Laptop model for Programming / GFX Design / Gaming for < $1100


May 29, 2015

$600-$1100 USD


I'm going to be programming and doing front end work on websites, maybe some gaming. I generally always have the following loaded: Photoshop, Illustrator, PHPStorm, Pandora, Like 10 Chrome tabs (with extensions), Filezilla, Editpad Pro, Word docs, Excel docs, and maybe more. This eats up 4GB of memory pretty quick, Im thinking 8gb should cover this (preferably with a max of 16gb).

Screen size preference:

13"+ , a large wide screen but a laptop thats not bulky.

OS preference (Windows/Mac/Linux):

Windows is a must, I may dual boot it in the future so Linux drivers are always awesome to have.

Gaming requirements (example games and desired fps/settings):

I might get down on some GT5 or COD at some point in time, but my main tasks are coding and GFX design.

Other performance requirements (video editing, CAD, etc.):

3D rendering with Sketchup and rendering large files with Photoshop and Illustrator.

Brand preferences and reasons (already owned accessories, familiarity, business compatibility):

MSIs look cool and I loved them when I went to Frys, but I heard customer service isn't that great.

Any brands with great customer support (or very decent support) and updated drivers for both windows and linux.

Any particular style that you like (examples are great):

I like simplistic but aesthetically pleasing designs such as macbooks (I think they are way overpriced though)

Which features would you pay a premium for?

Both HDD and SSD slot***
Triple Screens support**

High resolution screen:

Doing web design, so this is pretty important. Something with rich blacks and good colors.

A great keyboard:

I type fast and my fiancee wants to murder me at night and in the mornings when I have deadlines. A quite keyboard will probably save the relationship. A backlight would be a huge plus as well.

A great touchpad/mouse buttons:

I can't stand grainy touchpads and bulky buttons. I prefer the smooth one piece touchpads that Macbooks and HP DV5's - my current model - provide.

Great audio:

I love music and showing people stupid videos, so sound is a huge plus as well.

**List any features that are critical

An I7 would be nice, but if there is something with an i5 and a better monitor (rich blacks, spot on colors) then I can definitely work with that.

I think I would benefit greatly from a SSD but I don't like how newer models have ditched HDDs for SSDs with less space. Ideally I would like something that offered both, or a SSD and an extra slot for a HDD later down the road. (Maybe even if the SSD is smaller and it has a large HDD then I could upgrade it down the road.)

I don't know much about GFX cards, but I would prefer something that handled 3d rendering software (Like Sketchup) with relative ease and rendered Photoshop and Illustrator files with ease. I dont think ill game much with this, but that would be a nice benefit.

Multiple monitors - From what I understand 3 monitors is a long shot with a laptop, but if there is something in my price range that handles this then that would be amazing. I will definitely be using at least one external monitor though.

HDMI and at least 3 USB ports. SD card reader



May 29, 2015
to get a good laptop under $1000 i recommend the Acer Aspire V15 VN7-591G-73Y5 (15.6" screen)

or if you can spend a few bucks more the Alienware 17 ANW17-2136SLV (17.3" screen).

both are available with a pretty good graphics card (the Nvidia GTX 860M for the V15 VN7-591G-73Y5, NVIDIA GTX 970M for the ANW17-2136SLV).
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