My wife needs a new laptop that she can use both for gaming with me and for note-taking for law school. I'm having some trouble finding a good compromise between the two so hopefully you fellows can help me out!
1. What is your budget?
<=$2000, though I'd prefer to stay under $1600 unless there is significant improvement
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
3. What screen resolution do you want?
No real preference.
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
5. How much battery life do you need?
4 hours when just browsing or using the word processor. I know it'll need to be plugged in for gaming.
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)?
Diablo 3 and Guild Wars 2 on at least medium settings; high would be preferable if it doesn't sacrifice portability too much.
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
At least 200GB; I doubt this will be a limiting factor
9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD ROM Player only
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.
13. What country do you live in?
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Most important things to look for based on what you are wanting to do is size, processor, GPU & battery.
The M14x will be able to handle gaming with ease and it's fairly portable though it may be a touch heavy. It's also a Dell product so you'll have some customization options which means you get exactly what you want. Unfortunately, you're also paying for an Alienware which means you'll need some mad duckets.
If you want something a little less expensive, you could try an ASUS G35sx - it have 2 quadcore options for processor, it can include a 560 graphics processor which will handle medium/high settings on most games though you might want to dial down the resolution from 1920X1080 to 1600X900. Might want to test your FPS and see which one works for you. Here's a link: http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-G53SX-DH71-15-6-Inch-Gaming-...
You could also try the Sony Z-series - it's a 13" screen but you can get 1080p resolution out of it. It also has a i7 option but it's the Dual-Core HT variety which means your performance will decrease a bit for processor intensive applications. It has a dock option with it that includes an internal GPU so you could have good battery life while at class and gaming performance when at home.
There are others to try, but those are just my first ones to check out
I too like the Dell XPS 14z/15z - they even released a 13 inch variant recently (XPS 13). The Optimus video card would be good for battery life conservation when not gaming, but the GPU in those (Nvidia 525) is going to get it's ace handed to it on graphically intensive games like BF3. Even the thicker XPS models are using the 550 which doesn't have much more horsepower for gaming.
The look and weight is fantastic but gaming performance on a laptop is always going to be less than ideal.
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