Few month ago I wanted to upgrade my main computer (built in 2012) into a modern, portable and modular configuration. During these years I played with a lot of exotic configuration from Shadow Virtual PC to GPD Pocket …
Here is my new shiny configuration « plugged » to the house.
The core computer
After reading hundred of review, I finally decided to buy a Razer Blade Stealh 13″ gaming laptop. Because :
- It’s the best small but powerfull portable device Core i7 gen10 with Thunderbolt.
- It has an Nvidia GTX 1650 for heavy computing on the go (Video, Photo, Gaming, etc …) compared to DELL XPS 13″.
But, why a laptop ? Because in 2020 it can do everything like a tower. Why not a 15″ or 17″ ? Because I wanted something very small.
All-in to Razer
Then I also buy :
- a Razer Blackwidow because I like mechanical keyboard (and there was a discount)
- a Razer Viper Mini because I mouse (Naga) had issues (I thought related to it’s old life)
- a Razer Core X Chroma the secret sauce of my configuration
And wrap everything with my Phillips HUE setup and a Dark mode to go all-in in the Razer spirit (for fun).
Side note: I’m VERY happy with my setup, but Razer Synapse sucks and sometimes fucked-up the mouse. and Razer support & community managements sucks A LOT (very 1.0). Your are on you own...
The eGPU for the Next Level
Upgrading components of a computer is ALWAYS a pain even if there is a lot of standards, etc … And there is always a logic and custom gizmo into each all-in-one setup.
The eGPU is the secret sauce to be able to
- power-up the laptop with my previous MSI GTX-1080
- connect to 2560 x 1440 displays !
- have an USB Hub AND charge
In fact the USB Hub « feature » SUCKS because the Thunderbold is a bottleneck and can’t handle keyboard, mouse, webcam, or microphone that lag a lot. It works for a ScanSnap IX500 or a printer, 3D Printer, …
Up to 5 displays !
The Razer Blade Stealth has a 1920×1080 screen which is a good tradeof with the GTX-1650. With the eGPU I can add with a single cable my 3 AOC displays 2560×1440 I use since years (very good quality/price; new AOC display are now borderless)
Then for the 5th display I have 4 options
- Connect my HTC VR Headset
- Connect my « work in progress » Fitting Room (TV Screen)
- Connect my old Gaming Table
- Connect my Holographic display
and More …
So yes, the sky the limits … I added a lot of periperal to 2 USB hub with active extension:
- a Logitech C920 and a Logitech C525
- an Azure Kinect (3D Camera)
- a Yeti Microphone for PodCast, and a Jabra, or an Acusis
- a Logitech K400 or PQLab
And your laptop is also a Bluetooth device ! So you can connect travel device like :
for the Fun …
In a previous article I was talking about Role Playing Game. In our last session, I set a fun configuration:
- Clone my Screen 1 (laptop) to my Smart Table
- Display the Virtual Table Top
- (Chrome) Cast my Screen 2 to my TV
- Display the Zoom/Teams/Meet conference
- And game information
Screen (and game session) are recorded using OBS. The C920 is on top of the TV. The K400 is easier that the PQLabs to type
Let me explain deeper, the Chromecast is connected to a HUE HDMI Play Sync with an output cloned to the TV and a side display. (Yes I can sync stuff displayed on the Play Sync with 1 Strip, 3 Play and 6 Bubbles and it’s cool)
I’m very happy to be able to connect AAALLLLL these devices to a tiny laptop connected with only 2 wires !
The only issues I had are:
- I run A LOT of program without any lags but Windows want to restart sometimes … Windows Virtual Desktop (to organize workspaces) are not finished, lag crash, and lost app positions, etc …
- Razer software like Synapse have issues with the mouse that sometimes freeze … and Thunderbolt is too limited
- The laptop fan is noisy but you can lower it speed.
Next step will be a simple upgrade of GC in the eGPU with RTX30xx.
I still have USB issues and Razer support is really really bad but anyway … playing with USB hubs helps a little bit …
I replace the middle screen with a Curved Xiaomi display 32″ ! So now it’s 3440×1440 + 2x 2560×1440 + bonus (VR, Mirror, Holographic display, …)