Does anybody make decently built aluminum-chassis laptops with GPU's that aren't terrible?

A_S00

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Sep 15, 2013
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Howdy, folks.

I'm in the market for a new laptop. It will be used for, among other things, gaming, so a decent graphics card, enough RAM, preferably a SSD, etc. are a must.

My previous machine, a mid-range gaming laptop by MSI, has suffered rather badly from everyday wear-and-tear over the years. I resolved, therefore, that my next laptop would be much more solidly built. Unfortunately, I'm having a lot of trouble finding anything that is (A) solidly built, (B) has respectable tech specs, and (C) isn't a $3000 name-brand ripoff.

Here are some things I've found that are almost what I want:

  • This ASUS machine looks like it's moving in the right direction. The build seems to be excellent, and it looks like a great deal. Unfortunately, the GTX 950m and 8GB of RAM make it sound like it'll only be a marginal upgrade in performance over my current laptop (which sports a GTX 660m and 8GB of RAM itself). If I could pay an extra $200 to get a version of that ASUS machine, but with a 960m and 16 GB of RAM, it would be perfect.
    This ASUS ROG laptop has better specs...but the version linked has only a 256GB SSD. The versions that actually have enough storage for use as a primary computer cost hundreds of dollars more. Are hard drives really that expensive?
    This fancy-ass Razer seems like it's more or less what I want...but it costs >$2000, because name brand things.
    This MSI laptop looks to have respectable specs at a respectable price...too bad it's made of the same mediocre plastic that's falling apart on my old computer.
Help me, laptop-expertise-having friends! Point me in the direction of a laptop that is built to last, plays games better than my 3-year-old dinosaur, and doesn't cost $2000 plus my first-born child!

Thanks in advance.

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*edit* Adding the my answers to the questions in the sticky:

1. What is your budget?

Hopefully <$1000, but possibly flexible.

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

Hopefully 15.4" or smaller, but flexible.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

Don't really care; high enough to not look awful.

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

Probably anything with the specs I'm looking for would be considered a desktop replacement.

5. How much battery life do you need?

Don't care.

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)?

I am all about the games. Don't necessarily need max settings on everything, but probably "high" is the right answer here.

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

Office stuff, nothing taxing.

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

1TB would be nice.

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

See above.

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

3-4 years.

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

A CD burner would be a bonus, but I'll just buy an external one if I find a machine without one that's otherwise good.

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.

Prefer to avoid the gaming name brands (Razer, Alienware, etc.) for price reasons. Otherwise brand-neutral.

13. What country do you live in?

USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

I'm really, really looking for something with better build quality than I'm used to from mid-range gaming laptops. I'm tired of having a million broken plastic bits falling off my machines after a couple years!
 

A_S00

Honorable
Sep 15, 2013
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Hi, Gamer Cat, thanks for the quick response.

The Gigabyte laptop looks like an excellent deal for the specs, but it also looks like just the kind of likely-to-break laptop I already own and am trying to avoid in the future. For instance, the first review of it I found notes that its plastic case has a tendency to warp under pressure and "could have been a bit more rigid." This does not inspire confidence in me!

I really want to emphasize that, although good deals on good specs are great, I'm specifically looking for something with particularly good build quality/durability, and am willing to trade a little in specs or price to get it.
 
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