Gaming Laptop for Work
Having never gamed on a laptop in my entire life, I didn’t believe I would make this move, or write this blog post. I never thought I would give up a MacBook Pro in favor of a Windows laptop
But that is what I did, and I’m not looking back. After having used a MacBook, then MacBook Air, and most recently a MacBook Pro as my primary computer for the last 13 years, I just switched in favor of a Windows gaming laptop….namely, the MSi Stealth Thin 15″ laptop.
This is not a sponsored blog post. This is my own review. I got nothing in return for writing this.
WHY???!???….some of my friends cried out? At first, I was mainly focused on one reason – being able to use peripherals without multiple adapters. The fact that Apple removed all their ports in favor of USB-C has been bugging me greatly for the last 2 years. And even though I invested in several adapters, there was always a moment when I either didn’t have one handy, or I was just so irritated that I had to have one (or more) extra device with me at all time. Now, if Apple just removed one type of port, I would probably still be using my MacBook Pro. But they removed ALL, and replaced it with a type that was not yet widely used – the USB-C. I have nothing against USB-C. I welcome its arrival and use it for my battery packs and secondary phones. It’s a great improvement over USB-A. But the jump was way too premature and not suitable for someone who works in the technology field.
In my line of work, I often have to bring my laptop with me, share it with clients, and often hook it up to external monitors or projectors for collaboration or presentations. With my MacBook, do I bring HDMI adapter, VGA adapter…or maybe just both, just in case? When I troubleshoot networks, it’s good to have ethernet access, so I would have to bring such an adapter as well. Not to mention the many times I need to plugin a flash drive to my laptop, whether it’s my own or my client’s, and having to take out my adapter for USB-A.
Unfortunately, finding a Windows laptop comparable to the MacBook Pro in terms of design can be a challenge, specially now when Dell and HP are copying Apple by removing their ports as well.
That’s where gaming computers come into play, even for non-gamers. Gamers use a lot of peripherals, and therefore need a variety of ports. Gaming computers are still made like computers were 10 years ago. Not by being obsolete – they are definitely powerhouses – but by being able to plugin a multitude of peripherals and at the same time provide unmatched flexibility and productivity.
And here’s where another factor came to my mind. On my MacBook Pro, I couldn’t replace a single piece of hardware myself. When my battery failed recently, the Apple Store had to send my MacBook to the repair depot in a different state to replace not only the battery – but the whole top case that includes the keyboard and trackpad….just to replace the darn battery, because it’s glued to the top case. On my gaming laptop, I can pretty much replace everything myself. Whether it be the battery, the RAM, the hard drive, the graphics card or wifi chip – it can easily be replaced. And not only that, I discovered there was an extra SSD slot on the motherboard, so I added one and now run two SSDs in my laptop that is not larger than the MacBook Pro. Yes, gaming laptops are no longer these humongous monsters….my MSi Stealth Thin is approx the same size and weight as the equivalent MacBook Pro. And it has air to spare – meaning that the ventilation is unbelievable (3 fans). You’ll never overheat a gaming laptop the way a MacBook overheats.
My new Windows laptop has three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, one HDMI, one Mini DisplayPort, an ethernet port, as well as ports for headphone and mic. Take that, Apple!
So surely, there must be some things that I miss? Yes, there are. Apple makes everything look nicer and stuff usually works right out of the box. That’s not always the case with Windows computers. And there’s always the bloatware. I did end up uninstalling several apps on my MSi laptop. Apple are also very privacy conscious. I can’t really say the same about Microsoft, even though they are trying. But that’s about it. I’m not tied to any specific ecosystem, so it wasn’t difficult at all.
Now this move might not be for everyone. If you are ok with the Apple ecosystem and just want things to work nicely, the MacBook series is still the laptop I recommend. But if you are tired of not having ports, not being able to fix your own computer, and tired of being slave to Apple’s decisions, then you’d probably enjoy what gaming laptops have to offer these days. I did choose the MSi Stealth Thin because it had the right package….offering enough power and flexibility in a decently sized format. It’s actually my first experience with MSi, and so far I’m pleased.