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Gaming laptop purchasing advice requested, UK user.

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Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
December 6, 2011 8:56:42 AM

Hi, Last year I purchased a new mid-range desktop (2500 Sandy Bridge OC'd to 4.2Ghz, GeForce 460 Overclocked, 4 Gig RAM etc) but I have come to realize I need something I can take around with me when I travel. I spend about 5 months of the year away from home, so I am looking to purchase a Laptop in January. My big issue is I'd hate to end up with something significantly less powerful than my current desktop. Here are the requested details:

1. What is your budget?

£700-800. There is some wiggle room here for a great setup.

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

At home, I have a 23 inch monitor to hook up it, but can't take that with me when I travel. I'd say a 15.6 is the lowest I'd consider, but Ideally I would want a 17inch. As long as the weight isn't completely insane, I am not concerned about it.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

I've become very accustomed to 1080p HD. I'd like to avoid dipping below this, but realize it may not be possible to avoid within my budget range.

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

I need something portable, but I may as well aim for a desktop replacement considering the portion of the year I will spend away from my current desktop.

5. How much battery life do you need?

This isn't too much of a concern. Most of the trips I take are 2-3 hours long, but it will largely be used plugged into mains. if I am able to watch a film or a few episodes of a tv show on it while flying / waiting at airports, that's fine with me.

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 do. I am not a hardcore gamer anymore, but still a gamer nonetheless. I'm looking at playing SWTOR, Diablo 3, and maybe 1-2 more games over the course of the time I expect to own the laptop. I've never been a person who needed the absolutely maximum settings with all bells and whistles, but I'd like to avoid having to turn everything down to minimum to get a decent frame rate. I guess I'd have to say medium settings.

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

Nothing too serious. Mostly work that won't tax the machine at all. However I do like to do some amateur video editing and games footage capture.

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

Not really an issue. I can always have an external drive for storage. A 500g internal should suffice.

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

Just been doing a little snooping around to gauge prices. Looking at a few specific options like

Note that since I am in the UK, places like newegg are ruled out.

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

2+ years. There is a chance I'll be spending an entire year out of the country in a few years, so I'd be aiming to get a new laptop shortly before the 3 year mark either way.

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

No currently need for Blu-Ray. I doubt it will become industry standard in the lifetime of this purchase.

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 had horrible experiences with Alienware in the past (although my budget means they aren't really an option anyway).

13. What country do you live in?

Currently the United Kingdom.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Don't really want to purchase from suppliers outside of Europe, unless they have options to return the laptop to somewhere based in Europe in the case of repairs etc.

Thankyou for your time.

More about : gaming laptop purchasing advice requested user

a b D Laptop
December 6, 2011 11:13:10 AM

As for 1080p on a 17" screen... Completely unnecessary, the pixel density is going to be greater (8166 per square inch for your home monitor vs 10380 per sqare inch on a 17" @1600x900). In other words the screen with lower res appears smoother/less pixelated.

do you NEED to buy it brand new?

you can get great deals on some very capable laptops if you are prepared to ebay.
For example:
a b D Laptop
December 6, 2011 2:19:35 PM

My big issue is I'd hate to end up with something significantly less powerful than my current desktop
that's an interesting notion, since laptops are significantly less powerful than desktops. To get a laptop that is as powerful as a desktop, even if it's possible hardwarewise, you'd have to pay about 3x the price of the said desktop.

that said, your budget is a bit shy for a gaming laptop, so options like what's suggested above is something to consider since if the machine works ok for 3 years it will give you more bang for the buck than a lower specced new system.
Related resources
December 9, 2011 4:40:59 AM

Taking aboard various points made, I'm fine with 1600x900 resolutions. I realise I can't get an upgrade from my current desktop PC in all respects, but there is a lot of room for improvement in my current GFX card, which I am hoping will offset a lot of the processor power I will lose.

So my question becomes, which of the options I have linked seems like the most solid bet?

As for the ebay thing, I'm fine with buying from ebay shops, but not from end users unless due to lack of support and general issues I've had with ebays support policies.
a b D Laptop
December 9, 2011 8:23:29 AM

Well, one of the sellers listed is a refurbisher, I assume they have some form of support....

However, since posting I have found this today...

It is really as much as you could hope to get for your budget. I think you need to check your expectations. What you are looking for is way out of your budget just due to the nature of your form factor being a laptop.
a b D Laptop
December 9, 2011 11:23:49 AM

Out of the ones you linked in your first post, Asus would be the best choice, cause it's got the best GPU out of the 4.

Also note that the lenovo is a dual core i7, other three are quads.