I should mention that I will have no rigs whatsoever. I currently have a Dell L502x (XPS 15) with a GT 540M and an i7 2630QM. A friend of mine is buying it and I'm gonna upgrade.
I use Linux and Windows for programming. I'm getting one with a dedicated video card because I like to occasionally game, and I will be developing Android games (using OpenGL) and it'll be nice to test them out on a performant machine. I'm not a hardcore gamer at all. A 630M would suffice (though I'm going for 650/660).
I generally don't want HP. I've used their dv6 quads (sandy bridge) and while the performance is great, I don't think their speakers or displays are up to par.
Regarding ASUS, I'm totally considering http://www.amazon.com/G55VW-ES71-15-6-Inch-Gaming-Notebook-Black/dp/B007Z9WWDW. I'm very glad to see a display port here as I use linux heavily and hdmi doesn't work with intel hd 3000 on my current laptop, so I'm forced to use mini display port. BIIIIGG plus. It doesn't seem that there is a backlit keyboard though? Can anyone confirm this?
I've looked at the new Dell Inspiron 15 running for $1200, and it seems good, but doesn't seem nearly as good as what I'm about to talk about or the ASUS above. I'm pretty sure there's no chance I'll be getting it.
I've never owned a Sager laptop so I don't know how high-quality their parts are. I want a sturdy, high quality machine that'll look and feel nice. From the images, the Sager's don't seem to have that...though they have an amazing price point. The ones I've looked at don't have backlit keyboards (which is fine, but is something I'd really like). They also don't seem to have mini display port/s. I realize I haven't posted this on my original post but it is something I'd like if I had the choice. Any specific recommendations (with link/s) for this?
Lastly, the Alienware m14x-r2 seems like the laptop for me. Though it's only 14", it packs everything I want. I can get it for about $1300 with the "free" xbox 360 and is currently what I plan on doing, though funds currently don't allow for it. I'll be a few weeks until I make my purchase but this is what I'm leaning towards (unless the ASUS has a backlit keyboard...or something).
Let me know what you folks think.