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$1500 Small College Gaming Laptop

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Thrall, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. Thrall New Member

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    For the past few weeks I've been going over countless laptop reviews, configurations, and driving all around to try and get a feel foe what i'm looking for in a laptop for college. Below are some things I've been looking for so they could be considered tentative requirements:

    Budget: $1500 or less
    Screen Size: 14" or less
    Condition: New
    CPU: 2.4ghz 45nm Intel P8600/Comparable AMD Part or greater
    GPU: 2500+ 06 3DMarks default settings
    Memory: 4gb DD2/3 or greater (If less i can add ram myself to most laptops)
    Hard Drive: 7200 rpm 160gb+ or 128gb+ SSD
    Screen Resolution: 1280*768+
    Battery Life: Close to 3 hours of "continuous web surfing" terms or 2.5hours + or video, using any size battery
    Quality/Build: Needs to last 3-5 years of college level punishment
    Keyboard: Prefer backlit and a desktop keyboard-like feel, not mushy
    Ports: HDMI, VGA, and Firewire/eSata

    Below are laptops I've been looking at and what I've thought about them, leave any comments or recomandations.

    Asus 14.1" N81Vp-C1 w/ a 2.66ghz T9550 Intel CPU, 4gb ram, ATI 4650 GPU, 320gb 7200rpm HDD for $1317 shipped from newegg

    Pros: 6298 06 3DMarks, Large high RPM Hard Drive, 4gb of ram, and dx10.1 support

    Cons: "Only" gets 2 hours and 20 min of battery life during continuous web surfing according to laptopmag.com, (i'm assuming) glossy display can throw reflections in a classroom, and is very hard to get my hands on to get the feeling of the keyboard.

    Asus 14.1" Asus N81Vg-X1 w/a 2.4ghz P8600 Intel 45nm CPU, 4gb ram, G120m GPU, 320gb 7200rpm Hard Drive for $1016 from newegg

    Pros: CUDA Supported GPU, 5316 06 3Dmarks, More efficient core 2 and nvidia gpu, large high rpm HDD, and 4gb of ram.

    Cons: To new for many offical reviews on battery life, same as above.

    Dell 13.3" XPS 13 w/ a 2.66ghz P9600 Intel 45nm CPU, 4gb DDR3 ram, 9500m sli gpu, 500gb 7200 rpm HDD for $1519 from dell

    Pros: Can earn up to 3694 06 3Dmarks, has DDR3 ram, fast CPU, largest 7200rpm 2.5" hdd available, and my college gets a 7% discount.

    Cons: 2 hours and 42 minutes of continuous wifi with integrated graphics with a 6-cell seems low, if SLI inefficiency is taken into account it scores around a 2763 in 3Dmark06 and can vary greatly with graphics driver and game optimization, gets hot, glossy display.

    Lenovo T400 w/ a 2.53ghz p9500 Intel 45nm CPU, 2gb DDR3 Ram, 3470 gpu, 160gb 7200rpm HDD for $1138 from lenovo

    Pros: By having switchable graphics (like the xps 13) it gets 4 hours and 29 minutes during a continuous wireless test form laptopmag.com, matte display is proffered for reflective scenes, and has a business like look and legendary lenovo keyboard.

    Cons: GPU only scores "only" 2557 06 3Dmarks, some flex has been heard of as well and weird gaps in joints, upgrade to 4gb is too expensive (although you cna of coarse add in yourself), and small 7200rpm hard drive (next largest size is 5400rpm 250gb HDD i believe).

    HP 6930P w/ a 2.4ghz P8600 Intel 45nm CPU, 4gb DDR3, 3450 ati gpu, 160gb 7200rpm for $1497 from HP

    Pros: I've personally felt the keyboard feel and build quality and love it, supposed to be resistant to dust and various other things, decent battery life of 3 hours and 32 minutes during wifi testing, 4gb of DDR3 ram, and matte display.

    Cons: 3450 gpu gets 1792 06 3DMarks and maybe pricey for gpu and cpu power.


    Now if you've made it through my little round-up you'll find that there are probably wrong facts and quotes, but it's just to lay out what my cards are and what i'm currently looking at. Thank you in advance for any help you guys can provide!
  2. Kenshai

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    Well, the battery life mixed in with a decent gpu doesn't really mesh, honestly you'll have a plug accessible in classrooms at least I always have. Why no 15.4", that really limits the options a bit. A lot of companies from what I've seen won't toss a good video card in smaller than that. I understand the 14.1 for portability but 15.4 really isn't that much bigger.
  3. From_Nowhere New Member

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    I'd suggest customizing a HP Pavilion dv6z or dv6t from their website. 16" screen, good graphics, and decent battery life. I don't think anybody has a card with a lot of graphics power in a 14" notebook.
  4. Kenshai

