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Shopping for a new laptop

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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February 9, 2011 5:47:21 PM

Hello Toms Hardware people, been a longtime reader but this is my first post. I know it's a little redundant as there's a handful of other threads asking the same things, but hoping to get lucky and maybe find that one person who didn't post in the other threads and will solve all my problems... :D 

1. What is your budget? ~$1200, the ones I'm considering at $650 and $810

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Preferably 14", 13" or 15" may work, 12" and 16" is pushing it, 11" or smaller and 17" or larger are out.

3. What screen resolution do you want? The higher the better, but it's not a deal breaker

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Yes. lol.

5. How much battery life do you need? I would like surfing/word processing to be at least 3-4 hours with wifi on. For more intensive things, I'll be plugged in.

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. TF2, CS:S, HL2, Rift, Dawn of War, Civilization. Low graphics settings are fine with me, but I like SMOOTH framerates. At least 30fps or I lose interest.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.) Coding, hulu, youtube, take notes, pretty much everything except audio/video editing although I may get into CAD later

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? Not an issue. If it's too low, I'll put in a bigger one.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. Don't care. Newegg hasn't been good to me on laptops (excellent for everything else). I generally frequent dell and lenovo outlets and ebay.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? Hoping for 4 years, but lets be realistic. I'd be happy with 2.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? I don't *need* one 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 don't like HP because I've had bad product in the past, but I'm not dead-set against them. I don't like Dell Inspirons as they seem cheap to me, Dell Precision is my favorite. Toshiba feel cheap to me. Asus seem solid. Only want Mac if I can put Windows on it reliably. Sony is bloatware central and costs too much, but if you find me a cheap one I can fix the bloatware. Acer/Gateway both seem low quality to me, but I take care of my stuff so it shouldn't break through usage. Alienware are dead sexy. Mom's lenovo keyboard wore out after like 6 minutes, other than that it's been a good machine.

13. What country do you live in? USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. I am another one of those college student / gamers. Currently have a 17" beast and an 11" netbook. Hoping to sell both and get something in between.

Current considerations are:
HP DV6 3143US with switchable graphics http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=34-157-...

Lenovo y460 with switchable graphics

Also found an Acer TimelineX that met all my requirements, but I can't find anywhere to purchase it.

Alienware m11x - have heard some bad things about the build quality, and I'd like a larger screen and slightly better CPU. Still considering it though.

More about : shopping laptop

February 9, 2011 6:19:24 PM

Not sure what any of your hardware specs are, but I think the HP Pavilion dv6T Select Edition for $699 would be a great, powerful machine for you.

It has a 15.6 VGA screen, 2.53 GHz i5 processor, 6 GB of RAM, and 640 GB storage. That's definitely a great machine right there. Also, it even has Blu-Ray R/W! At $699 its definitely a good buy.

Here's the link - http://www.microsoft.com/windows/pc-scout/laptop-detail...

What do you think?

Kevin
Windows Outreach Team
a b D Laptop
February 10, 2011 8:57:10 AM

agreed, its more than enough for your type of gaming and use.
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February 10, 2011 4:08:04 PM

Looks pretty similar to the one I was considering from newegg. Anyone able to find some "real-world" battery life charts?
February 11, 2011 6:31:35 PM

So, looks that HP for $699 doesn't include the Blu-ray or the switchable graphics. After adding those on, it's more like $950. Still a decent machine, but is it worth the extra money over the Lenovo y460? Also, looking at the Envy 14 which seems like it (for $17 more) would be a better value as well.
!