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A desktop in a laptop: Where to find?

By Larsenex · 21 replies
Jan 30, 2017
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  1. Greetings folks,

    I am curious if there are sites or places that will build you a laptop that is really like a mobile desktop. I am willing to have it weigh up to 50lbs, and be overly bulky, say 3-6" thick or more but needs to be built durable and strong. It has to be self contained like a laptop but ideally it would have excellent cooling, a great processor and discrete video card. I never see these. They are always slim and frankly fragile looking. Screen size? I dunno what is a nice size? 2K or 4K. Battery life is not as important as I would use a plug anyway but 3 hours would be nice. Same goes for a touch pad. While nice I would never use it as I would pull out my razor mouse.

    Is there such a laptop or a place to build it?
  2. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +252

    You may be the only person in the world who wants one so I'd say it's unlikely. How about a top of the range gaming laptop with SSD hard drive and additional graphics card which you could carry around in a small attaché case fitted with a moulded foam insert to accommodate everything? Maybe there's a water resistant attaché case able to withstand extreme depths too. The price tag would be impressive.
  3. Larsenex

    Larsenex TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 82

    Meh, there is no way to custom build one? I know next to nothing about laptops. Are the high end processors as good as desktop ones?
  4. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 790   +317

  5. Patrick Laramee

    Patrick Laramee TS Booster Posts: 26   +35

  6. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,761   +1,152

    I will make assumptions that you don't really know much about anything on what you are asking... screen size 2k or 4k??? Discrete graphics? Why do you want to build a portable PC with discrete graphics??

    3 hour autonomy for a desktop grade computer?? You are looking at a massive UPS system.

    Go mainstream.
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,266   +4,935

    Maybe they bought a battery from a Tesla for this dilemma.
    Reehahs and Kibaruk like this.
  8. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 790   +317

    Discrete is the right word bud, it means a physical separate card instead of built in.
    3h is not impossible at all, have you looked at recent computers power consumptions on the tests done here at techspot?
    Running a modern desktop at full throttle only uses about 200W, It would take a pretty beefy battery but it is do-able.

    Still, Sager is the way to go. They let you customize a lot of things and its built professionally and properly.
  9. mcborge

    mcborge TS Guru Posts: 565   +463

  10. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 8,219   +1,259

    Sager is definitely one way to go as mentioned by @lipe123. I'm not familiar with their latest models but my complaint years ago was with the plasticky build quality. If weight and price is not a concern, but want a solid performance laptop I'd go with the best Asus has to offer on their gaming line (not for the looks). They give a lot of thought to the cooling and graphics/display quality which in my opinion matters a lot.

    Check this one out: http://www.asus.com/ROG-Republic-Of-Gamers/ROG-G800VI/
  11. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,761   +1,152

    English as second language played me a bad one here :p For me something discrete was low end.

    But besides that, an Alienware with an i7 and GTX1080 should more than suffice, without having a custom thing built. Nowadays the difference between a desktop and a notebook processor is not as big as it used to be. Video is going the same road.
    If your issue is with upgrading, or ruggedness, well thats not much that you could do. On the 17"+ side the cooling is pretty decent. The weight is way better and includes a battery. Normally there will be enough space for 1 or 2 hdd and 2x M2.SSDs.
    Reehahs likes this.
  12. rvnwlfdroid

    rvnwlfdroid TS Booster Posts: 193   +49

    I would say just about anything could be built if you are willing to spend enough. At one point I used the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet as a Desktop PC. (only for remote access since there were not enough desk spaces in the office)
  13. Gleowine

    Gleowine TS Rookie

    IMG_6490. Like this?
    Larsenex, Reehahs and treetops like this.
  14. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    Im a bit confused as to why a higher end gaming laptop wouldnt fit the bill here - the gtx 10XX series mobile chips are very similar to the desktop counterparts, and the higher end HQ i7 mobile processors arent exactly weaklings. MSI, alienware, sager, cyberpower, gigabyte, etc.

    Build quality is the issue though.

