Solved! Gaming Laptop around $1200


Jan 11, 2010
1. What is your budget?

Around $1200, give or take. Less, and I can focus more on some things like a better microphone/headset, but those can wait.

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

15" or close to it is ideal - balance between usability and portability.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

This isn't a huge deal for me, though I suppose 1900x1080 would be good if possible.

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

Portable, I suppose, though I'm flexible and this is a fairly vague question. I'm planning on hooking it up to an external monitor while at home.

5. How much battery life do you need?

At least 3 hours is pretty necessary, though as much as possible - keeping in mind that I mostly will be using power-heavy applications like games while plugged in. If I could get more battery while using light internet browsing and other resource-light activities, that would be best.

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)?

Yes, this is fairly important. I don't have a specific sense of what a laptop in this range would be capable of, but if I could get high settings on games like Skyrim, Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3, that would be excellent.

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

Nothing too intensive. At most some animation and work with Flash.

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

500 GB at minimum, 750 GB to 1 TB would be better. I might end up getting an external drive if I don't feel like I have enough space, though.

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

I'm pretty comfortable with Newegg, though if I can find a laptop cheaper at a trustworthy distributor, that would be fine.

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

Probably a while - 3-5 years, maybe? We'll see how that goes as life progresses, but reliability is important.

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

At least a DVD ROM, though Bluray would be great if it isn't too much more. That's not a huge point though.

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've had a Toshiba netbook for a while, and it's been a great system for what it is, though not very powerful. I don't have any particular aversion to any brands, though Asus seems pretty nice. I don't know much about Sager laptops, but I like the customization that seems available with them.

13. What country do you live in?

United States

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

As stated above, I'll likely be using an external monitor quite a bit, so good video output is a must. If possible, I'd like to have the opportunity to upgrade components of the laptop down the road, so if it's possible to have that be relatively accessible, that would be good. A decent cooling system is nice, but I'll probably have a cooling pad while I'm gaming.

I think that's everything, though I'll update if I think of any additional information.


Usually it's impossible to build a good gaming laptop that isn't really hot and noisy, even in normal use.

If you absolutely must get a gaming laptop, then NVidia Optimus technology is a must. The gaming graphics chip can turn off when not gaming and use a power efficient version for basic usage.

*I highly recommend you purchase a power efficient laptop using an AMD APU, and build separate PC for gaming.

It's difficult for the novice, but it's very possible to buy a nice laptop for about $400 and build an $800 gaming PC that blows away a $1200 laptop.

If your interested, I can help you with this. Again, I absolutely detest "gaming" laptops. There's simply not enough space to put gaming quality processors with the heatsinks and fans to keep them quiet.

Also, $800 is about the cheapest that I can build a half-decent gaming system. I've seen $4000 laptops that ran at about the same performance as a $1000 desktop if you choose the parts right (and the laptop is insanely noisy during gaming).
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