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Need advice on which portable laptop to get

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, I'm looking at buying my first laptop for work/university and would like some advice please.

What is your maximum budget? I'll say £500 but feel free to suggest more expensive laptops if you feel that it is a better option, I will be flexible.

What country are you in? England.

What will be the uses of this laptop? University work, light gaming.

Do you have brand loyalty or care which brands we select for you? Any reliable brand with good customer support.

What screen size do you require? 13" seems about right for a portable bit of kit, feel free to suggest smaller or larger though.

What screen resolution do you require? 1080p would be nice, don't know if it's possible with my budget though.

Are you looking to buy NEW or would refurbished/recertified/used be okay? Refurbished would be okay, used would not be okay. Preferably new though.

How long should the battery last?(Under optimal conditions, no movies/games/heavy internet) Not really bothered.

What games would you like to play with your laptop? And on what settings? I would like to be able to game at the native resolution on low-medium graphics if possible.

What operating system do you need? (if any) Doesn't matter, I'll be installing my own.

Is there a certain style of laptop you want? (aluminum, black, gaming, etc.) Portable/light.

How much hard drive space do you need? Will be installing my own SSD, would be nice if it has two 2.5" bays so I can use a hard drive as well.

Do you need any special hardware? (blue ray, webcam, specialty ports, etc.) Nope.

Is there anything else we need to know? My two key things are that it has to be portable/light and reliable. 6GB+ of RAM would be good to have.

Thanks! smile.gif
Edited by twerk - 4/17/14 at 8:32am
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.3GHz Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Ti STRIX 6GB @ 1500MHz 2x8GB Kingston HyperX Fury DDR3 @ 2400MHz 
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Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Crucial MX100 512GB Noctua NH-U14S 3x Noctua NF-A14 FLX 
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2x Intel Xeon E5-2650 (16c/32t) @ 2.8GHz 16x8GB Kingston ECC DDR3 @ 1866MHz 2x Samsung SM863 960GB ESXi 6.5u1 
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2x 460W Platinum 
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Intel Xeon E5-2603 v3 (6c/6t) @ 1.6GHz 4x8GB Kingston ECC DDR4 @ 2133MHz 2x Samsung PM863 120GB (mirrored cache) 6x WD Red 3TB (RAIDZ2) 
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Define
(20 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.3GHz Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Ti STRIX 6GB @ 1500MHz 2x8GB Kingston HyperX Fury DDR3 @ 2400MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Crucial MX100 512GB Noctua NH-U14S 3x Noctua NF-A14 FLX 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Dell U2713HM Dell U2312HM Ducky Shine 3 Year of the Snake (MX Brown) 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
EVGA SuperNOVA P2 650W Fractal Design Define R5 Black Mionix Naos 7000 SteelSeries QcK 
AudioAudioAudioOther
Sennheiser HD 650 Fostex TH-X00 Ebony Parasound Zdac TP-LINK Archer T9E  
CPURAMHard DriveOS
2x Intel Xeon E5-2650 (16c/32t) @ 2.8GHz 16x8GB Kingston ECC DDR3 @ 1866MHz 2x Samsung SM863 960GB ESXi 6.5u1 
Power
2x 460W Platinum 
CPURAMHard DriveHard Drive
Intel Xeon E5-2603 v3 (6c/6t) @ 1.6GHz 4x8GB Kingston ECC DDR4 @ 2133MHz 2x Samsung PM863 120GB (mirrored cache) 6x WD Red 3TB (RAIDZ2) 
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post #2 of 4
The ASUS G46 is probably one of the best, smallest and cheapest gaming laptops I've seen. Here in Canada, a lot of places are selling the G46 for a clearance price of under $1000, which is a darn good price for what's included. The G46 is a laptop with a 14 inch screen, an Intel Core i5-3210/3230 CPU, typically 8GB RAM and a 500-750GB HDD, a GeForce GTX 660M 2GB GPU which is more than powerful enough for what you'd be doing, as well as their top notch interior cooling, backlit keyboard, Bluetooth, card reader, webcam, microphone, etc.

Another small but powerful laptop is the Eurocom M3. It typically sells for just under $1100 here in Canada (not including warranty or shipping) and it's a beast of a laptop for its size. The base model M3 has a 13.3 inch full-HD screen with an Intel Core i7-4700MQ CPU, 8GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM, 500GB SHDD, a GeForce GTX 765M 2GB, as well as a backlit keyboard, Bluetooth, webcam, microphone, etc. I just don't know how cool the laptop stays. Maybe someone else could answer that.

Lenovo also makes gaming laptops that tend to be a bit cheaper, but they're a bit bigger with a 15.6 inch screen, and I personally absolutely hate the touchpad.

