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Portable Desktop Replacement Help

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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June 8, 2012 11:49:43 PM

1. What is your budget?
$1000 - 1500 (depends on the final specs)

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15.6"

3. What screen resolution do you want?
Min 1600x900

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
I treat my current machine as a portable desktop. Looking for an upgrade.

5. How much battery life do you need?
Plugged in 99% of the time. Might opt to remove the battery when not needed if there's any chance in that saving it from dieing as quickly.

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)?
Yes but I don't expect High settings. I'm sure I'd hit Steam hard with a capable machine but for now let's say Diablo 3 and Guild Wars 2 at medium settings.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
I use VMs for development. Being able to smoothly run 2 at a time is a nice-to-have.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Min 320GB 7200 RPM (speed is important)

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Preference to anything with a local store-front (Toronto)

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
3-5 years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD Writer. Debating on none at all.

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.
No real brand bias. More interested in the reputation of the specific model / line / series.

13. What country do you live in?
Canada

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Some duplication but as a minimum I'm looking for...
15.6", 1600x900
Ivy Bridge i5
8GB RAM
320GB 7200RPM HDD
GeForce GT 640M
English only keboard (curse you bilingual keyboards!)
June 10, 2012 4:29:07 AM

There are tens of laptops that fit that description, but the Sony Vaio S seems to match almost exactly what you want. The only difference is that the screen resolution is a bit higher and it has a 640M LE (however, if it's Kepler, it will play most games fine).
Here's the link.

Edit: I didn't notice the storefront thing, but there should be plenty of places in Toronto that sell Vaio computers; there should even be a few Sony Stores according to their website.
June 10, 2012 4:58:12 AM

The S series was on my radar. I've seen various sources that claim they are using the Kepler version of the 640M LE but nothing from Sony themselves. I've actually contacted their customer support through multiple channels to be told that they can't verify if their laptops use Kepler or Fermi. I haven't ruled out the idea entirely but I can't say I was happy with that answer.

Also your link makes me sad since apparently the US store doesn't force you into paying an extra 500$ for a SSD if you want to upgrade to an i7. Although I could have swore you weren't forced into this configuration when I took a look a few days ago. Possibly a glitch with the Canadian store.


The Lenova Y580 20993AU looks to meet my requirements (although I've read some mixed reviews) and Reflex Notebook has some Sager models that would fit the bill but I'd feel more comfortable being able to get a hands-on look before purchase. As well as making life easier for returns in a faulty part situation, which is why my preference for the store-front.
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June 10, 2012 5:06:22 AM

Check out http://www.gentechpc.com/index.asp to get some ideas. Some good Asus models with i7 ivy bridge and 660m and some sagers with 2nd gen i7 with 670m. An MSI with a 3rd gen i7 and 670m.
June 10, 2012 6:27:33 AM

SciencePiggy said:
The S series was on my radar. I've seen various sources that claim they are using the Kepler version of the 640M LE but nothing from Sony themselves. I've actually contacted their customer support through multiple channels to be told that they can't verify if their laptops use Kepler or Fermi. I haven't ruled out the idea entirely but I can't say I was happy with that answer.

Also your link makes me sad since apparently the US store doesn't force you into paying an extra 500$ for a SSD if you want to upgrade to an i7. Although I could have swore you weren't forced into this configuration when I took a look a few days ago. Possibly a glitch with the Canadian store.


The Lenova Y580 20993AU looks to meet my requirements (although I've read some mixed reviews) and Reflex Notebook has some Sager models that would fit the bill but I'd feel more comfortable being able to get a hands-on look before purchase. As well as making life easier for returns in a faulty part situation, which is why my preference for the store-front.


I was actually looking to pick up a Y580. Where did you hear those reviews? The laptop came out only a few days ago.
June 10, 2012 10:15:31 PM

SciencePiggy said:
Some complaints on cooling and people investigating if the GPU is being underclocked. Not widely confirmed by any measure...
http://forum.notebookreview.com/what-notebook-should-i-...
http://forum.notebookreview.com/ideapad-essential/66711...

And just general bias against the line from users previously burned...of course you'll find that for pretty much any laptop.


Yeah, the GPU thing is a little odd. Supposedly Optimus downclocks to save battery but that guy's GPUz information seemed somewhat off. Guess we'll have to wait for benchmarks.
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