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Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


Lenovo has a stupid vendor lockdown on wireless cards, I'd recommend paying the extra.

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Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


I'll make a HOTS thread if nobody knows but since there's lots of 410/510p etc owners here: how in the hell do you prevent the GPU from throttling all the way to 400mhz on battery? It's driving me nuts - I have the Intel GPU for battery life, so I don't care about power savings. It brings framerates down to nothing and I can't adjust settings without messing it up for when I'm plugged in. I've tried changing power management settings in the control panel to "Prefer maximum performance" from "adaptive", and messed around with a dated PowerMizer utility, neither of which has done anything. Thermals are fine.

e: looks like Nvidia Inspector has a bunch of tools to control this, thank god

e2: setting the same clocks in idle mode (P8) as full tilt (P0) just crashes, probably because they run at different voltages. poo poo. It seems the real issue, which Afterburner wasn't representing properly, is it'll throw the system back down into the P8 clocks, dipping the frame rate, and then back up, causing a ton of chugging. It's probably still possible to find stable core/memory speeds at that lower voltage, but I didn't really expect this behavior!

Srebrenica Surprise fucked around with this message at 17:34 on Dec 25, 2013

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


rantAK posted:

At least for y500 (the previous model), you cannot change this behaviour. It's hardcoded into BIOS if I understood correctly. You need to be plugged in when gaming.
I don't have a 410/510p, I just thought since the GPUs were the same (I have a V7) someone would probably know given the volume. It took some work, but I found stable core/memory clocks in idle mode that are relatively close to the 3D clocks (850?/800) and applied them with nVidia Inspector, and things run a lot better now. An hour and a half+ of distraction when I don't want to plug in is very useful to me, and nobody ever mentioned this would happen!

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


So I've been playing around with the Acer Aspire V7 for a little while now and I think it's time enough to post my thoughts on it.

The thing I find most interesting about the V7 is how different it is from the typical notebook market. Its competitors at the same performance tier, like the Y410p, tend to be large, chunky, heavy. The V7, along with the rare exception like the Gigabyte P34G, doesn't appear different at all. It's extremely thin and lacks the overall gaudiness of a lot of similar machines - instead of a "gaming laptop", it appears more to be a laptop that plays games, a typical 2013 ultrabook except with a GPU. This is both good and bad: good, in that it allows a substantial amount of portability and aesthetic value, and bad in that it seems to compromise the thermals. The V7 doesn't really need to be quite as thin as it is, and under GPU load it gets pretty hot (but not uncomfortable) using it on a lap.

The display is very good. I wouldn't say it's as good as the Yoga 2's, but it's certainly well ahead of any TN display! 8.1's DPI scaling is better than 8's, but most applications still haven't made it into 2013 and provided a native scaled interface. Overall, I'm happy, although I could probably live with 1600x900. I've ended up using the touchscreen quite a bit, actually, although I don't know how much of it is because the touchpad is horrible. Some games are better played in 540 or 720p and scaled.

Build quality is good. It's very sturdy despite being mostly plastic, and from what I can tell it's generally better than anything in its price range that's not a Thinkpad. The system cools down very fast when games are closed and the GPU is shut off. I came from a 10" netbook and honestly this thing feels huge, I don't know how people buy anything bigger than this and expect to use it in bed or on the couch or something. In a perfect world I'd prefer something like that 13.3" Clevo probably but I'm not made of money and it's a little thick. Always-on USB 3.0, Ethernet (!), Mini-VGA (I had no idea this even existed, where's mini-DP?), and HDMI are all located on the back, which is a nice touch, as most of that stuff will be used at a desk or something. The USB 3.0 port working when the laptop was off got me through some interesting situations when I needed to charge my phone, and is probably as fast as the wall charger.

The trackpad is horrid, and I'm coming from a really bad trackpad. It's Synaptics, so you can do stuff like turn on momentum, and it's pretty wide, but the lack of physical buttons and the terrible uneven feedback trying to click the touchpad is really unfortunate. With all this pointless room between the keyboard and the edge of the system I'd rather a bigger keyboard come up towards me a little, physical buttons, or both. The backlit keyboard has come in handy mostly for learning the key layout and the F keys. Travel is extremely shallow, it doesn't bug me that much but even compared to other chiclet keys, these don't go nowhere. The nice clean white light vs the slightly gaudy red on the 410p was definitely a point in the V7's favor when comparing the two.

