Looking for thin but high-performance laptop

luckycharms

Distinguished
May 16, 2009
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Hello Folks,

See below for answers to the basic questions. I'm looking for a laptop that can handle the heaviest computing / GPU loads possible, while maintaining a small-ish form factor. I'm considering the Dell M3800, though it has a low-end i7, only 16GB capacity, and iffy graphics. Still, compared to the T440s, it seems to win out.

Without going to the bigger Dell (e.g. M4800) or Lenovo (e.g. T440p or W540) or other larger form factors, are there any better options? I could go with something as large as the T440, but that model has been turned into a piece of poop now. Also, I travel to tropical forests around the world, so this guy needs to stand up to some punishment. I like the Dells and Lenovo's for that, but am definitely willing to entertain other brands.

Thanks!

-----------------------------

1. What is your budget?

Not much of a factor. Less than $3k let's say.

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

I would like a thin form factor as I will be traveling with this quite a bit, and will have access to a desktop for heavy-duty needs. Factor sizes I'm considering are the Dell M3800 and Thinkpad T440s. The T440 size would be ok, but that's turned into a crappy model now...

3. What screen resolution do you want?

Not much of an issue.

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

High performance portable.

5. How much battery life do you need?

Few hours. Would be nice to be able to carry a replacement, high-capactity battery.

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)?

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

Heavy statistical modeling, 3D point cloud mainpulation of multi-gigabyte datasets, etc. Heavy on the CPU, heavy on the GPU.

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

Ideally I'd like two bays, one for SSD, one for HDD. But, I could live with one bay with a high-capacity SSD, or perhaps high capacity HDD with a large SSD cache card internal to the laptop.

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

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

3 years.

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

Not a big deal. Could go with an external reader/writer.

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.

13. What country do you live in?

USA/UK

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
 

LummusMaximus

Honorable
Nov 1, 2013
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Okay, I have two options here, they're gaming machines because they're designed for high-intensity loads:

Razer Blade

MSI GS70 Stealth

Both meet you requirements, and here's a little comparison.

CPU + GPU
Both run the same GPU, a 765M, and both run Haswell CPUs, but the GS70's clock speed is 200MHz higher.
Score:
Blade 0
GS70 1

RAM:
The Blade has 8GB, whereas the GS70 has 16GB.
Blade 0
GS70 2

STORAGE:
The Blade runs a single mSATA drive, whereas the GS70 has one or two mSATA drives plus a HDD.
Blade 0
GS70 3

SCREEN
The blade has a 14" 1600x900p screen that's generally held in bad regard. The GS70 has a 17" 1080p screen.
Blade 0
GS70 4

PORTABILITY
While they're both equally thin, the Blade's smaller screen gives it the edge required for victory (pun intended)
Blade 1
GS70 4

BATTERY LIFE
I actually can't remember the battery life for both, silly me. However, I know the Blade makes ~8 hours of light use and outclasses the GS70.
Blade 2
GS70 4

So here's everything you should need to make your own judgement, keeping in mind both cost ~1900 dollars.
 
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