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College gaming laptop recommendation?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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August 4, 2012 5:07:06 PM

Hello good people, new member here looking for some seasoned advice on a laptop purchase.

I've owned an HP dv6700 for over 4 years now (which has been great), but I'm about ready for an upgrade before college. Two examples of possibilities are below the FAQ:

1. What is your budget?
Trying to keep it under $1000, I'm a student so I can't break the bank. I'm looking for deals.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15.6 ideally, possibly 14.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1080 HD

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Less than 7 pounds is perfect, I will most likely be taking notes with it.

5. How much battery life do you need?
No requirement, less than 4 hours is fine.

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)?
I do, and I'm looking forward to Far Cry 3 at high resolution. I also want this to last me another 4-5 years and be able to play more coming games at good resolution. Any card better than a GeForce 640m is ideal.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Good speakers are a plus, but I don't do serious video or photo editing.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
No requirement, 500gb at 7200rpm is fine.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
n/a

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
4-5 years, through college.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
no requirement.

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.
Not much experience here, brand suggestions welcome.

13. What country do you live in?
USA (I'll be in NJ next year).

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I'm in no rush to buy these for a month or two. Any suggestions on when I should upgrade to get the best bang for my buck? Should I wait for Windows 8 so the price will drop?


I've been doing a lot of research on my own, and I've found two examples of machines I'd like:

Lenovo Y580 series (209945U or 20994HU, both of which have 1080 resolution):
http://shop.lenovo.com/us/notebooks/ideapad/y-series/y5...|semd|se|google|K122444|Y580|IIP_NE_Ideapad_-_Y|100028&s_kwcid=TC|1027469|y580||S|e|24810827744

Asus N56VZ:
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

These are both great machines in my tight price range (<$1000), with solid gpus (650m or greater), portability, and durability. I was wondering if you guys at Tom's have a preference between these two, or know of any other systems I should be looking at. I haven't looked at MSI, HP, Dell...

I appreciate your help.

Kyle
August 4, 2012 8:34:56 PM

Thanks for the response!
That is an excellent review of the Asus, especially with regard to the physical aspects of the laptop. Although it is a slightly different model, it is a good picture of what the N56VZ is really like. It sounds like it's a very solid build.
Next I will try to find a similar review of the Y580, and check out the Sager.
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August 5, 2012 12:13:55 AM

Best answer selected by kyled321.
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