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New year laptop advice

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December 31, 2009 9:18:56 PM

Hey all,
I'm going to be buying a laptop for the second semester of school once this winter break is over. I've never owned a laptop before so I'm wondering if you could lend me some advice.

1_What is your budget?
$1000 +- 100

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Something that could fit into a backpack (probably less than 18" screen but more than 15")

3_What screen resolution do you want?
The best I can get

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Portable, but it will be my primary computer for at least 8 months

5_How much battery life do you need?
No requirement...at least 3-5 hours or so would be nice

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
I am a gamer, so I want to be able to run games like the following examples, though not necessarily on the highest settings: Civilization 4, Left 4 Dead 2, Bioshock2, Mass Effect 2, Dragonage, Starcraft 2

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Programming (compiling), watching movies

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
300+ GB

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post the links to them.

These sites all seem to have good deals:
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/
http://www.ibuypower.com
http://www.pro-star.com/

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
2 years+

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD Burner

12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
I generally dislike mainstream companies like Dell because their customer support is terrible and they load up your computer with tons of additional software you can't opt out of

13_What country do you live in?
USA

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I already own a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate...so I want to find a laptop where I can opt out of an included Operating System to save the $85 or so....rather put that money towards a better CPU/GPU

More about : year laptop advice

a b D Laptop
December 31, 2009 11:59:10 PM

Good gaming performance means lots of power which also means low battery life.

I have been buying laptops from one of the sites you listed (Pro-Star) for the last 4-5 years. But the new Asus laptops look pretty attractive and thru economies of scale they are slightly undercutting the Clevo distributors in some price ranges.

I have been recommending these of late

http://www.pro-star.com/index.cfm?mainpage=productdetai...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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January 1, 2010 5:18:30 PM

gdoe,

I can tell you first hand that the Gateway is a very nice laptop. I've had it for quite some time and I have never had any problems with it. You can always upgrade the CPU down the road as well just as a side note. Gateway has made them very upgradeable. I think you will be completely satisfied with either option though. One of the only games I've played on the gateway lately is Call of Duty MW 2 and it has not problems maxing out the settings on that game I play most of my games on my desktop.

But like I said firsthand experience the Gateway is a good choice, but the other will serve you just as well I'm sure.


January 2, 2010 1:17:04 AM

You need a laptop for casual gaming such as Asus or Gateway. I add the source for your reference...

Best solution

January 2, 2010 10:48:22 AM
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The asus one you listed is great. I don't reccommend the gateway, Gateway is TERRIBLE, and so is the screen resolution for a 17 inch screen.

Get that 1,100 Asus one that's what I'm doing, it's the best you'll get in that price range. Or really, get a desktop because that battery will only last you an hour and a half, therefore no traveling. Though you could get a computer with a better cpu (i7 is not only twice as many cores, but also goes up to 2.8 GHZ per core on the lowest model) and ddr3 ram instead for the same price, the GPU won't compare.

Not exactly sure how upgradable the CPU on the asus is, I hope it's not soldering in, but the RAM can actually be tweaked to 8 GB though it say 4GB supported. The difference between ddr3 and ddr2 is probably 2 fps if you're playing in max, so hopefully no big deal.

If you rely more on just general PC use instead of gaming, get a HP Pavilion dv7 with a core i7 and ddr3 RAM for just about $1000. All over ebay, but you can also get one on the HP website for a couple hundred more. It has a GTS 230M though, which will drop your gaming.
January 2, 2010 3:24:29 PM

Thanks for the response.

Getting the ASUS is likely what I'm about to do. I've searched days for deals, trying to milk a better video card here and there but I think I've hit the price/performance max with this computer. Its still still a little pricey for me though, which is why I haven't ordered it already.

Thanks for the heads up about the battery life and potential upgrades!
January 3, 2010 5:00:59 AM

Yup :) . The 1 year accidental warranty and 2 years on the rest of it is really nice too; the RAM will last a while (especially if you take it to the full 8 GB for a couple hundred), the GPU will do the best it can for a computer under $1500, and I'm still wondering if the CPU can be replaced. If the CPU can, I'll defiantly buy one too "when I have the money".

Let me add:

If it comes with drivers for XP probably not, but if ran on XP I bet you'd get great performance. That, or re-install of Windows 7 due to the bloatware and etc. that may slow it down.
January 3, 2010 7:42:50 AM

Thanks HansVon... Wow that actually matches up. IDK now, whether I want the Asus or that one! Quite a bit of GPU sacrifice... Will take the perfect 1920 x 1080 screen resoultion to a mere 1366 x 768 (which may suite you, don't get me wrong), and Crysis down from playable in High to far from it. But the processor, and ram are better. Yeah, maybe just pick if you'd rather spend time gaming with the settings cranked up or everything else running smoother! Also, $100 less if you're tight on money like me :D . Or you could put it towards an SSD = FAST general computer usage, from loading a game to booting up because right now it just has a 5400 HDD.
January 3, 2010 6:51:05 PM

Thats a good deal too, Hans, but I want a little more gaming power in the machine I choose. I've also discovered the deals below:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Both are at least $100 cheaper (one of them $200), use the same processor Intel Core 2 Duo 2.53 Ghz, however they use the Radeon 4650 HD, a slightly slower GPU than the Nvidia 260 GTX in the Asus.

I'm wondering if the gameplay performance will be just fine with the Radeon 4650, and if the $200 saved is worth the buy, or whether the opposite is true.
!