Which gaming laptop should I purchase?

Nigel Lee

Estimable
Jun 5, 2014
2
0
4,510
0
Before the gaming community here starts screaming "Holy shit you shouldn't game on a laptop, but on a desktop, you nerd!" I'd like to say that I have a reason behind this. I'm moving into a dorm soon and finally out of my parent's home and need a laptop powerful enough to handle my projects (3d modelling and the such) and some gaming.

I've considered options from Asus, (their ROG line), MSI and Razer already, but they're always a little off for my liking.

The laptop has to be:
1. Discrete looking. (It'll be awkward bringing a huge laptop with an Alienware logo behind it and ventilation fans on the bottom to class)
2. Medium sized, maybe 14-15"?
3. Fancy frills like touchscreen.. I don't need those.
4. I can survive on 500GB of storage, but I'd like 16GB of RAM, since I'll be running things like Photoshop, Illustrator and the such.
5. Budget is around $1500 USD, give or take a little.
EDIT: I'm not one for super flashy stuff, just something simple with a solid build quality.

Many thanks!
 

GreyCatz

Admirable
I don't mean to be rude, but at this point your requirements are almost nonsensical.

1. If an Alienware logo strikes you as 'awkward', then you pretty much have to ignore any dedicated gaming laptop, including the HP Omen. Do a Google search of the most popular gaming laptops (MSI, GigaByte, ASUS ROG etc) and click 'Images'.

2. Storage: A 500GB SSD? That is going to be very expensive indeed. Good luck finding an Omen-grade laptop with such an SSD at $1,500. Such a disk sells for $200 as a separate unit (on average). Affordable gaming laptops with half-decent specs typically offer a maximum of 256GB of SSD storage combined with a 1TB (occasionally 2TB) mechanical spinner.

3. Gaming laptops are not defined by being 'simple with a solid build quality' but rather by offering dedicated gaming hardware and software features. In fact, they are often deliberately designed to be dinky and plasticky because gamers care more about awesome graphics power than rock-solid build quality.
 

sicily428

Notable
May 26, 2017
246
1
910
39


Clevo p650hp6/Sager NP8156



 

GreyCatz

Admirable


Hello, Nigel:

Nerd or not, what you need is a quad-core workstation. Consider a ThinkPad P-series or a Dell Precision. With your budget you can get this 15.6" ThinkPad P51 from Lenovo:
http://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/thinkpad-p/ThinkPad-P51/p/20HHCTO1WWENUS0/customize

Starting at $1,191 you can get 16GB for another $140 landing you at $1,303. It already comes with a quad-core Kaby Lake i7 running at 3.80GHz and a 4GB nVidia Quadro GPU (i.e. will handle most games). Storage is a mechanical 500GB HDD @ 7200rpm, but you can upgrade to an SSD later on. The panel is a 2K IPS unit.

Over at Dell's, you can get this 15.6" Precision 5510:
http://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/productdetails/precision-m5510-workstation/xctop551015us

You'll have to settle for a quad-core Skylake i5 running at 2.60GHz and the Intel HD 530 IGP (i.e. very limited gaming). You can get a 2GB Quadro card, but that requires an i7 CPU which adds $225. But it does come with Windows 10 Pro, and you'll land at $1,428.

HP has updated the zBook line with the Studio G4, but comparable CPU and RAM specs will send you past $2,000 in the blink of an eye.

I have to say the P51 seems the most attractive one, and ThinkPads are more or less synonymous with 'discreet-looking' and 'reliable'. This is not to say the Dell or the HP is less so, quite the contrary: Dell's laptops are renowned for their superior panel quality, and HP's workstations are famously long-lasting. But ThinkPads seem to strike a very attractive balance between build-quality, specs, and price.

Best of luck,
GreyCatz.
 

Nigel Lee

Estimable
Jun 5, 2014
2
0
4,510
0


Thanks for the reply!

I never really considered the Quadro options, but I'd prefer something with a SSD inside, and maybe a little more elegant, if possible. Some people tell me the HP Omen is pretty good, not sure though.
 

GreyCatz

Admirable
I don't mean to be rude, but at this point your requirements are almost nonsensical.

1. If an Alienware logo strikes you as 'awkward', then you pretty much have to ignore any dedicated gaming laptop, including the HP Omen. Do a Google search of the most popular gaming laptops (MSI, GigaByte, ASUS ROG etc) and click 'Images'.

2. Storage: A 500GB SSD? That is going to be very expensive indeed. Good luck finding an Omen-grade laptop with such an SSD at $1,500. Such a disk sells for $200 as a separate unit (on average). Affordable gaming laptops with half-decent specs typically offer a maximum of 256GB of SSD storage combined with a 1TB (occasionally 2TB) mechanical spinner.

3. Gaming laptops are not defined by being 'simple with a solid build quality' but rather by offering dedicated gaming hardware and software features. In fact, they are often deliberately designed to be dinky and plasticky because gamers care more about awesome graphics power than rock-solid build quality.
 
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