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How big is too big? (I mean for notebooks, you freaks.)

eric.eric. __BANNED USERS
Well hey there.

It's my last year of high school, and in September I will be going to university in September, living not on residence, but in an apartment shared by a family friend. It'll be a bit of a travel to get to school every day on the subway (about a half hour there), and was in the market for a laptop for the school year.

I'm not looking for an incredibly powerful laptop, just a mid-range notebook that'll help me do my assignments with ease, take notes in lectures, and play some games (starcraft 2 should be out, and that game.... well, i have to play it.) Anyways, I've been looking around for laptops, and have decided to go with Dell. My parents own a fairly decent desktop computer from them that is pretty well-built, and I've heard nothing but good things about their laptops from friends and whatnot.

I was originally going to go with a MacBook, but since turned down the idea, partly because I don't want the hassle of learning a new OS, plus I really don't think I could fit the role of "hipster with white computer" notion everyone and their mother seems to be these days with their nice looking computers, and what not.

So, I have a bit of cash to spend. Roughly $1,400 (CDN, as all prices will be from here on out) on a laptop, along with a printer. Dell has these laptops; XPS M1330 and XPS M1530. Basically, after reading reviews the M1530 is just like a "bigger version of the m1330", sans the option to have an LED screen, which slightly reduces the weight of the laptop.

Now, my question to you guys is, do you think its viable for me to carry around a 15 inch laptop to and from school every day? It's known to be a fairly light laptop, but I'm just worried it will take up a lot of space in my pack every day and don't want it to be a hassle. But therein lies my dilemma. The 1530 contains a more decent videocard than the smaller laptop. Do you think I will be able to carry the 15 incher every day, or have to settle for the smaller laptop and not-as-powerful specs?

It probably would be better if I could see these laptops in person, but for now, internet advice will have to suffice. (Word.)

Thanks.

eric. on
«13

Posts

  • That_GuyThat_Guy Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Keep an eye out on www.slickdeals.net. I got my current dell laptop a few years ago thanks to a deal posted there. It was $1400 normally but I got it for $800ish shipped. I have seen quite a few good deals on the new Vostro laptops with dedicated 8xxx series GPUs for hella cheap. If you have that much money, keep an eye out.

  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008
    I carried around a 14.7" laptop for years, so a 15" isn't that much of a stretch. I highly prefer my 13" now (MacBook Air) but the 14.7" wasn't so bad I hated it. Anything over 15" and I'd say stay away. I helped a client with his 17" MacBook Pro today and I just can't imagine lugging that around.

  • wunderbarwunderbar Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I personally think either 13.3 or 14.1 are the sweet spots for laptop size. I prefer 13.3, but really the size difference between them is minimal. I'd recommend carrying the lightest notebook you can find, because while 5 pounds in a laptop might not be much, add books/binders/lunch/other crap and that extra 5 pounds is a lot. even if you can shave it down to 3.5ish that'll make a difference.

  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008
    wunderbar wrote: »
    I personally think either 13.3 or 14.1 are the sweet spots for laptop size. I prefer 13.3, but really the size difference between them is minimal. I'd recommend carrying the lightest notebook you can find, because while 5 pounds in a laptop might not be much, add books/binders/lunch/other crap and that extra 5 pounds is a lot. even if you can shave it down to 3.5ish that'll make a difference.

    This is why I prefer my Air over my previous laptop. 13" and 3lb. Just one of my books weighs more than that.

  • JohnDoeJohnDoe Registered User
    edited April 2008
    I used a 15.4". Size wasn't an issue, but I would have liked something lighter.

  • NovaRevNovaRev Registered User
    edited April 2008
    I have an m1330 and I have been very happy with its portability so far. It's great to have a laptop that you can lift/balance easily with a single hand. I would say that you should go with the smaller machine if you plan to be carrying it around with you on a daily basis, because even a small size and weight difference can end up feeling pretty big. The weight of the m1330 is a bit over 4 pounds depending on your configuration, while the m1530 is somewhere around 6 pounds I believe. Two pounds may not sound like much, but consider that it is 50% more weight than the m1330.

    If you really, really want more power over portability, the m1530 probably isn't going to make your commute a living Hell, but the m1330 is definitely the more portable choice.

