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Old 04-02-2011, 09:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Help-Laptop For College

I'm looking to find a great gaming laptop at an "affordable" price for college.
Laptop that could handle Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3, Borderlands, Borderlands 2, CAD programs such as Inventor and SolidWorks, music production, and photography.

I've been looking at a Sager:

Sager NP8130 (Built on Clevo P151HM1) Custom Sager Laptop

Then Again perhaps I don't need a super powerful laptop. I need it to do all these things but perhaps not all at 100% (except the CAD programs)

I would like to be able to take it around the campus, write up documents, and the occasional gaming. I already own a really nice desktop that has no problem playing any games but I feel that I will be limited to my dorm room in college. Could some help me in finding a laptop?

Budget: $1200.00
Weight: 0lbs-7lbs (What does 7lbs feel like on a campus?)

Thanks
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help-Laptop For College

If you want to take the laptop around campus with you I would look for something that is lighter and has better battery life. I know a couple of people who bought gaming laptops like that and they never left their desks, several even ended up buying netbooks to carry around.

Will you be taking your desktop with you to college? Personally I think that is the best roue since it will give you more flexibility on choosing a laptops and you will have two systems so if something happens to one of them you won't be without a pc. If you do take the desktop I would get the following

Lenovo - Laptops - ThinkPad - X Series- X220

The Thinkpad x220 will be released this month and is all but unbeatable as far as mobility is concerned. It would be great for everything you listed except gaming but if you have your desktop it can cover that. If you do get one be sure to get the optional IPS display, it's one of the best screens you can get in a laptop regardless of price.

Newegg.com - TOSHIBA Portege R835-P56 Notebook Intel Core i5 2410M(2.30GHz) 13.3" 4GB Memory DDR3 1333 640GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi Intel HD Graphics

If you want something a bit bigger than the X220 that is still focused on mobility the Toshiba Portege is a good choice. It doesn't have quite as good of battery life as the Thinkpad but it's a little cheaper and gets you a 13.3" screen. Like the Thinpad it also wouldn't be a gaming system.

The Dell Online Store: Build Your System

Finally if you want a system that is still an ultraportable but can still game you could go with the Alienware M11x. It's pretty light and has good battery life but still has a Geforce GT335M so it can play a fair number of games at 1366x768. Also the M11x is one of the few gaming systems that actually has good enough battery life to play on the go. A review of the M11x complete with benchmarks is available here.

Alienware M11x R2: A Legend Reborn - AnandTech :: Your Source for Hardware Analysis and News
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help-Laptop For College

Thank you! Yes I would be taking the desktop to college. I just want to be able to play TF2 very well or simple little games on steam. This puts me in the right direction. At the moment I have a MacBook Air (11"), which I bought from a friend for $320 I love how light it is but, Snow Leopard is a bit dated for me (core premise of the OS) and the hardware is a bit weak for me. So I'm planning to sell it for $850. So the price range for these laptops that you showed me are in my ballpark. But, Hardware is a bit lacking as you mentioned and I'm looking to have at least an i5 as well. I just don't want to feel limited once I have a laptop with poor specs. I want my options open, somedays I want to game others I just want to write up a research paper (which I did do on the air, It was an OK experience ).
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help-Laptop For College

Actually the Portege and Thinkpad should be able to handle games like TF2 and Left 4 Dead ok, in left 4 dead 2 a Sandy bridge i5 plus Intel HD 3000 gets 45 fps at 1366x768 on low setting. Both of those systems are still way faster than a Macbook Air also, they have Sandy Bridge processors which are two generations newer than Core 2 Duo's.

You wouldn't really be able to game on that Clevo unless you have an outlet handy and 7lbs will really be a pain when you also have to carry textbooks and other supplies for class. If you want something a bit closer to a full laptop the HP Envy 14 is worth considering.

HP ENVY 14 series | HP Official Store
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2x Samsung 2494LW & 1x Dell U2312HM Eyefinity

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Old 04-03-2011, 02:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help-Laptop For College

Ok so I was looking around the HP website and I found the dv6t select edition laptop (black) with 1gb ATI mobility 6770 gpu and an i7 for
$1200 but who really needs an i7 in a laptop... so an i5 for $999. battery life is around 5hours so that's good. I also found the Lenovo ideapad which is similar to the air but faster... yet it lacks a disc drive... but i really don't need that. On xoticpc I found a $999 laptop that was 13", had an i5 and a G310m gpu.

So it comes down to screen size and what i would do with it... I hate laptops... desktops your somewhat forced to buy certain hardware...
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