Light, sturdy, gaming 13-15" laptop for student

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by marcv123, Feb 16, 2018.

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  1. marcv123

    marcv123 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi all, looking for a laptop to buy now to take to college. Will be used for some gaming, but also taking to classes and studying. Under 5lbs would be great, so anything in the 13-15" range would be good. Dedicated graphics card is a must, but does not need to be super fast.

    This is replacing a Lenovo edge2 with a NVIDIA GeForce 940M, so anything equal to or more powerful than this should be fine. Maybe something with an MX150?

    Thanks for your help!

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    $1200

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    d. Mainstream; 15" max
    Weight is important too...ideally under 5lbs.


    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
    USA

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    Do not really care.
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    no

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    mid range gaming (world of warcraft, starcraft. No fps where high framerate matters.). Also, will use for college classes.

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Taking it with

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
    Yes, world of warcraft, starcraft, etc.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    not a big deal

    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?
    on line ok

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (Windows 7 / 8), Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    Windows

    Screen Specifics

    12) From the choices below, what screen resolution(s) would you prefer? Keep in mind screen size in conjunction with resolution will play a large role in overall viewing comfort level. Everyone is different. Some like really small text, while others like their text big and easy to read. (Scroll down to see screen resolution information.)
    Don't really have a preference.

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (Scroll down to see explanations.)
    Don't really have a preference.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Prefer something looking pretty mainstream, without a ton of neon or flash.

    15) When are you buying this laptop?
    asap

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
    2-3 years
    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive?
    Don't really have a preference.


    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?
    no
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
  2. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    So, here are my suggestions for what you should opt to get

    DO NOT buy any Intel 7000U or 6000U series CPU. The 8000U series have double the cores on the i5/i7 models and a dual-core i5/i7 is a rip-off. This does not apply to HQ CPUs such as the i5 7300HQ and i7 7700HQ - these are still quad-core models.

    IPS screen - a must

    i5 8250U or Ryzen 5 2500U - 4 cores is a must. These 2 are roughly on par with each other. The i7 8550U and Ryzen 7 2700U are also good but more expensive.
    The Vega 8/10 iGPUs in the Ryzen CPUs may actually work for you since they perform about the same as a 940M(X) otherwise, 1030 or 1050/560 is what you should look for.
    SSD - makes a massive difference.

    Ones that I can think of from the top of my head are the Acer Swift 3 models, the HP Spectre X360 models, Lenovo IdeaPad 720s models. Asus also have some Vivobook N580 or S15 models but you have to make sure they have IPS displays as some of them come with crap TN screens. The Dell Inspiron 7577, while larger and heavier than the others, has better cooling and usually comes with a 1050 Ti or 1060 GPU. Lastly, the Asus ZenBook UX331 is also a very good option if you want a 14" MX150 laptop.
     
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  3. marcv123

    marcv123 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Bumping this thread for a refresh request please. I didn’t buy a laptop back in Feb but am ready to do so now. Based on the current market and new machines could someone please give me a few updated recommendations?

    Thanks very much!
     
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