I'm in the military, and can no longer lug around my small office worth of computers, KVM switches, monitors etc. (lol Cosmos 1000) I've been out of the hardware game so long that I sorta need some help. I lost touch about time the q6600s came out. Anyway...
I stay away from laptops, because desktops can usually be easily fixed when something is borked. Perhaps it is bad luck, but I've avoided laptops for anything serious because I am so god awful tired of shoddy laptops and poor reliability, and having to essentially write the whole thing off when it gets borked. My last laptop was an HP tx1000 with engineering that should be offensive to anyone who can tell a hammer from a french fry. I'm not impressed with warranties either; it's an empty promise.
Gaming is pretty much my only significant leisure activity so... So I'm pretty much looking for a heavy hitting gaming laptop from a brand that I can maybe/sorta/hopefully count on to deliver a product that can reasonably expected to turn on in 2 years, without trying to fix the thing on my nickel every 7 months.
tl;dr Gaming Laptop/Reliable/Not Gaudy (covered in lights - looking at you Samsung 7 Gamer!)/sub $2-2.5k
1. What is your budget?
Under $2000 good
Under $2500 okay
Under $3000 ONLY if everything else impossible
2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
3. What screen resolution do you want?
4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Doesn't matter. gaming desktop replacement I guess?
5. How much battery life do you need?
I assume battery life will be laughable with any system with the power I'm looking for, so I guess it doesn't matter.
Also, I could probably find this one out myself, but I might as well throw it out there... I really like my Dell Vostro a90 (8.9 sceen), except it can't really handle videos of any respectable resolution. It chokes on 720p. Heck anything more than 360p is a gamble. Anything on the market with a super small screen/weight that has a bit more muscle? Last I checked the smallest laptop you could get was still more than 10 inches. I'd like to get a little companion for the gaming behemoth. I still like my little a90 tho.
I don't know a whole lot about the reliability of brands like Dell, Acer, Asus, etc for their laptops. But, I'd suggest you might want to look into Falcon Northwest, a boutique brand.
Let me just describe their TLX real quick:
- 15.6" screen @ 1080p
- Intel Core i7-3720QM (2.6GHz)
- 2x4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
- GeForce GTX 670M 1.5GB
- 500GB Momentus XT hard drive (the hybrid mechanical/solid-state one)
It comes standard with a 1-year warranty (check out their website for details on it); however, they still offer support for machines no longer under warranty (they just get lower priority over warrantied products).
All their machines are custom built, and as long as you don't damage it yourself, they should be able to take care of everything.
But do the research on Falcon NW yourself, too - I don't own one or know anybody who does (although I do know that they're reputable), so I can't recommend one. But from their specs and everything, it seems to be a good fit for you, except for maybe its price, so I'd say they're definitely worth looking into.
Well I'm not sue how future proof you can make a laptop, but I would be happy with something that could run Metro 2033. Though admittedly the games I play the most are usually older or console ports (CnC Generals Zero Hour // Mass Effect 3 for example)
I'm familiar with other boutique vendors, but I've no experience with any (which is why I can only suggest looking into them). Others I'm aware of (that are highly reputable, at least) are Sager, Clevo, and Malibal. Sager and Clevo are mostly the same computers, just rebranded. Malibal, I'm not sure of who actually owns them, but I get the feeling they might be with Sager and Clevo as well (judging from the naming schemes).
At the price range you're looking at, these four brands (Falcon NW, Sager, Clevo, and Malibal) are probably going to be the ones to give you the best bang for your buck, so you'll definitely want to shop around with them.
Each of their websites allows you to 'build' a laptop to your liking and get an instant quote for it, so take advantage of that.
The '150' notebooks are 15.6", and the '170' notebooks are 17.3"; the TLX is 15.6" as I said before. Falcon NW also offers their DRX, but I don't think you'd want something that overkill even if it was in your price range (starts at $3.6k!).