    Have you considered buying a desktop for gaming and something like an Eee PC to take with you to class? You can probably get a nice desktop and an Eee for about the same price as one of these laptops (maybe less), which would satisfy both your need for portability and your need for gaming.

  • LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Not buying a Macbook because of the "hassle" of learning OS X and not fitting some crazy stereotype is nuts.

  • taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    When I was in college I carried a 17" 14 lb desktop replacement notebook with me everywhere with absolutely no problems. I really can't see anyone with any upper body strength at all having problems with a 6 pound 15". It's also been my experience that 15" is the sweet spot, going with a screen any smaller than that results in a fair sized productivity hit. with a 15" it's small and portable, but still big enough to get work done.

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  • eric.eric. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008
    When I was in college I carried a 17" 14 lb desktop replacement notebook with me everywhere with absolutely no problems. I really can't see anyone with any upper body strength at all having problems with a 6 pound 15". It's also been my experience that 15" is the sweet spot, going with a screen any smaller than that results in a fair sized productivity hit. with a 15" it's small and portable, but still big enough to get work done.

    well i know i'll be having 2 textbooks along with a binder every day, with lunch and the odd paperback/ds/ipod/cell phone.

  • contrabandcontraband Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I have a 15" laptop. It's the sweet spot, I think, for laptops that you aren't going to be taking out your dorm.

    It's too big to take to class regularly, though.

    edit: also I second what lewisham said

    not buying a mac to avoid being labeled a "hipster" is pretty stupid

    plus os x is like designed to be easy

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  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Lewisham wrote: »
    Not buying a Macbook because of the "hassle" of learning OS X and not fitting some crazy stereotype is nuts.

    Seriously. A Macbook would be perfect for you, besides the "has to play SC2" bit which no mid-level laptop, be it a Windows machine or a Mac, will likely be able to do. Everyone uses Macbooks because they are kickass little machines that do everything perfectly while remaining small and portable, not because they're hipsters that want white laptops.

    3072973561_de17a80845_o.jpg
  • eric.eric. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008
    How about something like this? The graphics card looks very good, and it's a 14" notebook...

  • CmdPromptCmdPrompt Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Its really personal preference, I have a 15.4" laptop and couldn't imagine going any smaller (too small of a screen) or larger (too big to lug around).

    Testing them out at your nearest Best Buy \ Circuit City would probably be a good idea.

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  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I would forget trying to get a laptop with good graphics. Its kind of an oxymoron. Anyway it will also just drain your battery life worse. If you want to play SC2 get a decent gaming pc. I myself have a thinkpad and an ideapad. I love both but the thinkpad is the better piece of machinery. The idea pad was only great because it was $600. However I take it around campus a lot and it serves its needs perfectly.

  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008
    eric. wrote: »
    I was originally going to go with a MacBook, but since turned down the idea, partly because I don't want the hassle of learning a new OS, plus I really don't think I could fit the role of "hipster with white computer" notion everyone and their mother seems to be these days with their nice looking computers, and what not.
    Man how did I miss this before D:

    Anyway, I wish you luck on your endeavor to fight the "hipster" trend with your computer. That'll show 'em!

  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008
    Shogun wrote: »
    I would forget trying to get a laptop with good graphics. Its kind of an oxymoron. Anyway it will also just drain your battery life worse.
    You're not the brightest bulb in the box. There are plenty of laptops out there with great graphics cards. While your battery life qualifier makes a little sense, calling it an oxymoron is far off base. It's not 2002 anymore.

  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Satan. wrote: »
    Shogun wrote: »
    I would forget trying to get a laptop with good graphics. Its kind of an oxymoron. Anyway it will also just drain your battery life worse.
    You're not the brightest bulb in the box. There are plenty of laptops out there with great graphics cards. While your battery life qualifier makes a little sense, calling it an oxymoron is far off base. It's not 2002 anymore.

    Perhaps not an oxymoron but certainly a very stupid idea, which is what I'd like to think Shogun was trying to articulate. Any decent gaming laptop will have horrible, horrible battery life and be useless for its main purpose, which is to be carried around all day while on campus taking notes. Get a small, light laptop that will run for 5 hours off the battery and save up for a desktop for the dorm.

