Need Laptop for College + Entertainment

Ghastn

Honorable
May 9, 2013
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10,510
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Hi All,
So I am quite done with my 2-year old Toshiba. I know it is not that old but Toshiba is simply the worst and the battery life is just killing me (1 hour at most).
Being at college, I need more mobility (6 hours min with open browser/ Wifi/playing videos). So, I need mobility, durability and performance. I play games casually (FiFA, COD, NFS and sometime Crysis (no need for highest quality)).
So I am looking at the following components withing a 800-1200$ budget:
-i7 (3rd Gen, 6MB cache)
-8GB RAM
-1GB GPU (Nvidia, either GDDR5 or 3)
-Decent weight (no more than 5-6 lbs): not an ultra-portable obviously but the thinnest the best (hard to find with a dedicated GPU)
-Screen (1366 x 768 is OK, Full HD anti-glare is best)
-Hard Drive 750 5400rpm (7200rpm best, and probably with some SSD)
-Windows 8
-Touch screen is a plus (kind of impossible to find with a dedicated GPU)
-AN IMPECCABLE BATTERY (at least 5-6 hours)
-I'm in the US (online shopping sounds the best)
-I hope to keep the new laptop for 3 years (until I graduate)
-As for tasks, other than the ones I have already mentioned: I code, using CAD and do other random college stuff (plus light gaming)

Any propositions? I have found similar specs in some Lenovo Y and HP envy dv6-7000 and the price was under 1000$. Which other brands should I consider and what do you think of the above brands?
Additionally, should I wait till September or buy now? Are the coupon website useful or are there any discount offers during the summer.

Thank you :)

UPDATE : I am looking into a 14-15.6" display. And when are the Haswell COP laptops coming out? (wouldn't they be too expensive in the first months following their release?)
 

unknown9122

Honorable
Jun 2, 2012
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I was gonna recommend the Series 7 Chronos, but it doesnt have an SSD (has cache) and was $1299. It had 7-8 hours of battery life with a AMD Radeon 8870M. I will keep on looking. I recommend waiting for the upcoming Haswell line of CPUs though. They are coming out in early June and offer a lot of improvements. They provide longer battery life, better graphics, better CPU performance, and finally, they will future proof you laptop for a few years. Stand by, I will keep on looking :).
 

unknown9122

Honorable
Jun 2, 2012
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Option 1: http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-17r-se-7720/pd?oc=fncwn19&model_id=inspiron-17r-se-7720 (2gb nVidia GT650M + i7 for $1099.) good deal! But may not get the best battery life.
There are really no good offerings from Lenovo and HP that follow your criteria. It is very hard to get a PC with good battery life + a dedicated GPU. Haswell GPUs will be able to game much better than Ivy Bridge's graphics can, but wont provide good frame rates like a dedicated GPU (from nVidia or AMD) can. The plus side to haswell graphics is that you will get good battery life.
 

attk mast3r

Honorable
Oct 6, 2012
95
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10,610
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http://store.vizio.com/ct15tb0.html *only laptop model with an ac adapter #1.7gbpsplz*

or

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Samsung---15.6%22-Touch-Screen-Laptop---8GB-Memory---1TB-Hard-Drive---Metal/8048198.p?id=1218863727568&skuId=8048198#tab=reviews *slightly faster gpu*

or

http://www.pro-star.com/index.cfm?mainpage=productdetail&model=GE60-0ND-257US&subpage=spec#gotop

* thin, light gaming laptop, even more powerful gpu*

i'd go for the samsung because i know it has a long battery life and it is very reliable, but the vizio and msi are worthy of consideration. vizio is new so i'm a bit skeptical.

you mentioned hp and lenovo, the lenovo y400 has 3 hours of battery life, if you can deal with that go on newegg.com and buy the $999 650m SLI version, that thing would destroy most things. hp is iffy, you may get a good one, you may not.
 

Ghastn

Honorable
May 9, 2013
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10,510
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Yeah, the Y400 has so many awesome things except the Battery.
I was amazed how VIZIO packed all of that in an ULTRABOOK but I am not sure about AMD, I feel more comfortable with intel. Plus, I don't need an ultrabook-thin laptop: something of the sleeknes of a MacBook Pro would be awesome (with an Optical Drive and Decent HDD). I am not sure I would like less than 250 GO. SSD is optional and is not a must.
The TOSHIBA seems to have several negative reviews on BestBuy. I don't think BestBuy has the best prices either.
How is the build quality of MSI, usually? I am really interested, even though it is on the high end of my budget :p
 

unknown9122

Honorable
Jun 2, 2012
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Dont buy PCs from Vizio. 1) They are new to the market (they just entered in 2012) 2) Most of their laptops did not receive good reviews. 3) other reasons that I can go into if you want.
The vizio is an ultrabook, which means it has a low voltage processor, and thus, gets bad performance (for gaming). Also the Radeon 7670M/8670M isnt a great GPU, but is fine for your needs.
The Y400 with 650Ms in SLI will kill your battery life to less than 1 hour... when gaming. You should never game on battery since frame rates will drop tremendously.
As for the Samsung mentioned above, I already mentioned that, but it is out of his price range.

