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Laptop for School (USA)

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  • Laptop for School (USA)

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    Around $2000. The absolute maximum would be $2200.

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    a. Ultraportable; 12" screen or less
    b. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    c. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    d. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen
    I will be using it at college but plan on watching many HD movies (encodes), so most likely 17", although I might bring it to classes.
    3) Please select your country's flag as a post icon and tell us what country are you buying this in.

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    Don't really have a preference. Although def. not Acer. I'm wondering if MSI doesn't have as good build quality as Sager.

    5) What tasks will you be performing with the notebook?
    A bit of homework (typing, presentations, etc) but the main functions will be gaming (I'm not on the cutting edge but would like to play some newer games) and HD movies (x264 encodes, 720 or 1080 if I get a 17")

    6) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places or leaving it on your desk?
    I believe that I will travel with it a decent amount at school in a backpack. I will definitely be bringing it back and forth during breaks.

    7) Will you be playing games on it; if so, which games?
    Some gaming. I want to try the new UT, Mass Effect, Starcraft2, and be able to use a ps2 emulator.

    8) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    I'm not sure. Maybe around 2?

    9) Do you mind buying online without seeing the notebook in person?
    No, as long as the pictures are sufficient and there are thorough reviews.

    10) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
    Probably Vista because of DX10.

    Screen Specifics

    11) Would you prefer standard or widescreen?

    12) From the choices below, what screen resolutions would you prefer? (more details below)
    d. WXGA or WXGA+ - 1280x768/800 or 1440x900; Wider viewing version of XGA, good for movie viewing or spreadsheets.
    e. WSXGA+ - 1680x1050; Wider viewing version of SXGA, good for movie viewing or spreadsheets.
    f. WUXGA - 1920x1200; Wider viewing version of UXGA, good for movie viewing or spreadsheets.
    E or F, although I am open to D because I have an external 22" monitor.

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non glossy screen?
    I'm not sure. Most use will be indoors, though.

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Not as much as functionality.

    15) When are you buying this laptop and how long do you want this laptop to last?
    I am buying within the month and plan to use it for the next 4 years.

    Notebook Components

    16) How much hard drive space do you want; 40GB to 500GB?
    Probably 320GB. I can settle for anything over 100GB if it would decrease the possibility of overheating.

    17) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a CDRW/DVD-ROM, DVD Burner or Blu-Ray drive?
    Yes. I would prefer a DVD burning drive.

    I'm not sure if the 8600 will suffice for decent gaming or if I will need an 8800 (they are quite expensive on my budget). If the 8800 is almost necessary, then I would need suggestions on how to cut down price in other areas (I plan on a 2.5ghz cpu, 4gb ram)

  • #2
    Without a doubt the NP5793... you basically spelled it all out right there . You should be able to get a good config at your price range too.
    Sager NP5792

    Microsoft Windows Vista Premium 64-Bit
    17" WUXGA
    Intel Core 2 Duo T7700 2.4GHz
    4 GB DDR2 667 RAM
    1 GB Intel Robson Turbo Memory
    500 GB 7200RPM Seagate Momentus HD
    nVidia GeForce 8800M GTX 512MB GDDR3



    • #3
      Originally posted by haid View Post
      I might bring it to classes.
      Your professors will love it if you don't

      ... but if you do, then you really should stay away from the NP9262. It's huge and has poor battery life.


      • #4
        I will recommend you wait for the upcoming M860TU or wait for a special discount on the 5793.
        Personal Quote :
        Angelina can make your fps rise faster and faster.
        Your laptop will always lag next to her
        I would configure her with bigger...
        Na, she`s perfect.


        • #5
          I think a 5792 would suit you well, it will let you play all the newer games like UT3, crysis, Mass Effect, ect.

          A word of advice though, the single 8800m GTX doesn't handle the WUXGA (1920x1200) resolution too well, especialy on games like Crysis or The Witcher. Imo, when I run games on the 1680x1050 resolution I get much better FPS's, almost no choppiness and I can keep all the eye candy the game has to offer. best to take the 200 or so bucks from the upgraded screen and save it or buy something that will give your games more FPS.

          i'd suggest the 1680x1050 screen, 2.5ghz processor, 4 gigs of ram, 8800m GTX, and vista x64. Anything after that is fluff and that set up should be close to your price range and play all the newer games very well.


          • #6
            I should clarify. Gaming isn't much of a priority for me, it's just a perk. My main use will be watching movies (I want 1900x1200 for full HD). I can just drop the game resolution to 1680x1050 if need be.
            Since I don't know all that much about video cards, how significant is the difference between the QUADRO FX1600M (can't this be modded to a 8700?) and the 8800? I might just stay w/ the fx1600 for now and buy an 8800 when they are older & cheaper.


            • #7
              The 8700 and the 8800m GTX are pretty different when it comes to performance. Also The quadro is not ment for gaming, it is more for people who do 3d modeling and other graphic design stuff I believe.

              To compare the 8700 and the 8800m GTX to get a feel for how different they are in power, I found a site that used 3dmark06 to test notebook GPU's. The 8700 got a score of about 4700, while the 8800m GTX got a score of 12400, thats almost 3x the power.

              The m15x, with 2.1ghz core2duo, 1080p screen, 8800m GTX and 1 gig of ram = 2150 bucks, it'll play games really well. A lot better then any laptop with a 8700 in it.

              Also, the 4 gig ram upgrade from them is 350 bucks, or you can go to newegg.com and 2x 2gig of 677mhz DDR2 laptop ram is less than 100 bucks so you save over 250 bucks just from that.

              My advice, don't get a laptop without the 8800m GTX. Anything else and you're going to be really dissapointed.


              • #8
                From the advice in here, I guess I will wait a month until the Montevina systems start shipping and get one of those if they are within my price range or get the current models after price drops.


                • #9
                  I've been looking some more and showing my dad some laptops and he pointed out a catch I had overlooked. Does anybody know if a 17" laptop that's ~10lbs will be too big to carry around with me all the time?
                  I'm taking it to school (like the thread implies), but my college's campus is very large and the buildings are spread around, so I will be lugging the laptop around with me in a backpack and using it in classes. So my concerns are size and weight, for carrying all day on top of textbooks, notepads, etc and to fit on those miniature lecture room fold-out desk things. Thanks!


                  • #10
                    17" = bulky + heavy

                    I'm going into my 4th year at univeristy with my old 17" sony that I bought because the architecture department recommended the big display.
                    I carry it around a lot, and my back pack can be monsterously heavy with the AC adaptor, accessories, and school books.... I weighed my back pack at 24 lbs one day.
                    I hate the extra weight, and for me the bigger screen isn't worth the poundage or the bulk. If I could sacrifice the a little performance, I would happily settle with a little ultraportable or thin and light 4lb, 13" laptop that hooked into a 22" monitor at home.
                    As is I'm looking in the 15" range to find a better compromise between weight and performance.

                    Best of luck in your shopping


                    • #11
                      It's true - 17" laptops do not fit very well at all in crowded lecture halls. Unless you *are* going to be using the laptop for something like architecture/CAD/rendering, you'd probably have very little motivation to carry that beast all over campus.