So I got tired of carrying my old HP 6-core desktop computer to work when I needed to teach a photography software related class. My old 2010 MacBook would no longer cut it to teach Photoshop, HDR or the like so I was forced to load my PC and monitor, keyboard and mouse, cables and cords and such up into a laundry basket and carry it into the classroom. My wife suggested I get a gamer laptop after I got sick of hauling around my desktop computer. I liked that idea, and she knew I also liked to play video games but as I said aloud to the kid at Best Buy: "They are just too expensive!". He assured me this was no longer true.
Long story short I did my research, traded in and sold a bunch of gear I no longer used, and funded my new (refurbished) Alienware 15 4K gaming laptop. Part of the fundage went to purchase not only a new monitor but also the much coveted (at least by me) Alienware Graphics Amplifier.
Alienware Graphics Amplifier by Dell.com
I joking call this my 'toaster' because it is about the size of one. What this bad-boy does it allow me to open its case and insert a full-fledged, high powered desktop graphics card! Also it lets me hook up a variety of USB devices to its added USB 3.0 ports. In essence it is a "docking station" for when I am at home. I can plug a mouse and external keyboard into it and even a USB hub to allow more USB devices. The GTX980 card I have in there powers three monitors which has been handy for me. If you have never used a multiple monitor computer you do not know what you are missing. Once you try it, you will never go back to a single monitor.
I rarely use my laptop as strictly a laptop. I am not a fan of the small screen and laptop keyboard. But for teaching or meeting with clients it is great. At home it thinks it is a full powered desktop computer.
Set up initially was a bit of a challenge, but after I updated drivers and such it has never failed me. For games or videos or Photoshop, Lightroom - or whatever; it performs exceedingly well. After all, if it plays games well; it will 'play' everything else well too. And it does. Eventually I will want to swap out last year's graphics card for a new model. My Alienware Graphics Amplifier has "future proofed" my little laptop. My current laptop's processor won't support VR (virtual reality) sadly, but a new model Alienware will and I hope I can take my Graphics Amplifier to whatever model is in my future. VR is amazing. I have tried it and plan a blog post about that soon.
Open it up and put in a powerful video card. A long thick
cable hooks it to your laptop and is easy to plug and unplug.
If you want a portable system that is also a powerful system this might be for you! I have no stock in Dell and other companies have similar options so do your research if it is time to get a new computer. It allows you to have the best of all worlds!
If you have any QUESTIONS for me or COMMENTS just click the Comment link above. I would appreciate a LIKE as well at the button on the top. Thank you!