Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

First Laptop - For College/Moderate Gaming

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
Share
May 23, 2011 9:36:09 PM

1. What is your budget?
$1000, don't want to go much higher
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Not really sure, this will be my first year of college, so I'm looking for some advice on what is a good size but not to bulky to bring with to classes. I'm thinking maybe 15"?
3. What screen resolution do you want?
Not too picky here, 720p and above is fine.
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
I want a moderate balance between power and mobility. Once again, using this for college and moderate gaming, so kind of both.
5. How much battery life do you need?
I'm thinking 3 hours, can anyone provide some general advice on how much is required for college?
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, I plan to play games such as WoW, Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3 when it releases. I don't expect to max these games out, medium settings will be fine, and as time goes by I know I'll have to lower settings.
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Probably just basic stuff, unless something comes up at college(I'm doing IT, most likely networking).
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Not really a big deal. Anything over 320BG should be fine. SSD is not needed, as they are expensive.
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
I've had great experience with newegg, but also want somewhere that supports the deal for a free Xbox360 if possible.
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
3, maybe 4 years
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
A standard DVD drive should be fine, blu-ray if possible but don't need it.
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've owned numerous Sony products and love them, so they are definately an option. Ive heard Asus is good as well. Some other brands I'm fine with are Samsung and Toshiba. Brands I would really like to avoid are Dell and HP. More so Dell, I've had bad experience with them and don't care for overpriced Alienware. HP I've had problems with too, but would be more willing to consider them than Dell.
13. What country do you live in?
USA
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I think that pretty much covers it. My parents don't want me getting a "gaming laptop". I don't want to get the best laptop out there either, seeing as they have very limited upgrade options. I just want a laptop that can handle current games moderately and is somewhat future proof. I also really want the 2nd Generation of Intel's "Core i" series(Sandy Bridge) since it seems to be more effecient as far as batter life. I also heard all the first generation ones were defective in laptops. Is this true? Also, how good is Nvidia's Optimus technology? Having that will be a great benefit as it should allow for performance with a discrete card yet save battery life when doing things like taking notes in class.

May 24, 2011 10:31:35 AM

I would definitely look at ASUS laptops.
m
0
l
Related resources
May 24, 2011 7:39:42 PM

If I was in your situation I would simply pick up a cheap netbook (~$350) that has enough room for your hands to type confortably, and with the rest of the money I would build a semi-decent desktop. The reason I say this is because I've never been a fan of notebooks for a few reasons.

1. In a laptop you're putting a bunch of super-hot components next to each other and telling them to play nice.
2. It has a battery- and batteries wear down.
3. It costs a ton to get decent graphics options in a laptop.
4. You can't replace anything without a hassle.

Here is the netbook I would recommend:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Also I would stick with Newegg- they have fantasatic customer care from my experience)

So now you have ~$650 which if you already have Windows 7 (which you can pick up for $100 anyway) isn't bad for a mid-range PC that should run games at high (not ultra probably) settings.

I picked this stuff out pretty quick but it would be pretty good for a system:

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Item #: N82E16827135204
$20.99

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811129042
$59.95

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136319
$60.99

Acer S231HLbid Black 23" 5ms HDMI LED-Backlight LCD monitor Slim Design
Item #: N82E16824009255
$149.99

ASUS M4A78LT-M AM3 AMD 760G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131672
$69.99

XFX HD-577X-ZNLC Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814150539
$126.99

CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Item #: N82E16817139028
$69.99

CORSAIR XMS 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M1A1333C9
Item #: N82E16820233132
$40.99

AMD Athlon II X4 645 Propus 3.1GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ADX645WFGMBOX
Item #: N82E16819103885
$104.99

Subtotal: $704.87

So yeah I went a little over budget and I'm assuming you have Windows sitting around- but you can build a system for $700 including a 1080p monitor.

This is personally what I would do, now if you don't like my suggestion of two PCs, Maziar's Sager PCs look pretty good too but they only reason it has a low $880 price tag is because they left out Windows 7 pre-installed on their customization page- so unless you have a copy sitting around for no reason his laptop is really $970.
m
0
l
May 24, 2011 8:37:17 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. How reliable is Sager? I'm very skilled with computers, but I know right now that my parents won't like the idea of me having a custom laptop built from some website, especially since they think it will be for gaming which they are against. I have looked at ASUS laptops and they seem nice and I've heard they are reliable. Getting one from xoticpc probably won't allow me to get the free Xbox360 will it? I don't want to keep it, but I could get $150 for it easily so that's something else to consider. As for the netbook suggestion...I'm not sure if that will work. I need to go to IT classes with this, stuff like networking so I am guessing a somewhat powerful laptop will be needed. I already have a semi-decent desktop at home. Here's its specs :
Core 2 Duo E6600@3.00Ghz
4GB DDR2 Ram
500GB HDD
HIS 4870 512mb
OCZ 500W PSU
Acer 22" LCD 1680x1050

I can run most games on high settings but it's starting to show its age so I need to upgrade it soon. That's another story however. I guess I just need some advice on what you guys think is the good balance between portability, battery life, and performance for a laptop within my price range. To be honest I'm really not sure of how powerful of one I will need, but I was thinking an i7(2nd Generation and Quad Core) since it needs to last at least 2 years. Can anyone tell me by any chance how good of a laptop a student going into IT-Computer Networking should have? I just don't want to show up to class with a netbook and find that I need more power but at the same time don't want to get a laptop that's overkill but has poor battery life/is too bulky.

