I've been a desktop only gamer for many years. However the time has come where I need to be able to move my machine around from place to place, sometimes using bus, train, or plane and a desktop is just too much hassle to take on those methods of transport. So, using the handy FAQ:
1. What is your budget?
£1000ish. More than that is more than I'd like to spend, but I need it to be up to certain standards, so if needs must...
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering
17+. If I can hook my monitor up to it at home then size isn't terribly important. But there will come times when I need to game on it without access to my monitor, so the very small is out of the question.
3. What screen resolution do you want?
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
For the most part it is a desktop replacment. When I do need to give presentations from it, the gaming and data crunching power of the machine will not really be used, since most presentations are simple power point / excel affairs. However I do need to travel several times a year for 2-6 weeks so during those times I would like to game on it in my off hours.
5. How much battery life do you need?
I know very little about battery life of laptops, but I dont really need to use it while on modes of transport away from wall sockets much. The most use of the battery will probably come at the very rare times when I am doing a presentation away from an established venue, typical presentations in these places last from 45-90 minutes.
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)?
Yes absolutely, High settings where ever possible. However I buy very few games these days. Most of my gametime comes from trusty World Of Warcraft, and Starcraft 2 currently. However I will be buying Portal 2 when it is out, and similar 'cant miss' games over the lifetime of this machine.
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Video editing from FRAPS'd footage of games, and video editing of short 10 min segments of basic tutorial material for academic subjects. The machine will need to do a lot of number crunching in it's time though. I am about to start a PhD that will involve going over and parsing extremely large data sets gathered from radio telescopes. The data of this nature is purely numerical, no rendering needed on that part.
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
I'd have a desktop for storage most of the time, this machine only really needs to store stuff it is currently crunching, plus windows, and all the games I need, and the raw footage for whatever I am frapsing. I am aware that raw fraps footage is rather large, but this machine only needs to work on 20-30 minutes of video at a time. I was considering getting a 128gig solid state drive for this machine, and doing all the mass storage on my desktop.
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
None of yet, but being primarily based in the UK it limits my choices of where to buy from.
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
3 Years would be perfect.
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
No need for anything fancy here. I doubt dvds will become obsolete in the next 3 years, and I dont imagine I would need to write DVD's very often at all.
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 had bad experience with an Alienware desktop before, so I am not keen to give them any more money.
13. What country do you live in?
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I think I have covered just about everything. But I'd like to stress how important it will be to crunch the large data sets in a sensibe amount of time, and the desire to have an excellent framerate while frapsing game footage.