The i5-4200's CPU performance is well beyond my expectation. The HDD is not really an issue, the 24GB caching drive has made things ridiculously speedy (again, I didn't expect this). I will be putting a mSATA SSD in it ~just because~ pretty shortly, but it's very snappy even out of the box, much less with the bloatware removed. GPU performance is bad on battery unless you tweak it, but on the charger it's run anything I'd ever want to run at medium to high (very high in some cases) settings @ 1080p.

Battery life figures (approximate):
  • Gaming (with clock tweaks), high brightness - 1.5 hours. Estimate 1% for every minute.
  • Video, high brightness: 3.5 - 4 hours
  • Video, min brightness: 5 - 6 hours
  • Web surfing, high brightness: 4 - 5 hours
  • Web surfing, min brightness: 6 - 7 hours

Software has been pretty buggy, although this appears to be the case across the board with a lot of similar systems. Here's what I've had to do in the time since getting it, which may apply to a lot of similar Haswell systems and might be useful:
  • Update to Win 8.1 and install all updates except for drivers
  • Put StartIsBack on, because gently caress Metro and Classic Shell is too open-source-y.
  • Update wireless drivers. Intel wireless drivers shipping on new systems (not just the V7) have a bug where connections are randomly dropped that is hugely aggravating. I'm still having an issue where my connection speed is falling from 300mbps to 12mbps and causing huge network problems, but this might be router related and everything is using these wireless cards anyway. update: this is still a pain in the rear end
  • In network adapter configuration, changed 2.4Ghz Band from "20mhz only" to "Auto" to enable wireless N speeds.
  • Update the graphics driver and configured a bunch of programs to use integrated or the dedicated GPU (most auto-configured correctly).
  • Install nVidia Inspector to force clocks in idle mode to those near 3D clocks to avoid chugging on battery (I have P8 state around ~800-850mhz). Also, overclocked memory to 1150mhz like was done in the Anandtech review. to provide substantial speedup for no thermals difference.
  • Copied this ICC profile (.zip), as I don't have calibration equipment. "Native" is apparently less accurate but preserves brightness.
  • Made the power button "do nothing" in Power Options, because it's located on the left side of the laptop.
Would I recommend this system? Yes. If you care about display quality, portability, and so on more than you do balls-to-the-wall GPU performance, I can't see preferring the Y410p. There are some alternative systems with similar specs to the V7 to choose from, but they start around $1150 - this is the only system I've seen, at $830, that can really compete with the B&N pricing on the Lenovo. No system at this price is going to be perfect, but I think it's definitely worth a look.

Srebrenica Surprise fucked around with this message at 18:55 on Jan 3, 2014

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


To my knowledge, no, but Amazon's return policy is pretty generous. Certainly a lot more so than Lenovo's.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


I imagine the V7 does get warmer than the wedge-shaped systems like the Y410p get, but it's the price you pay for portability. Gaming with it on your lap is warm but not going to set your clothes on fire or anything, and hypothetically you can set the temperature target lower, or prop it up slightly so the vents aren't blocked. This is less a function of overheating and more a function of less material between the GPU heatsink and yourself - I haven't seen the GPU get over 75 degrees.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


mSATA 840 EVOs are launching in a week.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


e: mispost

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


babydonthurtme posted:

I can't remember who had one of the 14" Acer V7s, but I had a quick question for you-- was the one you bought from Amazon the one with 12GB RAM and a 1TB HD for around $850? The price there has gone back up to around $950 for the 8GB RAM/500GB HD configuration, and now I'm not sure the better screen and slimmer, lighter profile are worth $140 premium over a Y410p, especially since that has an i7. Luckily it's not like I'm in a huge hurry, so I can afford to wait a bit to see if either the price drops or the beefier config shows up again *somewhere*.
No, the higher-end one carried a $100 premium that I couldn't really justify, the i5/500GB/8GB was $820 or so. I'm probably putting an SSD in it (but not sure about this as the 24GB cache drive is way faster than I thought), and the i7 isn't anything other than a 0.4ghz clock speed difference, so it wasn't important to me. The quad-core in the 410p was similar - the i5-4200 has been more than sufficient for everything I've ever wanted to do with it, and I don't feel like I'm going to get CPU-bound in the future. You're going from a 15W TDP CPU to a 47W platform, and people have had to gently caress around with underclocking to try to save battery life. I still think I'd take it over a Y410p, battery life is really good, gaming performance is fine and any place I actually want a laptop, I'd rather have something more portable.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


