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Decent work/light gaming laptop

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#1
My brother just started his first university courses and cause he's a slow writer, decided he'd be better of using a laptop in classes. Ideally, this laptop should be decently built, as it will need to survive 4~5 years of pretty hard labor. A screen that's easy on the eyes, full keyboard WITH numpad. Also he'd love to be able to do some light gaming on it, I'm not talking crysis, think more along the lines of final fantasy xi, evil genius, anno 1404, spore, the sims, ... so as long as it's not integrated I think he should be fine.
To top that all of, an integrated webcam he can aim at the professor would be perfect, so he can review his classes at home (but this isn't a must have). Since he's at university, long battery life is also important, 5 hours being the absolute minimum.

I know what I'm asking is pretty much the perfect laptop and I know asking on top of all this that it be cheap is probably making some of you chuckle, but if anyone would be able to point me in the right direction, that'd be great :toast:
 
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#2
I'm not too good with laptops however I do have some solutions to the problems:
You probably won't find a laptop with a minimum of 5 hours battery life but if you save and shutdown when the battery looks low you can replace it with a full 6 cell battery which should get you through the day.

I suggest buying an external webcam such as the Logitech E2500 or better as you can then type and record at the same time and overall quality will be better over longer distances, lectures etc.

You can also buy an external numpad because you won't find many laptops with numpads in-built.

I recommend a HP mini 1000, it has the biggest keyboard on a netbook I'm sorry I don't know much about laptops.
 
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#3
Check out Ebay for some Gateway FX-6860 laptops which will do exactly what you need they usually sell for around 700
 
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#4
I would need a bit of time to suggest you a good laptop+accesories etc, but I don't have that time so I'll suggest you get an ASUS laptop or perhaps HP.

Couple questions that might help others help you:

Mind if the webcam that points to prof and numpad are external?
Screen sixe? like 10" or more like 17?
Budget?
Looking at the games, the integrated 4500mhd should do fine, will he do heavier gaming at some point?
Mind having a 2nd battery in order to get you to 5 hours?
Would you consider a netbook, say for example an ASUS 1005HA-PU1X-BK?
 
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#5
The 5hr battery was already calculating a recharge, meaning he'll probably need close to 10hrs (most likely 8) of battery time each day.

Gateway sadly isn't sold here in europe (afaik), and e-bay didn't seem to have any auctions on them.

Webcam could be external, same for numpad, hadn't even thought of doing it that way.
Anything over 15" should be fine.
Budget is pretty open for debate, as long as it's worth it.
I'd like to avoid intel when it comes to GPUs, and just go for ATI/nV (no preference)
2nd battery is fine, he'll have a backpack with him at all times
I might look at netbooks, but I wouldn't expect any gaming then. The GPU requirements come mostly from the fact that my mom and cousins will be using the laptop for internet/light gaming after my brother is done with it.

Thanks for all the ideas so far, keeping a keen eye on this thread!
 
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#6
^
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Security!
 
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#7
For university, IMO a netbook would be best. Great battery life, light weight, you can still have the webcam & numpad external, cheap, and should play games ok at that resolution...