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University Laptop with limited gaming capabilities

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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August 19, 2012 11:23:27 AM

1. What is your budget?

~£1000 (needs to last at least 3 years though!)

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

17"

3. What screen resolution do you want?

Preferably 1080p, but 1680 x 1050 + would do

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

Replacing my desktop as it is too bulky to take away, but does not need to be as powerful (desktop is gaming spec)

5. How much battery life do you need?

~6+ 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)?

By no means will it be primarily for gaming, but preferably with the ability to play some on occasion.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)

Other than creating documents, only photoshop

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

500GB+

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

www.dell.co.uk

www.acerdirect.co.uk

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

3 years +

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

DVD ROM with writer

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.

Dell or ACER, had an XPS 420 for 4 and a half years which has been a solid piece of machinery; although I have had to upgrade almost everything inside it.

13. What country do you live in?

England, UK.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Looking for a relatively powerful laptop, preferably with a larger HD screen as I'm so used to having a larger monitor, it will mostly be used for working/social uses and as a TV but I would like it to be able to play newer games on medium settings.

Currently looking at the Dell Inspiron 17R SE for around £900, but some help would be good as I don't have much experience in laptops as haven't had one in years.

Thanks in advance

a c 249 D Laptop
August 19, 2012 3:21:52 PM

Hi :) 

My shops sell laptops in the Uk...and take my word you are NOT going to get 6 hours plus of battery life.... particularly when gaming...think...2 hours MAX...

All the best Brett :) 
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2012 3:40:59 PM

Six hours of batter life when not gaming is possible, but it would need some expensive batteries. There are a few laptops that can last a full day on a single charge, but they are heavy and most of the weight is a huge battery to let the fairly powerful hardware last so long. While gaming, 6 hours is a pipedream as far as I'm aware. Like Brett said, don't expect more than 2 hours. Heck, any laptop with decent graphics probably wouldn't get even that unless it throttles the graphics.
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a b D Laptop
August 19, 2012 4:01:08 PM

Have the Samsung RF711-S01
17.3", SB i5-2410M (w HD3000 iDGP) plus a w/540M GPU, 8 Gigs ram, 128 Gig m4 SSD (for Os + programs) and a 256 gig M4 SSD for starage, + a Blue-ray ROM/DVD-RW drive.
On Travel (on plane about 3 Hours battery Life playing a DVD. (Not I normally stick the dvd on a thumbdrive and play from there).
When selecting model, also google to see if they have a "externded battery ie 9 cell vs a 6 cell. Only way a Normal battery is going to get over 3 Hours uner MODERATE load is with 2 Batteries. Which I normally carry when on travel.

On brands; Would NOT rule out Asus and Toshiba. Dtd but a year or so ago, Asus and toshibia were #1, #2 in terms of reliability and least user problems. Think sony was next.
Dell makes great Business clas Notebooks, but their Comsumer grade are not rank that high, maybe 4th. Acer and HP were toward the bottomof the heap.

Both the SB and IB Laptop will have the HD 3000 (SB CPU) and HD4000 (IB CPU) depending o the CPU model.
.. TheHD 3000 is a LOW end Graphics unit and would recommend getting a model with a discrete GPU (ie Nvidia 540M). NOTE unless using a 3D application (gaming) the iDGP will be used lowing power consumption (longer Battery life). The 540m would only be active when #D application is lunched.
.. The HD 4000 used in some IB CPU based laptops MAY be suffioenct for your needs, thus lowering power consumption.
To see If HD4000 is OK, use the following link. Bottom left will show games FPS.
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-4000-Ben...
To check other laptop GPUs: ie 540M
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-540M.417...

Might take a look at Newegg on specs and user comments, even though you can not buy from there:
17" i5's: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
17 In i7's: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2012 4:02:10 PM

HD 3000 and probably D 4000 also have varying performance between different CPU models, especially between families (i3, i5, i7).
August 20, 2012 9:42:50 AM

Thanks guys, i'll take a look at all of these options

apologies, I meant a reasonably extended battery life when not gaming i.e. using word documents, as I would be able to use mains power if playing anything.
a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
August 20, 2012 2:24:15 PM

Using nothing but Office, five or six hours is much more reasonable than when gaming.
!