Been bouncing the idea of something portable to use around the house. Tablet or laptop, but I know once I get one I'm going to want to play some games on it so I'm thinking laptop. The only laptops I've been exposed to are the ones I use at work. Dell and Toshiba. All intel graphics chips, low ram, etc. Just run programming software and maybe some very light 2D/3D model viewing (which takes forever).
Right now I'm looking at prices at a few places, and so far ASUS seems to be the best specs for the buck.
Anyone have any brand recommendations?
I don't know what your budget is but take a look at this
. I just got it delivered yesterday. Scroll down the page for four versions at different prices - I bought the i7-3630QM with 8GB DDR3. Read the reviews to get the good and the bad.
I like it because instead of a dvd drive, it has a bay that you can stick a (lenovo brand, of course) dvd drive in. Or a hard drive. Or a second video card, which is they way this laptop ships. SLI for gaming. Taking the advice of the reviews, the first thing I did was go to Lenovo's website and downloaded the video driver. Nvidia had a newer one, but they advise you to dl it from Lenovo in order to not void the warrantee.
I did a lot of research into a good laptop for a good price. I didn't go very deep into the ASUS gaming laptops (ASUS ROG) but they are getting a lot of attention. I've owned a lenovo thinkpad and loved it. IBM just knows how to engineer things.
I decided on the i7 over the i5 because it's only $100 to help future proof the laptop. People will tell you that there's no great difference in gaming between an i7 and an i5. But keep two things in mind that I picked up from reading around - in this SLI system the GPU is not going to be the bottleneck, and rumor has it that the new game engines are being built to take advantage of the i7 (four threads? - sorry, my ignorance is showing).
Cons (after only a couple of hours of use): fingerprint magnet, but that isn't a huge deal for me in terms of priorities.
Pros: fantastic graphics and the backlit keyboard. I didn't think I was going to like the red backlighting, but in person it does not look garish at all.
Meh: the software it ships with. I started deleting stuff but found that I was deciding to give most of the programs a chance and re-visit the issue in a week or two. I can't really say there's a lot of junk that it ships with.
Meh: Windows 8. I thought I would hate it, and was thinking I would just go for the Classic Shell
, but after a couple of hours of use I'm finding that it isn't as bad as I expected. We'll see if I get used to it or if my patience runs out first.
WARNING: take note of where the laptop is shipping from. When I bought mine, Amazon was not selling it directly and the outfit that it shipped from put some heavy restrictions on delivery. Of course I asked for expedited shipping, who wants to wait when you finally pull the trigger? I knew FedEx would make an attempt on Friday and I figured I'd take the door sticker and go pick it up on Saturday. It was a good thing I called first. I was told "The shipper has put certain restrictions on this, and the only thing we can do without their permission is deliver the package." Meaning, I could not sign a door sticker for re-delivery, I could not have it sent across the street to my neighbor, I could not even pick it up! I had to take the afternoon off yesterday to wait for it (I know, the sacrifices I make!)
This is not a cheap machine, literally nor figuratively, but it is some amazing bang for the buck.
Good Luck in your hunt.