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Any Radeon Gaming Laptops with Physical mouse buttons under touchpad?
My old laptop is suffering from broken hinges which has eventually led to a couple of broken keys and USB ports - so I'm looking for a new one.

The difficulty I'm having is with matching three things:
1) Radeon Graphics
2) Proper physical mouse buttons underneath the touchpad
3) It's equal to, or more powerful than my 5 year old half-broken laptop

I can seemingly only find two of the three.

Officially it's mainly being used for rough-cut video editing, with a bit of graphics and 3D work and general admin. Secretly it's mainly being used for computer games. I already have a desktop machine for heavier work (or more complex games).

I'm in the UK, which sadly complicates things further, since we now pay extra import tariffs for anything from Europe.

It looks like the MSI Alpha 15 would have done the trick, but they don't seem to be available anywhere, except 2nd hand with inflated prices. The "upgraded" one, the Bravo, has a buttonless slappy touchpad thing.

Does anybody have any clues as to manufacturers/brands etc that might match this, or am I looking for something that doesn't exist?

Or, have buttonless touchpads/drivers improved to the point where you're able to easily do things like "hold down right mouse button, drag, scroll down, then click with left button" and so on?

Priority order
- Be equal or better than my old laptop in terms of processor and graphics
- Have physical mouse buttons underneath the touchpad (not one of those buttonless slappy click things)
- Preference for AMD instead of NVidia Graphics, if possible
- Reasonable number of USB ports
- Ideally not have shit hinges which break
- Numpad if possible
- Ideally somewhere between £600 and £1200. Cheaper is good, but I'm not scared of paying more if it's correct.

Old laptop for comparison:
Intel Core i5-4210H 2.90GHz
16GB RAM (originally 8GB)
Nvidia Geforce 960M 2GB
15.6" Full HD Screen
Physical mouse buttons on touchpad
Numpad on right

About £720 in 2015
Replaced RAM with a 16GB matched pair in 2017
About £90 in 2017
So £810 all in.
Just to clarify - when I say buttons underneath, I mean like this - PC Specialist Optimus VI - which was my old laptop. The buttons are physically present and visible, and can be clicked separately from the touchpad - rather than ones which have physical buttons hidden inside/underneath the touchpad.
furaxhornyx 12 Feb
This is the "cheapest" I could find : MSI Alpha 15 A3DDK (~1300 EUR, but I didn't search specifically for a lower price, especially for UK since I don't live there)

The main problem with you request seems to be the AMD graphics: there are very few laptop with an AMD GPU, so when you find one, you're stuck with the other options (and the price, too)

There is more choice with an nVidia laptop ; also, from what I noticed (I didn't spend much time in searching), it seems that Asus still offers the physical buttons under the touchpad, while MSI seems to be abandoning it...

Good luck
Thanks for looking! Yeah, I'd found pretty much the same sort of thing.

That's probably about the same price as I'd seen refurbished ones of the previous MSI Alpha 15 - though it looks like it was about £800 when it was available (now at about £1100). It's entirely possible that's just the price increase from Brexit/Bitcoin Mining/Coronavirus etc.

It looks like there's a new version of the "Alpha 15 A4-DEK" - which still has buttons - though it only shows up on the MSI USA site - the UK one only has the older one, then links to places which are all sold out. I'm not sure if that's going to be released soon, and just isn't available yet.

As you say, it looks like nearly all laptop manufacturers seem to be moving towards buttonless touchpads - though I've had a good look at the Asus ones, and you're right that they've still got a reasonable range of them. I quite like the look of their "TUF" ones.

I found plenty of NVIDIA ones on places like PC Specialist (who built my old laptop), which still have buttons, but I'd prefer to be using AMD if possible. I'll keep looking!

My options look like 1) Going with NVIDIA, 2) Using an external mouse, 3) Waiting and seeing what's available or perhaps even 4) Try and learn how people actually use these buttonless touchpad things.
slaapliedje 13 Feb
Lenovo needs to fill in the gap and create Thinkpads with AMD CPUs/GPUs soon. I freaking hate touchpads without physical buttons and for some reason Thinkpads are still the only ones with three buttons, not to mention the trackpoint. They provide many options for all your ergonomics.

I'd love to support System76, or Librem, but their hardware isn't (yet) up to the quality of the Thinkpads though.

Only thing on my P52 that isn't supported by Linux is the fingerprint reader. (Pretty sure I somehow managed to damage my sdcard reader, but it's detected, just some pins were bent a little so it doesn't work... and it's not entirely easy to get to...)

But yeah, would be happy with an AMD CPU/GPU based Thinkpad! (I paid a hefty sum not long enough ago to look for a new one yet!)
furaxhornyx 13 Feb
Quoting: slaapliedjeLenovo needs to fill in the gap and create Thinkpads with AMD CPUs/GPUs soon. I freaking hate touchpads without physical buttons and for some reason Thinkpads are still the only ones with three buttons, not to mention the trackpoint. They provide many options for all your ergonomics.

I'd love to support System76, or Librem, but their hardware isn't (yet) up to the quality of the Thinkpads though.

