14-15" Gaming Laptop Recommendations around $2000 and under

Variance

Estimable
Mar 8, 2014
2
0
4,510
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Hey all,

I did some searching, and wasn't able to really find a recent prior thread along these lines, so I figured I would go ahead and create a new one.

I have a gaming desktop, but I am going to be travelling a lot in the near future for work, so I'm looking to replace my 6+ year-old Velocity Micro/ASUS build with something that can actually run modern games. This will see mixed used between internet browsing, media, and gaming (Final Fantasy 14, Phantasy Star Online 2, League of Legends, *insert FPS here*). I've listed out some of my criteria below:

-Around $2000 or less (I want to get something that will last me a couple of years, but I feel like over 2k will probably get me diminishing returns)
- Around 14-15" screen (no 17+" screens, please)
-900p or 1080p, good-quality screen (I don't mind the Razer Blade's resolution, but I've heard horror stories about the image quality)
-4th-gen Haswell i7, preferably
-GTX 765m or comparable (willing to compromise down to GTX 760m for the right machine)
-8GB RAM minimum, preferably 16GB
-~256GB SSD or a 7200RPM platter drive (single drive is preferable, no need for mixed SSD and mechanical)
-6 lb or less (possibly up to 6.5 for the right machine)
-Adequate cooling without an external cooling pad (I don't care so much about the temperature of the casing, but I don't want to be cooking components or listening to fans that could wake the dead)
-Battery life of at least 4 hours under light use (on wifi, browsing the internet) (I believe this would require somewhere around 65-70 W-hr?

Essentially, I like the Razer Blade 14's specs, form factor, and battery life, and have heard that it has surprisingly good thermal management, despite the size of the casing. However, I would prefer 16 GB of RAM, I have read a lot of negative press regarding the image quality of the screen (honestly, I'm fine with the 1600x900 resolution on a 14" screen), the absence of an RJ45 port baffles me, and given the durability of their peripherals (mice with microswitches that wear out in 6 months, etc), I find myself very hesitant to drop $2000 on one of their products.

The Alienware 14, on the other hand, corrects the RAM, screen, and I/O issues, but is significantly thicker and heavier than the Razer. The storage options they give you are puzzling, as well, as you're basically forced to take either a 5400RPM platter drive or a ridiculous RAID SSD arrangement (why can't I just have a single 256GB SSD?). Additionally, people on the internet seem to hate Alienware due to their association with Dell?

I know that Gigabyte and MSI also have contenders in this category, as well as a whole slew of builders, like Origin, but I admittedly have yet to look at them in-depth. I've always had good experiences with ASUS hardware in the past, but as far as I can tell, they have yet to update their under-17" offerings to current gen hardware.

I'm sorry for the essay, but what recommendations would you guys have?
 

grndmstr

Estimable
Mar 2, 2014
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4,560
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A good laptop that I can think of with decent cooling is the g750 series but it has a 17" screen.

The new aorus x7 is a hundred dollars above 2k but it performs well and has good cooling too. Plus it is slimmer. However, it is still a 17 inch laptop.
 

Variance

Estimable
Mar 8, 2014
2
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4,510
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I appreciate the response, but as I stated in my original post, I have no interest in a 17+" display, primarily due to the fairly large amount of weight added by the required chassis size to fit such a screen. I'm ideally looking for a 14" screen, but up to 15.6" or down to 13" would be acceptable for the right machine.
 

frank the tank

Distinguished
Oct 18, 2011
18
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18,570
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My vote is the $1100 Asus N56JR. cool, quiet, and powerful. it also looks classy and has a blu ray drive.

other options: the razor blade 14 is a good option, I would check out the ASUS ROG line as well as well as the MSI GT60 series.
 
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