$1.1k Laptop for gaming/college

Hey. My buddy wants a laptop for gaming/college. Mostly gaming for now though. He has $1.1k to spend. He was originally looking at the Toshiba Qosmio X770-Q7170 model with the following specs: (From the Toshiba website).

Minimum Specs (before customization)
Intel® Core™ i7 Processor (quad-core)
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium
8GB DDR3 memory
750GB hard drive
1.5GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® 560M graphics
Blu-ray Disc™ ROM & DVD SuperMulti drive
LED backlit keyboard
1600x900 native resolution
802.11n wireless
10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
HDMI output
Integrated webcam

That would cost him $1,150. Here's the link to it: http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/cdetland.to?poid=2000016431 He's considering dropping that 5400rpm 750gb drive for the 640gb 7200rpm.

I'll quote him on the games he wants to play and on what settings:

Well generally I would play minecraft on max, Skyrim on high, battlefield possible if I attempt ultra?, tf2 on max, left 4 dead on max? Diablo III, and just about anything else I find on Steam.

So is there something better than what he originally looked at?

Thanks in advance.
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  1. The Toshiba Qosmio is not a good option, because it does poorly in one very important aspect: the display.

    The Qosmio has a 17.3" 1600x900 display. 15.6" 1366x768 and 17.3" 1600x900 displays make things onscreen large, and tend to have very poor image quality due to low contrast. It is good to avoid buying a laptop that comes with this type of display to those who have a budget that allows them to get a laptop that has a better display and still suits their needs, and who don't require larger text for eyesight-related reasons.

    When spending spending $1100, you should look for no resolution less than 1920x1080 for a 17.3" display, unless you require larger text for eyesight-related reasons.

    You can get a faster GPU as well as a better display with the 15.6" Sager NP9130.
    - http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np9130-clevo-p151em1-p-4340.html?wconfigure=yes
    - Downgrade the memory to 1333MHz to save $50, unless you need 1600MHz.
    - Select Windows 7 under Operating System.
  2. Okay, could you find me a 17.3" screen that's 1920x180 and with an HDMI connector?
  3. A laptop with a 17.3" display I meant, not just a display lol.
  4. I brought my W520 on eBay about 2 weeks ago. I have been researching a laptop workstation for heavy Adobe Photoshop work with the ability to play games but I also wanted the following:

    - military specs toughness (I have 5 small children)
    - spill proof keyboard
    - HD 1080p res screen
    - ability to run VMware ESX server natively
    - can support up to 32 GB of RAM
    - has raid support
    - has a TrackPoint mouse key
    - has a SSD drive
    - USB 3.0
    - Intel Centrino Advanced-N WiFi 6205
    - Sandy Bridge i7 cpu
    - internal magnesium rollcage
    - driver support for Windows 8 & Windows Server 2012
    - Linux and Solaris driver support
    - $1,100 budget

    The Intel Ivy Bridge just came out and IBM/Lenovo has upgrade the W series from 520 to 530 so the price is dropping on the W520 and especially on the refurbish units (which come with a full IBM/Lenovo warranty). I found the one I wanted with the specs I needed and made an offer of $1,000 on a unit selling for 1,399.00 and the eBay seller came back at $1,100 and I brought it. Do some research and you will see that the W520 series are a very solid workstation class laptop.
  5. It's a shame, all those Lenovo ones you suggested are really good but my friend is really strict about that 17.3" HD screen he wants, 1920x1080 too.
  6. I ordered an HP laptop with an upgraded 17.3" full HD screen for myself today, and even with that and a couple other smaller upgrades it still cost me just under $1000. Of course, since I don't have it in my possession yet I can't tell you how well it performs, but it certainly sounds like your friend and I were looking into a lot of the same specs. :) Worth a glance, anyway.

