1200$ modern gaming laptop that is durable and stays cool?

Zanman777

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Nov 25, 2012
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Ok, I'm looking for my first laptop. I've always used desktops, and my current one is from 2006; it lasted very, very long, but it's old and obsolete. So, I want a laptop, hopefully one that will last as much as my desktop did.

Important info:
- Budget: up to $1200, $1300 max
- Usage: web surfing, playing modern games (Fifa 14, ARMA, Football Manager 2014...) on low/medium settings
- I want it to be very durable - I usually take good care of my stuff, but I want to rest assured it won't die once it occasionally falls off my hands, or something
- I want it to be reliable - few chances of blue screens of death, incompatibilities, BIOS errors, other inconsistencies
- I want it to stay cool ie. not heating while running games, etc

I've done some research already, of course. From what I understood from general opinions, Dell and Lenovo seem to be the most durable machines (Lenovo even sent laptops into space). Furthermore, business laptop models are known to be extra durable. So I looked into Dell and Lenovo brands, looking for a business model (extra durable) with a discrete graphics card (to play modern games). I couldn't find any model that matched those criteria.

I read that the Lenovo Thinkpads are very durable, but geared towards business usage; Ideapads, on the other hand, are geared towards gaming, but I'm not sure if they're very durable too. On the Dell side, the Latitude family is the most durable of the business model family in my price range, but again not geared towards gaming; Alienware, on the other hand, is geared for gaming, but I'm not sure how durable they are again. Besides, many people say they are too pricey for what they do.

I then heard of other options, like the Asus G75VW and the Toshiba Satellite P870, but those were only mentioned by one person each.

So I hit a kind of stalemate.

TL;DR - 1200$ laptop for modern gaming, very durable, reliable and that stays cool. I heard Dell and Lenovo are the most durable brands; Alienware and and Ideapads caught my attention, but not sure how durable those specific families are.

What should I buy?

PS: @doubletake, by "staying cool" I mean "not hanging up because of overheat after some gameplay time, even during summer (~30 ºC around here)". My current desktop hangs up sometimes because of overheat... But it's old old old, so it figures...
 

doubletake

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Sep 30, 2012
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I don't have any suggestions atm, someone will probably come along shortly and help with that, but I can tell you now that your expectations of a laptop that can stay "cool" (under ~70C? 80C?) are a pipe dream, so you might want to clarify just how much you care about a system that stays "cool". Regardless, you're probably going to have to look into a purchasing a laptop cooler for any and all gaming you do on a laptop.
 

PinchedNerve

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Oct 26, 2013
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Gaming Ultrabooks - MSI GE40, Gigabyte U2442F (or lower model), & the Gigabyte P34G. I will most likely be buying the Gigabyte P34G.

For a full sized Gaming Laptop I would go with the MSI GE70.
 

Zanman777

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Nov 25, 2012
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There are no MSI nor Gigabytes at shops in my city... I think I'm going for this one, a Toshiba P70-A-107. There's a good review at notebookcheck.net here. It has:

- Intel i7 4700MQ
- GeForce GT 745M (Dx 11.1 compliant) along with integrated graphics for less demanding tasks and lower temperatures)
- 750 Gb HDD at 5400 RPM (very quick, though, according to notebookcheck.net)
- 4 USB Ports
- 1 HDMI Port
- 4 Gb RAM dual-mode (up to 16 Gb)
- Room for a second hard-drive (might want to put an SSD there)
- 17.3 display at 1920x1080 pixels (and the display is good, with very good viewing angles, in spite of not being IPS, for whatever that means)

It consumes a bit and has average battery life, but it's a desktop replacement laptop, so it's ok. It seems it keeps the temperatures low quite well too.

This laptop is available at a local shop, along with the TOSHIBA L50-A-165, L50-A-16E and L850-1NP. Do you think any other solution is more "bang for buck"?
 

PinchedNerve

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You can always order an MSI or Gigabyte can't you? If not, do you have any Sager or Clevo in the shops near you?

Edit: Personally I wouldn't consider anything with less then 8 Gb Mem and at the very least a 7200 RPM HD.
 

Zanman777

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Nov 25, 2012
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I'd rather buy on a local shop so it's much easier if I need to "use" the warranty, etc. No, no Clevo nor Sager around here neither... :/

Storage drive and memory are pretty much (usually) the only upgradable spots on laptops. That means I would buy a laptop with everything else right; if I need an SSD/more RAM, it's easy to upgrade...
 

Zanman777

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Nov 25, 2012
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After some thoughts, I think I'll choose a much cheaper but just a bit inferior Toshiba, the Toshiba L50-A-122. I can get it for 780 euros (around 900 dollars) here at a local shop!

i7 4700MQ4th generation
Windows 8 64 bits (pre-installed)
4 Gb RAM (Up to 16 Gb)
DDR3L RAM (1.600 MHz)
750 Gb 5.400 RPM HDD storage
15.6' display 1,366 x 768
NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 740M 2048 MB DDR3 dedicated VRAM
1 x USB 2
2 x USB 3
1 x HDMI
 

ClanFraser

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Oct 20, 2013
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Hi, firstly you got to look at how the laptop is made. You want one that will last a long time on gaming? well that requires a number of things... a cooling pad, a very good one, (cooler master Notepal U stand mini) , trust me it works well and is very effective... the next is the structure of the laptop, Lenovo is excellent when it comes to cooling, mostly the ideapad z580. (if you want to go to the extreme like I do I remove the bottom cover on my laptop and the cooling pad just blows cool air into the laptop) . Outcome= 25 degrees idle temp, 68 to 70 degrees gaming temp. (keep in mind, the atmosphere temp or room temp makes quite a difference). Oh and the Lenovo z580 is quite a good laptop make when it comes to heat. Getting normal temps of in the 20s and gaming temps of up to 75 without cooling pads and such.
 
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