    3072973561_de17a80845_o.jpg
  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Satan. wrote: »
    eric. wrote: »
    I was originally going to go with a MacBook, but since turned down the idea, partly because I don't want the hassle of learning a new OS, plus I really don't think I could fit the role of "hipster with white computer" notion everyone and their mother seems to be these days with their nice looking computers, and what not.
    Man how did I miss this before D:

    Anyway, I wish you luck on your endeavor to fight the "hipster" trend with your computer. That'll show 'em!
    Oh yeah, all those damn hipsters and their white laptops.
    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/03/26/morgan_stanley_40_of_college_students_plan_to_buy_macs.html
    Sure are a lot of hipsters these days I guess.

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  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    Satan. wrote: »
    Shogun wrote: »
    I would forget trying to get a laptop with good graphics. Its kind of an oxymoron. Anyway it will also just drain your battery life worse.
    You're not the brightest bulb in the box. There are plenty of laptops out there with great graphics cards. While your battery life qualifier makes a little sense, calling it an oxymoron is far off base. It's not 2002 anymore.

    Perhaps not an oxymoron but certainly a very stupid idea, which is what I'd like to think Shogun was trying to articulate. Any decent gaming laptop will have horrible, horrible battery life and be useless for its main purpose, which is to be carried around all day while on campus taking notes. Get a small, light laptop that will run for 5 hours off the battery and save up for a desktop for the dorm.

    Yeah, I guess all those Dell XPS machines I see in class are actually off and useless. Totally not taking notes in class icon_roll.gif

  • eric.eric. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008
    it was really a joke, guys.

    i actually really liked the new OSX from apple, a buddy of mine owns a iMac and it looks really nifty, i jsut don't know, i kinda wanted to stick with a windows based machine, mainly for playing games and stuff. Anyways, I was looking at the ASUS F8Sn laptop. It has a 1.8ghz core 2 duo, 3 gigs of RAM, and a GeForce 9500M GS, 512MB. am i being ignorant in ruling out macs? I am aware of boot camp, but I want this computer to last me a good 4 years, and be able to do at least some gaming. i don't play many games, but i KNOW i will be buying SC 2, along with spore.

  • Vater5BVater5B Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    You may not go for the idea, but if I wanted to game at all, and had that much money to drop, I'd pick up an Eee PC to take to school with me and a desktop for the home. If I wasn't an über-procrastinator and didn't often need to do homework on Sibelius 4 at school, I myself would probably do this, because carrying a laptop in your bag if you have even a mid-sized course load sucks.

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  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Satan. wrote: »
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    Satan. wrote: »
    Shogun wrote: »
    I would forget trying to get a laptop with good graphics. Its kind of an oxymoron. Anyway it will also just drain your battery life worse.
    You're not the brightest bulb in the box. There are plenty of laptops out there with great graphics cards. While your battery life qualifier makes a little sense, calling it an oxymoron is far off base. It's not 2002 anymore.

    Perhaps not an oxymoron but certainly a very stupid idea, which is what I'd like to think Shogun was trying to articulate. Any decent gaming laptop will have horrible, horrible battery life and be useless for its main purpose, which is to be carried around all day while on campus taking notes. Get a small, light laptop that will run for 5 hours off the battery and save up for a desktop for the dorm.

    Yeah, I guess all those Dell XPS machines I see in class are actually off and useless. Totally not taking notes in class icon_roll.gif

    Oh come off it. Sure, any laptop can take notes, but I doubt those XPS machines are taking more than an hour or so worth of them before they need either a fresh battery of a wall hookup. Which was clearly my point. I suppose if your schedule is such that you never have to go more than an hour of notes a day you can get a gaming capable laptop for school use, but if you have any blocks of classes or longer individual lectures you're screwed.

    In the Asus FA8N's case, the battery life appears to be pretty incredibly mediocre. Idling it can barely break 3 hours, and when being used it drops like a stone to just over an hour (Source). Asus is also a pretty low-end brand of laptops, and this appears to be consistent with the build quality found on the machine you're currently interested in. I'd pass.

    If you want to get a Windows machine, that's great, but there's no such thing as a laptop that can game while still maintaining decent battery life. Considering you're buying the laptop for its portability and ability to run off of battery power, I still highly advise you get something small and efficient.