Yeah the DPI stuff in Windows is a mixed blessing. I love more screen real estate but it's just bordering on unusable without extremely blurry scaling (especially with the touchscreen) when even basic applications like Chrome or certain parts of Windows that haven't been touched since XP don't have proper high-DPI support.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


Checking in to say the Acer V7 is still great and buying systems from Amazon is great and much better than dealing with three year shipping times on Lenovo, $250 IPS FHD screens, and the ever-changing return policy

There's still some occasional driver issues because nVidia's mobile drivers are kind of bad (better than AMD's) but as far as things specific to the machine itself it's still working great. I still dislike using 14" laptops in bed, on the couch, etc, but IIRC the only thing smaller with a dGPU is that Clevo thing. Those 11" systems are absolutely adorable and probably way better for that kind of use, I'm almost tempted to pick one up for the portability factor alone. It's nice to see something in a more netbook-y form factor again.

SlayVus posted:

So why is it that I can get a 14" screen with a 1600x900 resolution, but I can't get a 13" screen with a 1600x900 resolution. However, I can get a 13" 1920x1080 resolution. I would have figured that a 1600x900 would work better on a 13" than a FHD screen.
With Windows being terrible at scaling and 1080p being kind of a bad resolution for doubling even 14" 1080p is a little annoying. I can't imagine selecting it on something small like the X240, but I don't think there are any HVA/IPS 1600x900 laptop panels in production. I'm happy the market came around to valuing good screens, even if it took phones/tablets to do it, but the software side definitely has not caught up.

Srebrenica Surprise fucked around with this message at 20:47 on Jan 24, 2014

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


Snow Fire posted:

Wouldn't the HiDPI support chrome flag work? Put chrome://flags in the address bar, and it's in there.

"HiDPI Support Windows
If enabled, application size and layout will adapt to the operating system's DPI settings."
The high dpi settings in Chrome are totally broken right now, unfortunately. Firefox works OK but gently caress Firefox.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


If "slightly behind" means "nearly 30% slower than", I guess. Bioshock Infinite runs something like 50 FPS on high settings on the 750 and ~30 on Iris Pro, for example. It's not even close to the 750, it's more somewhere between the 730 and 740M. I gave up on finding an Iris Pro system, there's more with 730Ms and stuff and because of Optimus it's not a huge battery waste.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


dissss posted:

I have to respectfully disagree - there is no scenario I've come across where reaching up to the screen I'd easier than just using the keyboard/trackpad.

Windows 8 does not change anything in this regard as absolutely none of the 'modern' UI stuff is worth using - everything has a superior desktop or desktop web app.
It is absolutely easier, even in Desktop mode, if your trackpad is a piece of poo poo (most modern Windows trackpads) and on a lap where attempting to use a trackpad is difficult due to its position and your arms are already stretched out. For scenarios where a mouse is unwieldy, a touchscreen is extremely handy.

edit: bonus - i actually own the laptop the original poster is inquiring about

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


change my name posted:

Aren't Acers usually known to be universally terrible?
The build quality on the Acer is better than the Y410p's by all accounts.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


I'd recommend doing a clean install of nVidia drivers and switching power saving mode from Adaptive to Maximum Performance in the control panel. Next, use nVidia Inspector to see what clocks it's running at, and what power state it's in.

I have a V7 and sometimes it will inexplicably decide to force itself into extremely low clock states with plenty of thermal headroom, stop boosting, stay in a low-power state, or all sorts of stupid bullshit. This will cause FPS drops or just straight up half my FPS. After those two things, it's gotten much better, but nVidia mobile drivers are frustratingly horrible and cause issues.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


Do you have Optimus on your system? I suspect that might be the cause of most of these problems. I've also gotten bizarre stuff like explorer.exe showing as running under the nVidia GPU instead of Intel until reboot, or entering the nVidia Control Panel causing a pop-up telling me my display isn't connected to a nVidia GPU. GeForce Experience also isn't so hot at installing drivers, freezes, and sets some absolutely bizarre options if you use its settings optimization tool.

Still way better than the 6xxx-7xxx N/AC Intel wireless cards' recent problems, though - there's several 50+ page threads on it dropping to 802.11b mode at seeming random with no fix. I expected way more solid support than the equivalent 3rd party wireless hardware, but once in my life I feel like I should have went with Broadcom!

