Searching for Midrange Laptop


Nov 16, 2012
I am looking to purchase a budget laptop.

First of all, what companies do people recommend? Is Dell considered to be reliable? What about any others that are particularly reliable or unreliable?

I'm not sure if a gaming laptop is in my budget, but if it's possible to play many games at say medium settings, please let me know (see below for my budget).

Can you guys recommend both a good bank/buck laptop that's not so geared toward gaming, and another good bang/buck laptop that is geared toward gaming (according to the information below)? For instance, is this laptop from dell considered a good buy in your opinion:
(I can get it for $735, there's a $50 coupon and another discount for students I guess).

1. What is your budget?
I'm looking for something in the $700 - $800 range, and a big preference that it be closer to $700.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
14 inches - 15.6 inches

3. What screen resolution do you want?
This is a tough question, I'm not sure. It seems like there are many options that are 1920 x 1080 or 1366 x 768. The higher res is obviously nicer, but I guess it may hurt the wallet and the ability to play games at higher quality settings.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
I would say this laptop would be my main device for computing, so probably a desktop replacement.

5. How much battery life do you need?
Maybe at least 5 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)?
It would be nice to play games, but I'm not sure if it's possible in my budget (maybe if the CPU is slow). For instance, would it be possible to play something like starcraft 2 at medium settings?

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
I want to be able to do general office work, browsing internet, watching movies, etc. I also write code sometimes.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Maybe 1 TB? Possibly 750 GB would be ok.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Not really sure.

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

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
I think a DVD Writer would be nice, but many laptops do not seem to come with one which makes me worried. How big of a problem is it if a laptop lacks an optical drive? Can one easily reinstall an OS or install a new OS for example, or is it a big headache?

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.
I'm not really sure, see my first question in this thread.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Lighter is always good. Is it possible to keep this close to 5 lbs?

Thanks a lot, I appreciate any input I can get.
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