1. What is your budget? $1,000 max. Goal is $600ish
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 15" Screen is just fine
3. What screen resolution do you want? 1920x1080/1200
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? A mix between the two. Not really looking for a desktop replacement, but portability isn't a super big deal.
5. How much battery life do you need? Not a major concern
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)? Minecraft at MAX settings
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) General use
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? Not a concern. At least 250gb I suppose.
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. Anywhere. Even a chain store if the deal is allright.
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? Not a concern
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? DVD-ROM, although Blueray might be fun to play with
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 just want quality
13. What country do you live in? USA
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. 2 reasons I am wanting this laptop: The first is just to have a laptop to take when travelling or out and about. I'll probably take it back and forth to work everyday. This would just be for e-mail, browsing, Youtube, movies. The other reason would be to play Minecraft and possibly some other games with low settings.
My big question is trying to decide between i5 /w dedicated gfx card, or an i7 using itegrated gfx. I'm also strongly leaning towards 8gig of ram. Minecraft is a huge RAM hog.
I appreciate any guidance and suggestions. I build my own desktop, which is where I do all my hardcore gaming, but I'm pretty noob when it comes to laptops. Thanks!
Another 2yr warranty and a very good deal: Dell XPS 15 notebook $650
Core i5 2310M 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, 640GB 7200rpm HDD, 15.6" 1366x768 LCD w/ GT 525M graphics. Includes 2-year warranty in the price.
1920x1080 LCD is a $150 option here.
NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M review
Besides the basic GT 525M review - note the column list just to the left of the review where the cards are listed by Category and by performance ranking.
Midway down the Class 2 you'll find the GT 525M. And you can find other graphics cards and click on the link to read it's review and benchmarks.
For the common e-mail, browsing, Youtube, movies you mentioned and other home office / home entertainment activities the i3-2330M is a good match for a modest budget. And it's gaming CPU performance is certainly able to keep up with a mid-range graphics card like a GT 520M/GT525M.