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New Laptop for College

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hey Guys,
So first of I'd like to start with a little bit of an introduction to me, where I am, and how I got here. I am going to be a senior in high school, and my current desktop computer is slowly falling to a painful death. It has lasted me since eighth grade though so I still love it. Anyways, as I look at colleges I see tiny dorms, so this gets me thinking. I don't want to bring a desktop here it'll take up half the space. I then start looking around online for laptops and I stumble through many forums. This one seemed to be the most helpful to me so I decided that I'd ask here. Here goes:

What is your maximum budget?
I'll say 1500$ or so. Preferably near the 1000$ mark. I want the best bang for my buck basically.

What country are you in?
United States

What will be the uses of this laptop?
Light gaming (SCII, CS:S, GW2 (when it comes out) nothing more intense then SCII probably), Web browsing, media watching, and possibly some CAD software and other similar software as I am looking at engineering atm. IMPORTANT: These games do not have to run on max settings, just be playable on atleast medium. .

Do you have brand loyalty or care which brands we select for you?
No, the best bang for my buck across any brand is fine with me.

What screen size do you require?
Im thinking 13-14 inches. I'd like to be able to carry this thing without breaking my back. This is IMPORTANT. After playing with 3 different 15.6 inch laptops they all seem too large for me.

What screen resolution do you require?
1600x900 would be nice but isn't required. I played with my brothers and my friends 7xx vertical resolution laptops and it was acceptable but more would be very handy.

Are you looking to buy NEW or would refurbished/recertified/used be okay?
New would be nice unless there is an epic refurbished deal.

How long should the battery last? (Under optimal conditions, no movies/games/heavy internet)
Probably 4 hours of just simple note taking would be good. It would be nice to be able to make it through a day of classes on one charge. Gaming wise I can plug it in when I play.

What games would you like to play with your laptop? And on what settings?
Starcraft II, Counter Strike Source, Team Fortress 2, Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2. Probably medium settings at least. Nothing like max Crysis or anything.

What operating system do you need? (if any)
I need windows as I already have Ableton Live Suite and some other expensive software.

Is there a certain style of laptop you want? (aluminum, black, gaming, etc.)
Durability and weight are important here. I don't want a brick but I don't want something that is going to snap in half. Magnesium or Aluminum (some sort of metal) would be nice.

How much hard drive space do you need?
I was thinking 500GB 7200RPM Drive. I have a 1TB external that I can keep stuff less commonly used on.

Do you need any special hardware? (blue ray, webcam, specialty ports, etc.)
IMPORTANT I would really like a backlit keyboard. I feel that I will be using this in the dark quite often so that would be nice. Also, I would like some sort of video out to hook it up to a monitor on my desk for working in the dorm. Other than that not much here.


Thanks again guys,
MuerteMan

Basically the changes are I'm dropping all 15.6 or above laptops. My brother has a Lenovo ideapad that I like except the screen, and my friend has an HP Dm4x that is pretty nice. Also, neither of these are backlit, but those seem uncommon.
Edited by muerteman - 7/1/11 at 6:05pm
post #2 of 23
Samsung RC512-S02

Dell XPS X15-1031AAL

HP DV6 Quad Edition

HP ENVY 14
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hmm after looking at all of those the Envy seems the most appealing. The Dell is just ugly IMO and I have had quite a few friends have issues with their built quality. The DV6 looks a little big and doesn't have a backlit keyboard. The Samnsung is the wildcard as I can't find as much on it. The envy looks good though except Im not sure about the display since the "Radiance" is no longer available. Also, it seems there is supposed to be a refresh very soon for that. Anybody else got options?
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Bump.

Additionally, I've decided that all of the above suggestions besides the Envy are just too large. I was using my mom's 15.6 inch dell studio and it seemed massive to me. I found the HP DM4 that I think might be able to fit my needs, but again it has the same screen issues as the envy and is missing a lit keyboard. Anymore suggestions out there?
post #5 of 23
best bet is a sager NP5165, base price at xoticpc.com is $843 with out OS so add $80 for win 7 home pro ending price of $921. base specs are a i5-2410M (2.3-2.9GHz), 4gb of ram, nVidia GT 555M, 1080p rez, and a 320gb 7200rpm HDD. they say its battery life is 3-5 hours.

however it is a 15" notebook. if you want smaller the only thing that may fit the bill is a m11x from alienware. http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-m11x-r3/pd.aspx

i carried a 15" and its jsut the right size for me. its not all that bad.
http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np5165-...wconfigure=yes
Edited by bobfig - 6/19/11 at 7:09pm
Main Rig
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Server
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3230m 2.6ghz Lenovo Y500 2 GTX 650 in SLI Corsair Vengeance 2x4gb 1600mhz - CMSX8GX3M2B16... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
CT256M4SSD3 256Gb ssd Samsung ST1000LM024 1Tb Liteon eUAU108 usb dvd drive Win 8 + Pro Pack 
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Main Rig
(19 items)
 
