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Best lightweight gaming laptop money can buy?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 30, 2012 3:47:41 PM

I am currently in search for the best lightweight gaming laptop currently out there. Price is not a problem I just want the best there is. I am very strict with the weight as I want it to be less than 5 lbs as much as possible and I also would like it if the screens were as big or bigger than 13-14 inches. For me, it's hard to game with small screens. :)  Currently, I'm looking at this: http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product...

Although I'm not so sure if that Intel graphics card is so good since I heard that AMD graphics cards are a lot better. Any suggestions? <5 lbs please. :D 
a b D Laptop
July 30, 2012 4:06:43 PM

Like so many people coming to this forum you seem to believe that laptops are simply portable desktops and therefore capable of everything a desktop is capable of. This is an impossible dream. I doubt you'll find what you want without considerable compromise.
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July 30, 2012 4:29:59 PM

That laptop isn't really going to be very good for gaming. You'd be better off with a 15" Vaio S with the Nvidia GT 640M for graphics for ~1100$; since your focus is on gaming you definitely want a discrete GPU (AMD or Nvidia), intel graphics aren't very good. An i7 will likely help your gaming some, but it's not as important as a good GPU.

If you want an SSD (improved boot times, some general responsiveness improvements), simply purchase one yourself rather than having it installed, since they are marked up very high by the laptop makers. (A 512GB SSD should cost you about 500-550$, but it's probably adding 1000-1500$ to the cost of that Vaio Z laptop). They don't really help with gaming much, other than load times for levels.

edit: I recommended the Vaio S simply because I've recently purchased one, and they have good performance in a small package. It's likely that there are better performing machines available for more money, so be sure to look around more; but the one you linked will not perform as well in gaming as the cheaper Vaio S due to the GPU.
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July 30, 2012 4:39:44 PM

I'm with Ram on this one. Even the one with the 640M that DjScribbles mentioned isn't a particularly good "gaming laptop."

If money is truely no object, why don't you just get an ultra book for portability and build a desktop for gaming? Any laptop <5 lbs. with a gaming-class video card is going to have about 30 mins of battery life anyway.
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July 30, 2012 4:44:23 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$2100,64GB x 2 SSD RAID 0, 750GB storage drive, GTX 675M, i7 3610QM, 17" screen, bluray burner, the list goes on and on, i believe this is the most powerful gaming laptop you can reasonably get. However it is 8lbs. For under 5 lbs the sony is the best choice, but i've seen reviews stating the red's are displayed off-colored. ( so hopefully that has been fixed)
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July 30, 2012 4:52:27 PM

subasteve5800 said:
I'm with Ram on this one. Even the one with the 640M that DjScribbles mentioned isn't a particularly good "gaming laptop."

If money is truely no object, why don't you just get an ultra book for portability and build a desktop for gaming? Any laptop <5 lbs. with a gaming-class video card is going to have about 30 mins of battery life anyway.


You guys do have valid points. There are limits to what is even possible, no matter what you put into the computer. You may want to figure out whether gaming performance or weight are more important to you and focus on that. Higher performing laptop hardware is going to use more power, requiring a bigger battery (more weight) and more cooling.

Without knowing more about your requirements and expectations, it's tough to say what would be the best route. What sort of games do you want to play, and at what settings? Are you going to be gaming on the go, or gaming at home and surfing while on the go? Is the weight more important than smooth performance? Would a desktop + laptop work better? (which could easily be done for 3k$ or less by the way, getting the better end of both worlds).

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July 31, 2012 2:16:27 PM

I should have mentioned that my job requires A LOT of traveling. To the point that I am almost rarely at home. I haven't touched my desktop for a long time now. That's why I'm looking for a really good lightweight gaming laptop since a gaming desktop is not an option anymore. :) 
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July 31, 2012 2:42:50 PM

The Intel HD 4000 is actually a pretty good integrated graphic core especially if you take into consideration that they have traditionally ignored gamers. The integrated graphic core in AMD's APU are a bit more powerful which is understandable because AMD acquired ATI back in 2005 or 2006.

To put integrated graphic cores into perspective, the Intel HD 3000 is basically equal to a desktop Radeon HD 5450. The Intel HD 4000 is about 40% more powerful than it's predecessor and is basically equivalent to a desktop Radeon HD 5550. The integrated graphic core in an AMD Llano A8-3850m APU is basically somewhere between a desktop Radeon HD 5550 and Radeon HD 5570. The Intel HD 4000 is a close contender, but it usually looses. I believe Trinity A10-4600m is AMD fastest APU and it's integrated graphic core is basically slightly faster than a Radeon HD 5570.

If you do any research on the above mentioned desktop Radeon graphic cards you will note that they are very weak gaming cards. That means the recommended gaming resolution is 1366x768, perhaps 1600x900 at best for the Trinity A10-4600m.
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a b U Graphics card
July 31, 2012 5:55:40 PM

That Sony Vaio Z is a great mobility laptop but as JaguarSKX points out that $3000 is buying you the gaming graphics power of a $60 desktop video card.
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December 11, 2012 4:42:50 PM

*bump* it's now almost 5 months since this discussion...

Are there any more laptops in this category?

Strictly under 5 lbs - with a dedicated graphics card? (640M or better)

The only thing I've been able to find is the Sony listed above, or a Macbook Pro Retina with bootcamp installed to run Windows.

Thoughts?
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December 11, 2012 7:49:27 PM

i'd go for the razor blade if I could spend as much as I want
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