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    I'd honestly recommend Sager Notebooks, I've had a few friends get some. This one comes to $999.00 with the P8700, HD4650, 4 Gigs of ram, 15.6" screen you can add a 500gb 7200 from 250gb 7200 rpm for $85. It's a great place for quality laptops for a good price.
  5. phanbuey

    phanbuey

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    1) - build a $900 micro ATX gaming rig with a open box gtx 260/4870 1gb/ 4890... make it a small, portable micro-tower with a 22" display... easy to set up, easy to upgrade ~ 19-20K in 3dm06 when OC'd
    2) get a $600 portable, brushed aluminum 14.1" work laptop with a good battery life. ~ 500 3dmarks but all you will be rendering is last-minute papers.


    its always better that way:
    - it will keep you from playing games *all* the time, just most of it...
    - you won't throw all that dough away as you can upgrade vid card in a year-18months for under $250, and have an awesome gaming system again
    - data redundancy is good... keep your stuff spread around in case the lappy goes down or falls in a pool/ you idiot friend decides to spin around in your swively chair and knocks it off the table.
    - In 1-2 years anything that is getting 2K 3dmark 06, will not be able to run games at anything other than the lowest settings, you will be a pro at microsoft hearts and solitaire.
    - Easier to concentrate on last-minute assignments when work machine is separate from game machine.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  6. Thrall New Member

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    I already have a 4870 desktop gaming system, it's just i'm looking for something that'll do light gaming on the road. I'm not really asking for a super power gpu (in my opinion) i'm just looking for a laptop that's a step above the normal 9300/9200m that i see in a lot of laptop that'll play some BF2. I've herd a lot of good things about sager's quality, but I really like the 14" notebook size and found the 15" to be a little large for what i'm looking for.
    phanbuey says thanks.
  7. afw

    afw New Member

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    Check this out i think this would suit you ..... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152103
    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=16828
    Model
    Brand MSI
    Weight 7.35 lbs.
    Tech Intel Centrino 2 Processor Technology
    CPU Type Intel Core 2 Duo
    CPU Speed P8600(2.40GHz)
    CPU FSB 1066MHz

    CPU L2 Cache 3MB
    Chipset Intel PM45
    Screen Size 17.0" i think this mite be a prob for u
    Resolution 1680 x 1050
    GPU/VPU ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4850 512MB DDR3 VRAM (10000+ score in 3Dmark06)
    HDD 320GB 7200rpm
    Memory 4GB
    Battery 9-cell lithium ion
    Physical spec
    Dimensions 15.56" x 10.95" x 1.04-1.38"
    Weight 7.35 lbs.

    Or this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152095

    Weight 5.6 lbs. (so the previous one weighs 1.75lbs more than this ..... but this one contains only a 9800M GS) :(
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  8. Thrall New Member

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    I actually like that model, but 17" is way to big for me.
  9. afw

    afw New Member

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    ok ... but why r u going for 14" / 15" ones ... is weight da reason :ohwell:
  10. entropy13

    entropy13

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  11. AhokZYashA

    AhokZYashA

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    Dell is quite good at it's price...
    you can get 500GB and 4gigs of DDR3 RAM for 1500 bucks...

    mine just 120GB and 2gigs of DDR2 RAM and it's 900 bucks...
    got Core 2 Duo T5450 1.66GHz...

    so it's your choice, but Dell XPS is lightweight and probably you'll ended up with it's 9-cell battery...
  12. Kenshai

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    If you didn't look into Sager Notebooks, just basing off Ahokz comment, Sager offers a similar laptop for $1100 P8700, 500 gig hard drive, 4 gigs of ddr3. I'd really recommend looking at them.
  13. kurosagi01

    kurosagi01

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    That msi is a bargain if you ask me a 4850 gpu :p core 2 duo 2.4ghz with 4GB ram and 320GB,thats all you need in my opinion
  14. AhokZYashA

    AhokZYashA

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    sager is customized...

    and it's 15,4"

    Dell XPS just 13,3"

    you siad it's 14" or less...
  15. Kenshai

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    The XPS only has a 8400gs, my friend has that trust me on this that the op doesn't want it for mild gaming.
  16. AhokZYashA

    AhokZYashA

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    look at the first post...

    9500M GS SLI...

    checked alienware???
  17. n-ster

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    I suggest you get a cheap laptop and a real gaming rig... you can do that with 1500$... at worst you could make it micro or mini or something if you need ultra portability for your desktop...

    Thats what I'd do
  18. Kenshai

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    Alienware you pay for the name not the hardware. a 9500 gs SLi won't really do a whole lot other than take more power.
  19. Thrall New Member

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    I'm liking the 14" and below range just for size reasons, weight dosen't matter to me too much. I['m just trying to find a small laptop with light gaming capabilities, i'm not really to interested in 15" and above.And i agree that msi is a bargain, and i'm actually recommending it to a freiend, but i already have a 4870 desktop gaming system so i don't need that much poer as formfactor is more imporatn than power at this point. I've checked out sager before when i thought about getting a 15" or 17" but after going to a few stores i fell in love with the smaller 14 and 13 inch lappys. As for alienware same thing, although I've heard their quality is much lesser than sagers but i do like how some of their laptops have switchable graphics. The older xps m1330 has a 8400m gpu, the newer xps 13 has a 9400 or 9500.

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