    3072973561_de17a80845_o.jpg
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I would have rather had something, anything with a better battery life than the big laptop I got.
    I'd consider this if I were you.

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  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    Satan. wrote: »
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    Satan. wrote: »
    Shogun wrote: »
    I would forget trying to get a laptop with good graphics. Its kind of an oxymoron. Anyway it will also just drain your battery life worse.
    You're not the brightest bulb in the box. There are plenty of laptops out there with great graphics cards. While your battery life qualifier makes a little sense, calling it an oxymoron is far off base. It's not 2002 anymore.

    Perhaps not an oxymoron but certainly a very stupid idea, which is what I'd like to think Shogun was trying to articulate. Any decent gaming laptop will have horrible, horrible battery life and be useless for its main purpose, which is to be carried around all day while on campus taking notes. Get a small, light laptop that will run for 5 hours off the battery and save up for a desktop for the dorm.

    Yeah, I guess all those Dell XPS machines I see in class are actually off and useless. Totally not taking notes in class icon_roll.gif

    Oh come off it. Sure, any laptop can take notes, but I doubt those XPS machines are taking more than an hour or so worth of them before they need either a fresh battery of a wall hookup. Which was clearly my point. I suppose if your schedule is such that you never have to go more than an hour of notes a day you can get a gaming capable laptop for school use, but if you have any blocks of classes or longer individual lectures you're screwed.

    ...and this is based on what? I see them last more than an hour. There is one in a three hour film class I take and it runs the entire class without plugging it in. You're not going to get 5+ out of them but it's pretty silly to claim they're useless for long classes. If gaming is something you want to do, something that takes any kind of importance in your computing needs, you should seriously consider a laptop with a dedicated GPU. There is no black or white answer to the question, it's a simple matter of tradeoffs.

  • EshEsh Tending bar. Eating out. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Satan. wrote: »
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    Satan. wrote: »
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    Satan. wrote: »
    Shogun wrote: »
    I would forget trying to get a laptop with good graphics. Its kind of an oxymoron. Anyway it will also just drain your battery life worse.
    You're not the brightest bulb in the box. There are plenty of laptops out there with great graphics cards. While your battery life qualifier makes a little sense, calling it an oxymoron is far off base. It's not 2002 anymore.

    Perhaps not an oxymoron but certainly a very stupid idea, which is what I'd like to think Shogun was trying to articulate. Any decent gaming laptop will have horrible, horrible battery life and be useless for its main purpose, which is to be carried around all day while on campus taking notes. Get a small, light laptop that will run for 5 hours off the battery and save up for a desktop for the dorm.

    Yeah, I guess all those Dell XPS machines I see in class are actually off and useless. Totally not taking notes in class icon_roll.gif

    Oh come off it. Sure, any laptop can take notes, but I doubt those XPS machines are taking more than an hour or so worth of them before they need either a fresh battery of a wall hookup. Which was clearly my point. I suppose if your schedule is such that you never have to go more than an hour of notes a day you can get a gaming capable laptop for school use, but if you have any blocks of classes or longer individual lectures you're screwed.

    ...and this is based on what? I see them last more than an hour. There is one in a three hour film class I take and it runs the entire class without plugging it in. You're not going to get 5+ out of them but it's pretty silly to claim they're useless for long classes. If gaming is something you want to do, something that takes any kind of importance in your computing needs, you should seriously consider a laptop with a dedicated CPU. There is no black or white answer to the question, it's a simple matter of tradeoffs.

    You mean dedicated GPU?

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  • NovaRevNovaRev Registered User
    edited April 2008
    For the record, my XPS m1330 has the dedicated 128MB GeForce 8400GS GPU in it and I get between 3 and a half and 4 hours out of the battery on it (6 cell battery). This GPU is more than capable enough for stuff like the Orange Box, WoW, and other older games, and it can even manage Oblivion if I run it at 640 x 480 :P.

