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School/Gaming Laptop Under $850 Max

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  • Laptops
  • Gaming
  • Product
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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October 16, 2012 4:09:54 AM

1. What is your budget?
No more then 850usd after tax. Shipping isnt a factor.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15 and below (16 tops but I am used to a 10.5in Laptop and still want it to be portable)

3. What screen resolution do you want?
720x480 (1080P would be nice though)

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Both, but I will be using it for school so mostly portable.

5. How much battery life do you need?
5+ for non gaming and 3+ for gaming. My Acer Aspire One gets about 5 hours while I surf the web, but if I am watching stuff it gets around 3.

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.
Borderlands 2, Skyrim, Crysis, Fallout New Vegas all on Medium setting (high would be nice) with no lag.

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

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Unsure. I was thinking about an SSD since it helps with speed which I think is good for school, but otherwise an HDD with a high RPM

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
A reliable site that wont screw me over.

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

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Something that can play/burn DVD's

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 hear HP, Lenovo and Asus are good ones, but something that is good.

13. What country do you live in?
United States

Right now I use an Acer Aspire One, its a nice little Notebook that does the basic stuff like internet searching, writing and etc. It has been a reliable little Laptop so far, but since my Xbox just broke down I am looking at a stronger laptop. My sister says just to get a 300usd laptop and settle with it, but I rather keep the one I have now since it has served me so well. I want to have a laptop that is able to play games like borderland 2 and maybe arma 2 on medium settings with no lag. I have searched for a while, but havnt decided yet. I originally wanted to spend 600 tops, but it seems the 800ish laptops were stronger for the money. I will be using it for mainly school and gaming and internet browsing as well. It will be used for the next 4-5 years as well. I want it to be portable as well so thats why I dont want it too big and that I am used to a 10.5in. Also if it is able to hook up to my HDTV as well (its a samsung) that would be great too.

More about : school gaming laptop 850 max

October 16, 2012 4:41:37 AM

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

This is similar, but 2 GB of ram less. If you can, you could use the difference to simply buy more ram and install that.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

These four also are comparable as far as specs go, the Dell is 1080p. No SSD and they won't come out until Windows 8 release, provided you would want it anyway.

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

I'll be updating this if I find better alternatives to this. You seem like you don't care too much about graphics, so perhaps even AMD Trinity laptops may be good enough for you. While they lose some performance as fasr as CPU goes, the integrated GPU is decent.
This laptop released on the 26th will have AMD APU with an HD 7670M (crossfire with the integrated GPU)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is a benchmark from Anandtech which also has an AMD Trinity Laptop to compare. Keep in mind that this one is simply with the integrated graphics so it will be weaker than the one linked above. ^
http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph6194/49597.png
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October 16, 2012 4:51:40 AM

Is this good enough?

http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np6165-clevo-w150er-p-4344...

This is a Clevo/Sager but i think this overkill for your needs, although this is a semi Desktop Replacement, but what the heck, i'm using the bigger brother of this unit and i'm lugging it around to work and back home..

Interesting Facts.
- 1080P
- Core i5 3210M (Upgradable)
- 8GB Ram
- GT650M GDDR5
- Vibrant Screen display
- dual Hard drive bays (Upgrade this with a SSD + HDD setup next time)
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October 16, 2012 4:57:27 AM

jonathan_569 said:
Is this good enough?

http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np6165-clevo-w150er-p-4344...

This is a Clevo/Sager but i think this overkill for your needs, although this is a semi Desktop Replacement, but what the heck, i'm using the bigger brother of this unit and i'm lugging it around to work and back home..

Interesting Facts.
- 1080P
- Core i5 3210M (Upgradable)
- 8GB Ram
- GT650M GDDR5
- Vibrant Screen display
- dual Hard drive bays (Upgrade this with a SSD + HDD setup next time)



That certainly is better spec'ed than that laptops I could find on newegg, but that is without an OS for $823. Who knows, maybe he has an OS disk already?
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Best solution

October 16, 2012 5:07:51 AM

This Lenovo has a 660m but no 1080p screen.

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/Len...:

Here are some benchmarks, at the right there is a list of other cards ordered by performance (Class 1 cards are the better ones).
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-660M.71...
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October 16, 2012 5:41:43 AM

Take the above advice, but just know that I almost had a heart attack when you said 720x480... that's a sick joke.
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October 16, 2012 5:47:09 AM

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

This is similar, but 2 GB of ram less. If you can, you could use the difference to simply buy more ram and install that.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

These four also are comparable as far as specs go, the Dell is 1080p. No SSD and they won't come out until Windows 8 release, provided you would want it anyway.

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

I'll be updating this if I find better alternatives to this. You seem like you don't care too much about graphics, so perhaps even AMD Trinity laptops may be good enough for you. While they lose some performance as fasr as CPU goes, the integrated GPU is decent.
This laptop released on the 26th will have AMD APU with an HD 7670M (crossfire with the integrated GPU)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is a benchmark from Anandtech which also has an AMD Trinity Laptop to compare. Keep in mind that this one is simply with the integrated graphics so it will be weaker than the one linked above. ^
http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph6194/49597.png


The 14in Acer is pretty tempting, I am add it to my list to compare too. The others are tempting too, but because there arent any reviews yet I am weary. How good are acers? Mine has been pretty reliable, but turns off if too hot and when I have 5% battery left.
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October 16, 2012 5:48:20 AM

i8myhippo said:
Take the above advice, but just know that I almost had a heart attack when you said 720x480... that's a sick joke.


I come from console gaming and 720P was as it as it got.
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October 16, 2012 5:54:20 AM

jonathan_569 said:
Is this good enough?

http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np6165-clevo-w150er-p-4344...

