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15 inch Laptop, Gaming-Capable, 4-5 hours

Dear brilliant people,

I've been scrubbing forums and reading spec sheets for a long time now. I pose to you one question that has bothered me for a while and one question which is a classic hair-puller among tech-junkies everywhere.

1. Is there such a thing as a 15 inch gaming computer that will give me 5 hours of work (not gaming, but MS office work) battery life? Assume size/weight/functionality > price. I'm intrigued by the Intel Optimus technology, but not super convinced that paper=reality. I also like the HP Envy 15 with a slice battery, but, because I work/live in Europe 5-6 months a year, I need a laptop that I can plug into a foreign socket without a transformer.

2. (the "there is no-answer, go die") question. Buy now, or wait? I only ask this "arg" question because of the looming Ivy Bridge processors and Kepler GPUs. I avoid buying "the best" because, lets face it, that is a dumb play. What limited reports I've seen show minor improvements in power efficiency and semi-irrelevant performance bumps on the Ivy Bridge chips. Does anyone out there think that these new chips are really going to be worth waiting for if a new computer (with a decent price-point) is needed in, say late May?

Thanks.

Oh, and this is unrelated to computers, but I'm expecting my first child and have been doing extensive research into how to save money. If you guys want to stack some cash, check out HSA-eligible health insurance. By taking advantage of the tax credits I will save about $5000 a year over the "benefits" that my employer offers. Its like a super-Roth IRA! (sorry, I had to share)
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  1. Best answer
    Hello DaHof;

    The 5hr battery life for MS Office / moderate multi-tasking is a challenge.
    Most standard 5-6hr battery ratings are for 'note-taking mode', WiFi off/LCD screen @ 20% brightness and a single app running. That same battery might get 4-4.5hrs with WiFi on and a modest multi-tasking workload.

    With a bigger, higher capacity battery, a spare battery, or extra slice battery those times can be extended.

    Both brands of dedicated graphics cards have ability to shut down and let the CPU's IGP handle graphics. Nvidia = Optimus & AMD = Dynamic Switchable Graphics. It works as advertised. For some applications / situations you need to 'teach' it to either use or not use the dedicated card. You can set 'profiles' to handle that.
  2. WR2 said:
    Hello DaHof;

    The 5hr battery life for MS Office / moderate multi-tasking is a challenge.
    Most standard 5-6hr battery ratings are for 'note-taking mode', WiFi off/LCD screen @ 20% brightness and a single app running....


    Thanks WR2, much appreciated.
  3. Best answer selected by DaHof.
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