Advice on new laptop.

I dunno if this request is appropriate to this forum but...

I just graduated from college this spring and got a great job a a software engineering firm. A couple days ago they informed me that I would be going on some of their upcoming business trips which was great. However, I realized I needed a laptop to do all my computer stuff (email, programming, games) while I was away.

So now I find myself thinking of buying a laptop in the next couple weeks. This will be my first laptop, and Im not really sure what to go with. I've always built my own pc's but I cant do that with a laptop, so Im having trouble finding a system that fits what I need at a fair price; I was hoping to get advice from you.

I need a laptop in the $1200-1800 range that:

Can play games well (mostly WoW and HL2)
Has decent power for workstation style applications (MS studio 2005, WinDbg, lots of apps open at the same time)
Operating system/softeware isnt too important (My work can provide me with any OS and office/programming software I need)

I could go higher then $1800 but Im trying to avoid it.

Any advice for where to buy my laptop from or specific brands/models? Most places I looked either have only $500 "value" systems or seem to want WAY more money then the system is worth.

Where do you guys buy your laptops?

What brands do you buy?
6 answers Last reply
More about advice laptop
  1. i may suggest u with

    i would like to keep touch with u. just pm me n i may help
  2. Do you have a preference in screen size?

    Take a look at a essay on who makes laptops located here.
  3. What types of software engineering do you do/use the system for?
  4. Mostly the developement of 32 (and now 64) bit drivers, file systems, file filters, etc. Our firm specializes in programming the windows kernal. Chances are that the PC your on right now is running something we have worked on or consulted on. I am, however, new to the firm, so I cant take credit for most of their work.

    I also do misc things like frontends in .Net or write tests in C/C++, and I'd also like the power for gaming.

    I have access to an MSDN liscense, so I can get pretty much any microsoft product I need. I could get a laptop with a blank HD and no CD's and it wouldn't be a big deal.

    Something Im noticing is that almost all laptops in my price range are 15" screens, but I was hoping for something bigger, at least 17". And they are all Widescreens, why?

    Right now I think I want approximately:

    AMD processor, probably of the new turnion 64x2 line.
    ATI video (x1600x maybe?)
    1G DDR2
    Firewire/Serial for kernal debugging w/ WinDbg
    17"+ screen, preferably 4:3 ratio, but widescreen is ok if I can get the other stuff
    In terms of HDD, fast > Size

    KillerNotbook's Zatoichi comes close...

    This Xotic MSI-171772 seems good too
  5. I personally think the Core 2 Duo is a better CPU.
    That said, I don't have a solution that is a good fit for your needs.
    I deal in very specific systems for a reason.

    I used to carry systems based of MSI.
    I have discontinued all my dealings with MSI.
    I would look up the various problems those systems are prone to over and over again due to extremely low quality control standards.
    Just one of them is the hinges that fail.
    Real user problems 1
    Real user problems 2
    Real user problems 3

    RMA and warranty returns to MSI are like pulling teeth...
    out of a great white...
    in deep water...
    with your own teeth.

    I actually build my own systems, and have first hand knowledge of the different ODM's. I am no one's distributor.

    That is my piece of advice to you.
  6. MSI & ASUS are both good choices. MSI's new line of notebooks have allot of features and house all the new current technology. Here is a little video on MSI's testing procedures FYI

    Good luck in your search :) If any of us can help any further, just ask.
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