Need help with budget gaming laptop!

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by alexprime, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. alexprime

    alexprime Newbie

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    Hey everyone,

    I need a budget gaming laptop with an AMAZING keyboard. I literally cannot stress enough how much need it to have a really solid, good keyboard- it's literally my biggest requirement. I'm a writer and will be typing for roughly ten or twelve hours a day. Currently, I have a Sager NP8130 that I have loved for years (and I adore the keyboard on it), but it's time for an upgrade.

    I do some gaming, but I do a fair bit of 3D modeling, photoshop work, and so on. I'd prefer it to have at least the capability to run all that well. I wouldn't mind an RGB keyboard either (not a huge requirement, of course), and also a pretty decent trackpad, since it's my primary mouse.

    Thanks everyone!

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    Up to $1100 (preferably, I would really like to stay under that if at all possible and am firm on that).

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    I currently have a Sager NP8130, and I love it.
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    Possibly, but preferably new

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Typing, browsing, gaming, heavy Photoshop use, light 3D modeling

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    It will travel with me, but I am used to hauling around a 6lb laptop, so weight isn't a huge issue.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
    Photoshop, Cities: Skylines, Planet Coaster, Sims 3-4, Batman Arkham series.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    Doesn't matter; I am rarely ever not plugged in.

    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?
    Fine with buying online!

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (Windows 7 / 8), Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    Windows 10.

    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.)

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (Scroll down to see explanations.)
    Matte, definitely.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Not particularly, but I wouldn't mind having an RGB keyboard. And maybe not a ton of red if possible. And like I said, AMAZING keyboard is required.

    15) When are you buying this laptop?
    Next two months.

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
    At least five years? (my current setup is six-years-old).

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need? Do you want a SSD drive?
    An SSD is mandatory, and I would really love an HD, but I can always buy and install my own if it doesn't come with one.

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?
    Not required.
  2. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    If you can stomach 1350$, then the Lenovo ThinkPad T470p is pretty much perfect for your needs.

    quad-core 45W i5 7300HQ
    940MX CUDA accelerator that should be capable of playing the games listed at lower settings and still help with the editing software.
    A pretty large battery that offers a good 10 hours of web browsing
    14" 1080p IPS display
    And what is basically the best laptop chicklet keyboard available on the current market (ThinkPad Precision)


    EDIT: I would suggest adding the 6-cell battery for an additional 15$ more - that would make this easily last a whole day.
  3. BeastsForever.TheDragon

    BeastsForever.TheDragon Notebook Evangelist

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    Buy an external KB if KB is like soo importanat to you! And spend money on a laptopthat performs well rather then one witha great KB!
    slimmolG likes this.
  4. alexprime

    alexprime Newbie

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    The Lenovo ThinkPad T470p is unfortunately outside of my price range, since I'm using my tax return to get it, and I really cannot afford anything over $1100. And with my currently set up, an external keyboard isn't very practical since I am on the move a fair bit for work and often crammed into odd spots. Mostly, the laptop will be in my lap. External keyboard really wouldn't work well with all of that.

    Currently, I have the Sager NP8130 and I really love this keyboard. I'm not sure how Sager builds still are, but I'm looking in to maybe getting another (or the clevo model with one of the other brands).

    Looking into maybe one of these?

    Anyone know how the build quality is on them?
  5. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    You could pick up a Thinkpad P51 with 7700HQ + M1200 via Lenovo Corporate Perks for ~$1000 + tax. The keyboard and trackpad on that machine is amazing. The Quadro M1200 (basically a GTX 960M) is nothing to write home about, but can play older games at decent settings and it may help with your 3d modeling. There are a few filters in Photoshop it can accelerate as well.

    Another model I really like the keyboard and trackpad on is the Alienware 15R3 / 17R4 series. It's hard to find one within your budget but you may be able to if you are patient and wait for a good coupon via Dell Outlet or similar. Most local Best Buy retail stores have these on display, so you can test drive the keyboard and trackpad in person. If they happen to have an open-box model that looks good and boots up, you can give them an offer of your budget. Depending on the store manager they may accept it.

    Clevo is nice but I feel like the build quality has gotten worse than it used to be. I have a 9-year old W860CU which has a better feeling keyboard than the Clevo laptops on display at Micro Center. It may just be a personal preference thing but they just don't impress me as much. If you live near a Micro Center you may be able to try them out yourself. They have a bunch of other models like the Asus / MSI you mentioned on display so you could try them too.

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