The Traveler
(8 items)
 
Server
(14 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3230m 2.6ghz Lenovo Y500 2 GTX 650 in SLI Corsair Vengeance 2x4gb 1600mhz - CMSX8GX3M2B16... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
CT256M4SSD3 256Gb ssd Samsung ST1000LM024 1Tb Liteon eUAU108 usb dvd drive Win 8 + Pro Pack 
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post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
hmm looks interesting and seems to be a helluva computer, but again it just seems kind of big. Is there any Sager's with similar specs in a smaller chassis. Screenwise i don't need 1080p just 900p would be fine (since i want a smaller chassis). Heck my desktop only has a 1680x1050 22 inch monitor at the moment.
post #7 of 23
personally i don't know how well SCII would play on a laptop but at this price range i wouldn't go any less then a i5 laptop. sad part is that most laptops that have i5 are usually a 15" or larger. all the 14" or smaller usually have a i3 setup or an atom computer. and when they are smaller they take a massive graphics card hit and drp down to where they can only play video and not games.

however i did find a ASUS U41JF-A1 that seems some what decent for $804+OS.

http://www.xoticpc.com/asus-u41jfa1-...wconfigure=yes
Main Rig
(19 items)
 
The Traveler
(8 items)
 
Server
(14 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3230m 2.6ghz Lenovo Y500 2 GTX 650 in SLI Corsair Vengeance 2x4gb 1600mhz - CMSX8GX3M2B16... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
CT256M4SSD3 256Gb ssd Samsung ST1000LM024 1Tb Liteon eUAU108 usb dvd drive Win 8 + Pro Pack 
  hide details  
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Main Rig
(19 items)
 
The Traveler
(8 items)
 
Server
(14 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3230m 2.6ghz Lenovo Y500 2 GTX 650 in SLI Corsair Vengeance 2x4gb 1600mhz - CMSX8GX3M2B16... 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveOS
CT256M4SSD3 256Gb ssd Samsung ST1000LM024 1Tb Liteon eUAU108 usb dvd drive Win 8 + Pro Pack 
  hide details  
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post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hmm, I know I want an i5 too, your correct there. I've seen a few videos of the Envy 14 running SCII also well enough for me, and that has an ATI 5650 card in it. Also I believe the DM4 has a similar card in a 14 inch laptop. The issue with both of these is the screen. Is there any similar laptops that anybody else knows of (similar processor and video card) that I could get with a nicer display. Also, as for the 15.6 inch I probibly could make do with it as long as its not too thick of a monster. Do you know how thick that Sager is?
post #9 of 23
Under 15.4 inches it's very hard to find a laptop with enough muscle to play SCII decently beside maybe a Vaio Z and a Alienware.

The Sager NP5165 might be a bit thicker, but the build quality definitely shines. Plus the GT555 bundled with a core i7 2630 can definitely make your machine last you through all college. At $950 you can add a core i7, 500GB HDD and IC Diamond thermal paste and you have a warmachine under a grand. Sweet.
Sager 8170
(13 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Core i7-2630QM GTX 560M 1.5GB 2x4GB 1600Mhz DDR3 750GB Seagate Momentus 7200rpm 
Optical DriveOSMonitorCase
8X DVD±R/RW/4X +DL Super-Multi Drive Windows 7 Home Premium 64 17.3" Full HD LED-Backlit Sager 8170 
Mouse
Logitech G5 
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Sager 8170
(13 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Core i7-2630QM GTX 560M 1.5GB 2x4GB 1600Mhz DDR3 750GB Seagate Momentus 7200rpm 
Optical DriveOSMonitorCase
8X DVD±R/RW/4X +DL Super-Multi Drive Windows 7 Home Premium 64 17.3" Full HD LED-Backlit Sager 8170 
Mouse
Logitech G5 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Okay guys,
After thinking about it I'm still entirely unsure what to do. The Sager NP5165 looks really good to me, but but I'm still slightly worried about the thickness and build. Has anybody seen either a good video showing the laptop externals or a set of pictures. Also, I'm thinking I may wait till Christmas break to buy. Is that a mistake. I could also (possibly, my desktop may die) wait until graduation time next spring to buy a laptop. Ivy Bridge might be out by then (?), and Windows 8 may atleast have a deal where you get a copy mailed later like they did with windows 7. What do you guys think I should do?
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