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Looking for a laptop for college that can also run starcraft 2

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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May 5, 2010 1:19:36 AM

So I'm about to go to college next year and I'm in the market for a laptop right now. This is what I'm looking for; would appreciate some help in finding a suitable one.

1_What is your budget?
around $1k USD

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
I'd like a smaller one, under 15'. I'll have an external monitor set up in my room probably for when I need to stare at it for long periods of time. Also <5lbs if possible.

3_What screen resolution do you want?
1600x900? not exactly sure on this one.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Somewhere in-between; as portable as possible while still satisfying performance requirements.

5_How much battery life do you need?
At least 5-6 hours when doing normal stuff (web browsing, word processing, programming, mathematica, etc. no games or movies)

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'll be playing Starcraft 2 mostly; prefer to be able to run on high, but in lieu of battery life and portability I can settle for one that can run it well on medium settings at a high resolution.

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
I might be programming a lot; also occasional movies, photoshop, mathematica, matlab, stuff like that.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
250GB, although not too important as externals will be quite cheap in a year or two if I run out.

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Not leaning towards any. As long as they're not shady sites I should be fine.

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Through college and possibly one more year.

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD writer would be good. Not that important though; I can settle for an external one.

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.
This is the first laptop I'm buying so I don't really have any prejudices for or against any brands. I was considering getting the Alienware M11x but the processor is kind of weak, although other than that everything else looked great.

13_What country do you live in?
United States

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I don't want a Mac. Also UPenn requires Windows 7 Professional/Ultimate/Enterprise (and it doesn't appear as if they would give it to me for free so I'd prefer that it comes with the laptop). Also requires Bluetooth? Not sure if that's standard or anything.

Suggestions? Thanks again for the help.
a c 244 D Laptop
May 5, 2010 10:08:09 PM

Kevin,that won't play SC2 on med-high settings due to 4500MHD.
I would recommend going with AW M11x which has a GT 335 and can handle SC2 fine on medium settings and has good battery life too
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a b D Laptop
May 5, 2010 10:24:51 PM

feuxfollets said:
So I'm about to go to college next year and I'm in the market for a laptop right now. This is what I'm looking for; would appreciate some help in finding a suitable one.

1_What is your budget?
around $1k USD

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
I'd like a smaller one, under 15'. I'll have an external monitor set up in my room probably for when I need to stare at it for long periods of time. Also <5lbs if possible.

3_What screen resolution do you want?
1600x900? not exactly sure on this one.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Somewhere in-between; as portable as possible while still satisfying performance requirements.

5_How much battery life do you need?
At least 5-6 hours when doing normal stuff (web browsing, word processing, programming, mathematica, etc. no games or movies)

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'll be playing Starcraft 2 mostly; prefer to be able to run on high, but in lieu of battery life and portability I can settle for one that can run it well on medium settings at a high resolution.

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
I might be programming a lot; also occasional movies, photoshop, mathematica, matlab, stuff like that.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
250GB, although not too important as externals will be quite cheap in a year or two if I run out.

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Not leaning towards any. As long as they're not shady sites I should be fine.

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Through college and possibly one more year.

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD writer would be good. Not that important though; I can settle for an external one.

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.
This is the first laptop I'm buying so I don't really have any prejudices for or against any brands. I was considering getting the Alienware M11x but the processor is kind of weak, although other than that everything else looked great.

13_What country do you live in?
United States

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I don't want a Mac. Also UPenn requires Windows 7 Professional/Ultimate/Enterprise (and it doesn't appear as if they would give it to me for free so I'd prefer that it comes with the laptop). Also requires Bluetooth? Not sure if that's standard or anything.

Suggestions? Thanks again for the help.


Hi there,

The Alienware M11x might be your best option because it fits most of your specs. It is one of the most portable gaming laptops out there, plus it is very affordable. You can also look into the Acer Aspire 5738DG 3D. It has a 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 processor and more storage, but it is also a couple pounds heavier (although still portable). You will probably have to weigh which spec is more important.

What do you think of the Acer Aspire?

Isabella
MSFT Windows Outreach Team
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May 5, 2010 10:46:32 PM

Mmm it says the T410 can have a NVS 3100M on it. Not as good as the GT 335 but it has a much better processor than the M11x (I can get an i5 on it), although it costs about $300 more with that build. Would that be able to run SC2 on medium?

I found rumors online that Alienware will be releasing a new M11x with a better processor this summer... is that worth waiting for? I'll probably wait for summer anyway for possible student discounts, but what is the chance that a better processor might be coming?

About the Aspire... I don't really need 3D. And it has <4 hours battery life apparently
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a c 244 D Laptop
May 6, 2010 7:05:58 AM

NVS 3100M performs like a GT 310M which is considered as a low-end card so it can run SC2 on low settings
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a c 244 D Laptop
May 7, 2010 7:43:16 AM

The OP needs a laptop under 15"
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May 7, 2010 7:54:35 PM

Is the 310M able to run SC2 though? Doesn't seem like it's a very good card. Other than that yea it looks great.
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a c 244 D Laptop
May 7, 2010 8:49:30 PM

It would run it on low settings(maybe some few on medium)and one a low resolution
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Best solution

a c 571 D Laptop
May 8, 2010 5:01:53 AM

For just over your $1K target you can get a Lenovo IdeaPad Y460; Core i5 i5-520M, 14" 1366x768 and ATI Radeon HD 5650
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Newsentry.153+M51adddff146...
http://shop.lenovo.com/
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May 9, 2010 11:05:16 PM

Mmm so I think I'm going to end up getting the HP Envy 14 that's coming out in a bit.

http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/05/hp-envy-14-and-17-of...

For $1000 it has an i5 and an unspecified ATI GPU (but considering the Envy 15 had a HD 4830 it should be decent I hope). And supposedly 8 hours of battery life (probably more like 6-7 but that's good enough). And the Envy 15 was 2.37kg so it should be decently portable. I think. Any comments on this? Or if anyone has insider information on it? (lol)

Oh and it looks sexy and has backlit keyboards too.
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May 17, 2010 1:11:20 AM

Best answer selected by feuxfollets.
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