Exchanged the bullshit Acer laptop for Asus ROG Zephyrus DUO 16

you may remember there was a thread about me buying an Acer laptop, it was this one:

i bought it from Micro Center in Brooklyn without reading a single review because i was in a rush … well i had it for exactly 8 days … and yesterday i came back to the same Micro Center store and, using the same salesperson, exchanged it for Asus ROG Zephyrus DUO 16, this one:

i am just so fucking happy i got rid of that fucking Acer. it was a total clusterfuck.

the Asus isn’t perfect by any means - the Haloing on the Mini-LED screen is the worst i have seen in my fucking life and the lid is flimsier than that on any laptop i ever owned but overall this Zephyrus is a clear step up from the Triton …

it seems the average IQ of people responsible for the Zephyrus was about 10 - 20 points higher than those who designed the Triton. or more likely nobody at Acer gave a fuck about the product they were designing.

to give you an idea - the Triton was basically the heaviest laptop in its class due to amount of aluminum in its CNC chassis and yet they managed to make it so weak that it was already bent out of the box, having never had any stress applied to it at all - because most of the metal was in places where strength was not needed, and the places that needed strength ( around the hinges ) had almost no metal in them but instead just gigantic vents ( holes ). absolute incompetence.

they also put the motherboard upside down so that all the upgradable parts ( ram, SSD etc. ) were on the OPPOSITE side of the motherboard where they can’t be reached. then they GLUED the fan housings to the vapor chamber so that when a fan fails you have to replace the entire cooling system … except the cooling system uses Liquid Metal TIM so it can’t be replaced, and thus neither can the fans ( which spin at 4,500 rpm during gaming and probably won’t last more than 2 years ).

and just as icing on the cake when playing games the whole laptop gets too hot to touch. so you can’t actually play games on it at all.

so with the Acer you can’t upgrade it, can’t fix it and also can’t use it - what a deal !

to say that i will never buy anything made by Acer is an understatement.

it’s almost like there was a reason why that laptop was $1,000 off …

i almost can’t believe they took that garbage back LOL.

now with Asus i have of course also found issues in their design but they are an order of magnitude less severe than those on the Acer.

i still think Razer Blade is the most refined gaming laptop, superior to the Zephyrus DUO but the Blade was $1,000 more and with only 1 year warranty versus 3 year warranty on the Zephyrus.

also the Blade is basically just a MacBook Pro on steroids. yes the Blade gets basically everything right but it feels wrong to pay so much for something that merely doesn’t make any mistakes without necessarily brining anything new to the table.

an honest ad for Razer Blade would say " we started with a MacBook pro design, put in gaming hardware and upgraded the cooling - for this you will have to pay $1000 more than other laptops with same exact specs "

an honest ad for Zephyrus DUO would say " actually decent gaming laptop that is more innovative and less expensive than Razer Blade "

fucking idiots on Reddit are saying " Acer is the better value " …

it doesn’t have ANY value you fucking morons ! you’re not buying specs you’re buying a product. a product can be more or less than the sum of its parts. in case of Acer it isn’t even half of the sum of the parts.

now as for Razer Blade … if you have the money - go for it. yes it’s absurdly expensive but it has MAJOR advantages of the Zephyrus

1 - it is same size and build as MacBook Pro which means it will fit in almost every bag such as this one:

the Zephyrus will NOT fit. this Nanuk Laptop case only comes in ONE SIZE and the situation is similar with many other similar cases. yes you can get a larger Nanuk with Cubed Foam - i have the 930 model for my ( now dead ) Dell Precision Mobile Workstation but cubed foam cases are a lot less space efficient and a larger case will have implications for air travel …

not only will Razer Blade fit into more bags / cases it also needs protection LESS than the more fragile Zephyrus Duo …

but the advantages of Blade don’t stop there …

2 - Blade has intel CPU while Zephyrus DUO has AMD … not only do you lose Thunderbolt ( an intel tech ) by going with AMD but also AMD drivers are shit. i barely got PUBG to run on the Zephyrus after updating AMD drivers, whereas i didn’t need to do anything on intel based Acer for example …

3 - Blade has the 4K / 2K switchable resolution min-LED screen. the Zephyrus DUO has the same panel without mini-led or you can get the mini-LED on Asus but only in QHD ( the one i have )

i also believe Blade has a smaller GAN ( Gallium Nitride ) charger as well …

frankly there are only two A-Tier laptops - Macbook Pro and Razer Blade

everything else, including Zephyrus DUO is B-Tier

and Acer was D tier. i would give it F but it did run PUBG smooth as butter because of RTX 4090, Advanced Optimus and G-Sync, so admittedly it wasn’t ALL bad.

which reminds me of a point i missed in previous post - Zephyrus DUO does NOT have Advanced Optimus. it just has a MUX switch. there is another advantage Blade has over DUO.

what can i say - if you got money - get the Blade.

and also if your teenage kids need a laptop and you get them anything other than Blade or MBP you’re a shitty father.

so why didn’t i get the blade ?

well money was honestly a factor. a blade with Mini-LED and RTX 4090 was $4,700 versus $3,600 for the Zephyrus DUO.

but there was another reason as well - i am a contrarian.