EDIT:
I should probably add that I have no customer support experience with any of these brands.
Edited by FIRINMYLAZERMAN - 4/17/14 at 12:43pm
   
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AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4GHz Quad-... MSI 970A-G46 CrossFire/SLI AM3/AM3+ ATX Motherb... Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB GDDR5 Graphics Card 4 x 2GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X-Series DDR3 1333MHz M... 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 3.5" Internal Har... 1TB Seagate GoFlex USB External Hard Drive Arctic Cooling Freezer XTREME Rev.2 Aftermarket... 200mm Thermaltake Fan 
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2 x 120mm Thermaltake Blue LED Fan 2 x 90mm Thermaltake Blue LED Fan 90mm Thermaltake Fan Corsair TX-950 950W 80 PLUS Bronze Enthusiast P... 
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Thermaltake Armor VA8000B Series Full-ATX Tower NZXT 2mm Red LED Case Lights Kit 
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Intel Core i5-540M 2.53GHz Dual-Core Processor ATI/AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5850M 1GB GDDR5 Grap... 2 x 2GB DDR3 Memory Kit Toshiba 500GB 7200RPM Hard Drive 
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AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4GHz Quad-... MSI 970A-G46 CrossFire/SLI AM3/AM3+ ATX Motherb... Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB GDDR5 Graphics Card 4 x 2GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X-Series DDR3 1333MHz M... 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 3.5" Internal Har... 1TB Seagate GoFlex USB External Hard Drive Arctic Cooling Freezer XTREME Rev.2 Aftermarket... 200mm Thermaltake Fan 
CoolingCoolingCoolingPower
2 x 120mm Thermaltake Blue LED Fan 2 x 90mm Thermaltake Blue LED Fan 90mm Thermaltake Fan Corsair TX-950 950W 80 PLUS Bronze Enthusiast P... 
CaseOther
Thermaltake Armor VA8000B Series Full-ATX Tower NZXT 2mm Red LED Case Lights Kit 
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
I can't find the Asus G46 anywhere in the UK, not even on eBay.

The Eurocom may be an option, the base config works out at £762, which is a bit over budget. I'm sure I can get it down with a bit of tweaking though. Do they deliver to the UK?

Yeah, 15.6 inch is way to big really. I want 13 inch maximum ideally.
Define
(20 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.3GHz Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Ti STRIX 6GB @ 1500MHz 2x8GB Kingston HyperX Fury DDR3 @ 2400MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Crucial MX100 512GB Noctua NH-U14S 3x Noctua NF-A14 FLX 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Dell U2713HM Dell U2312HM Ducky Shine 3 Year of the Snake (MX Brown) 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
EVGA SuperNOVA P2 650W Fractal Design Define R5 Black Mionix Naos 7000 SteelSeries QcK 
AudioAudioAudioOther
Sennheiser HD 650 Fostex TH-X00 Ebony Parasound Zdac TP-LINK Archer T9E  
CPURAMHard DriveOS
2x Intel Xeon E5-2650 (16c/32t) @ 2.8GHz 16x8GB Kingston ECC DDR3 @ 1866MHz 2x Samsung SM863 960GB ESXi 6.5u1 
Power
2x 460W Platinum 
CPURAMHard DriveHard Drive
Intel Xeon E5-2603 v3 (6c/6t) @ 1.6GHz 4x8GB Kingston ECC DDR4 @ 2133MHz 2x Samsung PM863 120GB (mirrored cache) 6x WD Red 3TB (RAIDZ2) 
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FreeNAS 11 550W Silver 
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Define
(20 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-3770K @ 4.3GHz Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Ti STRIX 6GB @ 1500MHz 2x8GB Kingston HyperX Fury DDR3 @ 2400MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Crucial MX100 512GB Noctua NH-U14S 3x Noctua NF-A14 FLX 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Dell U2713HM Dell U2312HM Ducky Shine 3 Year of the Snake (MX Brown) 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
EVGA SuperNOVA P2 650W Fractal Design Define R5 Black Mionix Naos 7000 SteelSeries QcK 
AudioAudioAudioOther
Sennheiser HD 650 Fostex TH-X00 Ebony Parasound Zdac TP-LINK Archer T9E  
CPURAMHard DriveOS
2x Intel Xeon E5-2650 (16c/32t) @ 2.8GHz 16x8GB Kingston ECC DDR3 @ 1866MHz 2x Samsung SM863 960GB ESXi 6.5u1 
Power
2x 460W Platinum 
CPURAMHard DriveHard Drive
Intel Xeon E5-2603 v3 (6c/6t) @ 1.6GHz 4x8GB Kingston ECC DDR4 @ 2133MHz 2x Samsung PM863 120GB (mirrored cache) 6x WD Red 3TB (RAIDZ2) 
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post #4 of 4
http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/notebooks/optimusV-13/

If you wait a bit, something like this will be offered with a GTX 860m

I wouldn't get a CPU less than the i5 4210m 2.6-3.2GHz dual core and the final cost is going to be at least £697.00 [4210m/GTX765m/2x2GB/750GB-7200rpm/Arctic MX-4 Thermal paste] [*With i7 4710 2.5-3.5GHz quad core, £753.00]
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Mobile Gamer IV
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