I have $2200 for a new laptop..help me choose..

alienb21

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So as a christmas present to myself and a little reward for deployment, I've managed to set aside a bit of money for a new laptop.


My thoughts were/are with an HP Envy 17 1011NR, replacing the two stock drives with a 240gb OCZ SSD, and a 1.0tb Samsung 5400rpm drive, which, (on newegg) comes out to about 2k even.

What I like about the HP Envy 17 is the macbook-like form factor, and the still-decent specs. Battery life isnt important (the only amount of time I'll ever be using it mobile with no external power source will be 80 minutes, which most DTRs can supply)

Really looking for a machine that I can use as a DTR, but I want a somewhat portable machine as well. (Yeah, have my cake and eat it too...)

I do NOT like the form factor of the Asus G7x series. Buddy here has it, and while it performs well, and is solid, it's just too damn big and ugly.


Anyone have suggestions for me? I can even look into spending a bit more money if needed, but I think 2.2k should buy me a decent mobile rig.
 
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I would personally get something in the 15" range -- 17" is simply too big. Especially for travel. Let me see what I can dig up for you...
 

Joe Average

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Honestly, just get a MacBook Pro and be done with it. And get the AppleCare for a few years on top just in case. It offers a ton of capability and you can toss any other modern OS on it just the same (Windows, Linux, whatever).

Best of both worlds and insane battery life to boot.

If you had said "I've got $1000 for a new laptop" then I'd bother to suggest something else, but you've got the funds, just get a MacBook Pro and make the most of it. And get a decent case while you're at it, something rugged and not just some damned Neoprene sleeve. For that kind of outlay, treat it like it was a living being or something. :D
 

alienb21

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I would, and even spend a lot more on the top of the line MBP 17"....HOWEVER


Nvidia 330m is simply not enough graphics horsepower. That, and the fact that the MBPs have (quite amazing) 1920x1200 displays compounds the issue, as this machine's primary use will be gaming. For that fact alone I can, (unfortunately) rule out the MBP.


TheSandman2236: I'm interested to see what you come up with. I would consider something in the 15-16" sizes, (I have a 16.4" Sony right now and the form factor is good..) but screen quality and resolution would have to be very, very high.
 

Serpico

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I would, and even spend a lot more on the top of the line MBP 17"....HOWEVER

Nvidia 330m is simply not enough graphics horsepower. That, and the fact that the MBPs have (quite amazing) 1920x1200 displays compounds the issue, as this machine's primary use will be gaming. For that fact alone I can, (unfortunately) rule out the MBP.
For this reason it may be worth your while to go with a 15" model with the upgraded screen. It is what I have and the games I have installed on it (Starcraft 2, Team Fortress 2) run great on it. Hell, sometimes I plug it into my 60" plasma and at 1080p it also runs things great.

That said, if you really don't care about weight or battery life, then you can obviously consider something larger that can accommodate a hotter GPU.
 

batteriesnotincluded

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HP EliteBook 8540W or 8740W w/ DreamColor 2 screen (the 8740W/DC2 will likely exceed your budget. No matter what, call them up for a discount, don't go by online retail price)
 

heatlesssun

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Are you looking for a good gaming device or not. If so avoid Macbooks otherwise it might be a good fit.
 

Nightbird

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Slim and gaming are antonyms as far as adjectives go for laptops :) which is more important?
 

iceredwing

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^ true, but there are a few systems that managed to find a good middle. Macbook Pros aren't one of them. He either wants a mac or he doesn't, don't try to find a niche for him within the limitations of the mbp's to try and make it work for him.
 

alienb21

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No, I don't want a MBP. I appreciate the suggestions but for the price they are not worth it, and as I mentioned the anemic video cards are not fast enough.
 

Justintoxicated

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No, I don't want a MBP. I appreciate the suggestions but for the price they are not worth it, and as I mentioned the anemic video cards are not fast enough.
I was going to suggest Lenovo, since they still make the best enterprise laptops IMO, but I'm not sure what is best for gaming.
 

Pylon

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For a Lenovo Thinkpad, a W700 or a W701 would work well since those have the best graphics out of any Thinkpad (up to Quadro FX 3800M, which is a 128-core Quadro). However, they are expensive, and you may not need the durability.
 

batteriesnotincluded

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If the MBP's 330M isn't enough, then the T510 and W510 won't be either.

And sadly, this generation of 15" T/W Thinkpad is a major disappointment, IMO (And I've owned over 30 Thinkpads since 2003). The HP Elitebook is a better built notebook, but unfortunately isn't as good in the ultranav department
 

alienb21

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Was looking at the W series but as batteriesnotincluded said they were a bit of a dissapointment with their current revision. Also the price as configured for my needs, (even making sacrifices) is too high.


I may end up having to go with my original plan and just pick up an Envy and deal with the small shortcomings.
 