EDIT - Forgot to say that yes, I do have W7 at home so I do NOT need an OS.
m
0
l
May 25, 2011 1:05:48 AM

Here are two ASUS laptops that both look fantastic:

Both of these laptops have 1 GB of dedicated memory for their GPUs:

The first one is 6.4 pounds and has a second generation i7 (2.0 GHz) in it, 4GB of RAM, a 750 GB hard drive and a 540M (also supports Optimus- but not listed on Newegg)-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$1070

This laptop is 4.7 pounds, has a higher clocked first generation i5-460M (2.5 GHz), 4 GB of RAM, a 640 GB hard drive and a 310M (also uses nVIDIAs Optimus technology to maximize battery life)-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$1050

Both of these are fantastic laptops but if I was choosing I would pick the former due to it's upgraded parts that should produce less heat and give you more power.
Here is a great article from Microsoft that explains the XBOX 360 + PC thing... http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/windowsexperience/...
It appears that you have to order your laptop through the Microsoft Store, HP.com, Dell.com, or bring your student ID into Best Buy- I'm not sure if ASUS is participating in this deal but even if they aren't I certainly would still buy one of these laptops in a flash just because I think ASUS products are well made and I've had bad luck with HP and Dell.

Your parents sound familiar...
m
0
l
a c 244 D Laptop
May 25, 2011 10:59:35 AM

trogdor796 said:
Thanks for the suggestions. How reliable is Sager? I'm very skilled with computers, but I know right now that my parents won't like the idea of me having a custom laptop built from some website, especially since they think it will be for gaming which they are against. I have looked at ASUS laptops and they seem nice and I've heard they are reliable. Getting one from xoticpc probably won't allow me to get the free Xbox360 will it? I don't want to keep it, but I could get $150 for it easily so that's something else to consider. As for the netbook suggestion...I'm not sure if that will work. I need to go to IT classes with this, stuff like networking so I am guessing a somewhat powerful laptop will be needed. I already have a semi-decent desktop at home. Here's its specs :
Core 2 Duo E6600@3.00Ghz
4GB DDR2 Ram
500GB HDD
HIS 4870 512mb
OCZ 500W PSU
Acer 22" LCD 1680x1050

I can run most games on high settings but it's starting to show its age so I need to upgrade it soon. That's another story however. I guess I just need some advice on what you guys think is the good balance between portability, battery life, and performance for a laptop within my price range. To be honest I'm really not sure of how powerful of one I will need, but I was thinking an i7(2nd Generation and Quad Core) since it needs to last at least 2 years. Can anyone tell me by any chance how good of a laptop a student going into IT-Computer Networking should have? I just don't want to show up to class with a netbook and find that I need more power but at the same time don't want to get a laptop that's overkill but has poor battery life/is too bulky.

EDIT - Forgot to say that yes, I do have W7 at home so I do NOT need an OS.

Sager offers laptops with an excellent build quality and a great price/performance ratio
You can find laptops offering better CPU than your desktop but you can't find any laptop in your price range that offers a GPU faster than desktop 4870
m
0
l
May 25, 2011 1:42:08 PM

Laptops are famous for breaking, I would not get one in the mail online because of that reason and buy it locally instead.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/ATI-Mobility-Radeon-HD-565...

I found this link, it has a long list of mobile gpu's.

The toshiba with the hd-5650 with 400 shaders paired with the phenomII quad seems to be the compromise laptop between cost, size, and power.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Toshiba-A665D-S6059/14550209
$748.00 Toshiba Charcoal 16.0" Satellite A665D-S6059 Laptop PC with AMD Phenom II P920 Processor & Windows 7 Home Premium

Where is liano? since that would be the best option here.

m
0
l
May 25, 2011 6:54:03 PM

need4speeds said:
Laptops are famous for breaking, I would not get one in the mail online because of that reason and buy it locally instead.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/ATI-Mobility-Radeon-HD-565...

I found this link, it has a long list of mobile gpu's.

