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    Sholos's Avatar

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    Default Looking for a new laptop

    So, I'm in the market for a new laptop and I'd like some personal recommendation/advice. Brands to avoid, brands to look more closely at, things like that. I'd like to be able to game on it as well, so if you've had particularly good experiences with any brands for gaming please let me know.
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    Triscuitable's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop

    I like what iBuyPower sells. Good laptops at good prices (buy during a sale for maximum benefit) with a lot of freebies (like headsets, keyboards, mice, and games). The laptops have solid mobile GPUs from Nvidia, as well as the latest Intel and AMD mobile CPUs. RAM upgrades are not uncommon (I went from 4GB to 8GB for the low, low price of $0).
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    noparlpf's Avatar

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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by Sholos View Post
    So, I'm in the market for a new laptop and I'd like some personal recommendation/advice. Brands to avoid, brands to look more closely at, things like that. I'd like to be able to game on it as well, so if you've had particularly good experiences with any brands for gaming please let me know.
    I have a personal grudge against Asus. Their service is abysmal.
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    I sent in a laptop with a note explaining that the video cable, the thing from the video card to the screen that goes through the hinge and is often worn out in laptops due to the regular opening and closing of the screen, was damaged, so they replaced the LCD screen, claimed it "tested fine", and sent it back with the exact same issue of no bloody picture showing on the screen because the connection was still broken. I tried to send it back again and they told me it was now out of warranty. I eventually bought the replacement cable myself and took five or six hours taking the damned machine apart to replace the cable. I swear they make the things as difficult to disassemble as possible (maybe that's why they didn't fix it themselves, they couldn't figure out how to open it). The replacement cable worked fine for a bit and then wore out in the exact same way in a couple of months, so obviously that cable is also poorly made.
    Also,
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    Edit: Oh yeah, and a friend also had loads of issues with their service. He sent in a laptop for repair, and they not only didn't fix the problem, they sent it back in worse condition, and he ended up fixing it himself.
    Last edited by noparlpf; 2012-11-03 at 04:48 PM.
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    Chimera

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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop

    I'm personally interested in the new Ultrabook, since it is also a tablet. They took a laptop and added a touch screen, along with a pretty good processor, decent RAM and memory, and all sorts of other features. Brilliant.
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop

    I actually like Asus, but then again I haven't had to repair anything yet, and my mom's was bought in a store, so when it had trouble, she took it to the store and they took care of it. The one thing I truly hate about my Asus is that the case design makes it impossible to open up the case and clean the CPU fan without voiding the warranty and probably breaking something. My wife's Asus is several years older than mine and is easy to access.

    You'd be surprised how much crap accumulates on the fan blades, I swear after cleaning the exhaust air was 5-8 degrees Celsius cooler. There's a LOT of airborn pollution and crap in the air where we live.

    My hangup with your requirements is "gaming". What kind of games, how long, how high do you want the settings, etc? My K53SD runs really hot with anything that's more demanding than Civ4, though I suspect I have the aforementioned cooling fan gunk buildup to thank for that. I have a 2GB NVidia 610M, but the power is wasted because I simply can't push enough cooling power through the case to capitalize on it.

    I would personally avoid anything Lenovo, I've never had a positive experience with them. I had a Toshiba laptop that only started screwing up after I installed a new hard drive, but you have to be REALLY CAREFUL about getting a dedicated graphics card. And you want a dedicated graphics card if you want to do actual gaming. If you want hardcore gaming sessions, get a desktop. And I say this as a person who prefers laptops and enjoys gaming. I'll probably burn out this laptop in the next year or two from gaming on it, it's already reaching 80C consistently and once it managed 97C. All of that with being on a hard surface and no obstructed vents.
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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop

    It's incredibly difficult to open an Asus without damaging it, but not quite impossible. It just takes a lot of patience and a decent Dex.
    They are pretty good laptops, I'll give them that, but they're expensive, and as I've said, the service is abysmal.


    If you want to game, building a custom desktop is probably the best bet for both cost and function (and you get to decide what's what), and just get a cheap netbook or something for portability.
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop

    Lol. I've never had a single problem with anything Asus, and about 80% of my computer parts over the last 7 years have been Asus, as well as a netbook which I've used daily for 2+ (6-8 on busy schooldays) hours for 3 years straight while literally tossing it around. Now I own a Lenovo X230 and couldn't be happier.

