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Looking for a gaming notebook for under $900

Hello folks;

I'm obviously not trying to find the ultimate mobile gaming unit on a sub-1K budget, but I would like a machine that can play Skyrim, Deus Ex HR, stuff like that on high-ish settings. I do not want to spend more than $900 because I plan to also purchase the 3-year SquareTrade warranty which will boost my cost up over a thousand anyway, but if there is some spectacular deal that requires an extra fifty ducks or something over my limit, I'm totally down.

Hit me with any and all suggestions; links are nice if you have them handy.

As is custom, here is the official questionnaire:

1. What is your budget?

$900. I'm flexible, though: I'll shell out a little extra for a really sweet deal.

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

14" to 15" preferably, but I'm open to most anything.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

I want x1080, I'd be okay with x900, and I'd settle for x768.

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

Either or. I have no issue with lugging around a fifteen-pound notebook.

5. How much battery life do you need?

I plan to be plugged in most of the time. Four hours would be sufficient.

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 would like to run Skyrim (most important), Deus Ex HR, Rage, Space Marine, Crysis Warhead and other stuff of that general technology level on medium-high settings. And if I can play The Witcher 2 on any settings at all, that'd be just gravy.

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

Photoshop mostly, aside from the standard word processing/web-surfing/etc.

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

500GB at least would be nice, although the most important thing about the HDD for me is that it is 7200 RPM.

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

No preference. It has to be legit, though. If you link me to Toolscamera I will eat your face off.

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

Long time. Honestly I'm not worried about when I'll need another one.

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

DVD-ROM at least.

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.

Through Microsoft Prime I can get discounts on Dell (and, I think, Alienware by extension), Lenovo, and Sony, and a family friend can get discounts on HP. However, I resent Dell for all the junk software they pre-install on their machines, and the last time I had an HP-related hardware failure (DVD drive to be specific) their customer service was less than worthless.

13. What country do you live in?

United States.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Right now I'm looking at the ASUS G53SW-XA1 on Amazon, which is discounted to 899.99. On the surface it seems like a remarkable deal, but the lion's share of the reviews call it a piss-poor piece of hardware, citing failures with the power switch or AC cord or things like that, and a subsequent need for replacement.

Now I realize that the Amazon customer reviews are not an accurate cross-section of the results of all people who purchase the machine (a failure is more likely to result in a review, etc.) but I'm still skeptical, which is why I'm asking for alternatives. The G53 is a beastly machine, especially at that price, but I'll settle for slightly less good hardware for a more reliable piece of tech.
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about looking gaming notebook
  1. Some other possibilities: $910, has a GT 540m GPU Slightly more at $950, but with a much better GPU (The GTX 560m)

    Both are 15.6in laptops, but offer more powerful hardware.

    Here is some more information on sager laptops and which is the second one I suggested and the xoticpc website:

    Sager actually produces the bare bones laptops for HP and Dell as well as for some other companies, so you can typically get much better price/performance and reliability by buying a laptop from them that hasn't been rebranded.
  2. Best answer
    ^go for the i7 2630qm for $30 more and get 4x2GB RAM which subtract $50. Also get W7 HP for $80. Get rid of OD for HDD caddy for SSD later for $14. Total up $1021.41.

    IMO, good price.
  3. Thanks guys. That Sager is a pretty sweet option. I can get Win7 for less than $50 directly from Microsoft, plus I want the OD, so that brings the total down to about $990.

    That's almost a hundred dollars more, and the only difference between the Sager and the Asus would be the GTX 560M. I'll have to seriously consider whether or not that hundred dollars could be better spent.

    Again, thank you.
  4. Yes, the extra $100 is not really buying the amount of performance gain of what it is worth. But if you are really worry about the ASUS laptop, it is an alternative. I personally wouldn't worry about the overheating issue. Usually people scream overheat because their laptop is running at around 85-95c, but those temperature are ok for gaming laptop. Gaming laptop thermal limit is usually at 105c.
  5. Best answer selected by StandardFiend.
  6. a bit late to the party but heres my recommend
    Asus G74
    17.3" display
    8GB Ram
    1TB HDD (two 500GB actually)
    GTX 560m
    This is a bestbuy edition so it lacks bluetooth and the gtx is a 128bit bus instead of the better 192bit version but at the native resolution of the screen its a non-issue.
  7. Thanks for the input.

    And to anyone else, feel free to add in your two p. I noticed I wasn't getting very many replies so I figured it was best to Solve the thread, but I'm always open to suggestions.

    I did end up going with the ASUS G53, only for the $100 savings. But, if I have any problems with it I'm going to return it, bite the bullet, and shell out extra for a more reliable product.

    I also cannot, for the life of me, find one of the L-connectors that are recommended for the ASUS, due to the apparently weaksauce connector and gargantuan power supply. Dunno if any of you know what I'm talking about, but if you do, and you have a link, you would certainly save me from having to browse through all 7000+ items on Amazon that come up for an "L connector" search!
  8. This topic has been closed by Maziar
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