This is a Clevo/Sager but i think this overkill for your needs, although this is a semi Desktop Replacement, but what the heck, i'm using the bigger brother of this unit and i'm lugging it around to work and back home..

Interesting Facts.
- 1080P
- Core i5 3210M (Upgradable)
- 8GB Ram
- GT650M GDDR5
- Vibrant Screen display
- dual Hard drive bays (Upgrade this with a SSD + HDD setup next time)


The specs look nice, but the brand makes me a bit weary from the reviews as well. Any info on how well the Laptop actually works?
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October 16, 2012 6:06:56 AM

theme57 said:
The specs look nice, but the brand makes me a bit weary from the reviews as well. Any info on how well the Laptop actually works?



Base from personal experience, Clevo/ Sager Laptops are really great. Although Clevo is an ODM (Original Device Manufacturer) They are one of the best Laptop Manufacturers, Ever heard of Alienware? before it was bought by DELL? VooDoo PC before it was bought by HP? they produce one of the best laptops in the world..

IMO, I'm currently using the Clevo W370ET / Sager NP6370, and the feedback I can give you is that it really is one heck of a device and Best bang for the buck.

Here is a review from NotebookCheck.net

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Clevo-W150ER-Barebo...
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October 16, 2012 8:01:41 AM

theme57 said:
http://www.xoticpc.com/msi-x460dx291us-limited-availabi...

This one is appealing as well due to the battery life, size and weight. Any cons you can find in this one? the 700usd price tag is also appealing.



This is an MSI unit, IMO I'd stay away from it, better get an Asus if you want durability and Global warranty.
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October 16, 2012 6:36:39 PM

Ok everyone here is what I am thinking of doing. This is with the 850usd Lenovo ThinkPad Y580

1. Ship it to a friend out of CA who will then ship it to me to avoid CA taxes (90usd~ saved)
2. I then use the Lenovo as a desktop/portable laptop for school and home
2A. I sell the current desktop I have for a little extra cash (maybe)
3. Since I have the small Acer, if I dont feel comfortable using the Lenovo at school, my classes dont require such a powerful laptop and/or it gets too heavy to carry around. I can use my Acer (10.5in) to take notes, write papers and basic web browsing.

Can anyone spot areas where I should be worried aside from sending it to a friend out of state?
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October 19, 2012 2:22:19 PM

theme57 said:
Ok everyone here is what I am thinking of doing. This is with the 850usd Lenovo ThinkPad Y580

1. Ship it to a friend out of CA who will then ship it to me to avoid CA taxes (90usd~ saved)
2. I then use the Lenovo as a desktop/portable laptop for school and home
2A. I sell the current desktop I have for a little extra cash (maybe)
3. Since I have the small Acer, if I dont feel comfortable using the Lenovo at school, my classes dont require such a powerful laptop and/or it gets too heavy to carry around. I can use my Acer (10.5in) to take notes, write papers and basic web browsing.

Can anyone spot areas where I should be worried aside from sending it to a friend out of state?


It may do something with the warranty

If that is how you feel why not
do these 2 steps
1. spend 800 on a desktop
2. use the small acer at school?

If you are thinking of using the acer then a desktop isn't really out of the question is it?

Or try and scrounge an extra hundred and get the one on lenovo's website with the blu ray player the 1080 screen and the 500GB 7200RPM hdd. also it has 8GB of ram
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October 19, 2012 6:40:07 PM

I dont plan on getting a desktop because for now because I want something thats mobile and the acer is good for taking notes and such, but when the time comes I need something a bit more powerful I can bring the Lenovo in. I understand your point, of why not just get a desktop, but I want to have mobility and since I am not hardcore gaming where I want everything at 1080 max settings the Lenovo fits my needs for a while.

I thought about another Acer, but because mine turns off when too hot or when there is 6% battery life I rather not get another one.

I actually am going with the 1366x768 one because for some reason its easier on my eyes. 1080 looks really nice, but I dont feel I need the resolution on a laptop. For a desktop yes, but not a laptop.
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October 19, 2012 7:07:09 PM

I was showing options an informed buyer is preferable to an angry buyer. and 1080 doesn't have to be hard on the eyes you can increase the icon size, and text size.

2 last things trying to persuade you to a desktop, rhetorical questions.

1. "when the time comes I need something a bit more powerful I can bring the Lenovo in" When is this time?
2. Will you be likely to play games instead of taking notes?

the first is more important, to be able to answer. The second is why I never got a gaming laptop while in school.
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October 19, 2012 7:52:22 PM

I just prefer the lower resolution, sure I can increase text or even make the screen look 1366x768, but my eyes have an easier time with the lower res screen for a few reasons.

1. If my acer dies on me, when I need it for a class when I am in an engineering school, to be able to use a program my acer cant hand for on the go use (library, park, etc.) and for when I need to multitask with multiple browsers and programs without lagging like my Acer. At first I did want a good desktop, but when my sister pointed out that a laptop would be more useful since I am not hardcore gaming at the moment so a good gaming desktop isnt needed at this point.

2. If I bring it to school I will be using it to take notes and complete assignments when I have to the time to, either at school, home or somewhere else. On free time I will be playing games, browsing the internet and etc.

For me because my desktop is so old, my acer is underpowered and my xbox is broken. I see an application for the Lenovo, because it will play games pretty well for a while (5~ Years), it is portable, its stronger then my acer, and that my desktop needs a replacement which I believe the Lenovo Y580 fits well.
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October 26, 2012 12:21:33 AM

Best answer selected by theme57.
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