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The Wonder Weapon
Dec 15, 2006



I'm looking to pick up a laptop for lightweight school use. It has to be Windows. I know the T440 seems to be highly recommended, but that may be more computer than I need. I have a great desktop at home, and frankly I'd prefer my laptop not be capable of playing much in the way of 'real' games. I'd like it able to run Binding of Isaac/FTL/Rogue Legacy stuff, maaaaaaybe Diablo 3, but mostly just the small Steam games. As much as I like Thinkpads, I feel the T440 may be a bit overkill, and I'd rather not spend that much if I don't have to. Are there other laptops/ultrabooks in the Thinkapd line that are more portable and cheaper but aren't garbage? Also, when is Haswell supposed to hit in full volume, and is it going to be really pricey? I wanted to stay in around $500 or less.

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DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

Unless you're talking about a Chromebook, almost every laptop that is both lightweight (<4lbs) and under $500 is going to be crap, if it exists at all, and there's no way you're getting a new ThinkPad of any generation for $500. If you really have to stay under $500, you may want to consider trying to pick up a used T420s or T430s. The T430s' will probably get firesaled once the T440s becomes available shortly.

ValleyOfWalls
Sep 26, 2005



It's been 4 years since my last computer purchase and I think it's time to amend that.

Despite all protests in the OP to the contrary, I am indeed looking for a desktop replacement. I travel every week for work and I LAN a bit pretty much every weekend so I think this makes sense for me. Currently I've been putting my mid-size desktop into a suitcase from the 80s and managing that way, but it's not exactly ideal.

This has a screen a bit larger than I'd prefer, but from some very basic googling it seems to be getting decent reviews: ASUS G750JW

As a bonus it even has Haswell! Any comparisons against the more expensive ASUS G750JX or other similar tier laptops? If possible, I would not mind spending less money and getting basically the same result.

To recap:

- At least 15 inch screen
- Play new games on "High", but not necessarily "Ultra"
- Haswell (I guess? I'm not sure that I actually care about this, but the thread made a huge deal out of it, so I feel like I should care)

butt dickus
Jul 7, 2007

top ten juiced up coaches
and the top ten juiced up players

AnandTech has an article on choosing a gaming laptop that names some specific models sorted by price. They've also done in-depth reviews on some models and provide hard numbers.

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

Babies don't fail THUNDERDOME

Man, I need something before the end of this week and it doesn't look like I can get one of those y510p's for several weeks due to back order unless I go through another vendor like Newegg and pay extra. Does anyone know of a reliable vendor that has a competitive price, or won't charge sales tax for CA residents, or something to equalize everything? Might have to go with a Clevo from sager or something instead.

ValleyOfWalls
Sep 26, 2005



Doctor rear end in a top hat posted:

AnandTech has an article on choosing a gaming laptop that names some specific models sorted by price. They've also done in-depth reviews on some models and provide hard numbers.

Thanks for this. Looks like I was maybe going overkill and the y510p would still do everything I want.

Twerk from Home
Jan 17, 2009

This avatar brought to you by the 'save our dead gay forums' foundation.


ValleyOfWalls posted:

It's been 4 years since my last computer purchase and I think it's time to amend that.

Despite all protests in the OP to the contrary, I am indeed looking for a desktop replacement. I travel every week for work and I LAN a bit pretty much every weekend so I think this makes sense for me. Currently I've been putting my mid-size desktop into a suitcase from the 80s and managing that way, but it's not exactly ideal.

This has a screen a bit larger than I'd prefer, but from some very basic googling it seems to be getting decent reviews: ASUS G750JW

As a bonus it even has Haswell! Any comparisons against the more expensive ASUS G750JX or other similar tier laptops? If possible, I would not mind spending less money and getting basically the same result.

To recap:

- At least 15 inch screen
- Play new games on "High", but not necessarily "Ultra"
- Haswell (I guess? I'm not sure that I actually care about this, but the thread made a huge deal out of it, so I feel like I should care)

The Lenovo Y410p/ Y510p has incredible specs for the cost, isn't overly gigantic, and is goon-approved to have "good enough" build quality. The screen upgrade should be mandatory, but a GT750m won't get you to High details on new and future games but very solidly playable Medium.

