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Need a high spec laptop (£1000-1300)

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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February 3, 2013 7:04:25 PM

As a quick TL;DR....

I've already done a bit of shopping but can't find something which is perfect for me, partly down to not being able to find a laptop search engine that is up-to-date..
The specs I had in mind were:

3rd gen. Intel i7
8GB RAM (with 4 DIMM slots for adding more in the far future!
1920x1080p resolution on a 17'' screen
750GB-1TB HDD
USB 3.0 (preferrably x4, but not incredibly bothered)

Additional preferences would be a matte screen and a non-glossy chassis that doesn't attract a billion fingerprints!


I enjoy gaming, so I'd prefer the keyboard to not be in the dreaded mac-esque style with isolated keys, nor something that is full of flashing lights and colours like the Samsung 700G7C or the MSI's


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. What is your budget? £1000-£1300

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 17'', 15'' is a last resort

3. What screen resolution do you want? 1920x1080

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? I'll be carrying it around a lot, but weight is not an issue whatsoever, performance & reliability is far more important.

5. How much battery life do you need? Unimportant, would like to be able to listen to music whilst I cook or whatever, so 2 hours or above :D 

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)? Yes I do, League of Legends & Starcraft II on High, but I want the laptop to last me a while and be able to play whatever I want without issues, so the more powerful the better.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) 3d modelling, rendering, high performance stuff that needs a 3rd gen i7

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? 750GB-1000GB

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. I would prefer to buy from a trusted retailer, so Amazon or a manufacturer themselves (just had 5 months of hell dealing with saveonlaptops.co.uk)

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

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

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. The above experience was with the Samsung Series 7 Gamer laptop, which would probably be fine from a decent retailer but it's got me paranoid about the Samsung brand now. A lot of stuff on the laptop was faulty / irratic in terms of software, the mode-shifting dials, etc etc. I would love a Lenovo, but they don't seem to do anything more impressive than a 15'' screen with 758 resolution... I would prefer something understated than a flashy gamer laptop :) 

13. What country do you live in? The Great United Isles of the British Kingdom!

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. I want to get something that's reliable, sturdy and powerful (slightly obvious, but there you go). And I don't mind going out of my budget as long as it's under £1500, as a hard-cap

Thanks in advance!!
February 3, 2013 7:29:04 PM

Well, for what you claim you NEEDS are, personally I would go for a dell inspiron 17R special edition.

It is not "top of the line" graphics, but the Nvidia 650m is pretty capable. Quad core i7, 1TB storage, 6/8GB RAM standard, reasonable battery and anti-glare screen.

It is way under budget, but in my opinion would be a great choice for what you say you want. It doesn't look super flashy, but has a lot of performance to give.

A nice aluminium chassis too that should keep fingerprints less noticable. I think it has two HDD bays too, from the look of the options. That means you could slap an SSD right in there for a system disc with the money you save from buying this option...
February 3, 2013 7:35:45 PM

If you can get your hands on this lenovo it looks like a pretty solid laptop. It has the famed lenovo/IBM keyboard and has 650m SLI. The so called 'ultrabay' looks like an awesome idea as it can mean extra storage, or a second gpu, an extra cooling fan or a DVD drive.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Lenovo-IdeaPad-Y500...
Related resources
February 3, 2013 7:35:47 PM

americanbrian said:
Well, for what you claim you NEEDS are, personally I would go for a dell inspiron 17R special edition.

It is not "top of the line" graphics, but the Nvidia 650m is pretty capable. Quad core i7, 1TB storage, 6/8GB RAM standard, reasonable battery and anti-glare screen.

It is way under budget, but in my opinion would be a great choice for what you say you want. It doesn't look super flashy, but has a lot of performance to give.

A nice aluminium chassis too that should keep fingerprints less noticable. I think it has two HDD bays too, from the look of the options. That means you could slap an SSD right in there for a system disc with the money you save from buying this option...


Hey, thanks for the reply.

Can you link the one you have in mind? I'm on Dell's website but can't see anything with a Bluray reader. Plus I don't recognise the i7 model numbers, do you know if they're Quad Core with Hyperthreading? Since my rendering will use 8 threads at 100% quite easily
February 3, 2013 7:38:46 PM

All mobile i7's support hyper threading (Might be all intel mobile core i series full stop.)
February 3, 2013 7:56:33 PM

Anyone else?

