General purpose/light gaming laptop

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ScrewySqrl

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1. What is your budget?

$400-700

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

14"-17"

3. What screen resolution do you want?

1600x900 preferably, though a lot of what I've been looking at is 1366x768

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

portability, but not at too much expense of performance, or extra cost.

5. How much battery life do you need?

4-6 hours

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. mostly middle-weight stuff. MMOs like CoX, Second Life, STO, World of Tanks, APB, and single player stuff like Civ 5, steam indie games, and rpgs like Fallout and Dragon Age etc. Medium settings preferred. MAYBE skyrim, since I have it on steam, but I have a desktop for most games, so this would be for 'fun on the go', rather than a heavy duty this is my primary gaming machine setup

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

internet browsing, streaming video (watching), email, etc. Games are the heaviest stuff. I do like to lie in bed with a laptop and read web pages before going to sleep and when I first wake up in the morning, so low operating temps when not gaming/video watching is a big plus.

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

320GB minimum, more always better. Optionally a way to have two internal drives so I can add an SSD as a boot drive at some point

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

anywhere is fine, as long as they are reliable.

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

2 years, 3 at the outside

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

DVD is fine...barely even use THAT anymore

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.

While I don't distrust anyone in particular, I've seen HP quality drop off over the last decade, and I had an ASUS gaming laptop just plain melt less than a month after its 1 year warranty died, but I'm willing to entertain anyone with a good price range

13. What country do you live in?

[b}USA[/b]

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Quad core decidedly preferred, no A4 or pentium/i3 models please.

I've been looking heavily at AMD A-series (A6/A8 Llano, a8/a10 trinity) laptops. I've seen refurbished A6-3400M laptops as low as $300 which might do the job, but I'm not sure I want a refurb. an i5 2xxx quad laptop with a dedicated card in this range would also work. HD 3000 won't cut it.
 

Komomu

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mmm ok i5's are dual core with 4 threads, the only quad core ones on intel's side are the i7's, if you couple that with a good enough gfx card, it'll be running into the $800's
 

ScrewySqrl

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If I remember correctly, some portable i5-2xxx are 2 core with 2 threads, and some are actual 4 core models.


...

looking on wikipedia, its actually the I7s that are sometimes quad, sometimes dual. so yeah, intel is probably out.
 

DarkOutlaw

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Toshiba satellite i3 should do you good. There $400 at bestbuy. If it has to be a true quad core, you will need an i7. Toshiba does have one but I dunno if it is in your price range.
 

ScrewySqrl

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bump, of sorts.

I guess I'm really asking: will I be satisfied with an A6-3400M refurb for my purposes, or should I jump up to an A10? or are there i3/i5+discrete in my price range as well? I was thinking for some reason that the pentium=dual, i3=dual + hyperthread, i5=quad, i7=quad w/ hyperthread of desktops applied to laptops. Instead it seems relatively arbitrary
 

ScrewySqrl

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I'm trying to understand what you really want (except love). You have a desktop for games. When are you going to play on the laptop?
Do you really need it portable?

all the usual things for a laptop, just with some game-playing ability on-the-go as well. I listed the sort of games I play
 

edit1754

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Fastest GPU and also best display available for close to your budget:

HP DV6t (i3-3110M, NVIDIA GT 650M, 15.6" 1920x1080 matte IPS display) - $724 + tax ($769 + tax w/ i5-3210M)
- http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/load_configuration.do?destination=review&config_id=7367534
- Use coupon code: NBY8552
- Don't: Downgrade to the 1366x768 display, unless you need the large text. You generally shouldn't buy the HP DV6 in any configuration that includes the 1366x768 display. 15.6" 1366x768 displays make things onscreen large, and tend to be low-tier LCD panels with very poor image quality due to low contrast.
- Don't: Downgrade the GPU to the GT 630M unless you only plan on doing light / moderate gaming. The GT 650M is considerably faster.
- Don't: Downgrade the GPU to integrated graphics unless you only plan on doing very light / no gaming. Integrated graphics will probably provide disappointing game performance in the majority of modern titles.
- Consider: Backlit keyboard, Larger/faster HDD.
 

WR2

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Nice find!
But are you sure that's an IPS display upgrade?
The $150 upgrade price is making me think it's a TN screen too.
 

edit1754

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are you sure that's an IPS display upgrade?
User reviews report that it has viewing angles similar to those of IPS displays. Its hardware ID (LGD037F) is only one digit off from the HP Envy 15's confirmed-IPS display's hardware ID of LGD037E.

It does not have an RGB LED backlight, so it does not have the same full NTSC color gamut coverage as the DreamColor IPS displays, nor does it have 10-bit-per-subpixel color depth, but it does have the IPS-grade viewing angles.
 

edit1754

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LGD037F isn't the model number. The actual model number is probably the LP156WF4 (SL)(B2), as that fits the description of a 15.6" 1920x1080 matte IPS WLED slim-form-factor LCD.
 

edit1754

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I don't think he's right about it not being IPS. But even if he were, the viewing angles put it in the same class as IPS regardless (which I think is less likely than it simply being IPS)
 

WR2

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HP ENVY 15t
15.6-inch diagonal Radiance Full HD Infinity LED-backlit Display (1920 x 1080)

Pavilion dv6t-7000
15.6-inch diagonal Full HD Anti-glare LED-backlit Display (1920 x 1080)

Andrew Baxter
http://www.laptopreviews.com/author/admin


Andrew's HP Pavilion dv6t-7000 Quad Edition Review
http://www.laptopreviews.com/hp-pavilion-dv6t7000-quad-edition-review-2012-05

He gets to work with and review too many notebooks for me to think he'd make that type of mistake after getting to test drive it in person.
IMO, more likely you're mistaken about it being an IPS panel.
 
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