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Seeking advice for a ~$2000 Portable Laptop with some gaming

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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June 21, 2010 2:03:33 PM

1_What is your budget?

About 2000 dollars


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

13-14" Its time for me to move on from gaming rigs to portable laptops

3_What screen resolution do you want?

The highest possible for the screen size. Preferably 1600x900. This is not a deal breaker, however.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

Portable

5_How much battery life do you need?

I've never owned a laptop with more than 2 hours of battery. Im going for the gold, lets say 5-6+ hours

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 want to play some games as I am about a year away from building a desktop. Starcraft 2 and the occasional MMO on medium settings. I highly doubt I will play anything to system intensive

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

Movies, web browsing, microsoft office.

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

Doesn't matter. I will be updating the drive to an SSD asap (am I correct in thinking it is better to update to an SSD myself rather than pay extra for a manufacturer upgrade?)

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

I'd buy from anywhere

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?

4-5 years

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

Typical DVD with writing capability.

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 don't want a macbook pro. Besides that I am open for suggestions

13_What country do you live in?

USA

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.

I would like the rig to come with an intel core i7


Currently I have my eyes on a Sony Z series, HP envy 14, but wanted to know what the experts think. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.
a c 244 D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
June 21, 2010 3:55:07 PM

Going with i7 will never give you 5-6hrs of battery life.Is that OK ? because there are lots of great laptops for your price range with i7 CPUs but the battery life is between 1-4hrs(Depending on the model)
June 21, 2010 3:55:27 PM

For the kind of gaming you're describing I don't think you need to spend nearly the money you're willing to.

I just purchased a Lenovo IdeaPad Y60 after spending quite a bit of time looking around.

Purchase: http://shop.lenovo.com/us/notebooks/ideapad/y-series/y4...
Review: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2364038,00.asp
Benchmarks: http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/lenovo-ideapad-...

According to the benchmarks listed in this review, as well as the opinions I've read from scouring a variety of forums, the Y460 outperforms virtually everything in it's class with regards to video, and also does very well in terms of processing power. I also appreciate the manner in which they incorporate switchable graphics, between the integrated and the discrete GPU. It's a switch on the front of the laptop which you manually slide on or off, which in my opinion is much better than the having software turn on/off the discrete GPU as it is needed (if I'm on battery I don't mind waiting a few extra seconds for the integrated graphics to perform a task - I don't want it on even though it might help a little, as the power drain would be huge). From what I've read in various customer reviews, contrary to the battery test benchmarks, you can expect ~2.5 hours of use with the discrete GPU enabled, and ~5-5.5 hours of life using the integrated, for normal tasks that you might perform when on the go.

Specs aside, I think the Y460 is well made, with attention to detail. The speakers are on the top side of the keyboard (rather than on the bottom/front edge of the laptop, which really annoys me with some brands) and are said to be high quality. There are physical buttons for volume control. The touchpad is said by every review to be well built and easy to use - and it features two distinct mouse buttons (as opposed to a rocker bar). Most reviews speak highly of the keyboard, though some are disgruntled that it doesn't have the chic-let style made popular by MacBooks. Also, the fan has a substantial vent on the side of the lapop, as opposed to the bottom, which will provide for better cooling. Finally, the AC adapter plugs into the model very unobtrusively. Many laptops have long pins that plug into the side/back of a laptop and stick way out, getting in the way of books/the mouse, etc. The Y460 adapter plug has a 90 degree bend in it, so the cord plugs in the side then snakes unobtrusively back, leaving space along the side of the laptop free. This sort of attention to detail, aside from making the product easy to enjoy, gives me the feel/hope that the same attention to detail was used in designing the interior of the machine - something which I understand Lenovo is known for.

I noticed you mentioned you would like an i7. This does not have an i7, but for me that was a good thing. I've been reading that the i7 cores both drain the battery life much more quickly, and contribute to heat problems. With the configuration the way it is the tests seem to show some powerful performance, so I was happy with the high-end i5, but it's your preference. The other area this laptop might let you down is in screen resolution, as I believe natively it supports a 720p resolution, but it sounds like that's probably not a big deal to you (it wasn't to me, especially on a screen this size).

If you're looking for a portable laptop with plenty of power, for gaming and otherwise, then the best option I've been able to find is the Lenovo IdeaPad Y460. If you're dead set on spending your full budgeted allowance you could purchase an extended warranty with accidental protection and all.
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June 21, 2010 4:08:34 PM

Maziar said:
Going with i7 will never give you 5-6hrs of battery life.Is that OK ? because there are lots of great laptops for your price range with i7 CPUs but the battery life is between 1-4hrs(Depending on the model)


Thanks for the hint. I guess the i7 is not essential and is probably a processor better suited for desktop use anyhow.

Is it safe to assume the step down from the i7 to the i5 is minimal? Do i5's/i3's use much less power?

The budget is relatively flexible but should also include the cost of an SSD:



So, disregarding the i7, what notebook would you recommend?
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