Please don't be afraid to push the boat out on price to get into the 17'' beasts please!
February 3, 2013 9:15:12 PM

tkeane said:
http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/laptop-computers/
Hey try pc specialist you can configure your own laptop there


That's a good tip, thanks!

Do you know if they're trustworthy or not? I'm not sure how they're keeping costs down, unless they're re-using returned hardware or just undercutting the bigger brand names?
February 3, 2013 9:30:42 PM

Well i looked up reviews they do well
And i saw their advertisment on telly at a football game
Was either champions league or FA cup so they are quite a big company and im planning to buy the enigma soon
a b D Laptop
February 3, 2013 9:47:57 PM

americanbrian said:
Well, for what you claim you NEEDS are, personally I would go for a dell inspiron 17R special edition.

It is not "top of the line" graphics, but the Nvidia 650m is pretty capable. Quad core i7, 1TB storage, 6/8GB RAM standard, reasonable battery and anti-glare screen.

It is way under budget, but in my opinion would be a great choice for what you say you want. It doesn't look super flashy, but has a lot of performance to give.

A nice aluminium chassis too that should keep fingerprints less noticable. I think it has two HDD bays too, from the look of the options. That means you could slap an SSD right in there for a system disc with the money you save from buying this option...


While dell offers a good price I'm not sure that the quality is really there.

Another problem with dell is that they do not allow you to upgrade video drivers from nvidia/amd. You have to use a dell certified driver which they rarely release.

I had the dell xps 15 second revision (sandy bridge) and I had multiple problems with it. Unable to update driver past 285.xx version (meant certain games were broken and unplayable). Overheated (98 degrees) while playing games and ended up throttling. Battery was down to 60% capacity within a year despite rarely using it on battery (less than 50 cycles), power cord ripped (wires exposed and had to tape up). The dell xps 15 (ivy bridge version) has even worse heating problems and wifi problems as well.

Battery in the 17 inch special edition is pretty bad. A 17 inch notebook should not have a 48 watt hour battery.

I'd go for a nice asus or msi laptop. The pc specialist prices seem good but I've never heard of them.
February 3, 2013 9:48:09 PM

tkeane said:
Well i looked up reviews they do well
And i saw their advertisment on telly at a football game
Was either champions league or FA cup so they are quite a big company and im planning to buy the enigma soon


Yeah I saw them, but I'm always wary of online reviews since people generally rate in the first 3/4 days after receiving the product, not 2-3 weeks later like they should do, once they've had time to determine the hardware is all ok...

Here's the custom one I've built, I don't know if the link works for anyone not logged in as me?

https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/quotes/532330/

February 4, 2013 2:47:40 AM

Nah it doesnt log out and make one up and everyone should be able to access it
February 4, 2013 8:05:01 AM

^^ Indeed I can't find the 17R SE with a BR drive.

However, I have found a compatible unit on amazon for £35 and there are more that are burners too, but they are a bit more expensive.

So admittedly it would take a little bit of work to put together what you are looking for... It is actually VERY easy to install a new optical drive in a laptop. Normally open the ram cover and remove a single screw, it pulls out and you slide the new one in...

Also adding an SSD (you can afford a REALLY good/big one) should be no bother too.

Personally I have no fear of doing upgrades myself, as I have disassembled and fixed up several laptops in my time. If you are not confident it should not cost much to get a PC shop to perform them for you and you will still save money.

So My suggestion in links are...

http://www.dell.com/uk/p/inspiron-17r-se-7720/pd?oc=n00...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hitachi-LG-labelflash-dv5-1032e...

http://www.ebuyer.com/267591-crucial-512gb-m4-ssd-ct512...

Laptop £750
BR Drive £35
512GB SSD £295

Total: £1080 + install fee of maybe £50 if you do not want to upgrade yourself.

And yes, any i series with the QM suffix is quad core, and it has HT...

Also you may be able to save even more money on that if you use QUIDCO or similar for cashback. I am a member of both QUIDCO and TOPCASHBACK and I can vouch that most of the time you get the money they offer.

Yeah, just checked

11% off with voucher code TDJNBG$1LFCXF3 for laptops over £699 plus 5% cashback at dell with quidco.

2% cashback with ebuyer through quidco

No amazon deals I can see.

If you are interested please use my referral link to sign up and I will even get some cash too.

http://www.quidco.com/user/1524699/
!