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


Chard posted:

Yeah, I know... that's what I bought it for. It was meant to be a desktop replacement that can do several things, including gaming, while I'm in the process of completing a move. I am more than aware that for basic text/web stuff I could get by with less horsepower so that really isn't helpful to me - I want to do both gaming and work, and I don't want to end up with a computer that I'm not excited about, but with all this hassle I'm starting to change my mind.
The V7-482PG is a little pricier than it normally is right now on Amazon but it's still a pretty good deal and you could have it in a couple days if you have Prime or don't mind paying for shipping.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


Chard posted:

I am liking the way this looks, although I had not previously considered a touchscreen laptop. Is this the one that you were thinking of? http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-V...#productDetails
I meant this one (V7-482PG-6629), as it's the same size as the Y410p. The V5 has a lovely 1366 x 768 TN..? screen, the V7 has a 1920x1080 IPS screen. The 15" V7 has a 720M though for whatever reason. The i7 14" V7 (V7-482PG-9884) isn't really something that is worth paying a premium for IMO since all you get is a little turbo speed and a bigger hard drive.

The 750M uses DDR3 instead of GDDR5 memory, so it's about 7-8% slower. You can ameliorate this somewhat by overclocking the VRAM or not, it still runs pretty much everything modern in the same speed class. Driving really AAA stuff at 1920x1080 with high settings is a little tough so I usually do 1600x900 at high or 1920x1080 at medium depending on how scaling looks. It's worth it to me to have a nice display, and I'd rather have the screen space out of games than limit my resolution substantially for the sole purpose of making games run faster at native.

Build quality is good. I haven't held the Y410p but most say there's a certain amount of worrying flex to it. The V7 is pretty solid by comparison and has nice hinges. Keep in mind it's not a wedge shape so it gets warmer on the bottom than those style of laptops, but it's more portable. I don't have huge expectations here just because we're talking basically plastic consumer laptops, I wouldn't trust either system in a large fall and I don't think this system is going to last Thinkpad-long. That's okay with me to have a system that does everything I want a computer to do rather than just being another ULV i5/HD4400 overpowered Chromebook with Windows or a 1-hour battery sucking monster gaming laptop.

I don't know if the Y410p uses a hybrid drive or a separate 24GB SSD for caching. The V7 does the latter, so you can replace the tiny caching SSD with a full mSATA 840 EVO up to 1TB and run the hard drive at the same time.

e: Also check my post history I've made some big posts about the V7 already in more detail. Basically of the OP "pick two" categories the V7 gets "Affordable" and "Portable" with a half point of "Powerful" which is pretty rare and is why I like it.

Srebrenica Surprise fucked around with this message at 20:57 on Feb 10, 2014

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


What's your use case that you need a 14" laptop with a quad-core and Iris Pro?

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


Discrete graphics is competitive if not better per watt than integrated graphics in gaming and Optimus makes the difference on the desktop moot - you're paying a substantial price premium for a less capable machine. You might save on weight a little but I don't see any figures on that site. Look into the V7, P34G, W230ST, or better yet wait until the 8xx series are in laptops.

Srebrenica Surprise fucked around with this message at 04:21 on Mar 21, 2014

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


I really like my touchscreen (I only use Desktop mode for the record) but I think part of its appeal is touchpads getting worse and worse. Even with a mouse though it's kind of nice to have in some situations but I wouldn't use it as a primary input device.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


The 7260 was giving me a lot of poo poo but it seems to be fixed now with the latest drivers, it was horribly frustrating and unfixable back in December but it's OK now. Note that the issues also were limited to single-band 2.4ghz routers in N mode, which are pretty common but not entirely universal.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


bull3964 posted:

I'm really kinda annoyed you can get the 1080p screen now with the y410p.
I suspect just as before there will continue to be better options than the Y410p in its bracket - there were already a bunch of 1080p systems with its specs and decent build quality last generation, and while it's just a guess, I don't have much hope for the R9-M275 vs most of the nVidia refresh GPUs. I certainly hope Enduro etc have gotten better.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


Tarnien posted:

It looks like the y410p just dropped price a bit, unless I'm mistaken. Are there still better options for gaming/general use even at the new low price?
Specifically the $799 model:
http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptop...410p/?tt=ufadfw

Might wait for the y50 to come out and see if the y510p has a similar price drop.
If you don't care about screen resolution and quality, no. If you do, the V7 is arguably better for $100 more, but it's foolish to buy any system now with last gen graphics IMO.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


All discrete graphics turns off to save power now (nVidia Optimus, AMD Enduro), though most laptops are going through refreshes right now so you'd probably have to do some research on what's available. Last gen only the Acer V7 and the Lenovo Y410p were under $950, with things like Clevo's 13" discrete GPU model (forget the name) at around $1150 with SSD if I remember correctly and the Gigabyte P34G up probably above your budget.

