Choosing a Graphics Laptop under $1500

I'm going to be studying film animation at university starting this year and want to make a sound investment.

1. What is your budget?
Under $1500

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Something that isn't too bulky to carry around. As for screen size, I'm probably going to be getting a separate monitor for when I'm working at home, so around 15 inches should be good. Around or under 5 pounds.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
At least 1680×1050

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
A portable would be best as I've got to bring it around with me. Something fairly light would be best.

5. How much battery life do you need?
At least 5 hours.

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 would be doing casual gaming at medium setting. (Quantum Conundrum, Zoo tycoon, TF2, Portal, SIMS 2, other Steam games)

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
I'm going into a film animation program, so I will be using Photoshop pretty demandingly. I will also be doing music mixing and making as well as HD video editing.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
A lot. Preferably over 750GB. 1TB in my dreams.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
<a href=>Best Buy Canada</a>
Though this isn't the only place I'd be willing to shop for it, I'd prefer to pick it up in-store.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Something reliable would be nice. Ideally it would last until the end of my degree (4 years). I'd be willing to give up some of the computer's power for the sake of it not burning out on me.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
I would be using it to play and burn CDs and DVDs.

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.
I don't know terribly much about the brand recommendations. I was really interested in Asus, but is that worth it for Graphic Design? I'm a bit skeptical about buying a Mac as I've heard that you can get better bang for your buck with other brands.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I'm ready to spend quite a bit of money on this laptop(by my standards at least) so something that is sturdy enough to last a few years would be ideal as I don't really want to go laptop searching every two years. A long lasting laptop is what I'm looking for.
At least 4GB of RAM
Good hard drive speed.
A good processor (i7 would be perfect)

Thanks for your time!
8 answers Last reply
More about choosing graphics laptop 1500
  1. I know this isn't a Canadian store but is about what your looking for. You didn't specify currency, just the amount.

    Intel Core i7-2670QM 2.2GHz
    8GB Memory 1TB HDD
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
    8X DVD-Super Multi Double-Layer Drive
    Additional HDD bay

    You're not going to find very good battery life on a higher end laptop, this has 'upto' 4 hours. The better the hardware, the more power it consumes. I'd suggest buying an additional battery and maybe a battery charger.

    BTW the keyboard on this has a very nice feel for a laptop.
  2. This is the laptop I currently own and it's pretty awesome. Pretty good bang for your buck. The laptop runs fast, the screen is nice, and runs pretty cool. I get about 4-5 hours life (Not the best, but not to shabby either).

    ASUS N56VZ-DS71
    (Just a reference link - not sure best deal from Canadian dealer)

    My roommate tends to buy Dell laptops and recently picked up this one. I also really like this laptop and it runs very fast. Has a great screen!
    Dell 17R SE

    I would consider investing into either of these laptops. Both have nearly identical specs and should last several years. Either laptop will meet your school demands and allow for casual gaming (Runs games like BF3 well on lower settings too). Of course these are not the only options out there, but I would recommending checking both out.
  3. The N56 is a good laptop, the Lenovo Y580 is also good. The Y580 has and average battery life of 4-5 hours with a max life of 8 hours, wifi off and minimal screen brightness of course, but day to day use is about 4-5. The Y580 will run you about $999 from now till close of business the 15th of august then it may go back up to $1449 after the sale unless they do another sale.

    The Y580 offers a 3rd gen i7 quad core cpu, 8 Gigs of ram, 2 Gb 660m and a 15.6 1080p FullHD screen

    sager laptops have the best price/performance ratio i have ever seen for a gaming laptop

    the only problems are that the shipping takes forever and those prices do not include an OS. if you are a patient and already have a windows disk id say get one with a quad core processor and a gtx 670, you will save a but load of cash compared to name brands with inferior graphics cards
  5. I'm a fan of the ASUS ROG G55VW. Can pick them up on Amazon for 1,200.00 - 1,400.00 bucks. I love mine, built in sub ftw.
  6. for about the same price you can get a sager with a 670m, 16gigs of ram, same processor a 60gig ssd and 500gig hdd
  7. He doesn't want a gaming laptop he wants a graphics laptop. He said casual gaming and and any of these laptops will do that. I am looking into sager personally for more gaming oriented, but my other choice would be the levnovo Y580.

    The only reason I'm not getting that is because it has a glossy screen and it gets hotter than I'd like while gaming. Glossy is a personal preference and if you are photoshopping it shouldn't get too hot.

    if you can wait a little while longer, just had a promo on the Y580. The price for the 'top' model with the 32GB ssd was $999CAD and then went down from there. The model I would get is the 1TB one Full HD and add my own Msata ssd later.

    Sorry I'm rambling now. For you though I would pick the Y580. It looks professional and has the hardware to do whatever you want, even the 1TB hard drive (5400 rpm mind you but hey, you get the storage).
  8. I've gone and checked out these recommended laptops and found that I hadn't taken into account the importance of weight. I understand that a powerful computer would end up being quite heavy so I suppose that I'm in a position where I have to give up power for ease of transport and use.
    I will be carrying this laptop around with me on a very regular basis and I don't like the idea of second guessing myself bringing it because of it's weight.

    So basically I'm looking for a powerful, durable computer (Keep in mind the information from the OP would be ideal but I understand that it won't reach all those requirements.) that is under or around 5 pounds (2.30kg).
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