    That said, Asus is good for reliability, but from what I've heard service is yes, unfortunately abysmal. But honestly, service is complete crap on anything not made for business, since the foot grunts either don't have any power to authorize any kind of repairs over the phone, or are lazy morons when it comes to actually fixing it.

    That said, Asus is quite cheap for what they offer (might seem expensive in absolute terms, but once you look at specs, they're about the same as similar Acer/HP/Toshiba models with added upsides). However, I don't do any gaming on notebooks (I have a desktop I steadily upgrade as it ages), and pretty much prefer ultraportable typewriters. The IPS screen on my X230 is a very nice bonus for photography though.

    Lenovo I like as well, but only as long as you buy a ThinkPad. Ideapads don't get the same support. However, ThinkPads are first and foremost business laptops (tough, damn near-unbreakable with awesomely comfortable keyboards, lots of upgrade options and next-day depot service, but at the same time ugly and a little on the expensive side if you just want the raw specs).

    That said, brands I would recommend are Asus (#1 in my list), Acer (they're okay-ish.. not amazing but don't suck and are cheap), and HP (trying to pass of ugly as "cool, hip design" and load too much crap).

    And I second getting a gaming desktop (cheap builds start at 600-700 and will play most games near max, sans monitor), and a netbook or something. If you want to game, a mid-range dedicated graphics card is a must, and decent gaming laptops are no-where near portable. Something like an nVidia 610M, while decent 1.5 years ago, is barely an improvement over Ivy Bridge Intel HD4000 (integrated video on newer i5/i7 processors).
    Last edited by Don Julio Anejo; 2012-11-06 at 07:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop

    My current laptop is an HP EliteBook, and it runs every game I want it to. I'm pretty easily satisfied, though - my previous computer was a 10-year-old Dell, and I never tried to do anything more than it could handle.
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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop

    i am against Samsung. They overprice their computers and are no more reliable than anything else. I would heavily steer you away from them.

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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop

    I've got an MSI GE60. I'm really happy with it as a gaming laptop, and it only ran me about $1200 Canadian.
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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop

    With Microsoft's efforts to merge their mobile and desktop app ecosystems, and the general "this is really just a lighter laptop" approach to tablets, I wouldn't be surprised if the looking spectre of mobile gaming started taking bites out of the gaming laptop market as well as the portable console market. The things current generation mobile GPUs (Tegra 3, for instance) can do are incredible. Even without the Tegra, if a $200 tablet can do this, there's a good chance that Windows 8 laptops are going to be getting a similar treatment game-wise. So rushing out to drop stacks of dough on a gaming laptop right now may not be the best move.
    Last edited by Flickerdart; 2012-11-13 at 08:57 PM.
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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    With Microsoft's efforts to merge their mobile and desktop app ecosystems, and the general "this is really just a lighter laptop" approach to tablets, I wouldn't be surprised if the looking spectre of mobile gaming started taking bites out of the gaming laptop market as well as the portable console market. The things current generation mobile GPUs (Tegra 3, for instance) can do are incredible. Even without the Tegra, if a $200 tablet can do this, there's a good chance that Windows 8 laptops are going to be getting a similar treatment game-wise. So rushing out to drop stacks of dough on a gaming laptop right now may not be the best move.
    Spending money on a gaming laptop is rarely the best move. If you want a good gaming computer, a desktop is better.
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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop

    What price range are we talking? Gaming laptops aren't really the best deal, you are talking easily twice the price of a comparable desktop (particularly if you build it yourself) just to get similar performance, and then you have a machine that runs hotter than a comparable desktop, won't last as long, and has a small screen. On the other hand, it also depends on what you mean by "gaming". If you are fine with turning all the settings to low you can play most games on a laptop cheaper than $500 bucks, particularly if you get it on sale from a good site (don't buy laptops from brick and mortar stores, they rip you off).

    As a side note, I always go with Asus. I've never really used customer support much, but in my experience everyone is equally terrible. Most Asus products are high quality.
    Last edited by Drolyt; 2012-11-13 at 09:10 PM.
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    Default Re: Looking for a new laptop

    I got a Toshiba about 2 years ago that was pretty effective for the price. You might want to look into them.

    However, may I suggest NOT getting Acer? My workplace got 40 netbooks from them around 3-4 months ago, and 4 have had hard drive errors since then. Admittedly, 10% isn't terrible odds, but for a large company, it's a downright abysmal failure rate.
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