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New laptop suggestions

KeyScourgeKeyScourge __BANNED USERS regular
edited April 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Right.

I'm going off to Uni soon and as it will be totally impractical to lug my computer all the way there as well as unrealistic to think I'll have enough room to spare to keep it set up there. So I'm in the market for a laptop.

If possible, and if it isn't too much of a fool's errand in and of itself, I'm looking for one that's easy to carry around. Ya know, not too big, heavy and awkward. And I'd like to be of a good quality so that it can run games, which at the moment is something my current computer cannot do. Just so that on the odd occasion when I'm not crazy busy with work and stuff I can relax with games.

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Posts

  • witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    What kind of games and other software are you looking to run?

    Based on my experience, a laptop will never be as awesome as a desktop in what it can do for high end gaming. Also, when I bought my laptops for gaming, I tended to buy the big 17" screen ones, so they weren't as portable as what you're talking about. I was still able to run basic games on them pretty well, but when it came to something like World of Warcraft, I needed the extra oomph from a desktop to get the full experience.

    witch_ie on
  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    MacBook

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  • Evil_ReaverEvil_Reaver Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    witch_ie wrote: »
    What kind of games and other software are you looking to run?

    This is something we really need answered before we recommend specific laptops. I mean, I can recommend days worth of laptops that can "play games"... they just might not be the games you want to play.

    I will say upfront that a laptop will never be as good as a desktop for modern PC gaming. Hardware changes way too fast and your top of the line, 17" beast of a laptop will be outdated in about say, 36 seconds. Plus, gaming laptops are not portable at all and are generally meant to be desktop replacements (with is kind of silly because it can't really replace a gaming PC).

    Having said that, I game on a revision A 2006 Macbook Pro (256 MB ATI Radeon X1600 graphics, 2GB RAM, 2 GHz Core Duo) and it plays Company of Heroes just fine. CoH isn't Crysis intensive in terms of graphics, but I can play it on medium settings and it looks fine. I'm not advocating you buying an Apple computer, but I am saying that you don't have to spend a hojillion dollars on a "gaming laptop" when a medium spec machine will play a lot of games just fine.

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  • KeyScourgeKeyScourge __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2009
    I'd originally hoped that it would play stuff like Assassin's Creed and stuff of that quality, but I now realise that's being a bit too optimistic.

    KeyScourge on
  • proXimityproXimity Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    What price range are you looking at?

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  • witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Depending on how much you're willing to spend, you might be able to get a laptop that meets your current gaming needs (note: I have no idea what the requirements are for Assassin's Creed). The thing is that any new "awesome" games that come out may require more than that.

    For example, when I bought my first gaming/school laptop, it was able to run the games I wanted it to run just fine (Diablo II, Warcraft III, Neverwinter Nights). It was also able to run the WoW beta and orignal content to the extent that I could play the game with low video settings. (yes I play a lot of Blizzard games)

    When I saw what newer laptops and desktops could do though, I knew I had to get another laptop. It was fine for a few years, but then had to be replaced to keep up with the new memory and graphics requirements of the expansions.

    I think the other thing that you want to keep in mind when selecting your laptop is which programs your academic curriculum requires and which programs they have installed on their computers. If your school is primarily Mac-oriented, you'll want to look at one of those. If you expect to do a lot of statistical work, I would recommend going with a Microsoft OS. Knowing this will narrow your field down a bit.

    For myself, I don't like Macs and have never needed them for their video/music capabilities. Therefore, it was an easy choice for me. In the past, I've looked at Dell and HP to see what builds were available. My experience with their customer service has gone downhill of late, but I would still consider getting a computer from them since it's the closest I can come to building a computer without actually building a computer (laptop or desktop).

    witch_ie on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Whats your budget?

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  • KeyScourgeKeyScourge __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2009
    Whats your budget?
    I'm not entirely sure. My parents will most likely be buying it for me so the only thing I can tell for certain is that, knowing them, they'll probably want to stick to as low a price as physically possible.

    KeyScourge on
  • saltinesssaltiness Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Then you're getting a netbook.

    saltiness on
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  • witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    If price is a major issue, I agree that you're not really going to get something that will allow for the kind of gaming you would like. The two laptops I bought in 2002 and 2005 both cost between 2k and 2.5k at the time I bought them. I've since switched to desktop gaming.

