Time to find out if th­ese ma­chines have the nec­es­sary mus­cle where it counts

T3 - - State Of The Art -

The graph­ics per­for­mance of the Len­ovo topped the sharper Sur­face Book 2

Space mat­ters, and there are dif­fer­ent ways of deal­ing with it. You could pull off dirty tricks with curves, or you could use in­tel­li­gent so­lu­tions. Dell has picked the latter, part­ner­ing with In­tel to bol­ster its slim­line frame with the com­pany’s re­ally rather neat 8th-gen Core pro­ces­sors, which pack dis­creet AMD Vega graph­ics right onto the chipset. That’s a space (and heat) sav­ing mea­sure that makes sense. It’s not the fastest GPU you’ll find, but it’s a vast step up from the lack­lus­ter on board graph­ics en­gines of the past, and per­formed well in our tests. It’s cer­tainly meaty enough to deal with the lower res­o­lu­tion of the XPS 15, and we never saw it fal­ter in gen­eral use. It’s even pos­si­ble to game on it, if you cut a few cor­ners.

Mi­crosoft’s so­lu­tion to the space is­sue seems to be to throt­tle the Sur­face Book 2 some­what, be­cause de­spite some se­ri­ous hard­ware – this 15-inch edi­tion packs in an im­pres­sively speedy 8th-gen Core i7, and even man­ages a com­pletely cred­i­ble dis­creet graph­ics so­lu­tion (at least when the tablet sec­tion is docked) in the form of a mo­bile Ge­force GTX 1060 with 6GB GDRAM – it de­liv­ered dis­ap­point­ing bench­mark re­sults. You can game on this ma­chine, but you might not get the sort of per­for­mance you’d ex­pect out of it. It’s not ex­actly lack­ing, but the i7 CPU in our test ma­chine only just beat out the lower-end i5 of Dell’s ef­fort.

Len­ovo does slightly less with the graph­ics fea­tures of the Yoga, stick­ing with the GTX 1050 chipset paired with 4GB of GDRAM. That said, we sus­pect Len­ovo has had to do less to calm it down; the touch and pen in­put is seam­less, and graph­ics per­for­mance topped the sup­pos­edly sharper hard­ware of the Sur­face Book 2. We’ll ad­mit this was a sur­prise, but Len­ovo’s neat pack­age, even rock­ing a ULV pro­ces­sor, keeps up ad­mirably, and does an in­cred­i­ble job con­sid­er­ing its lower price. One thing to note: this thing goes from whis­per quiet to jet en­gine loud once you start ask­ing it dif­fi­cult ques­tions.

Mi­crosoft Sur­face Book 2

Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

Len­ovo YOGA 730-15IKB

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