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Portable i5 laptop with good gpu?

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  • Battery
  • Laptops
  • Intel i5
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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August 9, 2010 5:34:26 AM

Hello,
I've been in the market for a new laptop for a while. I want portability and battery life, but with good performance as well.

I've decided on a core i5-540M processor, as having an i7-720QM would suck up a lot of battery life.

The HP Envy 14 has a ATI Radeon 5650, but a review I read said it's underclocked, scoring lower than other 5650s.

I do a little gaming, mostly just TF2 and possibly some other stuff. I don't game all the time, so I want good battery life as well.

The HP Envy 14 is really perfect, it's slim and nice looking, and has all I need. But, it has an underclocked 5650, not the best for gaming.

So, can anyone care to recommend some good, long-lasting notebooks with core i5 and a good gpu? Also, Nvidia Optimus or some kind of switching ability would be good for prolonged battery life as well.

Thanks and regards,
Will

More about : portable laptop good gpu

August 9, 2010 5:42:06 AM

Alienware M11x i5 version starts at $999, small compact i5 powerhouse. whats your budget?
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August 9, 2010 5:47:39 AM

My budget is about 1.5k at most. The 11" screen is pretty small though. I want the screen to be at least 14". The Alienware is pretty bulky as well.

Something more similar to the HP Envy with a more powerful gpu would be appreciated.

I've looked at the Asus ROGs, but they're pretty thick and big. The Asus n61jq looked nice, but with that quad-core the battery life must be pretty bad.
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August 9, 2010 6:52:11 PM

Bump- any more suggestions?
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a b D Laptop
August 9, 2010 7:20:25 PM

willabtsm said:
Bump- any more suggestions?


With a 1.5k budget, you can still get the Envy... just get the slice battery, and overclock the GPU/CPU back up: this way you wont feel hit in battery life.

Alternatively, get the Acer AS4820TG, which is only $900 with the i5 processor (i5 450m), and also has the 5650.

There's a similarly equiped Lenovo Ideapad Y460 that's about $1000, and has more connection options than the Acer (it has a ExpressCard slot and a eSATA port) if those are important for you.

If you're willing to pay a few hundred more, you can check out the Sony Vaio Z series, which are awesome but expensive (starting at $1800 or so), but has slightly different graphics card (geforce 330m), which is almost as powerful as the 5650.
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August 9, 2010 7:56:01 PM

sidewinderx2 said:
With a 1.5k budget, you can still get the Envy... just get the slice battery, and overclock the GPU/CPU back up: this way you wont feel hit in battery life.

Alternatively, get the Acer AS4820TG, which is only $900 with the i5 processor (i5 450m), and also has the 5650.

There's a similarly equiped Lenovo Ideapad Y460 that's about $1000, and has more connection options than the Acer (it has a ExpressCard slot and a eSATA port) if those are important for you.

If you're willing to pay a few hundred more, you can check out the Sony Vaio Z series, which are awesome but expensive (starting at $1800 or so), but has slightly different graphics card (geforce 330m), which is almost as powerful as the 5650.


I didn't know you could overclock the GPU back up... would it be permanent? Or just temporary?

The Aspire model looks like a nice machine, thanks for the recommendation!

And the Ideapad looks nice aswell. The only downside is the 5400rpm harddrive, but it's not really a huge deal.

Out of the above 3 machines, which would you recommend for me? They all seem like fine laptops, and I'm having trouble making a choice. Is a slightly underclocked 5650 really going to make much of a difference?
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a b D Laptop
August 9, 2010 8:02:22 PM

willabtsm said:
I didn't know you could overclock the GPU back up... would it be permanent? Or just temporary?

The Aspire model looks like a nice machine, thanks for the recommendation!

And the Ideapad looks nice aswell. The only downside is the 5400rpm harddrive, but it's not really a huge deal.

Out of the above 3 machines, which would you recommend for me? They all seem like fine laptops, and I'm having trouble making a choice. Is a slightly underclocked 5650 really going to make much of a difference?