If you really want high settings at 1920x1080 on a 15.6" screen you're going to need to go big and expensive. Serious gaming on a laptop requires something huge and with good thermal management. If you can deal with a giant glowing whirring contraceptive the Alienware laptops have great build quality.

butt dickus
Jul 7, 2007

top ten juiced up coaches
and the top ten juiced up players

Weinertron posted:

The screen upgrade should be mandatory
I don't think this should be the case on laptops used primarily for gaming. If you're doing any kind of work, you'll want crisp text and screen real estate. That doesn't matter in a game, and you'll get better performance when the GPU is pushing less pixels.

1600x900 is 37% more pixels than 1366x768 and 1920x1080 is almost double. That translates directly into framerate. If you're doing nothing but games, 1366x768 is acceptable and possibly even desirable.

ValleyOfWalls
Sep 26, 2005



Doctor rear end in a top hat posted:

I don't think this should be the case on laptops used primarily for gaming. If you're doing any kind of work, you'll want crisp text and screen real estate. That doesn't matter in a game, and you'll get better performance when the GPU is pushing less pixels.

1600x900 is 37% more pixels than 1366x768 and 1920x1080 is almost double. That translates directly into framerate. If you're doing nothing but games, 1366x768 is acceptable and possibly even desirable.

How would you rate a SSD upgrade? I'm looking at the 410p now, and it would be +$70 or so.

arisu
Apr 11, 2003


If you're talking about the 24gb cache SSD, skip that upgrade and put that money into getting a real SSD for the y410p. The cache SSD makes booting up nicer, but that's about it really. Replace the 1tb already in there with the new SSD, reinstall windows, and put the old 1tb into a hard drive caddy ($12 on ebay) for storage. Then get an external case for your DVD drive if you must have one around.

There are posts in this very page describing the process to do so.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

"L-O-V-E's just another word I never learned to pronounce."


Personally, I'd get any screen upgrade and just run everything at a lower resolution with the same aspect ratio if the laptop was 14" or higher. Scaling is apparently really good nowadays and when the T440 comes out I doubt I'll even try to run things at native 1080p.

butt dickus
Jul 7, 2007

top ten juiced up coaches
and the top ten juiced up players

Srebrenica Surprise posted:

Scaling is apparently really good nowadays.
This is news to me, as I only heard that it was good on ultra-high resolution devices like the rMBP. I guess on a game it wouldn't matter so much.

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

Babies don't fail THUNDERDOME

Im actually thinking of getting this model: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...N82E16834312834

With the dual SLI graphics card. It is priced at $70 more than the exact same specs on Lenovo's website with the single card (and $150 cheaper than the same config without the added SSD cache), is readily available for shipping right now, and the dual card while not universally useful can simply be swapped out to do the SSD+1tb caddy thing. 70 bucks to have the option of a second GPU on hand isn't a bad deal, especially when there is a 3 week wait otherwise. Am I missing some difference in specs from the $969.00 model on Lenovo's site here: http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptop...y-series/y510p/

Edit: Which SDD available on newegg should I get to replace the 1tb? 250gb is prob. enough

BabyRyoga fucked around with this message at 15:53 on Aug 26, 2013

The Wonder Weapon
Dec 15, 2006



DrDork posted:

Unless you're talking about a Chromebook, almost every laptop that is both lightweight (<4lbs) and under $500 is going to be crap, if it exists at all, and there's no way you're getting a new ThinkPad of any generation for $500. If you really have to stay under $500, you may want to consider trying to pick up a used T420s or T430s. The T430s' will probably get firesaled once the T440s becomes available shortly.

$500 isn't a hard cap, but rather a starting point.

Let me reframe my question then: Which laptop would be the best intersection of price, portability, quality, and meeting my (minimal) requirements as described above? Is it going to be a different Thinkpad model, or is there an HP/Dell/Whatever that is well situated to my needs?

Proud Christian Mom
Dec 20, 2006


BabyRyoga posted:

Im actually thinking of getting this model: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...N82E16834312834

With the dual SLI graphics card. It is priced at $70 more than the exact same specs on Lenovo's website with the single card (and $150 cheaper than the same config without the added SSD cache), is readily available for shipping right now, and the dual card while not universally useful can simply be swapped out to do the SSD+1tb caddy thing. 70 bucks to have the option of a second GPU on hand isn't a bad deal, especially when there is a 3 week wait otherwise. Am I missing some difference in specs from the $969.00 model on Lenovo's site here: http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptop...y-series/y510p/

Edit: Which SDD available on newegg should I get to replace the 1tb? 250gb is prob. enough

With only a few well-engineered exceptions, SLI laptops have severe thermal issues, so much that your laptop will be forced to throttle down.