    However, the m1330 was built to be a more portable machine than the m1530; even though it is quite powerful and has a dedicated GPU, that GPU is pretty low-end and doesn't draw a huge amount of power. If you buy a machine that is built to be powerful enough for more modern games, you are definitely going to see a hit in battery life. From what I remember, the m1530 battery life is somewhere around 2 and a half to 3 hours with the 6 cell battery, and more comparable to the m1330 with the 9 cell battery...but popping a 9 cell battery into an m1530 bumps the weight up to about 7 pounds I think. And that is a really hefty load.

    EDIT: the 3.5-4 hour battery life I am getting out of mine is during almost constant use. If I let it sit idle it would probably go for 5-6 hours.

  • Satan.Satan. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008
    Esh wrote: »

    You mean dedicated GPU?

    Duh.

  • wunderbarwunderbar Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    everyone here has to remember that the Dell XPS is not the dell XPS of 2 years ago. the XPS is no longer the uber gaming machine from dell, it's a product line. At the high end you have a really nice gaming machine that is still an XPS of old, but at the low end you have pretty much a standard dell machine with a pretty XPS case on it.

    Saying "zomg he has an XPS it must be an uber gaming machine" is not accurate at all.

  • eric.eric. __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2008
    yeah, the xps m1330 is starting to look very decent and fit my needs. i think i need some clarification too; i'm not trying to get a high-end laptop that has 2 SLI videocards running in it, i simply want a machine that can do some light gaming and maintain portability. while the macbook has started to become looking like it is a considerable buy, and i am still up in the air on it, the m1330 looks to fit my needs quite well. the graphics card is not where i would want it to be, however it's portability, light weight and battery life all fit what i'm looking for. perhaps between now and june they will update it and my decision may change but right now its looking like its going to be between the xps m1330 and a macbook.

    the idea of getting an ee pc does sound intriguing, but i would really just have one laptop to constantly use. thanks for all your input, guys really shed some much needed light on the subject.

    (...but those macbooks do look pretty nice.)

  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I still recommend the Macbook, for multiple reasons.

    Now, to preface all of this, I am a multi-platform user. I own Macs, I built PCs. However, I will be quick to say that I prefer the Mac, by no means am I tunnel-visioned enough to say I would never use a PC or anything.

    Anywho, the biggest selling point to me is the size of the Macbook. 13.3" at that slimness is fantastic. I tend to think that anything larger than that defeats the purpose of a laptop. My sister has a 15" Macbook Pro and I can't stand the damn thing. It's just too damn large and I feel like I have a TV tray in front of me whenever I use it.

    Beyond the size, I think you really should give OS X a shot. Back in 2003, Panther came out, and from what I read on the internet it was the first real primetime version of OS X, so I decided to give it a try, and holy fuck is it better. Opinions opinions lol, but I just find myself more productive in OS X, and it also seems to be better at multitasking.

    Finally, longevity-wise, the Macbook couldn't be a better fit. I'd say that you'll easily own the thing 5+ years. In fact, the aforementioned eMac is the one I still use. Purchased in November of 2003, it's almost on 5 years and it still runs wonderfully like the day I bought it. I upgraded to Tiger but haven't gone to Leopard yet. In fact, the only reason I'll be purchasing a new iMac within the next two months is because I need to use my student discount while I still can.

    I'm tempted to say look at the combo drive Macbook, maybe even a refurb, and then stick to a desktop for the majority of your gaming.

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  • wunderbarwunderbar Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I still recommend the Macbook, for multiple reasons.

    Now, to preface all of this, I am a multi-platform user. I own Macs, I built PCs. However, I will be quick to say that I prefer the Mac, by no means am I tunnel-visioned enough to say I would never use a PC or anything.

    Anywho, the biggest selling point to me is the size of the Macbook. 13.3" at that slimness is fantastic. I tend to think that anything larger than that defeats the purpose of a laptop. My sister has a 15" Macbook Pro and I can't stand the damn thing. It's just too damn large and I feel like I have a TV tray in front of me whenever I use it.

    Beyond the size, I think you really should give OS X a shot. Back in 2003, Panther came out, and from what I read on the internet it was the first real primetime version of OS X, so I decided to give it a try, and holy fuck is it better. Opinions opinions lol, but I just find myself more productive in OS X, and it also seems to be better at multitasking.

