I'm looking for a new laptop for school. I have no idea where to start for laptops as I'm mainly a desktop user. I built a gaming desktop back in 2008 so it's pretty much outdated now, although I can play new games on medium to low settings. The motherboard also died and while I can easily replace it for a mere $100, I figure I'll put that benjamin into a laptop instead.
Basically I'm looking for something with a 17" screen, a graphics card at least equivalent to the Geforce 8800 line (speaking of which, what would that be?), 4GB ram(minimum) and at least 250gb hard drive. I don't feel like any of my specs are unreasonable for what I'm trying to spend, which is around $1000 max.
Like I said I'm buying it because of school, but this will pretty much be the computer I use for at least 4 years. I'm a pretty heavy gamer playing stuff recently like Borderlands 2, Counter-Strike: GO, Tribes: Ascend, League of Legends, and WoW, among many others. I'll eventually get my desktop running again, but I'm not too anxious to get back onto it as it needs a huge overhaul anyway.
I'm not asking anyone to go out and find a laptop that fits that description (unless you want to! : P) but just looking to be pointed in the right direction.
Are battery life and weight important to you? what you want is pretty easy for $1000 if they aren't. Also do you care about screen resolution? playing games in 1080p would obviously require much more performance.
http://www.notebookcheck.net/ is great for checking up on a specific model or making sure the Mobile graphics card you looking at will meet the games you want to play.
For new cards i would say the gt 640m would be the most equivalent that you will see in allot of laptops. (however it will outperform the 8800.)
Of course I would want the best battery life possible but it's not too big of an issue for me, so long as I can get through a school day of note taking (~4ish hours) on minimum power settings I'll be fine. I'd likely be able to charge it briefly during the day between classes anyway. When I'd be gaming I would also more than likely be at home plugged in.
As far as the GPU goes, when I named the 8800, it was just the fact that it was a dependable card that I knew is still considered midgrade by some. Preferable I'd get the most current card possible, and as far as playing games in 1080p, I haven't given it much consideration as I've never been one to freak out over resolution settings. Do you have a recommendation for a higher end gpu that won't completely blow my budget?
Also, any brand recommendations to get me started would also help. From what I hear it is best to stay from Acer (do they even make high-end machines?). Heard a lot of stories about motherboard failure.
I'm now wondering if I should even bother buying a laptop. My friend (more like rival) is trying to tell me that I shouldn't bother buying a laptop at all. According to him, I should buy a tablet or low-grade laptop for school (I already have a Kindle Fire) and build a desktop instead with the remaining money. I already have a decent desktop that just needs a new mobo (my video card is maybe 4 years old, it still plays new games on low/med settings fine) so I feel like building a new one is a waste.
More so than just what he's saying, I'm wondering if it's a bad time to buy a laptop in general... with tablets on the rise and touchcreens becoming the norm, I'm afraid I'll be left in the dust with a normal laptop.