What's the best laptop I can get for under $3,000?
What I'm looking for most is high GPU performance and portability. I'd much rather have ivy bridge over sandy bridge. The best I've seen so far is a Eurocom Racer 2.0 (or Panther 2.0), but it's rather large and clunky and I'm nervous about making such a large investment with an off-brand manufacturer.
SSD is not necessary since I plan on using my current Samsung 830 256 GB in the laptop.
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
At least 15"
3. What screen resolution do you want?
Hoping for 1080p, any will do
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Prefer portable over desktop replacement, both preferably
5. How much battery life do you need?
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)?
Max settings possible for under $3k
7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Data crunching in matlab/mathematica
8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
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 ?
Blu ray preferred, but not necessary
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'd feel better about buying from major brands due to support readily available
13. What country do you live in?
I go back and forth between USA and UK
14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Don't need SSD, already have one. Would prefer ivy over sandy bridge.
Sony Z-Series is probably your best option - it has a docking stations that has it's on dedicated video card inside the dock. That way you can game at home and travel light without having to sacrifice battery life. They also just started to use Ivy Bridge quad cores in that small chassis so it's portable, powerful and visible with a 1080p screen: it's the best of both worlds.
I also like OriginPC's laptops - their Eon15-S has a little more junk in the trunk than Sony's Z-series but it has a myriad of GPU options from the Nvidia 600 mobile series. Normally I recommend spec'ing light for HDD & RAM because you can spend less and get more by buying it elsewhere and installing it yourself but I am not sure how easy it is to get to that in their chassis. When you try to pack that much power into a laptop, sometimes you have to make things fit like a glove rather than giving a little wiggle room.
Turns out current gen Z-Series doesn't have any compatible docks. Both the Eon15-S and the Falcon laptops look great. I will check them out in detail. However, the OriginPC laptop pricing seems much more reasonable.
No problem - Nvidia is working on getting the 680M out but I am not sure how long it will take to get to market in laptop configurations. The 675M should smoke for a mobile GPU. I wish the GPU in the docks were swappable - that would be a game changer.