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I Need opinions on these 3 Notebooks

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Ok, so this semester I need a notebook for school. Unfortunately, I also have to move back into the dorms, so I'm going to have to leave my main rig at home for a few months Anyway, here's what I'm looking for:

  • Tiny (14" or less)
  • Aluminum (if possible)
  • Able to play basic multiplayer games like Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead 2
  • Around $700 (but I'm willing to go up to $800 if it's a really good deal)


These are what I've found so far:


(Tiny, aluminum, weak-ish GPU, $700)

MSI FX400 (Tiny, good GPU, but not aluminum, $700)

HP Pavilion dv6 (aluminum, good GPU, rather large, $712 (with student discount))


What are your guys opinions on these, and is there anything better out there that I missed? Thanks!
    
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post #2 of 14

Trying to play games on a laptop (even moderate ones like TF2) is generally a bad idea. They don't have the thermals or design to handle it. Battery life is also usually much worse on laptops packed with higher performance hardware. Portability also suffers, especially when you consider the essentials for gaming: full size mouse (can't use touchpad), headset (built in speakers/mic are junk), and usually a cooling pad + charger (you will be hooked to an outlet). Good luck carrying all that around with you. You may as well have brought your lan rig with you. Plus gaming on a small screen is no fun. Don't get me started on using an external monitor. Take this from someone who owned a $1,000+ high performance laptop and brought it back and forth to the dorm.

My advice is save your money and buy a regular laptop / netbook for school, work and web-browsing. Use the rest to upgrade your main rig. Something like this maybe:



EDIT: Thinkpads are also nice and reliable.
If you decide to go the more expensive, less portable route anyway the msi you linked is nice. It even has esata which is rare on a laptop.
Edited by FDS - 12/29/10 at 12:59pm
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I actually used to own a 17" Alienware, and I carried it around campus too (which was awful). I sold it to build my desktop, but gaming really wasn't that bad on it. I'm only going to be gaming when it's plugged in, and these laptops have switchable graphics (like Nvidia Optimus), so even if they have dedicated GPUs, it shouldn't affect battery life too much when doing things like web browsing or typing notes. I won't be gaming on battery power.

Also, I plan on taking the mouse, headphones and possibly the keyboard from my rig to use on the notebook. I also have a cooling pad I used on the Alienware.

Look, normally I frown upon "mobile gaming" as well, but I'm moving to a completely different school, and if I could play TF2 and L4D2, then I could play with my buddies who will be hours away. That would be really nice, and I think it's worth looking into.
Edited by Nahte27 - 12/29/10 at 1:00pm
    
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post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by FDS View Post
Trying to play games on a laptop (even moderate ones like TF2) is generally a bad idea. They don't have the thermals or design to handle it. Battery life is also usually much worse on laptops packed with higher performance hardware. Portability also suffers, especially when you consider the essentials for gaming: full size mouse (can't use touchpad), headset (built in speakers/mic are junk), and usually a cooling pad + charger (you will be hooked to an outlet). Good luck carrying all that around with you. You may as well have brought your lan rig with you. Plus gaming on a small screen is no fun. Don't get me started on using an external monitor. Take this from someone who owned a $1,000+ high performance laptop and brought it back and forth to the dorm.

My advice is save your money and buy a regular laptop / netbook for school, work and web-browsing. Use the rest to upgrade your main rig. Something like this maybe:

Amazon.com: ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1215N-PU17-BK 12.1-Inch Netbook with 6 Hours of Battery Life - Black: Computer & Accessories


EDIT: Thinkpads are also nice and reliable.
If you decide to go the more expensive, less portable route anyway the msi you linked is nice. It even has esata which is rare on a laptop.

I'm sorry, but this is just a horrible post.

There are tons of laptops that will game. Especially the games you mentioned.

Look for a GPU with a 260m/360m or better.

I play Blackops, Bad Company, TF2, CSS all on my Toshiba Qosmio 360m! Hell, the 260m is slightly better!


Check out the Alienware m11x, and some of the Asus, MSI laptops if you want a smaller screen.