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

Babies don't fail THUNDERDOME

go3 posted:

With only a few well-engineered exceptions, SLI laptops have severe thermal issues, so much that your laptop will be forced to throttle down.

Yeah, but it's more of a "I need this now so i'm willing to pay $70 extra to have the option of SLI" purchase, because the not SLI model has a 3 week wait on Lenovo's site. I intend to actually swap it out and use the ultrabay for the 1TB drive it comes with, while swapping in an SSD for the primary disk.

I'm thinking about this SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...N82E16820147193

Last thing, if I wanted to double the RAM on this, how hard would it be to throw in 2 more 4gb sticks, and which sticks would I need to buy on newegg's site?

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

"L-O-V-E's just another word I never learned to pronounce."


The Wonder Weapon posted:

$500 isn't a hard cap, but rather a starting point.

Let me reframe my question then: Which laptop would be the best intersection of price, portability, quality, and meeting my (minimal) requirements as described above? Is it going to be a different Thinkpad model, or is there an HP/Dell/Whatever that is well situated to my needs?
X230 maybe? You can get it with a i5-3230M for $666 (spooky) with B&N discount, and add a 9-cell battery for $30 and/or the IPS display for $50 if you want. The refresh will be coming soon but it'll probably be pricier. Between that and a Chromebook (which can apparently play FTL and stuff fine), I don't think there are any better options - you end up in the Best Buy craptop zone.

Doctor rear end in a top hat posted:

This is news to me, as I only heard that it was good on ultra-high resolution devices like the rMBP. I guess on a game it wouldn't matter so much.
Yeah, I just mean in the context of games, in which I've heard pretty rave reviews about image quality in the desktop thread (of all places). I used to be skeptical but it's persuaded me to give it a shot.

Srebrenica Surprise fucked around with this message at 16:08 on Aug 26, 2013

OXBALLS DOT COM
Sep 11, 2005

by FactsAreUseless


Young Orc

The Wonder Weapon posted:

$500 isn't a hard cap, but rather a starting point.

Let me reframe my question then: Which laptop would be the best intersection of price, portability, quality, and meeting my (minimal) requirements as described above? Is it going to be a different Thinkpad model, or is there an HP/Dell/Whatever that is well situated to my needs?

Used or refurb thinkpad, such as a x220 or x230. Unfortunately nobody makes a high-quality windows laptop that costs less than $500 new anymore.

OXBALLS DOT COM fucked around with this message at 16:51 on Aug 26, 2013

r3plica
Feb 29, 2008


Weinertron posted:

How is the build quality on Chromebooks?
The build quality on the Samsung I picked up seems great as well. I really like the keyboard and touchpad. It has 2 USB ports, 1 being 3.0, and an hdmi out. The screen isn't mirror glossy either which is a plus.

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004





Quality new laptop for $500 is unreasonable. Due to inflation that number is now $640. You're going to have to beg borrow or settle for a refurb model at that price.

Aphrodite
Jun 27, 2006



I've always wondered about that... Why specifically $640, and not an even $650? Was there a specific laptop at $640 or something?

Civil
Apr 21, 2003

Do you see this? This means "Have a nice day".

Aphrodite posted:

I've always wondered about that... Why specifically $640, and not an even $650? Was there a specific laptop at $640 or something?

It's actually $642.37. He rounded off.

The point is, you can't have it all at bargain basement prices. You gotta be realistic.

QuarkJets
Sep 8, 2008

It's a handshake in progress


ValleyOfWalls posted:

Thanks for this. Looks like I was maybe going overkill and the y510p would still do everything I want.

Yes, I think that this is a better choice than what you had picked out initially. The y510p and the y410p are solid choices for gaming. Get the 1TB 5400RPM version with the upgraded screen (should be the second least expensive choice), swap it into the optical drive, and put an SSD where the HDD was.

Now we could try to convince you to get the y410p instead of the y510p; it will be lighter and will actually play a little better (smaller screen resolution = less work for your GPU). Honestly, I challenge the assertion that 15.6" vs 14" is going to make any difference in your enjoyment. If you're hauling this around every day then you want it to be as light as possible, and getting a smaller screen is only going to boost your laptop's gaming longevity.

