Smallest Gaming Laptop

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Dacker, Sep 28, 2012.

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  1. Dacker

    Dacker Notebook Enthusiast

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    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    $1200 approx

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    11" - 14" screen

    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?
    No

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

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Gaming

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

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
    Mass Effect series, Dragon Age series, Total War Series, Civilization series, Sim City when it's released. Sometimes I play FPS such as CoD. I also play some MMORPGs such as Everquest (yes I still like it) and SWTOR

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    It's not the greatest concern, since I watch movies in my iPad when on the plane.

    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 is fine

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista or Windows 7), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
    Windows 7, and maybe 8

    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. Click here for Screen resolution information.

    13) Do you want a Glossy/reflective screen or a Matte/non-glossy screen?
    Matte would be better, but I know most of the machines I am looking at don't have it. I can always buy a matter screen later.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    No, not really.

    15) When are you buying this laptop?
    Mid-November, so if there's something on the horizon I can wait. If not, I'll buy immediately.

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

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need; 80GB to 640GB? Do you want a SSD drive?
    256gb SSD would be best, but I can always upgrade later if a HDD is the only thing offered.

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?
    No

    ------------------------------
    I have a giant Asus G73JW with 128gb SSD and 750gb HDD; 8gb RAM; 17.3" 1920x1080 glossy screen; GTX 460M. I love it! But, it's just too big to lug around.

    I work overseas and travel a lot - I am constantly getting on and off helicopters, airplanes, etc. and I just can't lug this thing with me. I have an old Asus 1000HE netbook, too, and I usually take it with me because it will play Torchlight and old games like Baldur's Gate and Warcraft III.

    When I travel - even when going back to Europe - I take only carry-on luggage, my iPad and my little netbook. So, I'm looking for a laptop that can replace both laptops. That way I can sell or give away my current laptops.

    I was looking at the Clevo W110ER, and it looks like it will fulfill all my requirements. I was considering buying from XoticPC and getting it with the i7-3610QM, 8gb of memory, and the 256gb Crucial M4.

    But is this the best bang for the buck in a small gaming laptop? I can go up to 14" if there's a better laptop with a more powerful video card.

    And one last question: XoticPC offers something called the "Copper Cooling Upgrade." Does anyone know if this is worth the $79, particularly if I upgrade to the i7?

    Whatever laptop I get I will use a keyboard and monitor when I am at home, so I am not too worried about comfort of the keyboard, screen, etc.

    Thank you for your help.
    -Dacker
     
  2. kanuk

    kanuk Notebook Deity

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    Under 14" the only laptops with serious gaming capability are (w/GPU):

    W110ER (GT 650M) 11"
    Sony S13P (GT 640M LE) 13"
    Gigabyte u2442n (GT 640M) 14"

    The Clevo will be somewhat more powerful than the others but will have the shortest battery life and is only available with a glossy display. The Sony (especially with sheet battery) will have by far the longest battery life. The Sony and GB both have 1600x900 matte displays and both are substantially thinner than the W110ER. All three have almost identical weight, between 3.7 and 3.8 lbs, with the S13P being the lightest.

    There's also the Alienware m14x which is a 14" on paper but much closer to the dimensions and weight of a 15". That's why I didn't include it in this list. The m11x is too old and underpowered to compare to the three others.

    Edit: the 650M is a stronger GPU but the 640M overclocks very well and very reliably. The Clevo will still have a slight advantage there but not by much.
     
  3. failwheeldrive

    failwheeldrive Notebook Deity

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    After reviewing Xoticpc's lineup, I'd have to agree with your choice on the W110ER given your budget. The 650m (ddr3 version) is a solid mid range card that should be able to handle the games on your list, as long as you don't want max settings. I'm sort of a performance nut, so I would go for something more powerful than the 650, but the only 14 inch laptop with a slightly better video card option is the Alienware M14x (650m gddr5,) and it's out of your budget (not surprisingly, given how overpriced they are.) And the W110ER can be had with a matte screen and tons of options for well under $1200. Seems like a smart choice, should you decide to go that way.
     
  4. oelkstul

    oelkstul Notebook Guru

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    In Europe the W110ER is also available with matte display.
    It depends on the reseller it seems.

    s13 with bios mod offers similar performance, but i don't know whether it's durable enough for constant travel.

    m14x is not really portable IMHO.
    This describes exactly what my impression of the m14x was:

    :D
     
  5. failwheeldrive

    failwheeldrive Notebook Deity

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    Xoticpc also has a matte screen option. Also, the lower screen resolution should help with the ddr3's slightly reduced graphical power.
     
