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Looking for a good college laptop.

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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April 2, 2011 9:26:30 PM

Hello, I'm seeking a good laptop for college next year.

1. What is your budget?
Up to $3000

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Around 14-15 inch

3. What screen resolution do you want?
Medium-High

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

5. How much battery life do you need?
I would like at least 3-4, if a battery slice or other option to extend battery life is available, that would be great

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)?
World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, Rift on medium/high

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
I will be an engineering major so whatever programs I need for that, watching movies, but not really any photo/video editing

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Not too important, but I'd prefer a SSD

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
none

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
At least 4 years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM both preferred but not necessary

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 really have a preference on brand.

13. What country do you live in?
US

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I need a laptop that has fairly high performance but balanced with a decent battery life. I'd sacrifice performance before battery life because I'd need it for class and don't want to carry like 5 batteries around with me.

Thanks in advance for any feedback/help.

More about : good college laptop

a c 244 D Laptop
April 2, 2011 9:39:01 PM

Hello and welcome to the forums
The best gaming laptop with a decent battery life is the AW M17x R3.Customize it with 6970M and you're good to go
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April 2, 2011 10:00:39 PM

The m17x is a bit bulky, I'm looking for more portable then a desktop replacement. Lugging around a 12 lb 17 inch laptop to every class might get annoying.
I know its hard to find a decent gaming laptop that portable but thats why I came here. I've been looking at the HP Envy 14 and Dell XPS 15. The Envy I've heard is good, but I'm not sure how well the 1gb graphics would do. The XPS has 2gb graphics, is a little bigger, but I'm not sure how the battery life would be.
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Related resources
a c 244 D Laptop
April 3, 2011 7:10:09 AM

therobert93 said:
The m17x is a bit bulky, I'm looking for more portable then a desktop replacement. Lugging around a 12 lb 17 inch laptop to every class might get annoying.
I know its hard to find a decent gaming laptop that portable but thats why I came here. I've been looking at the HP Envy 14 and Dell XPS 15. The Envy I've heard is good, but I'm not sure how well the 1gb graphics would do. The XPS has 2gb graphics, is a little bigger, but I'm not sure how the battery life would be.

Go with XPS 15 then.It's battery life should last for 3-5hrs and it's got second gen Core "i" CPUs which makes it faster than Envy 14
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April 3, 2011 1:12:37 PM

Okay, last question (for now) how much would the 2gb graphics improve performance? and how much more battery life would I get if I went down to the 1gb?
My desktop has 256mb graphics so anything would really be a drastic upgrade to what I've been using.
Currently, this is what I'm looking at:
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a c 572 D Laptop
April 3, 2011 1:19:16 PM

There is zero advantage to you to get 2GB of VRAM on your graphics card over 1GB if they charge extra for the 2GB ver.

How much is that configuration with the 256GB SDD?
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a c 572 D Laptop
April 3, 2011 1:23:35 PM

The GT 540M is a nice upgrade over the Mobility HD 5650 in gaming performance. And you might get a few more FPS with the Sandy Bridge CPU as well.


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April 3, 2011 1:50:01 PM

That build was $3,039.98 with a 1TB external hdd backup.
They're charging an extra $100 for the NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 540M 2GB graphics with Optimus vs. NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 525M 1GB graphics with Optimus.
The TV tuner was $50 so I added that in, even though I doubt I'll use it much
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a c 572 D Laptop
April 3, 2011 2:06:31 PM

GT 540M vs GT 525M is a respectable upgrade in gaming graphics power.
That 2GB vs 1GB won't matter.
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April 3, 2011 2:41:37 PM

WR2 said:
GT 540M vs GT 525M is a respectable upgrade in gaming graphics power.
That 2GB vs 1GB won't matter.

If I went with the 540M vs the 525M, how much would it effect battery life?
Judging off the CNET review for it: http://asia.cnet.com/product/dell-xps-15-sandy-bridge-c...
I'd have about 4 hrs of battery life with the 9-cell, which isn't too bad, but I'd like to improve it if possible.
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a c 572 D Laptop
April 3, 2011 2:52:43 PM

More battery life = less gaming performance. It's evil - but it's the way things work.

If you're NOT gaming - battery life should be equal since with Optimus the big GPU shuts off and the little GPU runs the display.
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April 3, 2011 3:29:31 PM

WR2 said:
More battery life = less gaming performance. It's evil - but it's the way things work.

If you're NOT gaming - battery life should be equal since with Optimus the big GPU shuts off and the little GPU runs the display.

Oh okay, probably should have looked up Optimus before hand.
So the difference in the two card's will only affect battery life while gaming (or other GPU intensive tasks)?
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a c 244 D Laptop
April 3, 2011 4:00:21 PM

Yes
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April 3, 2011 5:14:43 PM

Thank you and everyone else for your help.
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April 4, 2011 7:52:37 PM

Okay so I thought I could bypass my college's (convertible) tablet requirement with just a usb tablet, but now I'm hearing people suggesting to actually just get a tablet.
I figured I'd just continue this thread then starting a new one.
Does anyone know of a good convertible tablet?
I like the lenovo x220 tablet coming out soon, except for the fact that it has integrated graphics.
I know tablets are meant for gaming, but I'd rather buy one computer for school rather then two. If anyone knows any good tablets out now or coming out fairly soon that could have the ability to possibly do some gaming, please let me know
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Best solution

a c 244 D Laptop
April 5, 2011 6:15:53 AM

AFAIK,There aren't (and won't be) any tablets with a powerful GPU.
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April 11, 2011 11:57:30 PM

Best answer selected by therobert93.
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