i always try to do the opposite of what everybody else does. if everybody gets Blade or MBP then i must get something else.

it would be completely opposite if i was getting this laptop for somebody else like a GF, Son or Daughter. in that case i would go with the most proven choice for any given budget to avoid any unnecessary friction.

but because it was for ME i wanted to go with the most unusual choice instead.

i mean - what is the point of being smarter than everybody else if at the end of the day you’re forced to do the same thing everybody else does ?

sometimes it can’t be avoided - but you know i will try !

additional note: not only is there no Thunderbolt on the Zephyrus DUO there is also no USB 4 either.

this again has to do with AMD CPU, and again another reason why Blade is the superior machine.

the blade pretty much does not miss, whereas Zephyrus DUO comes with some downsides.

if you need perfection at any cost - get the Blade. if you want “good enough” for $1,000 less than the Blade then Zephyrus DUO is a decent option.

the AMD CPU is a major downside though. not because of performance - it is actually the fastest CPU on the market. but because of poor drivers and limited functionality of AMD versus Intel.

if i was rich and didn’t have the urge to be original all the time i would hands down get the Blade.

but as i actually am it was too boring and too expensive.

though there is absolutely no denying that Blade is a far superior package in almost every way.

the other reason i didn’t get the Blade is because by the time i was exchanging the Acer i already bought a Tumi backpack for it and Zephyrus DUO fits perfectly in it.

if i went with the smaller Blade i would have to return the Tumi and even though that would have recouped a few hundred bucks it would be yet more time spent exchanging things …

yes in retrospect now that i think about it when you consider the cost of the Tumi and the lack of Thunderbolt and USB 4 and Advanced Optimus and the AMD drivers, i should have just fucking gotten the Blade …

even with 1 more week to think about my original Acer mistake i still didn’t fully think it through and made a mistake again …

it’s just that the Jew in me couldn’t shake off the feeling that Razer is trying to rip me off … i was wrong

but i will live with this mistake. it is unfair to the great people at Micro Center and Tumi to subject them to even more exchanges. with the Acer i had no choice - it wasn’t just not the best option - it was an embarrassment.

the Zephyrus DUO on other hand is merely eccentric with some rough edges and a few shortcomings ( compared to the Blade )

by using the DUO i am supporting ambitious innovation efforts by a great company ( Asus ).

whereas if i kept the Acer i would be supporting a shitty company that shouldn’t exist and sending the message that as a customer i can be spat on and it will all be forgiven as long as you give me a discount.

also the counterpoints against the blade:

1 - only 1 year warranty
2 - known issue of bulging batteries ( which get 2 year warranty )
3 - design that sucks air through the keyboard ( to cool it ) could potentially clog it with dust

i fucking love Razer mice - i will not use any mouse that isn’t Razer BUT !

but recently i compared Razer keyboard to Asus one and kept the Asus even though it was more expensive, because it was simply better …

so while Razer undoubtedly makes the best mice we can’t really extrapolate this to say that anything Razer makes will always be the best …

i do believe that the Blade is the best, but also i believe that Asus can sometimes challenge Razer and ultimately it came down to the fact that Zephyrus DUO was on $400 off sale at Micro Center

my inner Jew won …

if both laptops were at full price then there would only be $700 difference in price and after accounting for the Tumi backpack ( that Asus needs but smaller Blade does not ) the difference in price shrinks to less than $500 at which point Razer wins.

but with the $400 sale on Zephyrus DUO and no sale on Blade that is i guess why ultimately i went with Zephyrus …

fucking Micro Center sales … they get me every time

i just can’t resist them !

as for the two screens on the DUO - i never planned on using the 2nd screen and still don’t.

yes it’s there, it’s also a touch screen with stylus compatibility - but i don’t need it.

i got the DUO for one reason and one reason only - it has lower keyboard temperatures than any other laptop with Mini-LED display and RTX 4090.

the real function of the 2nd screen is to isolate me from the heat of the CPU and GPU and it is clear from the thermal image above that it does the job.

it also feels like it does the job as well. internally the laptop runs at least as hot as the Acer did, but as a user behind the keyboard i am not feeling that heat with the DUO whereas i definitely felt it with the Acer.

with the DUO they keys get warm but only my fingertips are actually above them. with the Acer my entire hands were above the HOT keys and palm rests. the difference is large enough that it was well worth the hassle of driving to Brooklyn and paying extra $500 in price difference for that exchange.

why not just get that razer and forget about the extra 1000$ … enjoy the setup for the next 4-5 years 200/year aint bad.

because i literally needed to use it once.

my main system is a desktop.

also my complaints about Zephyrus are somewhat frivolous. i read the “Zephyrus Duo vs Razer Blade” threads on Reddit and it was mostly 50/50 split opinions but Zephyrus was on sale.

whereas when i read the Acer threads on reddit they were all like " get the Acer it’s the better value "

so Acer was always the budget alternative while Zephyrus was a more direct competitor to the Blade, but the particular config i wanted given the sale was a lot less at the time …

if i was always on the go or it was my main machine i agree it would be better to just pay the money - cry once

but i just build a new desktop last year with 28 cores and 64 GB ram so the laptop is just for travel and i don’t travel that much …