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Thread: Laptop - £1400 budget - need advice & suggestions

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    Arrow Laptop - £1400 budget - need advice & suggestions

    Hi all,

    Unfortunately my previous laptop (a Dell XPS M1530) was stolen in October and so I now need to try and find something to replace it with. That is proving quite difficult to do, as nothing seems to be as good as what I previously had in terms of the size, shape and build quality. So I'm looking for some advice that might show me some other options to consider I haven't found yet.

    While the M1530 is still available on the Dell site, it's only available with the nvidia 8400 graphics which are pretty useless.

    I'm looking for a laptop that will last me a good few years, it must be able to play games, have a high-ish resolution (no 1366x768!) and be portable. Ideally 15-16", although if there was a good offer on a "compact" 17" I might consider that. I had a 3 year next-day in-home warranty on my old Dell, and so I'm looking for a 3 year warranty on the new laptop as well, all for a total cost of no more than £1400.

    At Dell, I'm looking at a Dell Studio XPS 16. While the prices have changed every week since I started looking, I can get something like:
    Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 (2.53Ghz)
    4GB DDR3 RAM
    320GB Hard Drive
    1GB ATI® Radeon™ HD 4670 graphics card
    15.6" 1920x1080 Full HD WLED Display
    Windows 7 Home Premium
    N-Wifi + Bluetooth
    Internal DVD+/-RW
    2mp Webcam
    3 year In-home Warranty
    £1300

    I can also get it with a Intel Core i7 Processor 720QM (1.60Ghz, 6MB cache) for an extra £100, which is tempting, although apparently there are long delivery delays due to some design issues with the new models.

    I've also looked a the HP Envy 15", and while it's great in pretty much every respect, it only has a 1366x768 resolution from HP UK! Ruins the whole laptop for me, and it's annoying as a 1080p display is available in the US.

    Ideally I want something that stands out a bit, but not so much (i.e. no Alienware!) that it would look out of place in an office/business setting.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or personal recommendations for other models and makes I might want to consider?

    TIA.
    Last edited by tickedon; 27-11-2009 at 01:10 PM.

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    Re: Laptop - £1400 budget - need advice & suggestions

    I would check the various versions of the MSI GT729:

    http://www.msi.com/index.php?func=newsdesc&news_no=792

    Here are some reviews of the slightly earlier GT725 which has the same chassis:

    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=17299

    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-...-589934/review

    http://www.driverheaven.net/reviews.php?reviewid=724

    The notebook is well within your budget too:

    http://www.cclonline.com/product-inf...id=gt729-253uk

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/175486

    Basically the Mobility HD4850 is a down-clocked version of the desktop HD4850:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-ATI...0.13975.0.html


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    Re: Laptop - £1400 budget - need advice & suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by tickedon View Post
    Hi all,

    Unfortunately my previous laptop (a Dell XPS M1530) was stolen in October and so I now need to try and find something to replace it with. That is proving quite difficult to do, as nothing seems to be as good as what I previously had in terms of the size, shape and build quality. So I'm looking for some advice that might show me some other options to consider I haven't found yet.

    While the M1530 is still available on the Dell site, it's only available with the nvidia 8400 graphics which are pretty useless.

    I'm looking for a laptop that will last me a good few years, it must be able to play games, have a high-ish resolution (no 1366x768!) and be portable. Ideally 15-16", although if there was a good offer on a "compact" 17" I might consider that. I had a 3 year next-day in-home warranty on my old Dell, and so I'm looking for a 3 year warranty on the new laptop as well, all for a total cost of no more than £1400.

    At Dell, I'm looking at a Dell Studio XPS 16. While the prices have changed every week since I started looking, I can get something like:
    Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 (2.53Ghz)
    4GB DDR3 RAM
    320GB Hard Drive
    1GB ATI® Radeon™ HD 4670 graphics card
    15.6" 1920x1080 Full HD WLED Display
    Windows 7 Home Premium
    N-Wifi + Bluetooth
    Internal DVD+/-RW
    2mp Webcam
    3 year In-home Warranty
    £1300

    I can also get it with a Intel Core i7 Processor 720QM (1.60Ghz, 6MB cache) for an extra £100, which is tempting, although apparently there are long delivery delays due to some design issues with the new models.