Its VERY possible to game on a laptop, and anyone that says otherwise has no idea what they are talking about.


- Obz


*Note* Are you willing to move up to a 15in screen?
Edited by THEoBZ - 12/29/10 at 1:26pm
post #5 of 14
That samsung looks really nice. i would probably go with that one if i were to choose between those 3.
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by THEoBZ View Post
Check out the Alienware m11x, and some of the Asus, MSI laptops if you want a smaller screen.

*Note* Are you willing to move up to a 15in screen?
With a student discount I can get an m11x for about 775, which is nice, but it has a sub-par Core 2 Duo. And I'm not crazy about the looks of it...

I could do a 15" if it's really good. The pavilion I linked is a 15," and I like it because it has a good CPU and GPU, it's aluminum, and I get a killer student discount (23.4% off)! Also, I've been eying the Dell XPS 15, but unless it goes back on sale, it's a bit too much at the moment.

Short answer: yes, if it's a really good deal, and has excellent performance and looks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SalisburySteak View Post
That samsung looks really nice. i would probably go with that one if i were to choose between those 3.
I love the look of the Samsung most of all, and the current price at Amazon is great! But the mediocre 310M bothers me. From what I've seen on Youtube, a 310M can barely play L4D...
    
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post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nahte27 View Post
With a student discount I can get an m11x for about 775, which is nice, but it has a sub-par Core 2 Duo. And I'm not crazy about the looks of it...

I could do a 15" if it's really good. The pavilion I linked is a 15," and I like it because it has a good CPU and GPU, it's aluminum, and I get a killer student discount (23.4% off)! Also, I've been eying the Dell XPS 15, but unless it goes back on sale, it's a bit too much at the moment.

Short answer: yes, if it's a really good deal, and has excellent performance and looks.




I love the look of the Samsung most of all, and the current price at Amazon is great! But the mediocre 310M bothers me. From what I've seen on Youtube, a 310M can barely play L4D...

Right on, let me do some research.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by THEoBZ View Post
I'm sorry, but this is just a horrible post.

There are tons of laptops that will game. Especially the games you mentioned.

Its VERY possible to game on a laptop, and anyone that says otherwise has no idea what they are talking about.
*says the gaming laptop user*

I didn't say it's not possible to game on a laptop, I said it's generally a bad idea. For the amount of money you spend on a gaming capable laptop you could have 2-3X more performance with equivalent desktop hardware. There is no comparison between benchmarks of Mobile hardware and their full size desktop counterparts.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by FDS View Post
*says the gaming laptop user*

I didn't say it's not possible to game on a laptop, I said it's generally a bad idea. For the amount of money you spend on a gaming capable laptop you could have 2-3X more performance with equivalent desktop hardware. There is no comparison between benchmarks of Mobile hardware and their full size desktop counterparts.
Your stating the obvious.

Thats basically like saying a desktop is more powerful than a Xbox at gaming.

When I go to a LAN event, I much rather lug around a laptop than a desktop.


I own a desktop, and a gaming laptop.



A lot of people now a days are on the move, and a desktop just doesn't fit the picture like a laptop does.


I really don't understand your point at all. Instead of rambling on and telling him 'No, desktops are more powerful, dont buy a laptop', help him pick out the laptop that will fit his budget best, and his needs.


Back on topic.

OP - I sent you some links to a great place to get just what you need.
Edited by THEoBZ - 12/29/10 at 2:23pm
post #10 of 14
I would avoid any Optimus/hybrid graphics laptops. My ASUS uses optimus, with the Intel HD and the Nvidia G310M, and the hybrid drivers causes conflicts with other drivers (namely wifi)--this is likely model-specific, and not a generality, but it's one more thing you need to worry about. and having operated my laptop using either only the Intel or only the nvidia card, battery life isn't significantly different (defeating the purpose).

I don't know the big deal about a laptop having an aluminum chassis--actually, I think it's a down-side because plastic chassis replacements are way cheaper, in case it gets damaged.

I'm not a fan of MSI.

People bash HP's, but I've only ever had good experiences with them.
    
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