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Help me find a laptop

By ikesmasher ยท 15 replies
Jul 21, 2014
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  1. Im going to college next month and I want to make my tech setup smaller, and am switching to a laptop.

    My price range is up to about $800 (a little flexible if need be). BUILD QUALITY IS IMPORTANT TO ME. I wont be throwing it around but I will be carrying it in a backpack places. I AM CAREFUL with my tech.

    Every laptop ive had in a while has had serious cooling problems, so one that is capable of keeping itself at operating temperature even under a highish load. youd think that would be mandatory... xD

    I will be using this for schoolwork, lowish poly 3d modeling, unity 3d work (including C# coding), and some gaming.

    For a CPU, I am looking for an i7, or a really nice i5. id prefer for it to be at least (preferably faster, obviously) as fast in a general sense as my desktops core 2 quad Q9400.

    8GB of ram, but that seems pretty commonplace in this price range.

    a 1080p screen.

    A GPU capable of running pretty much any game id want, not regarding settings (I think the most demanding game I will play for a while is bioshock infinite and id be fine with low/med) I play mostly older games, but I would like to be a little future proof even if at low settings. I cant do below 30 FPS. As much as it kills me I don't think ill be playing star citizen :(

    either 15.6 or 17.3", doesnt matter as long as its at least 15.6.

    things that are super nice but not a neccessity:
    USB 3 (I hope its standardish by now)
    backlit keyboard

    Any questions, let me know. Its worth noting that im merely considering a laptop so if I cant get anything close to what I want I might just upgrade the desktop and throw it in a smaller case or something. ive just got so many gadgets now id like to make my setup smaller. (ive got a desktop, 2 monitors, keyboard/mouse/speakers/standing mic on my desk, with an xbox under it. then ive got my convertible laptop, ipod touch, PSP, and flip cell phone. I want to downsize xD)
  2. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    The Lenovo Y50 seems to be your best bet. It has some beastly specs for $1050. The Y40 has a 14 inch screen (even though you don't want one below 15.6") but is a lower price. The graphics card is a bit lower spec but will do and is a bargain at $800 (you aren't going to find many computers with dedicated GPUs at this price point). The problem with these laptops is the weight, size, and battery life. But the cooling is phenomenal.

    Do you care about battery life or lightness?
  3. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,953   +1,286

    I dont care too much about either; although I expect the laptop's battery to carry me through a class or two of notes with reasonable ease. I love the Y40, it would be perfect if it was a little bigger. I've never seen a 14" laptop- would you say that is too small to comfortably work on? I would much prefer for it to be bigger...ive got a 12.1" laptop (for drawing/watching things) and its way too small for me.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2014
  4. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    I have a 15.6 inch Lenovo and I love it. I have a 21 inch iMac right next to me and the size is nice and all, but I don't mind using my laptops smaller screen from time to time, it doesn't bother me. My sister has a Macbook Air 13" and while it isn't bad, it is personal preference. I think the best thing for you would be to go to a local BestBuy or Microcenter and see for yourself! I don't want to make the decision for you my friend :D.
  5. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,953   +1,286

    Alright, thanks for your help. the unfortunate thing is that the only place with even some laptops near me is walmart; bestbuy is 50 minutes down the road xD.
  6. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Totally fine. Just get a look on the different screen sizes :). Come back here with what you think. I cannot guarantee the battery aspect for you but if you want a laptop with a dedicated GPU for gaming, you are going to have to compromise with battery. Sorry bro xD.
    ikesmasher likes this.
  7. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

  8. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,953   +1,286

    I cant do that. thanks though :D
    (honestly though, I had trouble believing those are the "best" laptops for under $800 without at least one of those features :p)
  9. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Yeah but it makes sense. Manufacturers have to pay licensing fees to use their hardware. So to cut cost, they have to take out the dedicated GPU.
  10. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    You can always try one of these:


    Already suggested but thought id add my rec as well as JC's

    I would try for at least 1000 bucks for a gaming laptop is you can because the performance difference is really noticeable.
  11. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,953   +1,286

    Thanks. I really cant go quite that far unfortunately but ill keep that in mind before I make any decisions.
  12. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Well as far as performance goes on a new laptop, I would just say to try and stay with an 850m GPU or higher and an i5 mobile CPU. The difference between the 860m and 850m is a core clock bump for the most part so its performance is not night and day. If your strapped to 800, let me try throwing a few alternatives up:


  13. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,953   +1,286

    Ok so I found a laptop that I thought was 15.6" that was actually 14. Thats a good thing, as it means im fine with 14". xD thanks guys! Y40 looks good for me!
  14. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Great deal. I hope it lasts you through class xD.
  15. bluejolls

    bluejolls TS Booster Posts: 108   +8

    You can try Apple in laptops. I like Apple Macbook Air with Retina display and 8GB memory!
  16. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    The retina MBAs aren't out yet though :(.

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