Looking to switch from Apple for ~$1,700


Sep 11, 2012
1. What is your budget?

$1,000- $1,800

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

I'd like a 15", but I'd be willing to scale down to 13"

3. What screen resolution do you want?


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

Both, but more portable. I'd like to keep the weight under 6lbs

5. How much battery life do you need?

3 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)?

I'd like to be able to play StarCraft 2 on at least Medium (~42 fps)

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

Watch movies, torrent, surf

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

I'd like a 258GB SSD, but would be willing to upgrade separately if the price is right.

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

These are the laptops I'm considering right now, but each have their various problems:

-http://usa.asus.com/Notebooks/Multimedia_Entertainment/N56VZ/#specifications (Asus)
-http://www.sagernotebook.com/index.php?page=product_customed&model_name=NP9150 (Sager)
-http://www.avadirect.com/gaming-laptop-configurator.asp?PRID=23934#build (Clevo)
-http://store.apple.com/us/configure/MD103LL/A? (Mac)

The Asus N56VZ is EXTREMELY close to what I want in a laptop, including style, but I would really prefer to have a centered trackpad/keyboard without the numpad that pushes it to the left. Also, it seems really inconvenient to have all of the ports so far forward. Why??

The Sager/Clevo are the best buys I can find for my budget but from what I've heard they're quite bulky and firm. I'd prefer a metal build to plastic, and it scares me that I've heard they'll definitely crack if dropped.

The mac is my favorite in terms of style and OS. I love Apple products, I just don't really have the wallet for them right now. Of course I could scale back my specs and still technically afford one, but for $1,600 I'd like a much better GPU and a larger screen.

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 ?

DVD or none- I'm ok buying a USB external

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.

As I said above, I love Apple. I like the sleek look, and when I buy an Apple product nothing about it feels cheap or ugly. I owned a 15" MBP through college and loved it. I could get into what I like about the OS but that's pretty much irrelevant.

I'm typing now on a Dell Latitude D630 and I hate it. The keys make a plastic-y clatter, there's a constant whir from the fan, and the screen creaks when I adjust it. I also own a Toshiba Satellite (not sure of the model) and it's even worse. I MUCH prefer a matte screen to glossy, and that laptop's keys just kind of...squish. I also really don't like the look of the Asus G75VW- I don't want my laptop to resemble a war machine.

13. What country do you live in?

United States

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

I've been without a laptop for a little over a year and a half now, which is why I'm willing to pay more. The GPU is not *incredibly* important to me, because when it comes down to it I haven't been a gamer for about 4 years now, and I just want to play StarCraft because I'm about to head off to Korea to teach English for a year. If I do get a nice enough GPU there's a strong chance I'd get back into gaming though (so many games I've missed out on- and now Steam!)

What DOES matter to me A LOT, just for the simple fact that I've gone so long without a laptop and I want to jump back into the market feeling like I bought something extremely capable, is overall speed and performance. I want to be able to boot up my computer, keep a ton of windows and applications open at once, etc all with the absolute minimal amounts of wait time. I want everything to feel as preloaded as possible. And I want it all to look great!

This means I'd really prefer an Intel Core i7 processor, at least 8GB of RAM, and a SSD. I'd also really like to keep the noise level as low as possible, and I'd gladly sacrifice cooling efficiency to get it. But overall, feel free to give me a "Best you can do is ____" suggestion, because in the end I'm trying to be realistic here.


Jun 4, 2012
I recommend putting around $1000 (give or take) in a dedicated gaming desktop; then use some change to pick up a solid $500 notebook.

If you're ok with doing this, I can offer a few suggestions...


Sep 11, 2012
I definitely plan on dropping some serious cash on a desktop at some point, but I'm not prepared to buy one yet because a) I'll be spending the next year abroad and will only be taking 1-2 suitcases of luggage with me and b) I want to stay portable because I might not be settling down for a while, even after next year. So right now I'm just shopping for the best laptop that $1,000-$1,800 can buy.


Sep 11, 2012
Ok, I've had more time to think about it, and as an update I'm really just looking for anyone who can give me a very close match to the Asus N56VZ but without the off-center trackpad/numpad. To be honest, I'm doubtful such a computer exists. I'm still open to opinions though- raging criticism of the N56VZ or rave reviews of something similar that would sway me to something else....


Jun 27, 2013
This is interesting! I have been looking to switch from Apple too but unable to make up my mind as to what I should buy now! this info might help me.. thanks


May 12, 2013
if that link donest work model no is MSI GE60 2OE-003US
The issue am getting atm is battery,trackpad,wt most bigger laptops are near the 6lb or past it, and most larger 17/15 have trackpads off centered ala numpad
this one got my attention thanks to the below review
as this review covered a model with basiclly a weaker gpu/cpu it should be close
So it should be under or near 6 pounds ala this review,battery life should be near 3 hours normal usage
the 765 gpu isnt the very top but its near top tier for a gpu
i7-4700 again isnt top tier but most lappys in this range run this gpu(upgradable xotic)
you get a 750gb hdd,+ 250gb msata
price 1400-1500
You mainly have to deal with the fact its off centered otherwise it seems to be a decent fit for what you want