edit: During this period, I bought and eventually sold an Axe FX II. It sounded great, had so many amps I had fun trying out, and was dead easy to use. Ultimately though, Helix Native was a value proposition I could not refuse. I personally feel the Axe FX was easier to dial in, but I can nevertheless dial in what I need on the Helix, in a form factor that can't be beat, and I can run multiple instances for recording. I've been running a laptop rig for years. I use a SoftStep as a MIDI controller, which is all the floor control I could ever need. I use a MOTU Microbook II and an iRig HD2 as soundcards. iRig uses ASIO4All on Windows, which is not great, but serviceable. The Microbook II has really hit the sweet spot for me, thought I leave it at home now as the iRig gets the job done. In terms of software, I've used Guitar Rig, then settled on S-Gear for the longest time, until Helix Native came out. S-Gear does sound great to my ears, but what's missing is a drive pedal (I find I have always needed one for my core tone), as well as a more modern/modded Marshall kind of sound, and I like have a PEQ or GEQ after the cab for final shaping. I could always have done this with additional plugins, but I prefer an all-in-one solution. Helix Native has filled that slot very nicely for me. I think most modern mid-range and above laptops can comfortably run a single instance of a plugin with a very low buffer (i.e. low latency) setting. Oddly enough, the most unexpected problem I have come up against is heat management. I use a Microsoft Surface Book 2, and I need to watch my power settings if the ambient temperature is in the high 20s and above (not unusual where I live in Singapore... or directly under a spotlight on stage), otherwise thermal throttling will occur. Once at a gig I had to unplug from my rig and go straight into the amp , because the spotlight on my laptop was causing thermal throttling. But for all the caveats and teething issues, I am generally satisfied with my laptop rig. It goes everywhere with me, it does everything I need and more, and I have so little to carry nowadays.