Thoughts on gaming-capable laptop


Dec 30, 2010
I've got the questions from the FAQ here, and also a couple of choices that I've found on my own.

1. What is your budget? No more than $1400.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Anywhere between 11" to 15".

3. What screen resolution do you want? Decent, but I will work with what I get.

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

5. How much battery life do you need? A couple of hours, I'm realistic.

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 will definitely be running Steam, along with relatively recent games like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Call of Duty, etc. I would like a high a setting as possible, but a medium setting would be fine too, as long as it runs well.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.) Statistical programming. Word, internet. Nothing with photos or music, I have a mac that takes care of that already. :p

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? ~500GB

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

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? At least two-three years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? DVD, doesn't need to write.

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. (See below)

13. What country do you live in? USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Here are the three that I've found so far:
Option 1: Alienware M11x, i5 520UM (1.066-1.866GHz), 4GB RAM, 500GB 7,200RPM HD, 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 335M
Option 2: Sager NP8690, i5 460M (2.53-2.80 GHz), 4GB RAM, 500GB 7200rpm HD, 1.5 GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX460M
Option 3: HP Envy 14, i5 460M (2.53-2.80 GHz), 4GB RAM, 500GB 7200rpm HD, 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650.

I'm concerned that the Alienware tech will be outdated really fast (like next month), the Sager has a very low battery life, and I know nothing of the HP Envy. Thoughts, suggestions?


Jun 29, 2006
Its widely believed that the m11x is going to get GT435 soon.

Sager is not a common brand but I think it's a Compal or Clevo OEM so parts should not be impossible to find. It's probably not as thin or light as something like an Envy.

Envy is a very nice machine, but expensive. It's kind of like HP's version of Dell XPS line.

My criteria is that I want a small machine that can game, that I can take anywhere. Plus I already have a 15.6" macbook pro. so I'd pick the M11x, but I'd wait til it gets next gen graphics engine.

If I didn't already have a MBP, I'd pick the Envy because I don't think a 11.6in screen is big enough for everyday computing.

I just don't trust 2nd tier manufacturers like Sager since they ODM their own machines. That usually means support is sketchy. I've had bad experiences with 2nd tier manufacturers.