Best Smaller Brand Laptop (for gaming)

I'm looking to purchase a new laptop for gaming and thought to do more of a custom build than a standard OEM brand. I just don't like HP/Dell/Gateway/etc. because I find that they compromise too much on quality parts. I'm not totally opposed to using them though, so long as I can get quality hardware within it.

So I've been looking and I saw that cyberpowerPC has custom laptop options. I also saw that MSI has some recommended laptops as well, although they seem to be less customizable.

Basically, I'm just wondering what smaller brand would others recommend based on experience or general reputation. I'm more of a desktop person, my last laptop was purchased almost 6 years ago and was a gateway.

This is for a gaming laptop, below are my general requirements but again I'm looking for brand recommendations rather than a particular model (although if you have one I don't mind).


1. What is your budget?

$1000 - $1400

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

Any size 15+

3. What screen resolution do you want?


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

Portable and light weight but docking station option would be ideal. I still have a powerful PC but would like a laptop to supplement for times when my wife and I both need to do work or play games.

Actually, docking station option is really important to me. So if the big brands are the only ones offering this, maybe that would be a major factor.

5. How much battery life do you need?

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)?

StarCraft2 - High
Shogun 2 - Med/High
TF2 - High

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)

Photoshop, Dreamweaver, After Effects

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?


9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

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

4+ years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

Bluray if possible dvd/rw minimum

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.

Don't like alienware because of gimmicky/bulky/overpriced products
Toshiba because I've never experience a quality laptop from them

13. What country do you live in?


14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

I want something that will last me so a quality brand is important. It doesn't need to be a big name at all, so any brand that I know builds quality laptops. It needs to be a solid piece of hardware but still light weight and portable.
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  1. P.S. If this is all confusing, basically I want recommended brands and then specific models if some are better than others.

    For example, Asus might be recommended, or MSI, or CyberPower, etc. I'm just really out of the loop when it comes to laptop brands and what are the most trusted brands.

  2. I've always been a fan of Asus :D
    This is what I'd get if I had the money heh.. Asus G53

    Msi is good too

    Also, you mentioned customization, I don't know much about cyberpower, but you could give xoticpc a try
    Hope the others can help you out more.
  3. StarCraft 2 with high graphics on a 1920x1080 screen is going to take a GTX 560M or better graphics card.
    Check out the Asus, MSI or Sager/Clevo options at the site kroobs suggested.
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