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$1500 Small College Gaming Laptop

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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June 13, 2009 4:12:05 AM

For the past few weeks I've been going over countless laptop reviews, configurations, and driving all around to try and get a feel foe what i'm looking for in a laptop for college. Below are some things I've been looking for so they could be considered tentative requirements:

Budget: $1500 or less
Screen Size: 14" or less
Condition: New
CPU: 2.4ghz 45nm Intel P8600/Comparable AMD Part or greater
GPU: 2500+ 06 3DMarks default settings
Memory: 4gb DD2/3 or greater (If less i can add ram myself to most laptops)
Hard Drive: 7200 rpm 160gb+ or 128gb+ SSD
Screen Resolution: 1280*768+
Battery Life: Close to 3 hours of "continuous web surfing" terms or 2.5hours + or video, using any size battery
Quality/Build: Needs to last 3-5 years of college level punishment
Keyboard: Prefer backlit and a desktop keyboard-like feel, not mushy
Ports: HDMI, VGA, and Firewire/eSata

Below are laptops I've been looking at and what I've thought about them, leave any comments or recomandations.

Asus 14.1" N81Vp-C1 w/ a 2.66ghz T9550 Intel CPU, 4gb ram, ATI 4650 GPU, 320gb 7200rpm HDD for $1317 shipped from newegg

Pros: 6298 06 3DMarks, Large high RPM Hard Drive, 4gb of ram, and dx10.1 support

Cons: "Only" gets 2 hours and 20 min of battery life during continuous web surfing according to laptopmag.com, (i'm assuming) glossy display can throw reflections in a classroom, and is very hard to get my hands on to get the feeling of the keyboard.

Asus 14.1" Asus N81Vg-X1 w/a 2.4ghz P8600 Intel 45nm CPU, 4gb ram, G120m GPU, 320gb 7200rpm Hard Drive for $1016 from newegg

Pros: CUDA Supported GPU, 5316 06 3Dmarks, More efficient core 2 and nvidia gpu, large high rpm HDD, and 4gb of ram.

Cons: To new for many offical reviews on battery life, same as above.

Dell 13.3" XPS 13 w/ a 2.66ghz P9600 Intel 45nm CPU, 4gb DDR3 ram, 9500m sli gpu, 500gb 7200 rpm HDD for $1519 from dell

Pros:Can earn up to 3694 06 3Dmarks, has DDR3 ram, fast CPU, largest 7200rpm 2.5" hdd available, and my college gets a 7% discount.

Cons: 2 hours and 42 minutes of continuous wifi with integrated graphics with a 6-cell seems low, if SLI inefficiency is taken into account it scores around a 2763 in 3Dmark06 and can vary greatly with graphics driver and game optimization, gets hot, glossy display.

Lenovo T400 w/ a 2.53ghz p9500 Intel 45nm CPU, 2gb DDR3 Ram, 3470 gpu, 160gb 7200rpm HDD for $1138 from lenovo

Pros: By having switchable graphics (like the xps 13) it gets 4 hours and 29 minutes during a continuous wireless test form laptopmag.com, matte display is proffered for reflective scenes, and has a business like look and legendary lenovo keyboard.

Cons: GPU only scores "only" 2557 06 3Dmarks, some flex has been heard of as well and weird gaps in joints, upgrade to 4gb is too expensive (although you cna of coarse add in yourself), and small 7200rpm hard drive (next largest size is 5400rpm 250gb HDD i believe).

HP 6930P w/ a 2.4ghz P8600 Intel 45nm CPU, 4gb DDR3, 3450 ati gpu, 160gb 7200rpm for $1497 from HP

Pros: I've personally felt the keyboard feel and build quality and love it, supposed to be resistant to dust and various other things, decent battery life of 3 hours and 32 minutes during wifi testing, 4gb of DDR3 ram, and matte display.

Cons:3450 gpu gets 1792 06 3DMarks and maybe pricey for gpu and cpu power.


Now if you've made it through my little round-up you'll find that there are probably wrong facts and quotes, but it's just to lay out what my cards are and what i'm currently looking at. Thank you in advance for any help you guys can provide!
June 15, 2009 11:47:51 PM

MSI GT725-074US Intel Core 2 Duo 17.0" Wide SXGA+ ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4850 NoteBook

This one has a A class graphic beats all the models you picked. (It can play all games in high settings) within your budget.

Source: http://www.laptopforgames.com
June 16, 2009 12:55:43 AM

At 17" it's a little to large for me...
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June 16, 2009 1:18:28 PM

Out of the ones you listed the Asus 14.1" N81Vp-C1 and the Dell Studio XPS are the best. However, I gotta ask. You have the Dell listed as SLI 9500m GTs? Don't think they offer that anywhere lol.
June 16, 2009 2:51:46 PM

thra1l said:
At 17" it's a little to large for me...

u must be really small ;) 
June 16, 2009 3:28:28 PM

Well it's actually a hybrid sli type thing for the dell where the integrated graphics sli's with the dedicated 9400m gpu.
!