Gaming/Portable Hybrid

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Clerval, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Clerval

    Clerval Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hello and thanks for taking the time to help me out. I am in the market for a new laptop that is portable, but also good for some light gaming. I just returned a Dell XPS 15 7-series, which met my spec requirements, but had an overheating defect. After dealing with Dell customer service, I decided to ask for a refund and am now ruling out Dell. Please find my answers below and let me know what you think. Also, note that my experience is advanced intermediate (e.g., I have built computers, installed drivers, cmd line/bash, etc).

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    I am planning on spending around $1,800 - $2,000, but willing to go over a few hundred if it ticks a lot of boxes.

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen

    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?
    United States.

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like:
    b. Dislike: Dell

    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Email, web browsing, programming (matlab, python, mathematica), Office, some gaming

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    I will carry the laptop with me every day

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)
    Yes. The maximum demand game-wise will be something like playing Witcher 3 on medium/high settings with decent FPS.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    ~4 hours

    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
    Buying online is OK.

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    Windows, Linux, Mac OS (ranked from high preference to low preference)

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.)
    I prefer High or Ultra resolution (1920x1080, 3K, 4K)

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)
    I prefer matte, but OK with glossy.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?
    512 SSD should be sufficient.

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity

    16) When are you buying this laptop?

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?
    3-5 years

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
    2-3 weeks

    19) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage?
    I'm happy to pay for extended coverage ($200-$300) if customer service is known to be reliable. Don't mind having a week of outage.
  2. Clerval

    Clerval Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi! After doing some more research, I'd like to provide some details about what I'm after. I think something like the late 2019 Razer Blade 15 (Advanced Model) checks almost all the boxes for what I'd like. That is, it has an amazing aesthetics, is very portable, good build quality and packs quite the hardware punch. Of course, the problem is that it is way out of my $1,500 - $2,000 budget at over $3,000 when souped-up. What do you think is a good compromise?
  3. HueyFC

    HueyFC Newbie

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    Get a less 'souped up' Razer. For everyday carry portable gaming with that budget I'd look at one of the 'thin light' gaming laptops with a 1660 Ti like the low end Razer will do a great job. It's just 5% slower than the RTX 2060. Or to go a lot more portable you can step down to the MSI Prestige 14 with Intels new low power six core CPU that is about to be released any day with a 1650 Max-Q. It's much smaller and under 3lbs. I don't know if that's enough gaming horsepower for you though. Notebookcheck shows the 1650 Max-Q getting 50 fps at high settings and 1920x1080 in Witcher 3. The 1660 Ti gets 90 fps.

    For the 1660 Ti models Gigabyte has an Aero model with 4k OLED screen for $1700 or you can go with a 1080 screen for $1500.

    I'm looking for a similar rig and I'm currently weighting the pro and cons with going with a 6 lb - 6.5 lb (laptop and charger) 15.6" gaming laptop from MSI, Gigabyte, or Razer with the 1660 Ti or a 3.5 lb - 4.5 lb MSI Prestige 14 / 15 with the 1650. Right now I'm leaning towards the lighter option. I may go with the 15 since it has dual channel memory which the 14 doesn't but in reality the little performance hit probably won't be noticeable for my usage. I like that the Prestige laptops have long battery life and don't get as noisy.

    There are also cheaper 1660 Ti models out there but they are a little bigger and weight an extra .5 lb - 1 lb and typically come with screens that don't have as good of color reproduction which wouldn't matter for your uses. You could save 30% and go with one of those if you don't mind the extra weight and clunkier case.
    Charles P. Jefferies likes this.
  4. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    Agreed that lesser-spec'd Razer is an option. The GTX 1660 Ti model with the high-refresh rate display comes in at $1,799 on Razer's website right now.

    The MSI GS65 Stealth is another machine to consider, and the Lenovo Legion Y740 (15").


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