Need help finding a very specific school laptop

bytecut

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I'm looking to buy a laptop this weekend while the Labor Day sales are going on, but I'm having trouble finding one that has a long battery life (4-6+ hours) when doing school work, while also having a low-end dedicated graphics card (preferably Nvidia 820M) for gaming when I'm plugged in and away from my desktop. I have found tons of good deals, but none that meet the above criteria.

Budget: $600-700
Usage: School/moderate gaming
Condition preference: Willing to buy refurbished or from Ebay
Additional Preferences:
- 1080p screen
- Small SSD > big HDD (not a deal-breaker if no SSD)

This laptop
pretty much encompasses my ideal package, minus the lack of a dedicated GPU.

Thanks for your help!
 

bytecut

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The specs are a bit lower than I would hope, which is why I'm looking to spend a bit more. This laptop right here is pretty much everything I could possibly want, minus the lack of a video card. I may end up having to snag it, however, if I cannot find a suitable laptop that has a dedicated GPU.
 

alexb870

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Yeah, that looks like a good one.

 

IInuyasha74

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http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-E5-571G-38VF-15-6-Inch-Titanium/dp/B00K2O4TGU

He is right this one should get it done. Not sure if it is the best system, but it still gets the job done and isn't half bad.

For the record, I have a laptop which has an i7-3632QM which consumes quite a bit more power than the CPU in this laptop, and an Nvidia GT 620M which is the same graphics chip. I manage to get about 6 hours with all of the maximum power saving features in use with a battery twice the size as the one in this laptop. So I don't think you will manage the 7-8 hours of battery life like it advertises, but you can probably expect 4-5 hours. These companies usually turn the screen off and everything off they can and then test how long the battery lasts so the result is longer than what is real.
 

IInuyasha74

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The Lenovo and the first Acer aren't bad, but I wouldn't go with the Asus if I was you. It might have an i5 but it will be a lot slower in gaming, and only have a small improvement in CPU performance. The SSD is nice but it will fill up super fast, its not really enough for a full system.
 

bytecut

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I found this laptop, but I really dislike the lack of function keys on F1-F12, as well as the terrible trackpad.

I'm still looking for a laptop that has a better exterior design than the one I just mentioned!
 

IInuyasha74

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That last one you linked is pretty good. Here are a few others for you to consider.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Samsung-Series-5-NP550P5C-15-750-GB-Intel-Core-i7-3rd-Gen-2-3-GHz-8-GB-/121416606697?pt=Laptops_Nov05&hash=item1c44fe63e9

Its hard to keep up on all the latest computers and such, so I typically look for computers I know have been good as a starting place. In this case, this laptop is very similar to mine. The original battery it has will last you about 3.5 to 4 hours if you get this, and a larger battery can be bought for about $30 which will give you closer to 6 hours.

The big plus to it, is that it has a much faster CPU. Its a quad-core with hyper threading. It will run circles around the other laptops mentioned so far. The GPU is better than the 620/720/820 Nvidia GPUs, because they haven't changed the bottom GPU since the 600 series. It can play games pretty good, I get by on a lot of games on medium settings, even new games and mine only has the 620M, the 630M in this one is a lot faster.

Other than that, the only other one I have seen so far is this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152586

This one has a nicer look to it, and it is new. The GPU has an extra 1GB of vRAM, but otherwise its worse in pretty much every area.
 

bytecut

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I just have a hard time settling for the shitty 1366x768 resolution at this price point. I really appreciate all your suggestions so far. I'm honestly too picky but I don't see why I should have to settle for something that doesn't have a dedicated GPU, a decent trackpad, or a 1080p monitor at this price point. :'(
 

IInuyasha74

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Well in game to me I don't hardly notice any difference between 768p and 1080p. Quality settings make a huge affect but resolution I personally can't notice it as much after you get past 720p it seems to matter less and less. Though that is obviously going to depend on the user.

I would suggest you pick a game like you like real well that you might play on your laptop and load it on your desktop, first in 1080p with medium video settings, and then 768p with medium video settings. It might not be as bad as you think. Honestly I wasn't happy with the resolution at first, cause back in October last year I was in the same situation as you are now. I thought that gaming it would suck a little and be fine for everything else. I was actually surprised in games it didn't seem any different. The desktop seemed way too close up and bugs me but everything else seems fine.

Don't worry about being picky, I understand. I would say a lot of them have good trackpads, but not a lot of laptops under $1000 have 1080p displays. The ones which do have that much for under $1000 typically only have integrated graphics and in order to play games you have to lower the resolution. Not a lot of laptop under about $800 have dedicated graphics cards anymore either, and it seems they never have good displays when they do.

You may not want to, but just collect all the options you can find and pick and choose over the features that and take the one that seems best for you. Chances are one that has everything you want for the price you want won't exist, so just take the best compromise available.
 

bytecut

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If only the battery life was better... Such an awesome laptop. If you could upgrade the battery on this (you can't), I'd snag it in an instant.
 

IInuyasha74

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Why couldn't you upgrade the battery? Its a basic easily removed battery and tons of places have larger batteries for it.