BabyRyoga posted:

Yeah, but it's more of a "I need this now so i'm willing to pay $70 extra to have the option of SLI" purchase, because the not SLI model has a 3 week wait on Lenovo's site. I intend to actually swap it out and use the ultrabay for the 1TB drive it comes with, while swapping in an SSD for the primary disk.

I'm thinking about this SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...N82E16820147193

Last thing, if I wanted to double the RAM on this, how hard would it be to throw in 2 more 4gb sticks, and which sticks would I need to buy on newegg's site?

It's actually $80 more. So you're basically just paying $80 to get the laptop a little sooner? I guess that's a thing that people do, but what's the rush?

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

Babies don't fail THUNDERDOME

QuarkJets posted:




It's actually $80 more. So you're basically just paying $80 to get the laptop a little sooner? I guess that's a thing that people do, but what's the rush?

Work will have me sitting for 9-10 hours a day somewhere with nothing to do, so I need something to keep me from being bored out of my mind. The extra cost is negligible too I suppose, because i'm getting the SLI GPU to swap in should I need it. Most likely not, but it leaves an extra option on hand.

ValleyOfWalls
Sep 26, 2005



QuarkJets posted:


Now we could try to convince you to get the y410p instead of the y510p; it will be lighter and will actually play a little better (smaller screen resolution = less work for your GPU). Honestly, I challenge the assertion that 15.6" vs 14" is going to make any difference in your enjoyment. If you're hauling this around every day then you want it to be as light as possible, and getting a smaller screen is only going to boost your laptop's gaming longevity.


Yeah, I actually am opting towards the y410p since it's the same size as my work laptop and I think I could find a case that would carry both at once. If there was a way that I could walk into a Best Buy or Fry's right now and pick one up at Lenovo's price I would already be en-route. Don't even see it on their sites though... and I'm doubtful they'd price match. Guess I'll be waiting a couple weeks for the backorders to get filled.

Kwagga
Jun 11, 2002

I am small

Is having 4gb of RAM vs 8gb really such a dealbreaker for you guys? I'm seriously considering the ATIV Book 9 Plus but your comments have given me pause.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

Costco.com had the y510p with 16gb ram, 2x750 GPUs, 1TB drive with 24GB SSD, and the ultrabay blu-ray burner for $1199. I ordered it last Thursday but it looks like they already pulled it from their site.

edit: forgot it also had the small SSD upgrade.

Jalumibnkrayal fucked around with this message at 18:05 on Aug 26, 2013

Klaus Kinski
Nov 26, 2007
Der Klaus

BabyRyoga posted:

Work will have me sitting for 9-10 hours a day somewhere with nothing to do, so I need something to keep me from being bored out of my mind. The extra cost is negligible too I suppose, because i'm getting the SLI GPU to swap in should I need it. Most likely not, but it leaves an extra option on hand.

I was in the same situation as you a couple of months ago and the thread told me to wait for better haswell deals. So I got a lovely cheap Samsung. Turns out that watching movies and playing through my indie game backlog instead of paying out the rear end for one of the first haswell "gaming laptops" was a better choice.

E: It actually plays dota2 fine on mid settings but playing dota on hotell Internet/anything other than perfect 3g/4g blows.

Klaus Kinski fucked around with this message at 18:16 on Aug 26, 2013

DrDork
Dec 29, 2003
commanding officer of the Army of Dorkness

tremendous homo posted:

Is having 4gb of RAM vs 8gb really such a dealbreaker for you guys? I'm seriously considering the ATIV Book 9 Plus but your comments have given me pause.
It doesn't make it unusable, but 8GB is noticeably nicer for pretty much everything, and the point is there's really no excuse to be selling a laptop at that price and then skimp on a $20 upgrade with concrete benefits.

The Aphasian
Mar 8, 2007

Psychotropic Hops




My wife's very much loved and abused MSI Wind u100 is about to give up the ghost. I've replaced the keyboard after she spilled a gin and juice all over it, fixed the hinges, upgraded the battery, etc., but while it still works, it's a little sad.

I'd like to get her a new laptop for her birthday next month. Her requirements are pretty much the same as they were for the netbook; MS Word, internet browsing, Netflix.

She is a teacher, so I might have to clue her in to the process to maybe get an additional discount on whatever we get.

This is basically going to be a "grandma" computer.

I'm not a laptop person; I have a Lifebook from work that does boring work stuff. I've built my own PC the last two times. I really don't know where to start here and the OP seems to lean more towards laptops that can do gaming or are silver bullets.