    Finally, longevity-wise, the Macbook couldn't be a better fit. I'd say that you'll easily own the thing 5+ years. In fact, the aforementioned eMac is the one I still use. Purchased in November of 2003, it's almost on 5 years and it still runs wonderfully like the day I bought it. I upgraded to Tiger but haven't gone to Leopard yet. In fact, the only reason I'll be purchasing a new iMac within the next two months is because I need to use my student discount while I still can.

    I'm tempted to say look at the combo drive Macbook, maybe even a refurb, and then stick to a desktop for the majority of your gaming.

    Refurb macs are a very overlooked item. they come with the full 1 year warranty from apple, and you can purchase the standard applecare for them. I looked a few days ago, and they had a refurb Macbook with a core 2 duo, 1GB ram, superdrive, and a 160GB HDD for $1050(this is the canadian store, the american one will likely differ slightly). If I'm looking for a Mac, I'll be looking for a refurb.

  • VladimerVladimer Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    if the gaming concern is mainly for starcraft 2, remember that blizzard ALWAYS has mac support for their games. hell wc3 win/mac install was on t he same cd, so is the newer sc.

    blizzard is a champion of support

  • LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Satan, cool your jets.

    The XPS laptops will play games, for now. But they will not play games in a year or two at the speed the OP wants. Then he's stuck with a heavy laptop that he can't upgrade. I knew someone with an XPS (when they were still all gaming machines), it was a freaking tank. The XPS gaming laptop line is a desktop replacement, and certainly not something for taking to school every day.

    The "gaming laptop" is a myth, and is only a road to hurt. You'll buy an expensive, heavy laptop which won't run games as fast as you'd like. The clever money is to get a cheaper laptop that will actually fit on your lap (with a power supply that won't kill a man) and use the money you save to buy a bargain basement desktop that you can play games on at home. Then you can save up for a shiny new graphics card and such as and when you need it.

    If you aren't going to get a Macbook, I'd go for a Thinkpad. Those things are built like strong and sturdy, so you know it'll put up wiith the punishment of going to campus.

  • MephistophelesMephistopheles Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Never buy a laptop with gaming being the primary motivator. This I have learned from my Inspiron 8200. What games a laptop plays should be at the bottom of your list, after price, form factor, and battery life.

    Oh, and as a lifelong PC user who just got his first mac, do not worry about learning OSX.

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  • gilraingilrain Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    My 15" MBP arrives on Tuesday and, wow, I haven't anticipated something this much in ages. I literally can't wait. I want a doctor to induce coma for two days.

  • VladimerVladimer Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    gilrain wrote: »
    My 15" MBP arrives on Tuesday and, wow, I haven't anticipated something this much in ages. I literally can't wait. I want a doctor to induce coma for two days.

    it is very fantastic

    I do not regret my purchase one bit

  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I use a 15" MacBook Pro for university and it is about the biggest laptop I would want to be carrying back and forth to Burnaby five days a week. It's also pretty much the smallest notebook on the market that could be legitimately called a gaming laptop. I love how it's the size of a textbook, only an inch thick, but it can power through brand-new games like TF2 and COD 4 with the kind of performance you would have expected from a high-end desktop only a year or so ago. It also looks much more professional and sophisticated than the white plastic MacBooks that have become so popular on campus. It's not quite as compact as your typical school notebook but I find the size to be quite manageable. My only complaints are that the outer surface can get extremely hot, and Apple software (including OS X, and especially Boot Camp) is nowhere near as good as we're often led to believe. Other than that I'm very pleased with it so if you want the perfect gaming laptop for school believe me when I say this is the one.

    Having said that I think the Dell 1530 with the Intel T8300 chip looks like a pretty good choice as well, it's much cheaper and probably gets almost the exact same performance and battery life as the MacBook Pro. You'd also have the benefit of Dell customer support, which is vastly superior to Apple's. It's just not quite as skinny as the Pro.

    Just don't fall into the trap of buying a 17" laptop. I know people who bring massive Asus rigs to school every day and they are all miserable.

  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Lewisham wrote: »
    Satan, cool your jets.

    The XPS laptops will play games, for now. But they will not play games in a year or two at the speed the OP wants. Then he's stuck with a heavy laptop that he can't upgrade. I knew someone with an XPS (when they were still all gaming machines), it was a freaking tank. The XPS gaming laptop line is a desktop replacement, and certainly not something for taking to school every day.

