Solved! Budget Purchase


Jan 18, 2011
1. What is your budget?

Up to $800.00 US.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

Up to a 17 inch screen.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

1024 x 768, 85 – 100 dpi or better and an anti-glare screen.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

Desktop replacement.

5. How much battery life do you need?

I will be doing heavy duty film editing (short videos), photo editing, and currently working on a web design. So, I am realistic about battery life. I think the most that I will get out of a battery-cycle is 3 hours. If I can get a solid 3 hours, that will be good enough.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low, Medium or High)?

World of Warcraft, high setting.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing, watching movies, Etc.)

Heavy duty photo editing and editing large text files simultaneously (with embedded photos), video editing, web design, watching movies, playing video games, and video conferencing.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

Not so important, most data is on an external drive.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

Purchase sites not important, however warranty and customer support is.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

Three years of heavy duty using will be good. I normally use my notebook up to ten hours per day, several times a week.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

I will be reading and writing to DVDs and a Bluray player will be nice. Also, a multi-region DVD player will be nice, too.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.

I like Dell; however their customer service drives me nuts!

My last notebook was an HP. The first time HP serviced it, it was still under warranty and they kept it for four months. The second time, they kept it three months, each time for the same problem; overheating. My phone calls and correspondence went unanswered. The last several times I had it serviced, I used outside vendors. I always got it back rather quickly, but the problem that ultimately killed the notebook was overheating. I prefer not to purchase an HP notebook, simply because of their durability as it relates to their cooling system and their customer support.

I prefer purchasing from a vendor that offers respectable warranties and good customer service.

13. What country do you live in?


14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

The things that are important: able to handle multi-tasking of large files without stalling, crashing, freezing, etc. Have ports and firmware to connect to TV, internet, and other media. My main SW tools are Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master edition, Dragon NaturalSpeaking 10, Skype, office suite, backup software. And, most of the features of the multimedia SW will be turned on.

I currently use the MS XP OS, I am quite satisfied and would like to keep using it; however, learning a new OS is not a problem as long as it is as solid as XP.

Additional questions: (a) I am concerned about overheating, is it still a problem in notebooks? Overheating was the un-repairable problem that finally killed my last notebook, it also had a lot of cracks but duct tape solved that problem. I will be using the machine up to 10 hours per day, so I am very concerned about overheating.

(b) Is it true that PhotoShop requires an Nvidia supported graphics card?

Last thing; I am aware that a desktop will best fit my needs, however, I will be traveling extensively and a desktop is not an option.


Aug 30, 2010
That's a tall order for $800 in a laptop. I recommend you keep an eye on for the most powerful i7 laptop you can find for under $800.

Make sure it comes with mobile graphics (not integrated) and a 7200rpm hard drive. You want to i7-700 series, not 600 series if you get first generation i7's. Any second generation (Sandy Bridge, i7-2XXXQM series) will work well. If you were willing to spend $900, you'd get a much better laptop. HP and Sager have deals right now.


Jan 18, 2011
I just checked the Sager site, in their warranty it states that a machine with dead pixels in first 30 days are covered for a replacement. After that it is a repair issue. Are dead pixels a concern in the first year of use with all notebooks these days?


Apr 8, 2009

Sager is a conpitant brand, as is LED technology, so I'm confident that you won't be dealing with dead pixels, I know that there are screen tests available online, so you can run by a quick check, and send it back if there's any problem, that's of course if you do experience any issues.


Jan 18, 2011
Thank you to all that offered assistance to my queries. I have considered each suggestion and I have researched other systems and I have settled on two: SAGER NP5160 or ASUS N53JQ-A1 (I settled on these brands because of their quality and warranties). I also know that per stated advice, I must spend a little more. So, with the listed configurations, which one bests manage my needs for performance with high-end multitasking, medium-level gaming, multimedia processing with Adobe CS5, etc.; most features turned on, and viewing movies? Or, are there other reliable alternatives that meet my needs without more research on my part; I am GPU, CPU, Duel Channel, DDR worn out. Also, will the listed graphics cards perform well with CS5 and what are the differences between the listed Thermal Compounds; are they worth the extra costs?

SAGER NP5160 $904
Display: 15.6” HD LED – Backlit display s/super glossy 1366 x 768
Graphics: 1 GB GDDR3 Nvidia GeForce GT 540M GPU w/Optimus Technologies Embedded Intel HD Graphics
CPU: 2nd Gen Intel Core i7 – 2630 QM Processor (6 MB L3 Cache, 2.00 GHz)
Thermal Compound: IC Diamond Thermal Compound – CPU + GPU
Operating System: Win 7 Home Premium 32/64 Bit
Memory: 4GB Duel Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz – 2 x 2 GB
Primary Hard Disk Drive: 320 GB 7200rpm SATA 300 HD
Optical Drive Bay: 8x DVD + R/RW/4x + DL Super-Multi Drive with SW
Wireless Network Card: Internal 802.11 B+G+N Wireless LAN + Bluetooth Combo Module
Battery: Smart Li-ION
Other Features: Built-in Finger Print Reader
SW: MS Office Starter 2010
Warranty: Sager 1 year Limited Parts and Labor
USB: 3.0
Audio: 3D Stereo Enhanced w/THX Sound System
AC Adapter: 110/240V 90w

ASUS N53JQ-A1 $1,119.00
Display: 15.6” HD LED w/2MP Webcam 1366 x 768
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT425M with 1 GB DDR3 VRAM
CPU: Intel i7 – 740 QM (1.73 to 2.93 GHz, 45W) w/6M L3 Cache
Thermal Compound: High Density Arctic Silver 5 Processor Thermal Compound Paste
Operating System: Win 7 Home Premium 32/64 Bit
Memory: 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1066 SO-DIMM
Primary Hard Disk Drive: 500 GB 7200rpm SATA HDD 2 years warranty
Optical Drive Bay: 8x Super-Multi DVDRW Dual Layer Combo
Wireless Network Card: Built-in Wireless 802.11 B+G+N Wireless LAN + Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR
Battery: 6-Cell Smart Li-ION
Other Features:
SW: MS Office Starter 2010
Warranty: ASUS 2 year Global Warranty
USB: 3.0
Audio: B&O IcePower
AC Adapter: 110/240V 90w
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