If you’ve followed my last few Lab Notes, you’ll know my life has been consumed by laptop testing. This month continues that trend, save for one small but significant difference: I finally got the chance to test Nvidia’s new Max-Q design philosophy. As seen in my review of the Asus ROG Zephyrus (page 80), I’m excited about Nvidia’s promise of compact and portable laptops that don’t skimp on power.
The Zephyrus is still the only Max-Q laptop I’ve tested, but I’m planning time with other GTX 1080 systems soon, and it’ll be interesting to see how the different OEMs (Acer, Gigabyte, MSI, and Sager all have Max-Q models) interpret Nvidia’s philosophy—and how they stack up against their own kind, rather than non-Max-Q fare.
I’m also curious to see how the slightly lower spec Max-Q laptops hold up. Considering that the Zephyrus and its Max-Q GTX 1080 performed only slightly better than a desktop-class GTX 1070, it’ll be interesting to see how a Max-Q GTX 1070 compares. If it’s only a small downgrade in performance, I can see Max-Q 1070 laptops becoming a favorite, offering the best balance of price, performance, and portability.
On the other hand, it’ll be a harder recommendation if the Max-Q philosophy pushes the 1070 down closer to GTX 1060 performance. Either way, we’ll know more soon.