    Perhaps the acer predator 21x when it releases.

    I dunno about build quality though. I imagine for 9000+ dollars acer would actually put some sort of QC into it...
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  15. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves TS Booster Posts: 192   +45

    Clevo are the ODM for the laptops that get sold through Sager, XMG, Eurocom, PCSpecialist, Cyberpower etc., and a couple of their high end designs take desktop processors, although only the consumer ones as far as I know. If you want a 24-core Xeon that's not an option.
  16. seeprime

    seeprime TS Guru Posts: 377   +405

    You might be interested in a portable All-in-One, with a built in battery. You can get the screen size you need. Battery life usually is short, so you're need a UPS to bring with you if power won't be available.
  17. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,761   +1,152

    That's a laptop without the comfortable carry lol
    Edit: You would be better going with an ITX form factor cube and a screen of your choice.
  18. thelanceleader

    thelanceleader TS Rookie Posts: 20   +6

    My current Sager laptop has a GTX 1070, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1 TB HDD + a 512 GB SSD, a 17.3" 1080p G-Sync display, fingerprint reader, front-facing cameras, copper heatsinks and thermal compound, backlit keyboard, wireless adapter, hi-res AMP/DAC + subwoofer and it cost me about $1800. Also it weighs much less than 50 lbs, about 6 lbs, and the battery lasts over 3 hours. How's that for a desktop in a laptop?

    I'm mentioning the CPU separately. It's an Intel Skylake i7 6700 HQ with a 3.5 GHz boost clock. I chose it to save some money and out of caution for my laptop's temperatures but I could've gone for a desktop-grade i7 6700 or 6700K for a bit more cash. So you see, you can get a desktop in a laptop and it's not that (relatively) expensive.
  19. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +252

    I am trying to imagine a scenario where this design would be required but it's hard. What other scenarios apart from crouching in bunkers while the shells rain down outside can you think of? A bullet and shrapnel resistant casing would add considerably to the costs and weight.
  20. Larsenex

    Larsenex TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 82

    ^^^ the suitcase sized desktop is ideally what I was thinking of. I was just thinking of something wtih 1440P or 4k, with excellent space for cooling, I7 or a similiar CPU to a 6800 or 6850K along with discrete graphix. Everywhere I looked the laptops were 'ultra thin'.

    Here is what I want>>>
    First it must be durable. I will put this plus a mouse and cords into my back pack and likely cycle someplace (20 miles up in hills maybe or go camping). Weight is not an issue usually as I can carry an easy 25lbs in that pack.
    It must play current games well or better. (Civ VI, Gal Civ III, Res Evil 7, )
    (I7 6850K equivelent -6-8 cores, 12-16 threads or such can be AMD.
    32 gigs of ram
    500 gig SSD or larger
    discrete grahics> I know there is a GTX 1070 or 1080 for laptops
    I must have excellent cooling.
    17" monitor at 1440P
    And finally a mechanical keyboard that is durable.
    I will have a solar power recharger for it that I pack in the car so power is not a big deal but would be nice if it lasted at least a couple of hours or so<<< this is not critical.

    Thank you all for posting on this thread. It is very helpful.
    seeprime likes this.
  21. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,585   +252

    Congratulations on staying fit. You break the stereotype of gamers unwilling to venture outside for longer than absolutely necessary. :)
    seeprime likes this.
  22. RobStow

    RobStow TS Enthusiast Posts: 60   +22

    I, too, would like to see a "desktop in a laptop". I don't need anything special in the way of CPU, RAM, GPU, or storage - I'm just tired of settling for the dinky little 17.3" screen on my Toshiba laptop. Trying to read blueprints and spreadsheets on that little screen drives me up the wall so if I'm going to be away from home overnight (or longer) I take a 24" monitor with me.

    I'd love to have a laptop built around a 27" or 28" monitor, but I would happily settle for 24" with a 16:10 aspect ratio. And a laptop built around at least a 24" display would be wide enough for a decent full-sized keyboard

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