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Workhorse laptop that can still do a bit of gaming?

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Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
August 24, 2011 1:25:34 AM

I'm in the market in the future for a laptop. It'd be mainly for stuff like word processing, web use, etc., but I would like to be able to do a bit of gaming on the side as well.

I'm not looking for anything even that would really qualify as a -gaming- laptop, I just want to be able to run some (mostly older or less requirement-intensive) games on it, I'm not even really interested in using it for anything like CoD or the like, I have a desktop for that. I just want to be able to play some stuff on the go, mostly older stuff I have in my games library that I haven't really gotten around to. I was originally looking at netbooks but I've read (in passing) that if I save up a bit I might be able to get a machine that can run games up to the level of Portal (1, not 2) for a few hundred more.

Any recommendations for a laptop on this level?

1. What is your budget?
600 USD

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Doesn't really matter

3. What screen resolution do you want?
honestly unsure. If I can get a decent resolution I'll be more than happy.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
no, I have a desktop, this is a secondary machine.

5. How much battery life do you need?
3-4 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)?
I do want to play games, mostly older/less resource-heavy titles, stuff like Reccetear, Terraria, Serious Sam: The First Encounter, maybe on the high end (VERY optimistically) something like HL2:Ep2 or Oblivion... All but the last two I'd probably hope to run at high settings.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
I do a bit of programming, I probably will also want to listen to music or watch video.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
It's flexible, but I could shoot for 250GB if it's possible at least-- that seems to be standard on laptops I've looked at

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
I've bought from newegg before and had good experiences.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Several years, it's mostly going to be a workhorse.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Don't need a blu-ray, I think. DVD-Writer if possible.

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.
no preference

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

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August 24, 2011 9:17:31 PM

Best answer selected by savagegreywolf.
August 24, 2011 9:21:30 PM

Thanks for the replies. I went with the Acer Aspire AS7551G 17 notebook
I wasn't expecting to find a machine with specs like that for under 600 in a laptop, clearly I need to learn to refine my searches better, haha. Thanks to everyone that replied but especially WR2.
October 12, 2011 3:10:48 PM

Hi WR2, I am looking for a very similar machine as savagegreywolf. Staples has a Toshiba that has the same features as the Acer but with 6GB Ram, 640 GB HD and a 17.3" screen for the same $500. Is this a better deal than the Acer? Thanks for any insight. tpr4407

WR2 said:
lenovo IdeaPad Z570 15" notebooke $549
Core i3 2310M(2.10GHz) CPU, 4GB RAM 500GB HDD, DVD Burner, 15.6" 1366x768 LCD w/ GeForce GT 520M graphics.

TOSHIBA Satellite L745D 14" Notebook $549
AMD A-Series A6-3400M(1.4GHz) 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD, DVD Burner, 14" 1366x768 LCS w/ AMD Radeon HD 6520G graphics.