’s not all that justifies what will certainly be a seriously premium price.

Using a design that was created in partnership with Nvidia, the ProArt StudioBook One houses the CPU and GPU behind the 15.6-inch display and combines an aerospace-grade titanium thermal module with a lid that lifts the rear of the notebook for better airflow — enabling maximum performance. Creative types will also love the 4K UHD Pantone-validated display with its 100 percent coverage of the Adobe RGB color space and a less than 1.0 Delta accuracy. There’s even Asus’s innovative ScreenPad 2.0 touchpad that features a second touchscreen that can be optimized for a variety of applications and functions.

Acer Predator Triton 300

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Acer introduced a raft of new laptops at IFA 2019, and the one that got the most attention was arguably the Predator Triton 500 gaming laptop with its insane 300Hz display. That’s not fair to the new Predator Triton 300, though, which is an affordable followup to the excellent Helios 300 that’s been an Amazon best-seller for a while.

The Predator Triton 300 packs a lot of performance into a chassis that’s relatively slim and weighs a bit more than five pounds. The all-aluminum chassis comes in a matte black design and offers the usual blue LED lighting. But what makes the laptop so attractive is the 9th-gen Core i7 CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU that can be had for around $1,425.

Buyers will have the option of optimizing storage with up to two 1GB NVMe PCIe solid-state drives (SSDs) and up to a 2TB spinning hard disk drive (HDD). The 15.6-inch display will offer a fast 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time, and audio is tuned by Waves Nx using physical modeling for the ultimate audio experience. Not bad for an affordable gaming laptop, and as prices come down over the next year, we expect this one to be another Amazon hit for Acer.

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