Hey all - I am new to the site by registration though I have frequented THW for advice and opinions in the past.
I have in question four different computers and two companies.
The two companies are Asus and Sager. The four laptops are: NP8170 vs G74SX-A1, and Asus G53SX-A1 vs NP8150.
I am definitely going to buy one tomorrow. I've found threads that have nearly answered all my questions, but I'm looking for opinions on my specific case.
Although my limit is more or less nonexistent, I'm trying to aim for 1800-2200. It is for this reason that I have opted out of the new GTX 485m and settled with the GTX 560m.
The first decision is whether or not to go 17in or 15in. I really don't know which one I would prefer. I will be attending some college, but I will also be out working in the field with Pipe Welders doing reports. It will be my gaming rig, work computer, and study computer all in one. I will be doing a LOT of traveling with it. I realize that some people might say the weight will get me - but I have been in the service as infantry (a little weight for a happier me is okay ).
Each person who replies - If you wouldn't mind taking the time, please respond with which model you think I would prefer and why.
Right now, I have a 10" netbook, so I'm not exactly sure if the 15in will disappoint me per say.
I've noticed that the 15in Sager offers a screen upgrade to the "matte type" 95% color gamut for 95 dollars. This is is attractive - but I don't have any experience with anything other than normal screens. That said, if you think that upgrading the screen will make a world of difference - please say so.
As for the 15in Asus, the screen upgrade is 200 dollars I won't spend for something I don't even know I'll be able to appreciate.
GPU and CPU are the same 17in and 15in for all four models.
The 17in and 15in Asus models give 12gb standard of ram, as opposed to 8gb on the Sagers. However, from what I've read I won't notice any sort of difference.
I've also opted for the Bigfoot Network Killer card on all four models. For the past years I've owned laptops, nothing has ever angered me more than a crappy wireless connection. Is this 40 dollar upgrade going to improve anything?
The next big difference between Asus and Sager is the warranty. I am buying through Xoticpc.com (my mind on this matter has been sealed). Asus offers a one year standard warranty for accidental damage. The Sager doesn't. Although I have no plans to drop my laptop, I will certainly be going everywhere. I will be going to school in Ohio, then working in California up and down the coastline. It is possible that something might happen to it - although still unlikely.
The last difference might seem like stupidity, but the child inside of me seems to pull a LOT of weight on this matter. I have an insane desire for a lighted keyboard. Asus is the only one that offers it. I can really imagine playing into the wee hours of the morning on weekends with an awesome purple keyboard. If anyone can tell me their specific experience with such a modification, I would certainly appreciate it.
That said, price wise they are all fairly comparable.
... but I will also be out working in the field with Pipe Welders doing reports.
...I've noticed that the 15in Sager offers a screen upgrade to the "matte type" 95% color gamut for 95 dollars. This is is attractive - but I don't have any experience with anything other than normal screens.
The matte screen might make the difference between the laptop being usable outdoors and a glossy screen laptop screen being too glare/reflection filled to be of any use.
You might be interested in some College Student Personal Property Insurance through NSSI
Besides covering your laptop for Accidental Damage, Theft, Fire, Flood, Natural Disasters, Vandalism and Lightning Strikes you can have any of your property (cell phone, MP3 player, etc) also covered.
Although accidental damage warranty (or insurance) is great to have the rist of theft might be the #1 risk after routine warranty type work. Check your credit card features to see if any of them offer an extended warranty for this type of purchase.
15" vs 17". Since you already have a 10" netbook this should help you lean toward the 17" I would think. Day-to-day college needs (mostly note-taking, checking email, internet access and social networking, etc) are covered by that. Use the new laptop for the heavy duty multi-tasking projects the Netbook isn't good at. You'll learn pretty fast when you need to haul the laptop along and when you can leave it tethered at home.
You're right about not noticing any difference between 12GB & 8GB RAM (even 4GB most of the time).
I'd have to type inside my truck which would cause some hassles.
Take your netbook and work with it in your truck, and if similar conditions to what you encounter in the field. You'll get the idea.
To a lesser degree this applies to any situation where you don't control the lighting conditions (classroom, library, office) which you can usually do at home.
Even with screen type and size - I still can't decide between Sager or Asus. It just seems to be a really tough decision. I hear both sides. I hear from Sager owners that the Sager is thinner and better. I heard Asus owners say they are built better. But it seems to me that both are high quality.