I'm looking for a laptop that's a good all-around laptop. I do some light gaming, Starraft 2, Rome: Total War, GTA 4, quite a bit of movie watching, I actually like to collect Blu-Ray sets, and being in college I think build quality is important.
So what I'd like:
- USB 3.0 and HDMI output (External HDD and monitor)
- Under $1000
- Good processing and good graphics, capable of running above mentioned games on High or even Medium
- 14 - 16"
- Blu-Ray player
- Don't care about hard drive (I'll switch out to SSD).
- As light, and stylish looking as I can get it.
- Very good build quality.
So far I've been looking at way too many computers and I'm getting really overwhelmed. I also live in the US, but will probably order through the company's website for the education discounts.
Some I've been looking at:
Lenovo Ideapad Y580
HP dv6t (there's a few there)
Sony Series S
Agreed that the Y580 is a really great deal if you want higher gaming settings.
Recently got a Sony Vaio S 15", it's very nice (it's the wife's and hasn't been gamed on though). I would expect the build quality is a little less than the lenovo, but it's very nice looking and light, has a nice touch pad and keyboard + a keypad. The cons are the screen feels a little flimsy (can be twisted some when you grab by the corners), the LED backlighting isn't very good, and the speakers sound a bit tinny (but they've got good volume). We wound up spending about 1100$ after shipping and __TAX__, but we got a free PS3 (deal at the time for students) so it's shipping was also in the price I believe.
Any laptop is likely to struggle with Total War (if it's a newer one) as they are hell on CPUs and GPUs.
Keep in mind the company sites may charge tax and high shipping, so your discount may not make much difference compared to another vendor with cheap shipping and no tax.
Just as a fyi to anyone browsing. I went ahead and got the Y580 - Got it for $1001 including tax and s/h. The reason why I went for it was because of Lenovo's reliability/build quality. Also the gfx card is slightly better.
I ultimately went for it because of the build quality. I checked a similar hp pavilion and lenovo ideapad model (dv7 vs. y480) and the hinges for the pavilion were most definitely weaker than the ideapads.
I also have to commend lenovo for their awesome delivery speed. I ordered it 5 days ago, on a Friday. It's here on a Wednesday already. So really like 3 business days (it was awesome and made me super happy).