Is Chromebook an option? Or would a more standard Thinkpad (that I can repair) be better due to the flexibility?

It's not about the money as much as it is about the ease of use and not buying a helicopter when she just needs a bicycle.

Kwagga
Jun 11, 2002

I am small

DrDork posted:

It doesn't make it unusable, but 8GB is noticeably nicer for pretty much everything, and the point is there's really no excuse to be selling a laptop at that price and then skimp on a $20 upgrade with concrete benefits.

Fair enough I guess. It's just pretty much the perfect machine for me in every other aspect (i.e. an MBA clone). I can afford to wait it out though so I might just do that till a better fit comes along.

Col. Mustard
Nov 26, 2000

Initech Administrator

Thanks for all the info. Looks like I will finally be replacing my Lenovo T60 with one of the new T440s when they come out.

QuarkJets
Sep 8, 2008

It's a handshake in progress


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

Costco.com had the y510p with 16gb ram, 2x750 GPUs, 1TB drive with 24GB SSD, and the ultrabay blu-ray burner for $1199. I ordered it last Thursday but it looks like they already pulled it from their site.

edit: forgot it also had the small SSD upgrade.

What? Does the second GPU take up the ultrabay slot in the y510p?

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

QuarkJets posted:

What? Does the second GPU take up the ultrabay slot in the y510p?

Yes. The second video card is one of many ultrabay accessories (blu-ray, 2nd hard drive, some kind of fan, etc).

DoesNotCompute
Apr 10, 2006


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

Yes. The second video card is one of many ultrabay accessories (blu-ray, 2nd hard drive, some kind of fan, etc).

So costco was selling it with SLI and just a bluray drive in a box or something? This seems odd.

BabyRyoga
May 21, 2001

Babies don't fail THUNDERDOME

QuarkJets posted:

What? Does the second GPU take up the ultrabay slot in the y510p?

Yes, so basically ordering the machine I linked up there, I am paying $80 more (which is actually cheaper than buying that particular model with the 2nd GPU from Lenovo's site directly) for the 2nd GPU in the ultrabay slot, which I am taking out and replacing with the 1TB HDD, while a 256 SSD will go in the HD slot. Seems like an ok deal to me, especially considering i'll also get it several weeks quicker.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

DoesNotCompute posted:

So costco was selling it with SLI and just a bluray drive in a box or something? This seems odd.

Yeah, that's what it should be (I'll get it in a day or two).

Viscardus
Jun 1, 2011

Thus equipped by fortune, physique, and character, he was naturally indomitable, and subordinate to no one in the world.


I should preface this by saying that while I read the OP and tried to do some research, I'm absolutely hopeless when it comes to understanding computer hardware, so I apologize in advance for that.

To make a long story short, I'm going to law school on the other side of the country and I figure it's about time to replace my 3-4 year old laptop. I recently built a desktop that I love but am sadly going to be leaving behind, meaning that I'd like to be able to play games on my new laptop. That said, I'm not foolish enough to want to get a really high-performance gaming laptop, and I certainly don't need to be able to play every new game on max settings (I don't play photo-realistic shooters and the like anyway), especially given that I'll have a pretty good desktop back home.

I'd be using the laptop for school, too, so naturally portability is an issue (though personally I've never really minded carrying around larger laptops - battery life and durability are better measures of portability to me).

I guess ultimately what I'm trying to figure out is whether there's a sweet spot for performance before it starts to really become not worth it (more in terms of trade-offs like battery life than price, though obviously price matters too). I realize that there's been some related discussion on this very page in the thread, but I read that article Doctor rear end in a top hat linked and couldn't really find one that stood out to me. Maybe I'm being silly and the Y510p or Y410p would be a really good choice, though.

signalnoise
Mar 7, 2008


Looking for something relatively light with a small screen size and high battery life, I think I've narrowed my options to an XPS12 with upgrades or ATIV Book 9 Plus. Anything that should really sway me one way or the other? I figure really the difference I have is convertible vs higher resolution.

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Goober Peas
Jun 30, 2007

Check out my 'Vette, bro




signalnoise posted:

Are there still any known goon Dell sellers to get a discount? I remember ryansomethingorother was selling stuff, I'd like to see just how cheap I can get a haswell XPS 12.

Also anyone know how hard it is to change the ram/hdd in a xps 12?

RAM is soldered to the board, so it's not (realistically) replaceable. HDD is really an mSATA SSD and is replaceable.

ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-prod...anual_en-us.pdf

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