    I've also looked a the HP Envy 15", and while it's great in pretty much every respect, it only has a 1366x768 resolution from HP UK! Ruins the whole laptop for me, and it's annoying as a 1080p display is available in the US.

    Ideally I want something that stands out a bit, but not so much (i.e. no Alienware!) that it would look out of place in an office/business setting.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or personal recommendations for other models and makes I might want to consider?

    TIA.
    Check out the Asus X5DAB, I just purchased it and wrote a brief first impressions review here http://forums.hexus.net/small-form-f...dab-379-a.html

    I think it is perfect for the quality-price ratio, I'm thoroughly enjoying it right now, though I haven't played any games on it yet, I'm going to do a review once I finish downloading Lord of the Rings Online.

    I'm very optimistic that this laptop will perform well in video games. As I said in that post, it won't be playing Crysis at ultra settings, but for that you need to spend what you're talking about, over £1400...

    But if you want to hit yourself on the head and realize that spending that kind of money on a laptop is silly, then check this one out for only £379. Not everyone has the same tastes though, I find this design and performance to be perfect for me, and for the price. It's very office-friendly, sleak and professional; but it has a Radeon 4570 to give you the umph you need to game on it.

    If you want a gaming machine, then desktop is the best way to go, it's cheaper than a gaming laptop and it is upgradable so you won't be replacing the entire rig, only the graphics card once a year at most, depending on what your taste in gaming is of course. I don't plan on replacing my GTX 285 any time soon (and I mean at least another year and it has been one year already, I usually stick to one game for a long time, and it plays Crysis at ultra settings anyways so )

    Good luck, hope this helps, just my personal advice: don't blow so much money on a laptop when a cheaper one will do what you want: it just won't be 19xx resolution at Ultra settings, but why would you want that on a laptop?

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    Re: Laptop - £1400 budget - need advice & suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I would check the various versions of the MSI GT729:

    http://www.msi.com/index.php?func=newsdesc&news_no=792
    Thanks. I'd actually seen that on eBuyer and not really paid much attention as it was 17", however, it does actually look quite nice! I'll have to check out the reviews, thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Robscure View Post
    Check out the Asus X5DAB, I just purchased it and wrote a brief first impressions review here http://forums.hexus.net/small-form-f...dab-379-a.html

    I think it is perfect for the quality-price ratio, I'm thoroughly enjoying it right now
    It does actually look like a very nice laptop. My only problem would be the 1366x768 resolution screen, my HP 12" laptop has the same number of pixels on the screen!

    If you want a gaming machine, then desktop is the best way to go, it's cheaper than a gaming laptop and it is upgradable so you won't be replacing the entire rig, only the graphics card once a year at most, depending on what your taste in gaming is of course. I don't plan on replacing my GTX 285 any time soon (and I mean at least another year and it has been one year already, I usually stick to one game for a long time, and it plays Crysis at ultra settings anyways so )

    Good luck, hope this helps, just my personal advice: don't blow so much money on a laptop when a cheaper one will do what you want: it just won't be 19xx resolution at Ultra settings, but why would you want that on a laptop?
    Thanks, but performance, not really gaming, is the big thing for me. I've got a nice powerful Core i7 desktop, but the graphics card is only 'above average' - an ATI 4850, as it's really a secondary consideration for me. I use my computers for various different things, but, do enjoy winding-down with some gaming at the end of the day, so I like a laptop that will let me do that when I'm travelling or out and about While I upgrade my desktops yearly, I tend to keep my laptops for around 3 years, so I don't mind spending a bit on them.

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    Re: Laptop - £1400 budget - need advice & suggestions

    The MSI GT729 has a Mobility HD4850 1GB so I think it should be fine for a while for some gaming.


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    Re: Laptop - £1400 budget - need advice & suggestions

    check out rock laptops

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    Re: Laptop - £1400 budget - need advice & suggestions

    be sure to avoid the quad core version of the MSI. It performs worse in games than the dual core version due to the slower clock speed.

