IFA 2019 took Berlin by storm this week and, as always, that means there are loads of new laptops to check out. This year, the show was dominated by manufacturers updating their laptop ranges with Intel’s freshly minted 10th Gen Core CPUs, but they didn’t stop there.
From insanely fast gaming displays to the “world’s first gaming Ultrabook” and an impressively flexible (and expensive) laptop for creators, here are our top five picks for some of the biggest announcements to come out of IFA 2019.
Razer Blade Stealth 13 now a real gaming Ultrabook
The Razer Blade Stealth 13 has always been a sleek little laptop that was meant to appeal to gamers, but it never really had enough oomph on its own to game like its bigger Blade siblings. That changed at IFA 2019 with Razer’s late-2019 refresh, which brings some real gaming power to the Blade Stealth 13.
With its latest update, Razer has crammed an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics chip into the Blade Stealth 13’s chassis. The GeForce GTX 1650 isn’t the most advanced chip you can get in a laptop, but it represents a huge bump over the previous model’s GeForce MX150 graphics. The laptop is now slightly thicker as a result, but it still remains sleek and thin with enough power to push many shooters to 60 frames-per-second.
This update also marks the Blade Stealth 13’s jump to Intel’s 10th Gen Core i7-1065G7 CPU, bringing additional power to the table. There’s also a new Mercury White finish available with the Blade Stealth 13, but you’ll have to sacrifice the upgraded graphics if that’s your style. Razer hasn’t commented yet on whether it will eventually ship the laptop in Mercury White with GeForce GTX 1650 graphics.
The new Razer Blade Stealth 13 is expected to start shipping later in September starting at $1,500.
300Hz gaming displays are here (whether you need them or not)
One showing that surely caught most off guard was the appearance of not one, but two gaming laptops with 300Hz displays. Both Acer’s Predator Triton 500 and ASUS’ ROG Zephyrus S GX701 are equipped with the insanely fast displays. But do you really need a refresh rate that high?
In short, probably not.
While hitting 300Hz is certainly impressive, refresh rates that high, particularly on a laptop, are of dubious use. We’ve only just started seeing 240Hz displays landing in laptops, and the jump to 300Hz feels a bit like a gimmick, at least at this point. Even with a desktop PC specced out to the max, you’re unlikely to hit 240 frames-per-second in most modern games, let alone on a laptop.
More to the point, it’s questionable whether your eyes would be able to perceive the difference between 240Hz and 300Hz if you were able to push framerates that high.
Still, whether a gimmick or not, there’s no downside and it’s kind of cool to see laptops pushing this kind of display tech.
Acer’s ConceptD 9 Pro is basically a portable Surface Studio
Acer had a lot to show off at IFA 2019, but arguably the most unique entry in its lineup is the new ConceptD 9 Pro. With a hinged display that can be tilted, flipped, and moved into several different positions, the ConceptD 9 Pro basically feels like a portable Surface Studio.
Outfitted with NVIDIA’s Quadro RTX 5000 graphics and up to a 9th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, the ConceptD 9 Pro is a beast of a machine targeted at animation studios and engineers working on AI and deep learning tasks. That niche market also means this laptop comes with a suitably hefty starting price of $5,800.
No, this isn’t your average laptop. But it’s a unique look at how Acer is catering to creators with its ConceptD line.
Lenovo’s Yoga C640 and C940 take “premium” up a notch
For the Yoga C640, Lenovo has jumped ship from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 platform, which was in its predecessor C930, and has gone all-in on Intel’s 10th Gen Core CPUs. The laptop is still focused on premium portability, with 4G LTE connectivity and up to 20 hours of battery life. There are also plenty of ways to customize the laptop with up to 16GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and a choice between Core i7, i5, and i3 processors.
Sitting at the top of the Yoga range is the new C940, which retains all of what made the C930 a fantastic machine, but now with two sizes: 14 inches and 15 inches. You’ll be able to get 10th Gen Intel CPUs on the 14-inch model, and there are a ton of ways to configure each. Returning this year is the unique sound bar that’s built into the C940’s hinge, which allows you to make sure the sound is firing in your direction no matter how you have the display tilted.
The Lenovo Yoga C940 and C640 are expected to go on sale in October starting at $1,240 and $850, respectively.
Lenovo Q-series monitors are stylish and reduce eye strain
Rounding things out are a couple of stylish new monitors from Lenovo. The new Q-Series comes in two sizes, 24 inches and 27 inches, and both feature an aesthetic that’s pleasing to the eyes.
It’s not just the design that’ll leave a good impression, however. Both monitors are TÜV Rheinland Eye Comfort-certified, which means they’ll reduce eye strain when sitting for long periods at your desk.
Moving to their base specs, both the Q27q and Q24i pack 75Hz refresh rates and support AMD’s FreeSync tech. In other words, if you’re planning on getting some gaming done on these monitors and have a compatible AMD graphics card, you’ll see smooth frames and the elimination of screen tearing.
The 27-inch Q-Series monitor is due out later in September for $300, while the 24-inch model is expected to launch in October for $190.
What were your top picks?
Those were just some of our top picks, but what were your favorite new announcements to come out of IFA 2019? Check out our full IFA 2019 hub for more from the show, and let us know what you liked in the comments.