MBAs are fantastic machines but settling for HD5000 if you really care about playing games is probably not ideal as you suspect because it's not any more efficient per watt, new mobile GPUs are fantastic, and HD5000 still kind of sucks performance wise. As always, look up benchmarks for what you plan on doing. Screen quality wise, mainstream systems are starting to cut into the lead Apple has historically enjoyed too. You won't be able to touch the battery life figures, though.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


I would absolutely lug around and take notes on my V7, even though it's slightly heavier than I'd prefer for a "college laptop" at almost 4.5lb, but it will play all those games fine. I would not take notes on a Y510p or want to carry it anywhere. Portability and weight/size should definitely take precedence over games and longevity.

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


DrDork posted:

The V7 is also a 15.6" 1366x768 screen, which is terrible. It has basically nothing to recommend itself over many other laptops, especially at its price ($900). It's about a half-pound lighter than a bunch of other 15" laptops, but it pays for that with underwhelming specs and being an Acer, which is a huge downside to begin with.
I am talking about the V7-482PG. It is the only reasonably portable 14" system with decent discrete graphics and a screen that isn't 1366x768 TN you will get for ~$900, although the 750M is a little dated now. The 15" version is indeed a piece of poo poo, even the upgraded version. With a stretched budget there may be more options to choose from, but not many. The V7's MSRP was originally something like $1200 and the P34GV2 etc etc are all above that.

e: the G550JK looks pretty good too, but I'm still suspicious of 15.6" systems' practicality. 14" is, at least to me, already loving enormous. there may be other refresh systems around $900-$1k with something like a lower-end 8xx part matching the 750m, IPS screen, and that's reasonably portable, but I'm not the one shopping for a new laptop

e2: oh the W230ST refresh came out. this is kind of a ridiculous deal

Srebrenica Surprise fucked around with this message at 01:58 on May 15, 2014

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


PCOS Bill posted:

Well, I ended up going over budget just to be sure since I didn't get any responses, wound up with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...N82E16834152405 the MSI GE70 2OE-017US.


Intel Core i7 4700MQ (2.40GHz)
12GB Memory 750GB HDD
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M 2GB GDDR5
1920 x 1080
Windows 8 64-Bit
BD Reader


It's still in the shipping soon phase so I guess I'll see how it turns out when it gets here. Looks pretty good for the price, in my opinion. Likely going to be overkill, but hey.
Looking forward to the follow up post on how your wife feels about a 17" one and a half inch thick gaming laptop with red stripes on it for playing the Sims

Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


This is more a general off-topic observation, but I think the OP is pretty dated in that obviously Thinkpads are pretty ridiculously affordable and durable but as far as alternatives (like needing a dGPU) it is way too laser focused on Lenovo which reflects on everyone asking in here about lovely consumer-grade Lenovos. These systems aren't any better engineered than any other consumer laptop you'll purchase except for the bottom of the barrel Best Buy poo poo, at which point you should be looking at Chromebooks anyway. I did a ton of research off site and it really sucked, but I eventually found that the Y410p I had been eyeing since the T440 series, and that had been recommended as basically the best buy ever, ended up being not an ideal system for portability reasons and had plenty of reasonable, not totally insane "gaming laptop" competitors I wouldn't know about from reading this thread.

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Srebrenica Surprise
Aug 23, 2008

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


KingKapalone posted:

If I've learned anything from the thread it's that a 1080p screen is the way to go. Those T440p get expensive with that thing added. I don't really know anything about Dell or Asus yet. Is Acer definitely something to avoid? I saw this Acer Aspire V7 deal for $599 getting recommended on reddit http://www.microsoftstore.com/store...YtVl7as8PtpNm4g
I own the 14" version of that system, that particular model is exactly the same specs but in a slightly larger package. It cost around $830. The build quality is pretty good but 15.6" systems are pretty big to be lugging around IMO, and dGPU systems are a little heavier than most. Unless GPU-intensive gaming is super important I'd probably look and see if you can find a smaller 1080p GPU-less alternative (even if you can't afford the durability premium of a ThinkPad), but it's not a horrible choice if you want something that will do everything and are used to 15" systems. Personally, I enjoy the freedom to be able to do whatever I want, and gladly will trade a little weight for some GPU capability as long as there's not any other real tradeoffs.

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