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    Re: Laptop - £1400 budget - need advice & suggestions

    i would say have a look at the lenovo T500

    lightwieght ~2.1Kg
    512MB 3650 reasonably decent graphics grunt
    1680x1050 screen
    warranty is backed by IBM global services. the best support services in the world

    damn near indestructible in normal usage and are very well designed
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    Re: Laptop - £1400 budget - need advice & suggestions

    My friend got the MSI CAT suggested and I have to say it is one well built laptop. It feels sturdy, the keyboard feels nice and, best of all, it runs very cool and very quiet despite gaming for long periods of time. But it is quite big and it certainly does not look like an office laptop (it looks like a gaming laptop through and through) but I was very impressed with the build quality and especially the cooling

    As far as portability is concerned I'm afraid you're not going to find any laptops that will be both portable and capable of decent gaming. I guess the Dell Studio 16 is a good bet but my dad recently got a Studio 13 and it does run quite warm if you stick it on your lap and it wasn't as light as we'd hoped. Plus the 4670 in the Studio 16 is going to struggle big time at that laptop's (huge ) native res.

    I would look at deciding on what you find more important: portability or performance and making your decision based on that rather than trying to get a compromise that isn't really gonna satisfy either. Personally I think MSI's new X-Slim range have all the features you'd need in a slim and light laptop, whereas if you wanted performance then you might as well go for a proper gaming laptop.
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    Re: Laptop - £1400 budget - need advice & suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by tickedon View Post
    I've also looked a the HP Envy 15", and while it's great in pretty much every respect, it only has a 1366x768 resolution from HP UK! Ruins the whole laptop for me, and it's annoying as a 1080p display is available in the US.
    Can't add it on when you order direct but it is available else where
    http://www.johnlewis.com/230825421/P...x?source=14798 (BD-Combo, Radeon 5830, 1080p, 8GB, 500GB HDD and 2 year warranty)

    Most retailer my sell the cheaper version, but 1080p versions are available here in the UK.

    I'm after a laptop and have around the same amount to spend and have looked at the HP Envy 15 too, though I'd wait for the 1150nr to come to the UK. It's powered by an i5 and use runs cooler, better battery life and higher clock speed.
    The 1150NR comes in at $1,635.98 direct from HP with the slice battery and 1080p antiglare screen
    You can either wait for it to come to the UK
    Could get one from ebay (Pre-Order at the mo) for less than £1000 with perhaps only import duty pushing it over that threshold.

    Alternatively there is the Asus G73JH, 17.3", i7-720, 8GB DDR3-1066, Radeon 5870 (40-60% faster then the 5830) imported for around £1490 ( $1,645 + $249 + UK-VAT @ xoticpc.com ) Have yet to do with myself.

    £1500 to spend on a laptop when my last one cost half that and as with you is a Dell XPS m1530, I was royally pissed about the performance of the 8400m GS that cost me $1100. The 'new' Dell XPS only have the Radeon 4670??? Seriously?? Goes to show the XPS doesn't mean gaming machine after all, I should know first hand with the 8400m GS.

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    Re: Laptop - £1400 budget - need advice & suggestions

    Macbook Pro?

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    Re: Laptop - £1400 budget - need advice & suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by cppmonkey View Post
    Can't add it on when you order direct but it is available else where
    http://www.johnlewis.com/230825421/P...x?source=14798 (BD-Combo, Radeon 5830, 1080p, 8GB, 500GB HDD and 2 year warranty)

    Most retailer my sell the cheaper version, but 1080p versions are available here in the UK.
    I posted back in December 2009, when the ATI 5830 model wasn't even announced - http://www.engadget.com/2010/01/07/h...es-significan/ At the time, the poor-screen 1060ea model was the only one around.

    The 5830 model was available directly from HP in the UK for a while, but, seems out of stock now. It is such a shame though that we don't have any of the Core i5 and 5830 models - why they are still selling the old 1060 model with the ATI 4830 in the UK still doesn't make any sense to me (despite the recent cut from £1199 -> £1099 -> £999 - maybe they finally realised it ain't selling?!)

    Still looking for a new laptop myself - not yet found one that has good performance, size and screen resolution at a decent price. I'm content to wait, although the Sony E series looks pretty good (£850 for 3 year warranty, Core i5, 1080p screen and a ATI 5650 - would be good enough for me I think!).

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