Hi all, hopefully the gurus here will be able to help me. Looking for a laptop that is sufficient for moderate gaming while remaining fairly portable. Because of compatibility at work, I'm currently using a 2011 Macbook Air as my only device. Previously had a 15" 2010 MBP for work and a ~3-year old desktop PC for gaming, but house was burglarized. I guess my issue is that I'm looking for something that'll run Diablo 3 and SC2 at high-ish settings, but since many of the 15" laptops are running 1080p resolution, this may not be feasible in a compact package (on the other hand, 768p is just too low-res for productivity). HELP ME CHOOSE! Much appreciated!
1) What is your budget? Hopefully less than $1300, but up to $1500 is reasonable
2) What size notebook would you prefer? c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" 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? Have owned many brands in the past (LG, Asus, Acer, IBM, Apple, Dell), so no particular preference, but build quality is important
5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed? No
6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook? General stuff, gaming
7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both? Portability is definitely a plus (e.g. <6 lbs for a 15")
8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games? Yes. No FPSes, just stuff like Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2. Maybe some MMOs
9) How many hours of battery life do you need? Not important
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? Buying online OK
11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista or Windows 7), Mac OS, Linux, etc. Windows 7
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. 1600 x 900 or 1920 x 1080 are ideal
13) Do you want a Glossy/reflective screen or a Matte/non-glossy screen? No preference. Have used both in the past
Build Quality and Design
14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you? Not looks, but solid build quality is preferable
15) When are you buying this laptop? Within the next 2 weeks
16) How long do you want this laptop to last? 2-4 years
17) How much hard drive space do you need; 80GB to 640GB? Do you want a SSD drive? 128Gb is more than enough. I have multiple external drives for storage
18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a CDRW/DVD-ROM, DVD Burner or Blu-Ray drive? Not important
If you could wait a little bit more, the official sale nda is the 29th of this month, basically a lot of new models will come.
If you want a heavier gaming pc, since I take it your desktop was stolen, you could try the np9150 with the 7970m, it will only ship in may, however the 7970m is a 7870 downclocked only 15% and it performs like that, think that if you had a 6950 in your desktop your laptop will give you the same gaming as well.
If you want something more portable, the new envy 15 with the 7750m should be a good choice, along the samsung series 7 with the gt 650m, there is also a sager model namely the np6165 that comes with the gt 650m, those models should you give you performance around the gts 450 or a little bit better, since the 7750m is a 7750 downclocked.
The hp dv6 is also going for a refresh, sony as well will change its entire line up and so forth, everyone is preparing to launch the mainstream models when ivy really launches
Thanks for the detailed response. I am definitely waiting for Ivy - will be trying to buy a laptop around the first/second week of May. My concern with these mainstream guys is that it will be late summer before they update their lines. Hopefully not? The Clevo W150ER is definitely tempting (although getting on the bulky side)... I wish there were more benchmarks of the GT 650M