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University Laptop Choice

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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April 27, 2006 3:19:29 AM

Hey, I was just wondering if anybody out there has some input on some good laptops for university / gaming. I don't need extreme power, but something that will run BF2, UT2k4, and WoW. I heard that the Alienware Area-51® m5500 is good, so I customized one like this for $1972.

Processor: Intel® Pentium® M 760 2.0GHz 2MB L2 Cache 533MHz FSB
Operating System (Office software not included): Genuine Microsoft® Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005 with Service Pack 2
Warranty: 1-Year AlienCare Toll-Free 24/7 Phone Support w/ Onsite Service
Display: Alienware® m5500 15.4" WideXGA 1280 x 800 LCD - Xeno Grey
Motherboard: Alienware® Intel® 915GM + ICH6 Chipset
Wireless Network Card: Intel® PRO/Wireless 2200 b/g Wireless Card
Memory: 1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 533MHz - 2 x 512MB
Hard Drive: 80GB 5400 RPM ATA100
Video/Graphics Card: 256MB ATI Mobility™ Radeon® X1600 - NEW!
Sound Card: Intel® High-Definition Audio
Additional Battery: Alienware® m5500 6-cell Lithium-Ion Additional Battery
Optical Drive: 8X Dual Layer DVD+/-RW / 24X CD-RW Combo w/Software
Ethernet NIC: Integrated High Performance Gigabit Ethernet
Modem: 56K Modem with V.90 Technology
Thumb Drives: Alienware® USB 2.0 512MB Flash Drive
Alienware Exclusive Offers: GameFly - Unlimited Game Rentals for 15 days - FREE TRIAL
Desktop Enhancements: Exclusive AlienGUIse Theme Manager
Alienware Mouse Pad: Alienware® Mousepad

If there are some good laptops out there that I could get for cheaper or with more value (but I still want a 256MB vid card) then I would really appreciate your opinions! Thanks!

edit---
I found a deal at bestbuy on the Gateway MX7520 Mobile AMD Athlon 64 3400+ 2.2GHz Media Center Laptop - Best Buy Exclusive

-Mobile AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3400+ With 2.2 GHz Processor Speed
-15.4" Widescreen Ultrabright WXGA TFT
-100GB Hard Drive (4200RPM)
-2048MB DDR memory for multitasking power, expandable up to 2GB.
-DVD+/-RW Multi-Format Double Layer (Up To 8.5GB).
-256MB ATI Mobility Radeon X600
-Weighs only approximately 2.84 kg and measures just 4.06 cm thin for easy portability.
-6-in-1 Digital Media Manager
-Network Card: Integrated 802.11g Wireless (Up to 54Mbps), 10/100Mbps Built-In Ethernet
-Removable Storage: Secure Digital, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, MMC, Compact Flash, MicroDrive
-I/O Ports: 4 x USB 2.0 Ports, 1 x VGA External Connector, 1 x S-Video External Connector, 1 x IEEE 1394 Port, 1 x RJ11 (Modem), 1 x RJ45 (Ethernet LAN), 1 x Microphone, 1 x Headphone / Audio Out
-Software Included: Microsoft Works 8, Money 2005, Microsoft Digital Image Starter Edition 2006 with Trial, Nero 6 Suite, PowerDVD, McAfee Internet Security Suite (90-day complimentary subscription).

Is this going to be good for gaming as well? I like the processor, but wondering if notebooks don't run as smoothly with desktop processors...
April 28, 2006 5:48:58 PM

faster hard drive, faster hard drive, faster hard drive.
otherwise not bad, get a 5400rpm minmum!
April 28, 2006 8:23:49 PM

I personally have a Toshiba Qosmio F25 that I use for college, upgraded to 2GB of DDR2 and a 100GB 7200 rpm hard drive instead of the 5400rpm 100gb that came in it. It runs WoW very well, haven't really played BF2 or UT on it but I think it would probably run them. Thing I like about it is it's a good desktop replacement while still being portable, very good battery life considering what's in it (I can get 3 hours out of the regular battery). And the screen is absolutely beautiful, I get complemented on it all the time. Also the built-in-speakers sound amazing for a laptop and it has TV-in. Wouldn't be your highest performer for gaming but it's a very nice laptop if you don't want to spend too much. I'd definitely reccommend taking a look at Toshiba, I did some research before I got mine and they usually get good reviews and were rated the best customer service last year.

P.S. Also helped my friend pick out a 17" widescreen model from them. Very nice but don't get the 17" if you plan on taking it anywhere, it's HUGE.
May 1, 2006 7:50:51 PM

Buying an AMD Laptop. Buy one with the new Turion Chips. They use less watts plus less heat.
!