Heading back to school and need a new Laptop

Heading back to school and need a new laptop . . . of course for gaming too!
Any and all help is appreciated as my knowledge is old and outdated by a few years now.

1. What is your budget? $1500 with some wiggle room. Less $$ out of my pocket is better as times are tight and am heading back to school.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Would like 17” screen if feasible with budget constraints.

3. What screen resolution do you want? 1080p

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Either one is acceptable

5. How much battery life do you need? 3+ hours

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)? Rift/High , Day of Defeat/medium-high, Stalker/medium, counter strike/med-high.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.) Watch movies, light photo editing, light cad work (engineering school)

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? 500GB @ 7200RPM

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. Have only ever really dealt with newegg.com and amazon.com before but am open to other suggestions as well.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? 5yrs +

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Don’t require bluray but dvdburner is always nice.

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. Have owned asus in the past and liked their products but that was a number of years ago, Toshiba . . . had a melted wreck of a laptop from them once. Sony I feel is overpriced. That is about the extent of my knowledge (I know its not much)

13. What country do you live in? USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Basically I am a Military Veteran looking for a laptop to go back to school for engineering with, I would also like to play games on it and have good connectivity. Budget is $1500 with some wiggle room (although coming in well under would be nice). I am open to any suggestions, ideas, tips and pointers.

Thank you for your assistance.

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More about heading back school laptop
  1. Ok started looking at Sager NP5170 Custom Laptop at xoticpc website and came up with a couple of questions.

    Would the Gt540m severly limit the longevity of this laptop or is it recent enough to last a few years yet through school?

    Is the cpu i7-2630 QM worth it over the i5-2520 QM or would it be a waste to set my sights higher still at the i7-2720 QM.

    Really need a laptop to last me through school and then some, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
  2. Well based on what you posted you have quite a few options. I would highly recommend an HP Envy, the beats edition is only 14" but the 17" is just as powerful. Here's the stats and a link:

    2nd generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2820QM (2.3 GHz, 8MB L3 Cache) with Turbo Boost up to 3.4 GHz
    1GB GDDR5 Radeon(TM) HD 6850M Graphics [HDMI]
    8GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
    800GB 7200RPM Dual Hard Drive (SSD 160GB + 640GB 7200RPM)
    Backlit Keyboard

    Just under $1500, and if you want you can get it in 3D

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