I've been looking to buy a new laptop for games like Starcraft 2 and watching Netflix - but can't decide if I should get a mainstream laptop or go all out and get a true gaming laptop. My last laptop was a black Macbook so I'm not versed in the current PC laptop scene. I noticed a few trends in mainstream/entertainment laptops vs gaming-specific laptops.
Design: Gaming laptops seem much more extreme and stylish than mainstream laptops. Does this really make a difference? I think Apple did a nice job with their simple aluminum design, and imagine the gaming laptops as being a bit clunky/over engineered.
Components: Obviously the gaming laptop has better components than the mainstream counterpart. The biggest difference however appears to be videocards and the ability to upgrade. I don't see myself upgrading in the near future, so resolution/graphics are the biggest factor.
Cost: It seems like mainstream laptops are more than 20% cheaper than their gaming counterparts (ie. top of the line 17" mainstream vs 17" gaming laptop). Gaming-specific brands like Alienware seem to be exponentially more expensive - to the point where i stopped considering them as an option.
Also, I'm not planning to go with Sandy Bridge because they seem a little more expensive and I don't want to wait until April to get a laptop (travel plans).