I really love the Acer one (since i'm using it right now! :)  ), but if i needed the ExpressCard or an eSATA port, I would've went for the Lenovo... but i dont need those ports, so i'm ok :) 

To overclock the graphics card, you use a software called AMD GPU Clock Tool, and you can find some fairly detailed descriptions of how to use it. It's a temporary solution (you need to start the program every time you want to overclock), but it can be automated to do so at startup with a few tweaks. If that sounds like too much hassle to you though, just don't bother: i doubt you'll really notice the difference unless you're going to play graphically intense games... which TF2 really isn't one :p 
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August 9, 2010 8:13:55 PM

What kind of battery life are you getting on the Aspire 4820TG? Let's assume you're on the Intel HD graphics, and are just surfing the internet and watching videos with medium-low screen brightness? I like that the Acer can have a 9-cell battery. The Envy has an 8-cell battery, but has an additional slice battery as well.

The Envy is much more expensive than the 4820TG. But the Envy has the slice battery, and seems to be built better? Not sure.

Pretend you didn't have the Acer, and the two laptops were right in front of you. The Envy with the slice battery and underclocked 5650, and the Acer with the 9-cell battery. Which would you choose?
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a b D Laptop
August 9, 2010 8:22:19 PM

willabtsm said:
What kind of battery life are you getting on the Aspire 4820TG? Let's assume you're on the Intel HD graphics, and are just surfing the internet and watching videos with medium-low screen brightness? I like that the Acer can have a 9-cell battery. The Envy has an 8-cell battery, but has an additional slice battery as well.

The Envy is much more expensive than the 4820TG. But the Envy has the slice battery, and seems to be built better? Not sure.

Pretend you didn't have the Acer, and the two laptops were right in front of you. The Envy with the slice battery and underclocked 5650, and the Acer with the 9-cell battery. Which would you choose?


The first day i got the Acer, I did a battery test. Using Wifi and surfing the web, with the regular dimness that you get when you unplug the cord (meaning i didn't dim it any more than it already did by itself), I got 5 hours of use, including an hour of continuous 30% cpu utilization (formatting a Truecrypt partition).

I briefly looked at the ENVY 14 when i was trying to decide what computer to buy, but finally decided that it was too expensive to get the battery life i wanted (with the slice battery), and even if i did get it, it would've been a little too heavy... but the deciding factor was still the price. If that wasn't an issue, i think I would've gotten the envy jsut for the pure sexiness that it exudes.
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August 9, 2010 8:39:33 PM

Price doesn't really matter in that either one I could get, but I don't want to be ripped off.

On the notebook review forums, most people are getting about 4 hours of surfing the web with Intel HD and low brightness.

So the Acer gets a better battery life, and a slightly better graphics card for less, but isn't as sexy as the Envy... and doesn't have the really nice screen that the envy has.

This is a difficult decision... But these aren't the only two notebooks out there. I might go with an Asus. I haven't found an Asus notebooks that really get me excited, though.
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a b D Laptop
August 9, 2010 8:49:22 PM

willabtsm said:
Price doesn't really matter in that either one I could get, but I don't want to be ripped off.

On the notebook review forums, most people are getting about 4 hours of surfing the web with Intel HD and low brightness.

So the Acer gets a better battery life, and a slightly better graphics card for less, but isn't as sexy as the Envy... and doesn't have the really nice screen that the envy has.

This is a difficult decision... But these aren't the only two notebooks out there. I might go with an Asus. I haven't found an Asus notebooks that really get me excited, though.


Asus doesn't seem to have a good balanced notebook at the moment... they have the cheap but powerful G73 gaming laptops, and the really long life UL series laptops, but their intermediate offerings of the K and N series doesn't seem to be quite as good as the Acer or Envy 14. Since money is not a problem with you, i think it just comes down to how much weight are you willing to lug around with you all day?
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August 9, 2010 8:54:18 PM

I won't be lugging it around all day, so weight isn't much of a problem.
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