As I said before, getting a PC with good battery life and a good GPU is pretty much impossible.
 

Ghastn

Honorable
May 9, 2013
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What I mean by a good GPU is some GDDR3 with 1GB dedicated that runs FIFA and some occasional COD, NFS, probably even Crysis on low settings. My GT525M does that right now.
As for the battery, I was wondering if it is possible to get somthing of about 6 hours (not while gaming) on medium lighting, using Wifi and playing Videos or sth like that. Is getting a 12-cell extended battaery a more viable option then?

I am glad you warned me about VIZIO because I didn't find that much about them online. But what about HP and Lenovo (these are the two I have been looking into these days) or even DELL (15 inches)?
As for the listed Samsung, not only do I not like shopping from BestBuy (they are overpriced) but also the Hard Drive is soooo slow.

Finally, the main reason why I am interested in a Touch screen is that I am reading that Windows 8 is a pain without touch and I seriously would like to have Windows 8 since I tried it on a non-touch screen and it was still AWESOME. So should I just give up on the touch screen?
 

unknown9122

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Jun 2, 2012
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5400RPM HDDs are becoming the norm since thinner platters = slower speeds. Thinner platters are needed for thinner PCs. But the cache can help cure that. It is still over priced for a PC with an HDD. Lenovo is the best in my opinion. HP and Dell are also very good. I think your best bet is waiting for Haswell (coming out in early June) since the graphics are about on par with a nVidia GT630/GT640. Plus, PC makers arent releasing any new models till Haswell is released. So the flood of updated laptops will begin in a few weeks.
 

attk mast3r

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Oct 6, 2012
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vizio may be new, but so was hp, apple, etc. gotta give them a chance. the VIZIO CN15-A5 has 4 stars on amazon, last time i checked that wasn't bad. go into other reasons, i bet they don't have a factual basis. the a10-4657m is not a ULV processor, it is the amd equivalent of an i7, just because it's an ultrabook doesn't mean it has a ULV processor. if you're referring the smasung i recommended it is in his price range without taxes, and i am sure there is a promo code for money off or something. getting a laptop with a good gpu is easy as going to hp.com and configuring a $1100 laptop with a 650m, 1080p screen, i7, backlit keyboard, etc. they have up to 9 hours of battery life, you'd get about 7 hours with light gaming and 4 hours with heavy gaming.

i don't think you did your research.
 

unknown9122

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Jun 2, 2012
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Oh, You think I didnt do my research? Check again buddy! The A10 4657M is not even close to an i7. I dont think you get what your talking about because you think all quad cores must have the same performance. The i3 is on par with the A10. AMD has always been lacking behind. Mobile and desktop. Also, for your information, a PC with a AMD CPU is not an ultrabook. The ultrabook name was created by Intel and is exclusive to Intel.

If you were really an expert, you wouldnt look at the reviews on Amazon because those are just average users who dont know PC talk. I bought myself a Vizio and hated it. I have been working with PCs for a long time, and it didnt match my criteria so I sent it back. Also the price of the Series 7 Chronos on Amazon (the 2013 version) is $1400. Tell me that is below 1200? I didnt think so. As for your ludicrous battery-life claim, none of that is true. Yes, if you want to game on battery and get 15 FPS, then be my guest. The clocks speeds are more than halved on battery because of Optimus Tech and thus, gaming performance is horrible. Finally, you wont get more than 2 hours on battery while gaming not just because of the GPU and the CPU, but also because of the 1080P screen. The GPU has to power a game at 1080P, hence, sucking up even more power. All your claims are fallacious.

I think YOU should do your research before you criticize someone who knows more than you. I may be new to TomsHardware, but I am a heck of an expert since I work with computers! This is not meant to make you feel bad, but seriously, dont talk and insult unless you know what YOU are talking about.
 

unknown9122

Honorable
Jun 2, 2012
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Keep in mind though buddy, it has a 1600x900 screen + a GT 640M. I am not sure of the battery life though. If the price is right, go for it. Also, that PC has Windows Pro, which raises the price of the PC. You dont need that license (costs more, thus adding to the price of the PC) unless you really want it. You can read about the different versions here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8_editions
 
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