Gaming / Student laptop for under $900

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Serapho, Mar 24, 2014.

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  1. Serapho

    Serapho Notebook Enthusiast

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    What is your budget?
    $900 american dollar

    What country will you be buying this in?
    USA

    What size notebook do you prefer?
    Thin and Light (13 - 14-inch screen)
    Mainstream (15 - 16-inch screen)


    Would you consider a refurbished laptop?
    Maybe

    What are the primary tasks you need this notebook for?
    Web Surfing, Office and Productivity Software, Listening to Music, Computer Programming, Movie Streaming and Viewing, Graphic Intense 3D Gaming

    Computer Science student, so some coding / compiling.

    What games will you be playing?
    Mainly LoL / Heroes of the Storm, Diablo 3 ROS, Street Fighter 4 AE2012, and the occasional single players such as Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite.

    Where will you be using this laptop?
    Will be used different places and Will stay on desk

    How many hours of battery life do you need?
    3+ for note taking during class, will not game on battery only.

    Will you be buying online or in store?
    online or in store

    Which OS do you prefer?
    Windows 8 or Windows 7

    List the screen resolutions that interest you:
    Standard Resolution (1366 x 768) Prefer higher than x768 but will settle if not possible.
    High Resolution (1600 x 900)
    Max Resolution (1920 x 1080)


    Do you prefer a glossy or matte screen?
    Glossy or Matte is fine

    Is the laptops design important to you?
    No

    Approximately what date will you be buying this laptop?
    Around 03/28/2014

    How long do you want this laptop to last?
    3+ years

    How much storage capacity do you need?
    I can live with 500 GB, but prefer 750 GB+

    Are you interested in SSD for storage?
    Maybe. Nice if available, fine if not.

    Do you want a built-in optical drive, what type?
    Not necessary, but would be nice.

    Extra notes: I am in the process of returning a lenovo y410p. It worked great but had severe wifi issues in some places while other devices had no issues. 2 acquaintances have similar models with no issues, so i might give lenovo another shot on the off chance my first laptop was a fluke. That is, if i cant find anything better.

    For the sake of reference here is the y410p I'm returning (its the $819 version, returning because of wifi issues, otherwise performance was spot on).
    IdeaPad Y410p High-Performance 14" Multimedia Laptop from Lenovo | Lenovo (US)

    I prefer to not go under a 750m performance wise, as it ran games like diablo 3 and LoL maxed and at 60 fps, and more intense games like Tomb Raider at 30~45 with modest settings (only Model and Enviroment on High/Ultra and TresFX on).

    Appreciate any help, thanks. :hi2:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2015
  2. jeffmd

    jeffmd Notebook Evangelist

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    It took me forever to find the Q550LF-BBI7T07 which offered a descent gpu under 1k, and even then I wouldn't consider it a heavy gaming device. You are going to need to go a little higher for high gaming gpu solutions.
     
  3. Ryan

    Ryan NBR Moderator

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    Why not take a look at the Clevo W230SS?

    If you do ask around resellers, they will give you discounts and may offer close to what you're looking for.
     
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  4. Serapho

    Serapho Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the input, i'll take a look.
     
  5. Serapho

    Serapho Notebook Enthusiast

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    How is that laptop working out for you?
     
  6. Serapho

    Serapho Notebook Enthusiast

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    looking at this one

    Configurator

    it's slightly more than i want to pay but looks good. What's the word on sager laptops?
     
  7. Cellular-Decay

    Cellular-Decay Notebook Evangelist

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    If you can find the extra $ for the Sager, it would be a good choice. Sager/Clevo notebooks are generally well regarded on these forums. They offer good quality and good value, with lots of configuration choices.

    If the above is pushing your budget further than you are comfortable, check out the Lenovo Y410p. It's been around a while, but it's still a nice machine for the price. They start at around $719, but I'd recommend the $819 model for the higher rez screen, quad core i7 CPU, larger HDD and SSD cache drive.

    The Sager would be worth the extra money. If you can swing the extra cash, that's definitely the way to go!

    If you go for the Sager, I'd add the 30 day no dead pixel guarantee. It's only $25, and your screen will inspected and tested by 4 Sager techs to check for any defective pixels before shipping it to you, and if one pops up within 30 days, they will replace the screen for free. Unless defective pixels don't bother you much (personally, they drive me crazy).

    If it was me, I'd probably also add the 4810MQ processor upgrade for $35. In real world performance, it won't add a lot, but the 4810 does have a few extra features the 4700 is missing.
     
  8. Serapho

    Serapho Notebook Enthusiast

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    thanks for the detailed reply. I do like the y410p, in fact i have it now, but i am returning it tomorrow morning. it was a great laptop, but it had a major flaw: the wifi became useless a few minutes after boot. lenovo tech support was good an helped me, but after 3 weeks and many calls we made no progress. The last option they gave me was to either send it in for repairs and have my 30 return window expire or just return it for a full refund. So i went with the refund and am looking around for options once again. And i agree with you, the $819 was nice, that is exactly the one i got, but sadly a laptop with faulty wifi isnt of much use to me. That being said, i am aware not all lenovos have the same issue and i might have just gotten unlucky. 2 friends have similar models and 0 issues.

    Lenovo still has the best bang per buck but the Sagers are looking tempting..just a matter of fidning the cash :/
     
  9. discotech

    discotech Notebook Enthusiast

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    Owning one of the y-- series, I'd say stay away from them. It's been put through a lot of use, but mine always had issues. This particular laptop has stayed on my desk, and hasn't done much traveling. Can't use the trackpad (doesn't register fingers and it's not turned off), wireless and always cuts out, and Lenovo is still having a hard time fixing the SLI issues for win8.1. The screen lost it's luster after about two months (blurry, bright spots, it's overbearingly red in color). I have friends who swear by Lenovo, but I'll never buy another one. Just too many small issues that drive me nuts. Like the keyboard. Feels nice, though every key squeaks. Typing at 80 wpm it doesn't sound very nice. USB always on doesn't work, and the right USB port doesn't always register. Sound through the headphone jack doesn't work (popping).

    Best think about the laptop is it's case is rigid. It feels sturdy. Second best? The speakers. Probably the best speakers I've ever heard on a laptop. Third? The recover button is a really, really, nice feature.
     
  10. qweryuiop

    qweryuiop Notebook Deity

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    lets talk about your configuration, and a slight mistake i'm personally seeing

    as you've previously owned the y410p with wireless card error, you should have taken note that the intel's wireless drivers don't work flawlessly, hence, i'd recommend you upgrading the wireless card to the killer n1202(and really, killer's drivers for wireless cards are flawless, ethernet cards are another question)

    also, the $35 upgrades are ALL very worthwhile, such as the 95% gamut display and 4810MQ, though you may be paying a little (the $35) for something you don't need, but its still "good to have"

    if you have decided to live with the y410p you might as well invest in a killer wireless card, the n1202 to be specific, but other research needs to be done because a components whitelist might or might not exist in this model

    the sager now has better bang fir the buck since its got stronger-than-y510p-SLI performance whilst price matching the y510p, minus the high temps on the y510p SLI, its currently the "better package to consider"
     
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