    The "gaming laptop" is a myth, and is only a road to hurt. You'll buy an expensive, heavy laptop which won't run games as fast as you'd like. The clever money is to get a cheaper laptop that will actually fit on your lap (with a power supply that won't kill a man) and use the money you save to buy a bargain basement desktop that you can play games on at home. Then you can save up for a shiny new graphics card and such as and when you need it.

    If you aren't going to get a Macbook, I'd go for a Thinkpad. Those things are built like strong and sturdy, so you know it'll put up wiith the punishment of going to campus.
    If you were to actually click over to Dell and look at the product you are dismissing out of hand you would see a laptop that, while not perhaps quite as sleek as the $2,000 MacBook Pro, is still pretty average sized, very reasonably priced, a far cry from the "freaking tank" that you unwisely assumed it would be. There are in fact a great variety of reasonably sized (and priced) gaming laptops, and the gaming laptop is far from a myth. Asus offers about a dozen models in the same price and size range. Certainly there are laptops out there that could be described as tanks, but the Dell XPS M1530 is not one of them. In fact, Dell created the M1330 and M1530 in response to customer feedback that criticized the type of laptop you are describing. It seems to be a perfectly reasonable mid-range desktop replacement with a modest enclosure and enough power under the hood to produce great performance in all current games. In fact my advice to the OP would be to buy it, unless he is willing to pay extra for a thinner chassis and OS X.

    I mean I guess the question is, do you want your laptop to disappear into envelopes, or is it enough for it to fit comfortably in a backpack full of books? If the latter is true then I don't see how you could go wrong with this one.

  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Azio wrote: »
    Lewisham wrote: »
    Satan, cool your jets.

    The XPS laptops will play games, for now. But they will not play games in a year or two at the speed the OP wants. Then he's stuck with a heavy laptop that he can't upgrade. I knew someone with an XPS (when they were still all gaming machines), it was a freaking tank. The XPS gaming laptop line is a desktop replacement, and certainly not something for taking to school every day.

    The "gaming laptop" is a myth, and is only a road to hurt. You'll buy an expensive, heavy laptop which won't run games as fast as you'd like. The clever money is to get a cheaper laptop that will actually fit on your lap (with a power supply that won't kill a man) and use the money you save to buy a bargain basement desktop that you can play games on at home. Then you can save up for a shiny new graphics card and such as and when you need it.

    If you aren't going to get a Macbook, I'd go for a Thinkpad. Those things are built like strong and sturdy, so you know it'll put up wiith the punishment of going to campus.
    If you were to actually click over to Dell and look at the product you are dismissing out of hand you would see a laptop that, while not perhaps quite as sleek as the $2,000 MacBook Pro, is still pretty average sized, very reasonably priced, a far cry from the "freaking tank" that you unwisely assumed it would be. There are in fact a great variety of reasonably sized (and priced) gaming laptops, and the gaming laptop is far from a myth. Asus offers about a dozen models in the same price and size range. Certainly there are laptops out there that could be described as tanks, but the Dell XPS M1530 is not one of them. In fact, Dell created the M1330 and M1530 in response to customer feedback that criticized the type of laptop you are describing. It seems to be a perfectly reasonable mid-range desktop replacement with a modest enclosure and enough power under the hood to produce great performance in all current games. In fact my advice to the OP would be to buy it, unless he is willing to pay extra for a thinner chassis and OS X.

    I mean I guess the question is, do you want your laptop to disappear into envelopes, or is it enough for it to fit comfortably in a backpack full of books? If the latter is true then I don't see how you could go wrong with this one.

    Interesting. That looks like a rather nice laptop, though it's still huge by comparison to the Apple equivalent. If size isn't a big issue, the battery life looks quite okay for a gaming capable laptop, and if you don't decide on a Macbook Pro I'd definitely give the M1530 a look. The review by Notebookreview.com seems rather favourable.

    3072973561_de17a80845_o.jpg
  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    We're talking a $500 difference in price over fractions of an inch, the Pro used to be worth the extra money back when competing PCs also cost 2 grand but it's a lot harder to justify it now

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