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Laptop Recommendation

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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December 4, 2011 1:04:51 PM

I'm looking for a laptop and cannot find the perfect model. All are missing something. Can you guys recommend the perfect laptop? Or, as close as I can get?

1. What is your budget?
Around $1000. I can probably go as high as $1300 if that gets me the perfect candidate.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Preferably a 14". I would consider 13.3 or 15.x if the laptop is compelling enough.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
Preferably >720P but <1080P. Ideal would probably be 1440x or 1600x

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Portable. Light is nice but not at the cost of ports and CD drives. No ultrabook.

5. How much battery life do you need?
5hrs+ is good. But, 6+ would be nice.

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 game quite a bit on my desktop and would like the option of a game or two on the laptop, but nothing serious. Odds are I would do very little gaming.

Games I play / have played seriously: UT99, UT3, Oblivion, Borderlands, Diablo series, etc.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Web surfing, Photo Editing, occasional AutoCAD or 3D Studio for work (don't need pro video, though)

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
If HDD, then 500+ would be good. I would settle for as little as 128GB if SSD.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
BB (reward zone), Newegg are top two but will consider others.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
5+ years. I'm posting this from my 6yr old Inspiron 710m.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Blu-ray is a big plus. I can do without it if I must, but would prefer to have 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.
Preferred brands: Toshiba, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo
Don't care for: Acer (Don't think of it as a big enough name), Samsung (too new into laptops), Gateway (Haven't liked Gateway since their crappy desktops years ago)

13. What country do you live in?
US

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
My top three must haves while searching have been:
1. 7200rpm or better storage drive
2. USB 3 port
3. HDMI port

My most important features that are almost must haves:
14" chasis
Blu-ray
Discrete Video for decent gaming

Thanks for the help!!

More about : laptop recommendation

December 4, 2011 2:10:22 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|34-152-280^34-152-280-TS%2C34-152-258^34-152-258-TS%2C34-152-266^34-152-266-TS%2C34-200-294^34-200-294-TS%2C34-230-099^34-230-099-TS

Five laptops (including Maziar's suggestion) in your price range, using your specifications.

A few things to point out:

The MSI GE620-021US has NVIDIA Optimus, which greatly extends the battery life when the dedicated graphics card is not needed.

ASUS offers 1 year complimentary accidental damage warranties.

The M14x is the only one that can't do 1080p. It also lacks an HDMI port. It also trades a faster clocked i5 dual core (2.3Ghz) vs. the other 4, which have slower i7 quad cores (2.0Ghz).
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December 5, 2011 12:15:45 PM

Thanks for the replies guys.

I should have been more clear on resolution. I do NOT want 1080P. 1080P leaves the icons and text too small for my taste at native resolution on a <15" laptop.

To recap:

Must have features
7200rpm or better storage drive
USB 3 port
HDMI port
NO 1080P

Really really want features
14" chasis
Blu-ray
Discrete Video for decent gaming
Prefer higher than 720P but will take 720P if all other features are right.

I saw the 14.5" Envy locally at HH Greg a few days back and thought, "This is it!". Alas, no USB 3 or Blu-ray. From the reviews I've seen on the new 14" model, it's screen is not up to par with the 14.5. (EDIT: Newegg shows the Envy 14.5 as having USB3. Will research further)

Thanks for the tip on the AW M14x. I was not aware of it and will take a look at it. I just wish the AW laptops weren't so ugly :) 
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a c 244 D Laptop
December 5, 2011 1:50:06 PM

Ugly ? :D  You're the first guy I've ever seen that calls M14x ugly.
Anyway,aside from these 2,you won't find a laptop with a more powerful GPU
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December 5, 2011 1:57:45 PM

Maybe gaudy is a better word ;) 

I'm not looking for super powered gaming. All of my serious gaming will be on a desktop. I'd like the option of playing something on the road occasionally, but it wouldn't be anything competitive. It would be something I wouldn't mind scaling down video quality if needed. I just want better than Intel integrated video. Maybe something midland between Intel HD 3000 and top of the line nVidia/AMD.

I'm still searching and nothing I turn up in a 14" chassis with all the other features has Blu-ray. I've even tried customizing the Envy and M14x and neither has the option for blu-ray. Is blu-ray still too new?



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a c 244 D Laptop
December 5, 2011 4:12:21 PM

M14x doesn't have the BD option?! well they omitted it then,because it had it IIRC
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December 5, 2011 4:37:33 PM

i would look into some MSI laptops. new to the game but MSI makes quality hardware and the best thing is they barely install any crapware on them
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December 6, 2011 1:20:15 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

is the only laptop Newegg has at 14" with:
>=1 HDMI
< 1080p
>=1 USB3 port
discrete graphics
BD drive

it has a 5400rpm drive, although at $740 you could buy a replacement drive if you want.

BD drives on laptops with <1080p are not common... with screens under 15" are even less common. Newegg lists 3 laptops.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|34-200-301^34-200-301-TS%2C34-214-491^34-214-491-TS%2C34-214-410^34-214-410-TS%2C34-214-487^34-214-487-TS%2C34-246-223^34-246-223-TS

lists 15.6ers with BD combo drives, <1080p, discrete graphics and at least 1 HDMI port. None have 7200rpm drives.

Granted these are only the offerings from Newegg; you may find what you're looking for elsewhere.

I think the issue is Blu-ray & not 1080p is the realm of 15.6" laptops and a gross majority of them lack HDMI/discrete graphics.
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December 6, 2011 1:33:00 PM

Thanks for all the help guys. You helped me realize maybe I need to choose something other than 14". I decided to drop down a size and go with a 13.3".

Though I've always been a Sony hater, I picked up a Sony Vaio VPCSC31FM.

Blu-ray
USB 3
HDMI
Hybrid Storage Drive
Hybrid Graphics

Only 720P, but at 13.3 inch, that's not an issue for me.

I could still return it if something compelling comes along or if something awful pops up on this one.

Thanks!
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a c 244 D Laptop
December 7, 2011 8:47:36 AM

Looks good but don't expect to run games on good settings though.6470M is a low-end card
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December 7, 2011 5:10:32 PM

I think of Intel HD 3000 as being low-end. Should I expect performance from the 6470 to be around that of the Intel HD 3000?

I'll admit that I didn't research the 6470. I assumed it would be fair to midland.

I mentioned above I don't mind lowering the quality settings of games if I do play on the laptop, but I'll be sure and test it before I run out of time to return it.
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