    HP Pavilion dv7t-7000 Quad Edition Entertainment Notebook PC

    Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    3rd generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3610QM Processor (2.3 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache)
    NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GT 630M Graphics with 1GB GDDR3 memory [HDMI, VGA]
    FREE UPGRADE to 8GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
    FREE Upgrade to 1TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
    NO mSSD Hard Drive Acceleration Cache
    Microsoft(R) Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word/Excel(R) only, No PowerPoint(R)/Outlook(R)
    No additional security software
    30% off 9 cell Lithium Ion Battery
    17.3-inch diagonal Full HD Anti-glare LED-backlit Display (1920 x 1080)
    FREE Upgrade to Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner
    HP TrueVision HD Webcam
    802.11b/g/n WLAN
    Backlit Keyboard
    Included 2 Year Warranty
    HP Home & Home Office Store in-box envelope

    Extras I purchased that bumped the price:
    $150 for full HD 1920 x 1080 screen
    $25 for backlit keyboard
    $20 for 9 cell battery

    Price: $1,444.99
    Coupon: –$450.00 (COUPON CODE: NBJ9867 for $450 instant savings + free shipping)
    Price after savings: $994.99


    Hope this helps some, even if it just means providing another option to look at.

  7. Will that play all the games my friend wants to play?
  8. Iceycold said:
    Will that play all the games my friend wants to play?

    I can't say for certain, but from the reviews I've seen it sounds like it will play most games with no trouble at all. It definitely appears to have the most bang for its buck of anything else I've seen in its price range, particularly with all of the free upgrades they are offering right now. The graphics card, processor, memory, etc. can all also be further upgraded for not too much more money.

    I remember seeing videos on youtube with gameplay demonstrations for various games using an HP dv7t, so that might be a good starting point for researching how smoothly it can play certain games. Hopefully a hardcore gamer will also see this thread that can answer some of your questions a little more in depth. :)
  9. Yeah lol I'm looking for a hardcore gamer with experience with laptop components to help me out. The only things he needs for sure are a 17.3" 1080P screen and HDMI on the laptop so he can connect it to his big TV.
  10. He has a new budget, it's now $1,300. Since the first laptop I showed went up to the price of this laptop:


    Is that one good? It just isn't 1920x1080. Can someone find one similar to that one but 1920x1080.
  11. No. The updated Qosmio is still not a good option, and it will not become a good option until it begins to include a 1920x1080-resolution display. Buying a laptop with a 17.3" 1600x900 display is more than just missing out on an excellent 17.3" 1920x1080 display, it's also an issue of how bad 17.3" 1600x900 displays are. 1600x900 resolution in a 17.3" display makes things onscreen large, and such displays tend to be cheaply manufactured LCD panels that have very poor image quality due to low contrast. (Note: 15.6" 1366x768 displays are the same in these regards.)

    You should consider 15.6" displays that have 1920x1080 resolution before considering 17.3" displays that have 1600x900 resolution. Buying a laptop based on its display size alone, without regard to resolution, is not a good idea.


    But the HP DV7t Quad Edition, in a configuration with the GT 650M, will approximately match the gaming capability of the Qosmio X770.

    Here is a saved configuration of the HP DV7t Quad Edition that includes the GT 650M and 1920x1080 display upgrades: http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/load_configuration.do?destination=review&config_id=7278756

    This computer normally costs $999 to $1049 after an appropriate coupon code is applied. However, no coupon code is available, so I would recommend regularly visiting this page for the next 24 hours or so until it updates to show a coupon better than the meager $50-off coupon: http://www.logicbuy.com/deals/coupon-new-hp-pavilion-dv7t-17-3inch-notebook/11471.aspx
  12. Will the DV7T play all those games my friend wants to play? And if it doesn't is there a laptop similar to that one with same display size & resolution that contains a GTX 670M/675M/680M?
  13. Iceycold said:
    Will the DV7T play all those games my friend wants to play? And if it doesn't is there a laptop similar to that one with same display size & resolution that contains a GTX 670M/675M/680M?

    The 650m will play most of the games you listed on high @ 1920x1080, however games like BF3 would only be playable at lower details and/or resolutions. Even a 680M will not run BF3 on ultra at a stable 60fps @1080p in multiplayer.

    See benchmarks here: http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-650M.71887.0.html
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