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L4 College laptop with switchable graphics

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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June 21, 2010 1:30:55 AM

College is right around the corner for me, and it's time to leave my old Desktop at home and bring a laptop with me to the dorms. I want to do heavy gaming, but I do not care for maxing graphics. In fact, I prefer using the lowest settings in some games. Having my college schedule in hand, with a discrete GPU I'm thinking I will need switchable graphics. Some days are little uneventful, some I will be out from 8AM until 6PM.


1_What is your budget?

$500 - sub $1000

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

Between 13 and 15 inches

3_What screen resolution do you want?

I don't really care

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

A little bit of both

5_How much battery life do you need?

6 hours+ (switchable graphics plox)

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 play TF2 and Quake loaded with FPS configs and whatnot, so my standards are low. Low settings with good performance would be wonderful. I do want to game, but I am fine with horrible visuals.

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

Watch movies, listen to tunes (I already have an external audio card suited for these tasks), take notes, write papers, light E-CAD work, replace television, save the world

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

Enough to hold the OS, some games, and my tunes. A few hundred GB will be plenty, I plan on having a VPN running from my home to the dorm for movie, and other storage purposes.

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

No real preference, educational discounts are nice

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?

5 years, hopefully

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

I don't need one, actually. I have an external writer and am more than capable of imaging my discs on my home machine to access over VPN. I won't be mad if it has one, though.

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'm cool with any product that won't explode

13_What country do you live in?

USA

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Going to college in fall, want to be able to live off of laptop in dorms, am a heavy gamer but do not need quality settings, need to be able to keep a long battery life when called for, but not at all times.

I've been looking at the Asus UL30JT and former for quite some time now, it seems to have the type of functionality I'm looking for, but I don't quite need an ultra-slim design or something that is super light-weight.
June 22, 2010 4:03:47 PM

That IdeaPad Y line seems pretty nice, but I'm reading the i7 models get very very bad battery life. Less than two hours at most. If I were to go with an i5 model would it add a significant amount of time I could get out of a charge?
November 4, 2010 7:11:40 PM

Man, I'm in the same boat as you.
I've been looking forever.
The best one I've found is this: http://www.amazon.com/UL80Vt-A1-14-Inch-Light-Laptop-Ba...
It has mediocre stats but is very cheap and has amazing battery life at around 11 hours. From what I've seen (and I want to play it too, same as you) it should be able to comfortably play TF2.
!