Gateway P-7811FX - $1,249.99 @ Best Buy w/free game

And you can even upgrade processor, RAM, HD easily. I've read it's even possible to change the GFX card, but who's going to manufacture and sell the modules .... ?

Dell, Alienware (and I believe Sager) tried the whole "upgradeable mobile graphics card" marketting thing a few years ago.

What ends up happening is that the OEMs are the only ones you can buy the parts from, and they'll charge you an arm and a leg for it. Why not, right? They've got a monopoly on the parts for their own line-ups (heatpipes, etc, may vary from model to model) and they know enthusiasts will pay through the nose for it. Especially if they're worried about voiding the 3-4 year warranties they might have sprung for back in the day.

Also, with some of the upgrade paths to my current laptops, the newer cards needed different batteries and PSUs, making the upgrade path even more expensive.

I'm burnt out on "mobile performance" these days. I prefer to have a nice, cost-efficient home rig that's easy to customize and upgrade, and aim for value in the mobile segment. My next laptop will have respectible graphics, but I'll stay away from the bleeding edge (in terms of price) and keep it reasonable this go-round.

That all being said...these Gateway laptops have been getting great reviews. My only beef is the plastic bodies (I prefer metal), but at these prices for those parts, I don't see how they can be beat!

It can do RAID.

No it can't.

The previous version can do RAID just fine. I'd imagine this one would be the same.

You would think so, but no.

Not from what I've heard. I'm pretty sure it has the chip for it, but I don't think the BIOS unlocks it. Anyone who have it wanna tell me what's up? I'd love to see a screenshot of it running RAID.

My understanding is the shipping BIOS doesn't unlock the ability to enable RAID. I haven't read about this issue much lately, so there could be a BIOS update out by now, but as of a couple of days ago, RAID was not available on the 7811. They do plan to fix this, but I wouldn't count on it until it's a fact... ;)

EDIT: Just checked and there is no BIOS update for this problem yet.
Never understood why people care that much about putting RAID in a laptop anyways. Last thing I want is two harddrives in my mobile PC.

I don't know why people are so hard up on saying this laptop doesn't support RAID, but my manual has a section dedicated to setting up a RAID array. As far as I know you just need two hard drives installed to unlock it. I have no desire for RAID in a laptop so I can't answer that conclusively.
You guys need to check out the notebook reviews forums, mainly the gateway sub-forum.

This laptop does in fact support raid
Just give it up. No one has yet been able to employ RAID on the 7811FX. We are awaiting a new BIOS flash (if ever). The chip set supports raid but the BIOS as currently written does not allow it. The guys at Notebook Reviews "clearly state" no RAID but early posts say it is possible because all the pieces look to be present.
One of my friends just got this laptop last week due to my recommendation. So far he was extremely satisfied. Then the other day it started having random lockups. I checked's forum, and although people are amazed by the performance of this laptop, there seems to be some sort of bug causing this. Just about 1 in 5 of these new DDR3 models has either the random lockup issue or a strange air bubble under the glossy film on the screen causing a "ghosting effect". Strangly enough those members have been more than willing to keep exchanging them untill finding a unit without defects, some of them on their 3rd swap!

See the issues here:

Still a hot hot hot deal, if I was in the market for a notebook this would so be on my shortlist. Even with the gamble of having to return it in-store.

Another note, he went to exchange it and the douchebag kid told him that he could only do a full refund. No exchange! Thats total BS, thing that sucks is my buddy lives in CA and I'm in NE otherwise I'd go set that kid straight. Good thing is he didn't have the free CoD4 with him so he had to go back and get it. I had him print out the stores 14-day exchange policy and head back there to show him whats up.

Just an FYI people don't get discouraged if you get a dud, seems that Gateway has a couple failure rate issues to work out with this new chipset and screen.
Picked one up yesterday. So far, it's the best laptop I've ever had. The free game was a nice bonus. Also, something that hasn't been mentioned is you also get 10% off all computer accessories with this purchase -- I picked up a bag to hold this monster.

It plays Stalker, Oblivion and Bioshock at 1900x1200 like perfectly. Great of a company to finally offer a laptop that can actually play games at a reasonable price. I think it shows how ridiculously other companies inflate gaming laptop prices.

The only weird thing is the mouse pad is moved to the left side of the laptop (not that I will use it much). If you're on the fence on this one, do it.

Edit: I've seen no lockups or any other issue so far.
Some have reported that updated video drivers will take care of the lockup issues. If you have problems with the screen though, all you can do is return it for a replacement.
I have to say I love mine. I got it Thursday and haven't had any issues so far. I really didn't buy it to game though, but I have done some 3DMark06 runs. I was poking around and noticed if you remove the panel on the bottom that covers the RAM and wifi you'll see a crazy heatsink. I pulled that badboy off, cleaned it up and put some arctic silver ceramique on the CPU and dropped 10 degrees at idle. That was nice to see. I did leave the thermal pad alone on the NB chip, but did trim it a bit. If you are comfortable doing it, I highly recommend it!
$1449 is the regular price. The $1249 price was last week for the Labor Day sale. $1449 is still a good deal for what hardware the system has... ;)
Picked one up Saturday. So far I am very impressed with this lappy for the price. I'll repost if any issues arise but so far I would recommend it to anyone. :)