My friend is looking for a notebook to replace her old 15.4" Acer and wants something that could game, but is under $700.
that probably doesn't leave much options, but one thing for certain, must not be HP.
screen size: anything
screen resolution: anything, but higher is better
game card: no specific preference but has to be the best $700 can get
RAM, HD: anything
brand: anything BUT HP
budget: up to $700
all the things that need to be listed are listed, the only things missing from the form doesn't matter like looks, build quality, battery life, weight. its going to be plugged in most of the time and she plays online MMORPGS that aren't too demanding, but prefers the best video card for $700 to better future proof it for future games.
However she doesn't mind not seeing it first and is open to online dealers.
Yeah, I get your point... But, the thing is that if you press on for the best video card for $700, you might sacrifice the quality and future proofing of other components. For example, you can get cheap-ish laptops for under $700, with a good/solid card for the purpose, but while the card itself might be future proof, the laptop as a system won't be-the build quality, hard drive, power supply bits (battery, internal bits and pieces that relate to "keeping the juices flowing", etc.). Some of the cheap variants on the laptop market seem great spec wise, but the (internal, chassis) design and engineering are the ones that have the final say in terms of the laptops quality and reliability. From the type of the games she seems to play, even i3 processors should be sufficient. To be on the safe side, I'd recommend:
~ a laptop with only an integrated GPU-so, a nice i5-2410m and up
~ an AMD powered laptop with AMD IGP (A6/A8)
~is she can, wait for the Ivy bridge CPUs, as the graphics on them is supposed to be around 30% better than Sandy bridge (or 20-84%, depending on the CPU model and the game title/graphic application)
I would wait for Trinity (May 15); even with integrated graphics it's expected to be 30-60% better than current Llano integrated graphics, with a more minor CPU performance increase as well. There may also be Trinity options with the newer generation dedicated graphics (I'm hoping for that personally), but it remains to be seen if that latter option will be available for sub-$700.
But of the above mentioned the Z575 with the 6650M is probably the best option, especially taking price into consideration, and I was looking at it before I decided to wait for Trinity.
thanks Mick and Treshhold, indeed after showing her these options she was upset that the cpu options were crap. i told her.. at $700 you have to compromise either on the cpu or gpu.
I'm not sure exactly why she considers them crap. I wouldn't say either the A6/A8 or i5 are a slouch. Furthermore, the former can be overclocked from its stock speed to its turbo speed (at least) with generally no issues whatsoever, giving it about 50% more raw power. (The i5 can't be OCed; nor can non-XM mobile i7s.)
If she's wanting an i7 then waiting for Ivy is probably the right choice, and potentially Trinity as that may actually push Ivy down a little, though that remains to be seen. Currently the best deal on an i7 that I've been able to find would be something like this from Lenovo's outlet. Though Ivy may wind up being more like $800-$900 with decent graphics, whereas Trinity is more likely to come under budget.
Out of curiosity, what's she using now? What's the model number?