  6. Amal77

    Amal77 Notebook Deity

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    width x height x depth (in mm):
    Sony Vaio S13P = 331 x 22.8 x 224.6
    Clevo W110ER = 287 x 37 x 207

    331-287 = 44 (15%)
    224.6-207 = 17.6 (8%)
    37-22.8 = 14cm (62%)

    Weight = 1.74kg - 1.67kg = 0.07kg = 70grams

    Sony Vaio S13p is 15% more width
    Sony Vaio S13p is 8% more depth
    Clevo is 62% more thicker


    So, in terms of portability, the Sony Vaio S13P are not that much of a difference compared to the Clevo W110ER, while having a noticable thinner, and a very slight lighter laptop.

    And if you do some work on the laptop, the 1600x900 might help a bit due to more room space.

    Hope that helps.

    Edit : re-edit on weight.
    Edit 2 : Forgot to mention. The clevo W110ER GT650M can also be OC to a crazy speed(way higher than the BIOS MOD GT640M LE), if you're in to that.
     
  7. MattLangley

    MattLangley Notebook Enthusiast

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    Though it's not a "gaming" laptop it is one of the smallest laptops that will play quite a few games... I'll throw the ux32vd out there.

    Ironically we do play some overlapped games. I can 4 box Everquest on this, though I plan on upgrading the RAM to 10GB which will make this much smoother (especially to look info up at the same time). I also just got the D&D pack from gog.com and am playing Baldur's Gate 1, 2... NWN, and various other old D&D games.

    I currently just got the recently released Guild Wars 2 mmorpg and can crank settings up nearly maxed at 1080p... at 13" the screen is a bit small but the pixel density really makes it crisp (just played for a couple hours on my couch last night).

    If size is more important than gaming performance then it may be worth a look, though there are a lot of great computers in this class.
     
  8. Krayz

    Krayz Notebook Geek

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    Yeah, the m14x is incredibly thick despite being a tiny lappy. :D
     
  9. Dacker

    Dacker Notebook Enthusiast

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    I really like the Zenbook, and I'll definitely consider it if I decide to keep my large Asus G73JW as my desktop machine. I'm more than willing to make some concessions on power if it's just to travel with. But if my new laptop is going to be my sole desktop and travel computer, I think I need a little more power so that I'm not limited to certain games when I am home. Is the GT 620M significantly more powerful than the HD4000? I almost bought a laptop when I was in Dubai, since I read the HD4000 will run a lot of the types of games I like to play (albeit at lower resolutions). Again, though, I'd only do that if I were going to keep my giant laptop, too.

    Man, I love shopping for new hardware, but I hate making the final decision. Unless I go with a 2 laptop solution, here's what my choices are down to:

    VAIO 13.3" S Series Custom Laptop / SVS131190X Enhanced
    - 3rd gen Intel® Core™ i7-3520M processor (2.90GHz / 3.60GHz with Turbo Boost)
    - 3.3" LED backlit display (1366 x 768)
    - NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 640M LE (1GB)
    - 500GB (7200rpm) hard drive
    - 12GB (4GB fixed onboard + 8GB removable) DDR3-1333MHz
    - Blu-ray Disc™ player [$100.00]
    - Internal (4400mAh) + sheet (4400mAh) lithium polymer batteries


    Sager NP6110 / Clevo W110ER
    - 11.6" HD "Glare Type" Super Clear Bright Glossy Screen (1366x768)
    - Sager - 3rd Generation Intel® Ivy Bridge Core™ i7-3610QM (2.3GHz - 3.3GHz, 6MB Intel® Smart Cache, 45W Max TDP)
    - IC Diamond Thermal Compound - CPU + GPU (Cools better than all Compounds)
    - nVidia GT 650M 2048MB PCI-Express GDDR3 DX11 with Optimus™ Technology
    - 8GB - DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (2 SODIMMS)
    - 256gb Crucial M4 Series Solid State Drive (SSD2 Serial-ATA III)
    - Sager - Intel® Advanced-N 6235 - 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module + Bluetooth™ 4.0
    - Smart Li-ion Battery (6-Cell)
    - No Operating System Standard - Drivers & Utility Software Only

    Thanks for all of the help, by the way - it is very much appreciate.

    -Dacker

    P.S. I've been playing Everquest off and on since it was released. I have tried almost every other MMORPG out there, and will probably buy GW2 soon (I live in a country that doesn't have the greatest Internet connection, though), but I always go back to EQ1.
     
  10. kanuk

    kanuk Notebook Deity

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    I would very strongly recommend getting the 1600x900 display (in the Premium model) and buying any extra RAM yourself. You can buy 8GB for about $50 and it's a 2-minute install. The i7 upgrade isn't really worth the money.
     
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