Thin/Light and capable of playing games - UK/Ireland - €2,000

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by woopdeedoo, Jul 24, 2012.

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  1. woopdeedoo

    woopdeedoo Newbie

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    I posted here recently and unfortunately received no replies, however I've been able to increase my budget a bit so hopefully I'll have more luck this time.

    I've filled out the form but my most fundamental requirements are as follows:
    1. Must be thin and light - anything thinner or lighter than the non-retina MacBook Pro 15" fits this requirement.
    2. Must be capable of playing games reasonably well.
    3. Must not get so hot that it can't be held on a lap during browsing. For more intensive use it'll be on a desk.

    Everything else in the list below, which is more-or-less copied from my previous post, should be considered negotiable.

    I'll start by saying that my current laptop is an Asus U30JC-A1 (see here) which I purchased online in May 2010. I'm living in Ireland but bought from the US. It was fine for all my needs including college work, internet and gaming (by "fine" I mean it could run Deus Ex: Human Revolution on medium settings at 1366x768 with little to no playability problems) until a few months ago when the discrete graphics card suddenly died, and I've been stuck on integrated graphics since.
    This time I'd prefer to buy from within the EU as ordering from outside takes so much longer and has the added hassle of having to pay VAT/customs and excise at the point of entry - unless the price difference is massive I'd rather just keep it simple and pay everything at once and get the laptop quickly. I can have the laptop delivered to either an Irish or Northern Irish (i.e. UK) address.

    Many thanks for any help!

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    €2,000 absolute max.

    2) What size notebook would you prefer? a. Netbook; 10” screen or less b. Ultraportable; 11" - 12” screen c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen
    C or D preferably, though B is also acceptable. If D, resolution should be at least 1600x900.

    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
    Anywhere in the EU but it must have either a UK or US keyboard.

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    Dislike: Alienware or anything similar looking, Asus G55 - due to aesthetics in both cases. I'd prefer to avoid Asus generally as I have had two Asus laptops and the GPUs have failed on both of them.

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

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Gaming, college work (MATLAB, C/C++, LaTeX etc.), post-processing for photography.

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leavinusually your desk or both?
    Both, though I'll mostly be at a desk when using it.

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
    Yes - games like Deus Ex: HR, Skyrim, Max Payne 3.

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    3+ hours on WLAN with decent brightness.

    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?
    I'm happy to buy online but I would like to see reviews/pictures etc.

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista or Windows 7), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
    Windows 7/Mac OS. Windows 8 is not really important to me.

    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.
    1366x768 is fine for a 13/14" screen, above that it needs to be 1600x900 or preferably 1920x1080.

    13) Do you want a Glossy/reflective screen or a Matte/non-glossy screen?
    Glossy is fine as long as it's not overly reflective - I'm not planning on using it outside on sunny days for example but it needs to be comfortable to use in general indoor environments. Matte is also fine.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Yes. I personally consider the Alienware laptops and Asus G53 to be really, really ugly, so that at least gives an impression of what look I definitely do not want.

    15) When are you buying this laptop?
    Ideally within the next few weeks.

    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
    2+ years.

    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need; 80GB to 640GB? Do you want a SSD drive?
    500GB minimum. SSD is optional.

    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD Burner, Blu-ray Reader or Blu-Ray Burner?
    I don't need an optical drive but if it had one I'd want Blu-Ray (not burner) as all I would use it for would be watching movies while travelling and I don't buy DVDs anymore.

    Thanks for reading!

    EDIT: A couple that I've ruled out for the moment are the current Sony Vaio S-Series (graphics card seems relatively poor) and the Dell XPS 14 (throttling/wifi issues).
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