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Old 07-01-2012, 08:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Looking for a laptop for college, with a bit of kick in it

I'm not too hard to please, but I've been unable to find anything fitting my criteria:

-$800 or less
-dedicated GPU. I'm not a huge gamer, but I'd like to be able to play Skyrim and Battlefield 3 on medium. No idea if this is a realistic goal. I know next to nothing about GPUs, so it's especially important that I get help here.
-Core i5 or i7 processor
-At least 4 gigs of RAM. Though again, I'd really appreciate some guidance as to how much is really necessary.

That's it. Something like this would be great:
Newegg.com - ASUS A53SV-NH51 Notebook Intel Core i5 2430M(2.40GHz) 15.6" 6GB Memory DDR3 640GB HDD 5400rpm DL DVD±RW/CD-RW NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M

I remember seeing that it was $750 or so, but unfortunately Newegg seems not to be selling it anymore. Most of the good Asus computers there are out of stock now, which is a bit of a shame. I'd prefer Asus or Toshiba, but I'm open to anything but HP if possible. Thank you.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop for college, with a bit of kick in it

Have you considered lenovo? the 15" y570 can have an i7 - its second gen, but still good, along with 8 gb ram memory, and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M (which will be able to run games like skyrim and battlefield).
the $750 model should suit you well.

I've been looking for a similar-type laptop and this seems like one of the better deals to me.
you can find the y 570 models here
IdeaPad Y570 15.6" laptop | Lenovo | (CA)
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop for college, with a bit of kick in it

If those are the games you are wanting to play on your laptop then id be considering getting a traditional tower pc for the games because those games running on a decent PC will run much better then on a laptop. Although you are right that gaming laptops are available, they aren't quite keeping up with PCs in the GPU areas which is where they suffer the most. Hope you can decide what you could do
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop for college, with a bit of kick in it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinky View Post
Have you considered lenovo? the 15" y570 can have an i7 - its second gen, but still good, along with 8 gb ram memory, and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M (which will be able to run games like skyrim and battlefield).
the $750 model should suit you well.

I've been looking for a similar-type laptop and this seems like one of the better deals to me.
you can find the y 570 models here
IdeaPad Y570 15.6" laptop | Lenovo | (CA)
The Ideapads aren't the best laptops out there, IMHO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashmaltby View Post
If those are the games you are wanting to play on your laptop then id be considering getting a traditional tower pc for the games because those games running on a decent PC will run much better then on a laptop. Although you are right that gaming laptops are available, they aren't quite keeping up with PCs in the GPU areas which is where they suffer the most. Hope you can decide what you could do
Care to elaborate? I can play Skyrim, 2K textures, high settings @1080p w/ 4XAA on my laptop with 43fps average. To the OP, 8gb is all you need for gaming right now, and into the future. If you do video editing or anything like that, 12 or even 16 wouldn't hurt.
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop for college, with a bit of kick in it

Quote:
Care to elaborate? I can play Skyrim, 2K textures, high settings @1080p w/ 4XAA on my laptop with 43fps average. To the OP, 8gb is all you need for gaming right now, and into the future. If you do video editing or anything like that, 12 or even 16 wouldn't hurt.
Fair point made, the games are definitely playable no doubt about that however I was just stating if its heavy gaming that is required by the user then a dedicated gaming PC would be an option, especially since the power of GPUs is rapidly expanding and therefore upgrades are possible in the future unlike with a laptop.
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop for college, with a bit of kick in it

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Originally Posted by Ashmaltby View Post
Fair point made, the games are definitely playable no doubt about that however I was just stating if its heavy gaming that is required by the user then a dedicated gaming PC would be an option, especially since the power of GPUs is rapidly expanding and therefore upgrades are possible in the future unlike with a laptop.
Sure, for specifically gaming I'd almost always recommend a desktop. But the OP is a college student, so a laptop is more than likely a necessity. That being said, you aren't going to get more than a GT 540m or maybe 550m in his price range. My lappy has a 660m, which is why I can play so smoothly.
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop for college, with a bit of kick in it

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Originally Posted by tj_extreme View Post
Sure, for specifically gaming I'd almost always recommend a desktop. But the OP is a college student, so a laptop is more than likely a necessity. That being said, you aren't going to get more than a GT 540m or maybe 550m in his price range. My lappy has a 660m, which is why I can play so smoothly.
Of course, I definitely agree with you on that, I was talking on the basis that gaming is also a high priority but yes agreed you are right when in that price range
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Old 07-18-2012, 06:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop for college, with a bit of kick in it

Thanks for the responses. I'm bumping this topic and changing my demands; I've decided that, even though a graphically powerful laptop may be nice, I'd probably end up actually playing games very rarely in university. So, nix the dedicated GPU. I've heard great things about ASUS, but generally their laptops seem to be rather more expensive than Toshiba. Two of their computers have caught my eye:

Toshiba Satellite R945-P440 14" Laptop | Staples®
-6 GB RAM
-i5

Toshiba Satellite S855-S5254 15.6" Laptop | Staples®
-8 giggies RAM
-i7 ivy bridge

They're the same price, but I'd get $100 off as a student discount for the first one. My question is: is 2 more gigs of RAM and the i7 worth the extra $100? I want something that will last and will perform well no matter what I put it through. Let me know.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for a laptop for college, with a bit of kick in it

Unless you are using some heavy-duty software, the i5 with 6 gb of ram should be plenty. If you are just using it for web searching/word/excel/powerpoint, there probably won't be a noticeable difference between the two.

Also take into account the size difference. Do you want to carry around a 15.6" lappy? Or do you need a full-sized keyboard? If the 14" model is $100 cheaper, I would take that over the 15.6". Usually 14" is more expensive than 15.6" for similar specs.
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