The toshiba with the hd-5650 with 400 shaders paired with the phenomII quad seems to be the compromise laptop between cost, size, and power.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Toshiba-A665D-S6059/14550209
$748.00 Toshiba Charcoal 16.0" Satellite A665D-S6059 Laptop PC with AMD Phenom II P920 Processor & Windows 7 Home Premium

Where is liano? since that would be the best option here.


Because everyone knows that laptops aren't shipped to stores but simply magically appear on store shelves- your logic doesn't make sense- also infamous would be alot more appropriate than famous for "laptops are ____ for breaking". Also it's Llano not Liano.
m
0
l
May 25, 2011 9:51:50 PM

I am willing to purchase online if the website is a reliable one such as newegg, and from the suggestions here I'm willing to get a Sager as well. So xoticpc is a reliable website? The only reason I'd rather purchase one locally is for the free xbox360, but that's no big deal since I would just sell it anyways. I don't need one with a better gpu than my desktop, as I don't need to max out games, just run recent ones(such as WoW and BC2/BF3) at medium settings. The concerns I have with the toshiba you posted is the battery life. The 2nd-gen core i series offers much better battery life I've heard. Btw, I've heard BF3 is going to be revolutionary as far as graphics from it's forums, so my question is will a laptop with a 2nd-gen i7 and a 540m be able to handle it at medium settings? I guess I could play at low and just use my desktop(after I upgrade it) to run at high, just wondering though.
m
0
l
May 26, 2011 12:12:18 AM

From this article that need4speeds provided: http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-540M.417... the 540M will lie between the desktop 5650 and 5730. Personally I can run my 5770 @ 1680x1050 all of my games at max (some anti-aliasing and antriscopic filtering disabled) so with a smaller resolution monitor @ 1366x768 you should see just about the same performance as I do.

Also look into this laptop which is also an ASUS. It is exactly the same as the first laptop I recommended to you except it has a 500GB hard drive instead of a 750GB one. It's also $890- $180 dollars cheaper than the first one I recommended and it also fits inside your budget allowing you to buy (possibly?) an extra battery for your laptop.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also about Battlefield 3... here is a trailer you may want to see... make sure you put it into HD. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zw8SmsovJc
m
0
l
May 26, 2011 11:12:40 AM

"Because everyone knows that laptops aren't shipped to stores but simply magically appear on store shelves- your logic doesn't make sense- also infamous would be alot more appropriate than famous for "laptops are ____ for breaking". Also it's Llano not Liano. "

Ok whatever, 117969pcs.

It is the difference between taking a hour to exchange something, or wait for 2 weeks for a item to be shipped then repaired, then shipped back again.
Yes in both cases the item could have shipping damage.
m
0
l
June 11, 2011 8:43:12 PM

You guys need to get laid.
m
0
l
June 11, 2011 8:48:08 PM

Oh, and P.S: Macs kick ASS!
m
0
l
June 11, 2011 10:28:08 PM

Really? Is this a bot or can someone please punish this user?
m
0
l

Best solution

June 12, 2011 12:02:01 AM

trogdor796 said:
Really? Is this a bot or can someone please punish this user?

pretty sure hes talking about need4speed and11796pcs to which i would agree. the idea that you shouldnt buy a laptop because they too easily get shipping damage is wrong. laptops these days are rather strong. i personally have spilt a cup full of coke on my laptop stepped on it dropped my backpack on a concrete floor with the corner slamming into the floor and it is still kickin. i have a samsung rf511 btw. its an i7 with a gt 540m and can play on mostly high settings. it will not max out bf2 but rather medium high. overclocking then your talking a different story.

also i hear that the xbox promotion is kinda of a gimick in that most companies make you buy additional stuff to get it like a warranty or something but amazon doesnt? so maybe try there?
Share
June 28, 2011 4:58:47 PM

Best answer selected by trogdor796.
m
0
l
September 18, 2011 8:21:34 PM

Get an MSI GE620DX-278US for around $1000. That's what I paid for my MSI GX633 gaming notebook four years ago. I use it nearly every day and it spends a lot of time on the road and in hotels. MSI's come with a very nice backpack. It has been rock solid. I game all the time, mostly the latest first person shooters on Steam as well as my old favorites, Max Payne and the FEAR series. It runs the latest F3AR just fine as well as Duke Nukem Forever, and Mass Effect with a NVIDIA GT9600M and 512 MB dedicated graphics memory. It has all the bells and whistles you can put on a notebook. I use the HDMI port to show videos on my TV. My only upgrades have been hard drives of 320GB and then 500GB. The MSI's use a hard metal frame and seem to cool very well. The battery life is about 3 to 5 hours. There is an ECO button you can use to automatically adjust for power conservation. Of course the GE620 is much upgraded from my old road warrior but I am sure it is just a tough.
m
0
l
September 19, 2011 4:16:12 AM

I already went with the ASUS K53-SV1 nearly 3 months ago.
m
0
l
!