After months and months of research for a good, budget gaming laptop, I have narrowed it down to 2; the ASUS G73JW-XA1 and the MSI GX640-260.
ASUS G73JW-XA1 ROG:
Nvidia GTX 460 M 1.5 GB GDDR5
750 GB HDD 7200RPM
Super Multi DVD drive
1 USB 3.0 port, 3 USB 2.0 ports
17.3 inch full HD (1920 x 1080) LED
Windows 7 Home Premium
Altec Lansing Speakers
<2 hours battery life
runs cool and quiet
looks slightly better than MSI
Intel i5-450M 1066MHz
ATI Radeon HD5850
1GB DDR5 VRAM
4GB DDR3 RAM
500GB SATA 7200RPM
Windows 7 Home Premium
15.4 inch LCD (1680 x 1050)
2x USB 2.0
+-3 hours battery life
Right now I'm leaning slightly towards the MSI, because it is more portable and has longer battery life, and its cheaper, and even though the ASUS outperforms it in everything, it is only by a relatively small margin and I think that the MSI will still run well enough for my needs (gaming, as well as student tasks).
The i7 is redundant because the i5 will easily be able to handle all my tasks.
The only reason I would choose the ASUS over the MSI would be because its performance is a lot better (especially in gaming), it looks cooler, it has a better keyboard (which is quite important as I'm a student), and it runs cooler and quieter (but the MSI isn't that bad in that aspect).
In the reviews, the MSI seems to perform quite well at all games, but overall the ASUS has better reviews and supposedly more 'bang for the buck.' However, the MSI is a LOT cheaper and I think the extra features of the ASUS might be redunant.
What do you guys think, can the MSI handle games at high settings now and in the years to come, or can only the ASUS do that??
Personally I would go with the MSI as I think while its not the better box it is the better value. Is there that MSI with an i7? should be only $200 more if it is a configurable box that would future proof you more.
I would agree, the main issue I was worried about was the keyboard but if it really really bothers me I can just get it replaced somewhere...and I don't need the i7, because really it's not that much better and the i5 is good enough.
The ASUS G73JW-XA1 is a good buy for what it has to offer, so you're getting more for its value, but compare the price to MSI GX640-260 then it's like you are comparing small car to a midsize one. Both will be good deal for its category.
If you think MSI GX640-260 is capable of more than 85% of what want to do then MSI is the deal for you. The ASUS G73JW just does it better.
Just saw your other post, you are also comparing lower priced notebook. If you think you can't justify the price of the asus then my suggestion is to stay of what you can afford and save the difference for later or for your other school needs.