Only thing on my P52 that isn't supported by Linux is the fingerprint reader. (Pretty sure I somehow managed to damage my sdcard reader, but it's detected, just some pins were bent a little so it doesn't work... and it's not entirely easy to get to...)

But yeah, would be happy with an AMD CPU/GPU based Thinkpad! (I paid a hefty sum not long enough ago to look for a new one yet!)

But aren't Thinkpad shipped with Quadro (aka "pro GPU") ? I have a P50 at work, and it has a Quadro, probably for things like CAD and stuff. Going AMD would mean the "pro" version of GPU, and I don't know how they perform under those pro applications...

There's always the Lenovo Legion ("for gamers") series, but they don't seem to be a lot of different options, when comparing to their Asus ROG / MSI / Acer counterparts...

I think Asus tried to make a AMD CPU + GPU gamer laptop a few years ago, but it didn't turn out well it seems... I think it was because of the heat dissipation
Guessing that I'm probably looking for something currently impossible or incredibly rare, if I ignore the Radeon thing, there's still a handful of "proper mouse button" Nvidia laptops, from a variety of manufacturers:

Asus ROG Strix G
MSI GL65 Leopard
Gigabyte G5
Asus Tuf Gaming F15

If I accept ones with low RAM, assuming I can add a bit more immediately, there's also:

Asus Tuf Gaming F15
Asus Tuf Gaming A15
Medion Erazer P15811
Medion Erazer P15609

Does anyone know from previous experience if any of these brands (Asus, Gigabyte, Medion, MSI) are particularly well/badly suited for Linux compatibility? There seems quite a bit of info about Tuf laptops working okay - mixed results for MSI (better in the last year?), and very little info for Medion/Gigabyte.

Of course, if I'm using Nvidia again, I can go back to PC Specialist and save wiping windows off it - though they're not as cheap as they used to be, compared to some of the models above.
furaxhornyx 13 Feb
Quoting: Fakeman_PretendnameDoes anyone know from previous experience if any of these brands (Asus, Gigabyte, Medion, MSI) are particularly well/badly suited for Linux compatibility? There seems quite a bit of info about Tuf laptops working okay - mixed results for MSI (better in the last year?), and very little info for Medion/Gigabyte.

I have an MSI laptop (MSI Raider 63VR-7RF ),and I indeed had mixed results installing Linux on it. The only distro that went well at first was Linux Mint (out of 8 I tried), but had to reinstall after an update.

Then, I could install Manjaro, but with Nouveau driver only, proprietary lead to black screen at reboot.
But, recently, I tried Manajro again (a more recent version), and everything went smoothly: nVidia proprietary installed straight at installation, no blackscreen on reboot, everything is fine.

Not sure I'm being helpful, though
To be honest, any further information is helpful! I'd read quite a few cases of similar problems, but from a few years back - as far as I could find, general compatibility seems a lot better in the last year or two (certainly compared to 5 years ago, when wifi/suspend issues were seemed pretty common).

I vaguely remember having to use "nomodeset" or some other boot option to avoid an Nvidia black screen when I originally set the laptop up - though a recent Mint install just worked immediately (other than the broken hinges and broken keys etc).

Thanks :)
slaapliedje 13 Feb
Quoting: furaxhornyx
Quoting: slaapliedjeLenovo needs to fill in the gap and create Thinkpads with AMD CPUs/GPUs soon. I freaking hate touchpads without physical buttons and for some reason Thinkpads are still the only ones with three buttons, not to mention the trackpoint. They provide many options for all your ergonomics.

I'd love to support System76, or Librem, but their hardware isn't (yet) up to the quality of the Thinkpads though.

Only thing on my P52 that isn't supported by Linux is the fingerprint reader. (Pretty sure I somehow managed to damage my sdcard reader, but it's detected, just some pins were bent a little so it doesn't work... and it's not entirely easy to get to...)

But yeah, would be happy with an AMD CPU/GPU based Thinkpad! (I paid a hefty sum not long enough ago to look for a new one yet!)

But aren't Thinkpad shipped with Quadro (aka "pro GPU") ? I have a P50 at work, and it has a Quadro, probably for things like CAD and stuff. Going AMD would mean the "pro" version of GPU, and I don't know how they perform under those pro applications...

There's always the Lenovo Legion ("for gamers") series, but they don't seem to be a lot of different options, when comparing to their Asus ROG / MSI / Acer counterparts...

I think Asus tried to make a AMD CPU + GPU gamer laptop a few years ago, but it didn't turn out well it seems... I think it was because of the heat dissipation
Gaming performance should be fine on the Quadros. Nvidia doesn't really have the pro drivers available for non RHEL distros. I do dualboot RHEL for fun though.
I got a message back from MSI to say they'll likely have the newer UK Alpha 15 - equivalent to this one available in May/June this year - so I guess it's a case of either waiting until then (and trying to hold my current laptop together with gaffer tape for a few months) or getting an Intel/Nvidia one sooner.

I was possibly considering the Asus TUF F15, or one of the similar models.

Between the processors and graphics, it looks like they're both a bit under/over each other in various benchmarks - so roughly come out the same - I guess it's simply a matter of Nvidia now vs AMD later, and which one's most likely to run smoothly with a Linux install (I'm likely using Mint). Also, I have no idea on the price of the MSI one.
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