    You could try to get them to get you a lower end laptop and then just put some basic games on there for when you have some down time when you're out and about. For more extensive gaming at a lower price than PC gaming, you might want to invest in a console if you don't already have one. Just be careful about it if you end up living in the dorms. A friend of mine had his brand new X-Box stolen the first week he had it (granted he kept it out in the common area).

    witch_ie on
  • ToefooToefoo Los Angeles, CARegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    You CAN get a laptop that will play Assassin's Creed, but I can almost guarantee it will be something you don't want to carry around. These things usually weigh twice as much as a regular laptop, have bigger screens, and can run hot enough that your video card can eventually burn out if you're not careful.

    If I were you, I'd go low-mid range. Gaming on a laptop can be convenient, but if you're in Uni and you're taking a full load of courses, then chances are you may not spend enough time gaming on it to warrant the purchase.

    Personally, I'd stick with a netbook as Saltiness suggested (the ASUS 1000HA is getting good marks). It won't play many games besides Diablo 2 and perhaps Warcraft 3, but honestly having a gaming laptop in college is more trouble than it's worth.

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  • Teslan26Teslan26 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Why not get a small cheap portable laptop, yet also get a gaming desktop. I would not be surprised if you got both for the price of the gaming laptop.

    Teslan26 on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    See if you can't get a number out of your parents. Take that, buy a netbook, and put the rest into a desktop/other toys.

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  • zhen_roguezhen_rogue Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Also, this forum is like an answer key to determining what notebook system is for you, and where to get it from:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/

    zhen_rogue on
  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    How easy is it to do real work on a 10" screen? I find 15" bordering on too small and all I do is occasionally write an essay.

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  • KeyScourgeKeyScourge __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2009
    The screens on the computers in the IT Suite at my college are 10" and I never have any problems with seeing anything. Everything's always crisp clear and perfectly visible

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  • Evil_ReaverEvil_Reaver Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I know it's all the rage, but don't buy a netbook to use as your full-time computer. Are you really going to want to type papers and take notes on a laptop that is the size of a paperback book? You're going from one extreme, OMG GAMING LAPTOP, to the other, LOLZ TINY LAPTOP.

    Have you looked at Dell yet? They have VERY affordable full size laptops.

    XPS M1330

    Inspiron 13

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  • NappuccinoNappuccino Surveyor of Things and Stuff Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    If the dorm you're living in is anything like mine, you'll have plenty of room to put up a desktop. You might want to replace a flatscreen LCD if you don't already have one. It will save so much space its crazy.

    That said, it sucks taking a desktop back and forth from college to home ( even if you only do this once every other month, its a pain) so you'd probably want a cheap laptop that can store homework, play your .mp3s and surf the web for when you head back home.

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  • Teslan26Teslan26 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I know it's all the rage, but don't buy a netbook to use as your full-time computer. Are you really going to want to type papers and take notes on a laptop that is the size of a paperback book? You're going from one extreme, OMG GAMING LAPTOP, to the other, LOLZ TINY LAPTOP.

    Have you looked at Dell yet? They have VERY affordable full size laptops.

    XPS M1330

    Inspiron 13

    See, problem is that at uni there are huge computer rooms to use if you want to type shit there. So the only real bonus the laptop at uni gives you is in lectures - which is a bloody bad idea because I suspect it will hinder rather than help your work. If you really need to type up lecture notes then OK. But tbh there just is not the need for the laptop to write essays when you'll be better off using the desktop.

    And again, the problem with gaming laptops is price, quality, upgradability, lifespan, portability, HEAT.

    Teslan26 on
  • SmurphSmurph Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Yeah, you can't just assume you won't have enough room for a desktop in a dorm. I mean you will at least have a desk. Put the tower on the floor and the mouse, keyboard, and LCD monitor won't take up much more space than a standard laptop anyway.

    I recently bought a 15" laptop because I wanted more power than a netbook, but still needed mobility. I recently realized that for the $700 I spent on a laptop I could have spent $350 on a netbook and the other $350 upgrading my desktop to be a gaming beast.

    So I would recommend bringing your desktop because college dorms are not always dungeons, but buying a netbook to take to class.

    Smurph on
  • Teslan26Teslan26 Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Just occured to me, I forgot that many american uni accomodations are shared => in those circumstances I am not sure I would want an expensive gaming laptop that is so easily ported away from my unsecure room.

