Buying a New Laptop (~$500-~$800)


Oct 2, 2014
Hello, all! I've had an old Dell Inspiron N5040 for years now (i3, 4gb memory, 2.53GHz CPU, etc) and it's served me pretty faithfully, but due to some hardware issues I've decided it's finally time for an upgrade. This old guy has about a forty five minute battery life and, due to some fan issues, overheats awfully, and I've just about had it. So far the most strenuous things I've used my PC for is League of Legends on the most minimal of settings and other such games. I'm trying to find a laptop that can run League on higher settings, host a Terraria server, maybe stream on Twitch, among other less demanding activities. I'd also like something with a decent battery life and few cooling issues, though I imagine anything would be better after this! Can anyone help me find a laptop like that?

1. What is your budget?

Somewhere between five and eight hundred dollars, or thereabouts.

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

I really have no preference here, so long as it isn't too extreme in either direction.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

Again, I have little preference. I watch most Youtube videos at 360p, and I've found anything over 720 looks bad, though that might just be my monitor.

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

I'm not sure what this question is asking, exactly. I don't own a desktop, if that helps, and never have.

5. How much battery life do you need?

Since I'm sitting at 45minutes now (if I'm lucky), a few hours seems like a great upgrade!

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)?

League of Legends on medium or, preferably, high settings would be nice. I plan on trying to host a Terraria server as well. Some other games I play are Mabinogi and Project Zomboid. I haven't invested any money into serious Steam gaming yet, so no real pressure there.

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

Besides gaming, I use my laptop to watch videos, do homework, write assignments, and so on. Gaming is the only real strenuous activity.

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

I heard that 8GB is the floor for any laptop to be used for gaming. The one I have now can run League with 4GB, so I wonder about that, but I've been trying to use 8GB as a benchmark. I'm just so inexperienced with this that it's hard to know what laptops like that are good and what aren't worth the money or have some flaw.

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

I was looking at laptops on, but that's only because it let me search by specs. I don't know enough to have preferred sellers.

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

This laptop has lasted me for almost four years at this point. I suppose I'll use that as a lifespan? This is the only laptop I've owned, so I'm not sure what a good lifespan is.

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

I can just get an external DVD ROM if need be, so there's no preference here, either!

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 used to have an Acer, briefly, but it overheated so much that it melted the charger for it -- twice. It was a really faulty piece of hardware and not worth fixing. This laptop is a Dell, as I said, and it's a trooper! I don't feel I've tried enough brands to have much preference, though, and the Acer issue may have been unique to the machine. I'd prefer a brand not known for running hot, I guess.

13. What country do you live in?

I live in the US :)

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

I really don't know what else would be relevant!
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