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[USA] Which laptop would you recommend for my needs?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
This laptop is for a student will be primarily used for academic purposes.

My needs:
- Programming (Higher resolution would be helpful)
- Light gaming (League of Legends, Starcraft, Minecraft)
- Portability and battery life

Optional:
- Light power brick/adapter (especially if laptop has <6 hour battery life)
- Run a game like Battlefield 4
- Touchscreen (But it seems to be an extreme rarity for laptops with discrete graphics cards)

Thus far, I am considering the following laptops:

Macbook Pro Retina 13
- i5 Processor
- 256 GB SSD
- HD 5000
- 2560x1600

This will cost me $1700 with 3 Year AppleCare at the Apple Store. Price is after student discount and tax.

Gigabyte P34G
- i7 Processor
- 128 GB SSD
- 1 TB HD
- GTX 760m
- 1920x1080

This will cost me $1400. Multiple buying options. Considering XoticPC.

Razer Blade 14
- i7 Processor
- 256 GB SSD
- GTX 765m
- 1600x900 TN Panel (Eww)

This will cost me $2000. Multiple buying options. Considering Newegg.

Lenovo Yoga 2
- i7 Processor
- 256 GB SSD
- HD 4400 (I'm not sure how much worse this fares compared to the HD 5000)
- 2880x1800
- Touchscreen

This will cost me only $1200. It seems to offer the best value by far.

ASUS UX301
-i7 Processor
- 256 GB SSD
- HD 5100
- 2560x1440
- Touchscreen

This will cost me $2000. Will either buy from Amazon or ExcaliburPC (they're both currently out of stock).

Currently, I am leaning towards the Macbook. I will have peace of mind, knowing that I am backed up by a strong warranty and good customer service. Going with the Lenovo Yoga will save me a lot of money, though.

I am open to suggestions.
EMP
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EMP
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post #2 of 7
First, you should know that Intel iGPU shares the TDP with the x86 cores. This means that GPU throttling will occur to keep total power draw within the given power envelope (TDP). This is a HUGE drawback as more intense portions of a game that heavily tax both your CPU and GPU can cause frame rate to drop precipitously. ULV processors (like the 14W one found in the Yoga 2 Pro) suffer from this problem more than full voltage (28W TDP) processors.

Personally, I would avoid the Razer Blade. That TN panel is a fatal flaw in an otherwise good laptop. The image quality is rather poor according to several reviews.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/7119/razer-blade-14inch-gaming-notebook-review/5
http://www.custompcreview.com/reviews/razer-blade-14-inch-gaming-notebook-review/18458/11/
http://techland.time.com/2013/07/19/razer-blade-review-one-step-shy-of-laptop-perfection/

The UX301 is rather expensive. Almost too expensive to justify the components (even with the Gorilla Glass).

Not sure about the Gigabyte. Was that the laptop that Linus (of LinusTechTips) recently reviewed? If so, replace that hard drive with a SSD and you should be good to go. Discrete graphics is a plus.

rMBP is all right if you want to pay the Apple tax. It has a good blend of processing power and battery life.
    
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post #3 of 7
Have you looked into the lenovo Y series? THey often have student sales through their website! Some have SLI 750m's and whatnot. My friend is running bf4 on medium with SLI 650m's from their previous gen laptop.

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/y-series/y410p/

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/y-series/y510p/

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834313583

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834313585

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834313584
Edited by zemco999 - 11/10/13 at 4:26pm
post #4 of 7
Yeah, BF4 and integrated graphics is a very bad combination, unless you want low resolution low-med detail variable frame rate gaming. Mouse lag from frame rate drops will inevitably become an issue.
    
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Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Dell Ultrasharp U2412m Rosewill RK-9000 Cherry MX Blue SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 
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Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Dell Ultrasharp U2412m Rosewill RK-9000 Cherry MX Blue SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 
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Rosewill R101-P-BK Logitech G100s HRT Music Streamer II -> Audinst AMP-HP -> Westone 4 
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zemco999 View Post

Have you looked into the lenovo Y series? THey often have student sales through their website! Some have SLI 750m's and whatnot. My friend is running bf4 on medium with SLI 650m's from their previous gen laptop.

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/y-series/y410p/

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/y-series/y510p/

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834313583

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834313585

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834313584

Along with the power brick, I think even the Y410p would be too heavy for my needs. My commutes are long and I will be carrying this laptop for at least 3+ hours a day.

If I were to decide on getting a slightly heavier laptop, I'd probably get an MSI GS70 (or one of many variations of it).
Edited by Idra - 11/10/13 at 6:01pm
EMP
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EMP
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OCZ Agility III Caviar Black LG DVD-R Drive Hyper 212+ 
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Windows 7 22" Dell Das Keyboard Model S Antec Earthwatts 750w 
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post #6 of 7
The MSI GE60 2OE-003US would probably fit your needs and budget best. Check it out, great specs for the price.
post #7 of 7
My vote goes for the Sager NP7355. The price for adding an i7, the better screen, and an SSD is less than most of the other machines. You have to add an OS, but at least you can CHOOSE whether or not you want Windows 7 or 8. tongue.gif

http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np7355-clevo-w350st-p-6465.html?wconfigure=yes

Great machine. biggrin.gif
     
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256GB SanDisk M.2 SSD 1TB HGST 7.2k HDD Custom Cooling by Dell Solutions Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
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