Serpico

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This isn't easy. Based on my experience playing Source games and Starcraft 2, the top end 15" MBPs are actually excellent gaming laptops, but if you don't feel they are worth the price for the size and battery life then its a pass. I haven't played it in months but now I'm going to install Bad Company 2 on it to see how it runs, you have me curious now.

Honestly, your friend's Asus G7x is a fantastic gaming notebook, but if you hate the styling and size then I don't know what to say.

No notebook is going to get you everything in terms of design, speed, size, and battery life (which you admittedly don't care about). Choose which aspects mean more for you. You may end up with an Envy, maybe step down to a 15" to make the most of the GPU with the reduced resolution.
 

harmattan

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I'd suggest an Alienware m17x, but that might be too big. What about an m15x? Very sturdy with a 5870 or gtx 460.

Other than that, the new ENVY with a 5850 is likely closest to fitting your needs.
 

alienb21

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Researching the m17x. I would rather have a 17" screen and deal with thickness than have a smaller screen and it be portable. As I said it's mainly a DTR.
 

NotJay

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Researching the m17x. I would rather have a 17" screen and deal with thickness than have a smaller screen and it be portable. As I said it's mainly a DTR.
then alienware m17x is good as it gets right now
 

UnknownSeeker

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I haven't seen it mentioned yet but if you do want something a little smaller for traveling but still have a lot of power then you could look at the MSI GX660R-060US. At $1550 you should have enough left if your budget to upgrade to an SSD+1TB and go for 12GB of RAM while you are at it. (Of course it is pretty gaudy.)
 

laguerre

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Frankly, I would wait until CES (Jan 5) and then get a notebook. As soon as CES starts we'll see at least a half-dozen notebooks with sandybridge and next gen graphics cards. I look forwards to the refinements on both cpu and gpu with the latest port arrangements. Furthermore, SB notebooks may have PCI Express 3.0 giving external video cards for your notebook a legit option.

I bought an Acer Aspire 8940G (Q720m and gts250) just after CES 2010 for $1,329.99. I dumped 8MB ram and a 60GB SSD and I've had no complaints from this 18.4" beast.

I'd be looking at Acer, MSI, and HP for some CES products. You really gotta watch HP close though, their deals are for like a week and then they're gone.

If not, the aspire 8943G or /2G series is close to my 8940 stylistically and I'd recommend them.
 

actompkins

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Sandy Bridge will debut Jan 5 but it may be a month or more before they are actually in laptops and they will cost a fortune when first released. Not to mention any first gen product will be buggy as hell and not even run correctly until its 3rd or fourth bios release. If yo u can wait go for it. But if not, I suggest the M17x.
 

fmaster

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I can't deal with anything larger than 15" so I am going to suggest that you go with a thinkpad T510.

IMO thinkpads are best laptops I have ever used. They are very robust and sturdy. I like all black + silver hinges styling.

You can do the 2 hd setup by replacing the removable cd rom bay.
 

laguerre

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Sandy Bridge will debut Jan 5 but it may be a month or more before they are actually in laptops and they will cost a fortune when first released. Not to mention any first gen product will be buggy as hell and not even run correctly until its 3rd or fourth bios release. If yo u can wait go for it. But if not, I suggest the M17x.
While time is the constraint here, I think you're statement is a bit too pessimistic. The new graphics cards that are being debuted are refreshes instead of an architectual change. Last year we saw 40nm at CES, which changed notebook space and configurations quite a bit (leading to delays). However, this year, the nvidia 5xx and amd 6xxxx Series are closer to rebrands than they are to improvements. Thankfully, with the current rebranding scheme we will see performance improvements.

Arguably the Sandy Bridge motherboard does have the potential to delay manufacturers, but it seems that samples have been everywhere and I don't think it will be the case.

I don't think that CES is a must, but if you can wait, I think it will be worth the peace of mind. The number of improvements, rather than complete redesigns, that will be showcased at CES stands to make it worth the wait... in my opinion.

HP dv6/dv7/Envy 17 Sandy Bridge
Lenovo IdeaPad Y460p and Y560p Sandy Bridge
AMD Radeon HD 6000M Series
Dell XPS L702X
While these links don't show off an I7 Q720m 5850m killer, it should indicate that CES has the potential to offer some good options. At minimum, the new M17 and Envy 17 will be out at CES.
 

actompkins

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I don't think its hardly overly pesemistic since almost everything significant in the history of computing has been overpriced and buggy inits release. I see no reason this will be any different.
 

Pylon

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I can't deal with anything larger than 15" so I am going to suggest that you go with a thinkpad T510.

IMO thinkpads are best laptops I have ever used. They are very robust and sturdy. I like all black + silver hinges styling.

You can do the 2 hd setup by replacing the removable cd rom bay.
Various W-series Thinkpads were suggested, but the OP wants gaming performance and for the price, the W510 and W701 deliver pretty poor performance.
 
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