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Looking for a New Laptop

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I'm buying a new laptop, but I don't know a huge amount about what good laptops are out there so I thought I would ask you guys for help. Recommendations would be great, information on what to look for or even links to useful reading would be awesome too. Thanks in advance.

  • Around $800. Less would be great, but not at the sacrifice of quality.
  • Core i5 or i7 is preferable. I don't know too much about what kind of differences there are between the two.
  • 4GB or 6GB RAM. Expandable would be cool. Just so it doesn't get outdated too fast.
  • 500GB+ HDD. I've seen some stuff with small SDD drives as well, not sure if that would be worth it.
  • Decent graphics card, probably a dedicated one. I don't know much about this.
  • Moderately portable. I don't need something paper thin and 3lbs, just something that's not massive.
  • 15.6" screen. Just my preference.

I'm looking for something general use, with at least the ability to run some games smoothly. I'm not looking for a laptop that can play at Ultra High graphics settings, just that can get the job done (although if you can find me something for the price...). I've looked at a couple things on my own but I just don't have the knowledge to make an informed purchase. I've been looking at a lot of ASUS machines, since they seem to have the best specs for the price and I've heard good things. My current laptop is a Toshiba (Satellite A305, for anyone who's wondering. It's ~4 years old and I'm running Vista. Yup.) and it has been pretty solid for the time I've had it. I'm open to any and all suggestions.





Those two are what I've been coming back to so far, although I recently heard some lees than fantastic things about the 610M, specifically that it's actually worse than the Intel HD Graphics 4000, even though it's an integrated card, so I may reconsider. At this point I think I've written enough, so if there's anything I missed, let me know.

[bleep] the law, they can eat my dick that's word to Pimp

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For general use and a bit of gaming, a Core i5 should be sufficient. Modern games do not benefit much from the two extra cores offered by mobile Core i7 processors. Memory will almost always be expandable; some Macbooks have the modules soldered to the board, but those are somewhat above our price range anyway. You heard correctly about the GeForce 610M, it is in fact weaker than Intel's HD 4000, and as such, not really suitable for gaming. When considering NVIDIA graphics chips, the 630M and higher should offer tangible benefits over the HD 4000, but anything below that is questionable.


Low-end ASUS machines suffer from the same problems as other cheap laptops, I'm afraid. Their higher end lines such as the N56 series are pretty solid, but they're a little pricier than $800 and also not really available right now, since they're being rebranded for Win8. You might be able to get last year's N55 for cheap if you get lucky; I have one of those myself, and apart from having the hard disk suddenly die it's been pretty solid thus far. I'm sure the hard disk issue was just a fluke, since it was from a reputable brand (Seagate) and not some cheap Chinese knock-off.



Maybe the Lenovo Y570 would be suitable? Comes with a decent Core i5 CPU, GeForce 555m graphics (comparable to 635m), and a 500GB hard disk, and only costs $650. It does have a shitty 1366x768 screen, but finding a 1080p screen in your price range might be difficult. Also has an estimated shipping time of over a month ...


If you're willing to spend a little over $800, the basic Lenovo y580 model might be a good fit. Comes with a modern Core i7 CPU, GeForce GTX 660m graphics (which is absolutely beastly in this price range I might add), 8 GB of memory and a 1TB hard disk. It also ships a lot faster. Again with the shitty screen, but picking up a nice full HD screen might simply not be possible in your price range right now.


You might be able to find some more useful stuff on Newegg if you limit the price to like $600-$800 and filter by screen size and show models with dedicated graphics only. Coughed up a few more potential candidates.

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