    Edit, should that be insecure? >_>

    Teslan26 on
  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    If you tend to move once or twice a year, then having a desktop PC is an unbelievable pain in the arse. You also don't get the advantage of being able to hold impromptu mini lans at the drop of a hat that you do with laptops.

    Personally, I think a 15" laptop is a pretty good half-way house if you want to actually play some games. You should be able to find one with a 9600M at a reasonable price. It'll pretty much play everything out there (even Crysis, but don't expect the world). Game requirements aren't really going to go up for a while whilst everyone is focussed on developing for all three next-gen systems at once, so you've probably got a couple of years breathing room on most new releases.

    Rook on
  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Teslan26 wrote: »
    Just occured to me, I forgot that many american uni accomodations are shared => in those circumstances I am not sure I would want an expensive gaming laptop that is so easily ported away from my unsecure room.

    Edit, should that be insecure? >_>

    Get a laptop lock! You should have one anyway.

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  • EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    edited April 2009
    corcorigan wrote: »
    How easy is it to do real work on a 10" screen? I find 15" bordering on too small and all I do is occasionally write an essay.

    I was very sceptical to the 13.1" Macbook screen, but it's all about the resolution. 1280x800 at 13.1" is approximately five times as awesome as 1024x768 at 15", which is what my last laptop had.

    Echo on
  • NappuccinoNappuccino Surveyor of Things and Stuff Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Resolution is a factor but so is overall quality of the lcd- You can have an awesome resolution but a crappy picture because the screen just isn't made well. Definately read some reviews before you put down the change on a screen.

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    Rorus Raz wrote: »
    There's also the possibility you just can't really grow a bear like other guys.

    Not even BEAR vaginas can defeat me!
    cakemikz wrote: »
    And then I rub actual cake on myself.
    Loomdun wrote: »
    thats why you have chest helmets
  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    This guy might be up your alley:

    http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/computer_can_series.do?storeName=computer_store&category=notebooks&a1=Category&v1=Performance+and+entertainment&series_name=dv6t_series

    16"
    Under 7lbs
    Not too pricey.

    You'd just need to bump up the graphics card in the customization (to one of the ATI options). It should be able to play Assassin's Creed.

    The only big concern would be heat. HP laptops do tend to generate way too much of it. Buy a cooling pad and you're set, though.

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  • halmuthalmut Registered User new member
    edited April 2009
    personally if i hadn't already gotten a monster of a laptop, 18.4" vaio, i would just go for an ultra portable with the best battery life i can find and just bite the bullet and bring the desktop too. my vaio is too damn big to take anywhere and i cant even find a bag or sleeve that will fit it.

    halmut on
  • JeiceJeice regular
    edited April 2009
    I too am looking for laptops, and while searching, this caught my eye. This is the one I might be getting, it's light, avg screen size, and decently powerful. It should suit your needs to.

    http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0665000FS10118685&catid=25315#

    EDIT: I've been talking to others, and they keep saying, "but it's a DELL..." like that's some kind of bad thing. I don't mean to hi-jack the thread, but what's wrong with DELL exactly?

    So, to the OP, if you get this laptop, apparently you should be wary because it's a DELL.

    Jeice on
  • RookRook Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Jeice wrote: »
    I too am looking for laptops, and while searching, this caught my eye. This is the one I might be getting, it's light, avg screen size, and decently powerful. It should suit your needs to.

    http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0665000FS10118685&catid=25315#

    EDIT: I've been talking to others, and they keep saying, "but it's a DELL..." like that's some kind of bad thing. I don't mean to hi-jack the thread, but what's wrong with DELL exactly?

    So, to the OP, if you get this laptop, apparently you should be wary because it's a DELL.

    I have a Dell laptop, and so do both of my friends. As far as I'm concerned they're pretty good, all my work PCs have been Dells as well and I've never had an issue with them. I wouldn't go with them for a home desktop as they tend to use a lot of proprietary hardware (it's just harder to upgrade) but that's not an issue with laptops.

    I have had a couple of memory issues with my XPS but the warranty coverage has been good (apart from the whole india thing).

    My issue with that laptop would be that it's got an Intel graphics chipset, so basically it's not going to be playing many games, and the screen resolution is a bit low, although I think you're boned in that respect with the newer Dell laptops.

    Rook on
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I had some minor issues with my Dell laptop, but their customer support is pretty good.

    Improvolone on
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