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Laptop buying advice...

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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January 23, 2013 5:21:37 PM

OK, here's my situation: getting a new laptop for work. This will be docked in the office, and serve as my on-the-go machine. I have a gaming desktop at home, but need something that can handle light gaming on the go (I do game demos sometimes as part of my job). Responses below, thanks in advance.

1. What is your budget?
Probably maxes out around $1500; lower is better.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
13" to 14"

3. What screen resolution do you want?
Higher is better.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
In between the two-- I have my desktop for heavy lifting, but need some power in my mobile rig.

5. How much battery life do you need?
About 4 to 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)?
Games like Fallout and Civ 5; settings can be on Low.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Just office suite stuff, heavy multitasking obviously.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Can live with a 128 SSD, would like a smaller SSD and HD, but not a dealbreaker.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Work will be purchasing, so it can't be anything obscure.

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 ?
Can get away without one (Steam ftw!).

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.
Have had OK luck with work machines Dell; I like Samsung and Lenovo, but no brand loyalty.

13. What country do you live in?
US

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

A lit keyboard would be a huge bonus!

Work normally buys everyone Latitudes, but since I have a need for the gaming stuff, they're willing to spend more on my machine. I'd like a good balance of portability and power. Currently have a Latitude e6400 with a Quadro NVS 160 M handling the graphics and I'd like something a bit better for this purchase. Also, even with an SSD, my current machine only gets 1 1/2 hours on a charge, would like something that has a better battery.

Much appreciated.

More about : laptop buying advice

January 24, 2013 7:03:15 PM

andrewcarr said:
The best you'll be able to get is a 650m.

You can get either a Lenovo Y400 or Y480
http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/ideapad/y-seri...
http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/ideapad/y-seri...


Thanks; the y480 looks nice, but that resolution isn't ideal. Any thoughts on the Asus 13" and 14" Zenbooks?

Normally, I would put a lot more time and research into this, but I just found out that the funds are available and need to provide my employer with a decision by tomorrow. Someone else I work with ordered the T430S-- better resolution than the ones listed above, but with an NVIDIA N13M in it.
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January 24, 2013 10:58:11 PM

The Zenbooks won't game, at all. You'll either have to get a 15.6'' computer or forget about gaming on it if you want a 13-14'' besides the Lenovo's, you'll pay a bit more but there is the alienware M14x.
http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-m14x-r2/pd.aspx

If you do step up to 15.6'' a lot of new models open up that are good for gaming and are 1080.

One of which that is good is the Lenovo Y580.
http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/ideapad/y-seri...
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a c 440 D Laptop
January 24, 2013 11:40:21 PM

Just something to be aware of...

It seems many people are having issues playing Fallout 3 (and probably Fallout: New Vegas as well) on Win 8 laptops. From the few complaints I've read Fallout 3 does not launch or you cannot start a new game. Fallout 3 does not even officially list Win 7 as a supported OS and while the game does eventually work for most people in Win 7 a few had to jump through hoops to get the game up and running.

It's something you should consider looking into before buy the Fallout games.

Speaking of Fallout, I'm just waiting for the official announcement of the next Fallout game...
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January 25, 2013 9:50:58 AM

andrewcarr said:
The Zenbooks won't game, at all. You'll either have to get a 15.6'' computer or forget about gaming on it if you want a 13-14'' besides the Lenovo's, you'll pay a bit more but there is the alienware M14x.
http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-m14x-r2/pd.aspx

If you do step up to 15.6'' a lot of new models open up that are good for gaming and are 1080.

One of which that is good is the Lenovo Y580.
http://www.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/ideapad/y-seri...


I need something portable, it's going to be traveling a lot, so the alienware is out, as is anything over 14 inches. I had a beastly machine for years, and it was pain to take on the road. Really the gaming duties will be minimal, my home rig is pretty tricked out, so I don't mind running on the lowest settings. It will be docked a lot too, outputting to a 24 inch monitor or projector.

My current Latitude handles games like Fallout adequately, hoping to get a step up from that in this purchase. Would a Vaio S or XPS work? The SVS13A290X Premium has a GT 640M LE with 1 GB of RAM and a 1600 x 900 resolution. Normally I'm not a huge fan of Sony, but that looks like a nice machine. The 14" XPS has a GT 630M, probably at the max of my budget.

Edit: The standard machine they provide is a Latitude e6430 with an i5 @ 2.5 ghz and an nVidia NVS 5200M.
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