#1 Edited by sgtbaker (15 posts) -

Links - http://www.cnet.com/laptops/dell-xps-15-l502x/4505-3121_7-34539946.html

http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-l502x/pd

I find this laptop to be great, its a powerful system for entertainment. Apparently, it can play games like Crysis 2 on high and Skyrim on Ultra High without much problem. However, it's battery is very minimal (2-3hours - intense usage) and it's quite chunky, and please, I keep hearing, I know that is what I would have to expect for good gaming laptops. But I am not a full-time gamer if that makes sense, just part-time. I want to play decent games on decent quality every now and then. Mostly, I would want this laptop (not neccessarily this specific model) for multimedia features, for photoshop, for high-end music editing/creating software and obviously HD movie-watching etc...

So ultimately I want a similar laptop to this but with a better design (lighter - better portability ) and of course a longer battery life.

Thoughts?

#2 Edited by Zidd (1836 posts) -

Any Macbook Pro. They are great at doing photoshop work and Apple puts a big emphasis on portability. they are ok for games if you put windows on it.

#3 Posted by Ben_H (3294 posts) -
@Zidd said:

Any Macbook Pro. They are great at doing photoshop work and Apple puts a big emphasis on portability. they are ok for games if you put windows on it.

Indeed. Even a base-line 15" is more than capable for gaming since they come with a 650M and a quadcore processor, plus it will have amazing battery life and likely be thinner than the Dell. Just dualboot Windows and it will be fine for games, and amazing for everything else.
#4 Posted by Donkeycow (556 posts) -

Yea, really either Macbook Pro with boot camp or the Alienwarex14.

#5 Posted by csl316 (7977 posts) -

Macbook Pros can run Crysis 2? I never thought they were capable of gaming at all.

I have an XPS 17. I love it, bummer that you do not.

#6 Posted by Tofford (526 posts) -

I have that Dell. The gaming performance is not as good as you describe on my version. Although i have the Core i5 not the i7 and I seem to remember there being higher alternatives. If you want to play games like crysis 2 and Skyrim you may have to pay quite a bit for improved specs. I use it to play a lot of Steam indie games and Starcraft 2 and it does that well.

#7 Posted by SerHulse (685 posts) -

I have that laptop, and chose that bigger battery option (it was an option when I bought it at least) and I get about 4 to 4 1/2 hours if I'm not doing anything too intensive.

It's a great laptop by the way, although it is pretty fucking heavy, mine handles games like a champ.

#8 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -
@Ben_H said:
@Zidd said:

Any Macbook Pro. They are great at doing photoshop work and Apple puts a big emphasis on portability. they are ok for games if you put windows on it.

Indeed. Even a base-line 15" is more than capable for gaming since they come with a 650M and a quadcore processor, plus it will have amazing battery life and likely be thinner than the Dell. Just dualboot Windows and it will be fine for games, and amazing for everything else.
I was planning to get that new Retina one. For classes and I can play Guild Wars 2 on. 
#9 Edited by sgtbaker (15 posts) -

I had a feeling I would've gotten macs as an answer. *Sighh, that's the only laptop I didn't want to get as an alternative. I cannot agree more, its a very decent laptop with decent specs. But I don't know, I just don't really want to get a mac, I'm not that type of person. I know you can boot camp it but well...

Is there no decent multimedia laptops that you guys know of? Ones that can also decently play games like the ones specified?

Well, appreciate the suggestions anyway...

The XPS 17 seems like a great laptop, but it's 2 pounds heavier than the XPS 15 ( which is already 6.3lbs :S ). So for this one, portability goes down the drain... thanks for the 'suggestion' though if it was one.

, my brother also has this laptop :P That's why I posted this thread, and that's true, it can play certain games, especially SC2. Haven't really seen other games in action but he does have the i7 which evidently makes quite a difference. But I can't stress more on how much it overheats and how quickly it runs out of battery when I borrowed it. My brother had to buy 2 batteries for this laptop. And the battery itself takes a lot of space and does obviously add a lot to the already heavy weight. So yea, SerHulse, it's pretty heavy and chunky.

#10 Posted by Doctorchimp (4067 posts) -

You buy an okay netbook for nothing to take to class or whatever and then you buy a real goddamn computer you stick in a room.

#11 Posted by sgtbaker (15 posts) -

I don't know about you, but I don't have that much money to spend. I guess...an ok netbook wouldn't cost more than $350 but then there's the additional cost for the desktop computer. And where I'm going, I have only 1year accomadation (1st year). And what happens when I'm going for 1 year abroad? Live with a netbook for that much time? No thanks. I'd rather buy a decent laptop which is reasonably priced and go with that.

#12 Posted by SerHulse (685 posts) -

@sgtbaker: I was thinking about upgrading to this at some point: ASUS N56VM

#13 Posted by Andorski (5173 posts) -

So you want a slim enterntainment laptop with decent battery life? You can still stick with Dell and get the new XPS 15, although the screen quality has gone from B+RG LED to WLED screens (which is what almost all other laptops use). There is also the HP Envy 15, but if you are serious about photoshop, you should know that the IPS screen's color spectrum is slightly off. The initial batch of laptops produced red colors with a huge tint of orange. They have somewhat fixed the issue though. You can judge for yourself.

Both of these options have a slim, Macbook like design and the battery life is okay (much better than 2-3 hours). Sound quality of the HP Envy 15 is good, and while I haven't tried out the XPS 15, the previous models were known to have the best speakers for any laptop out there. The newest iteration shouldn't be too bad either.

#14 Posted by JoeyRavn (4946 posts) -

@sgtbaker: Let me get this straight: you want a cheap, light laptop that's not a MacBook* and that can play Crysis 2 on High and Skyrim on Ultra High with a high framerate (I assume 45+ FPS, right?) and with a battery life of more than 3 hours?

I think you'll have to compromise somewhere. You're asking for way too many things from one machine. For the price of the cheapest MacBook Pro with "Retina Display" ($1700) you can get a decent laptop for taking notes on-the-go and a high-end desktop PC, or a high-end laptop to play games at home. Mind you, laptops will always be more expensive and perform worse than desktop PCs, no matter how "gaming-capable" manufacturers claim they are.

Or just get an OK laptop, forget about playing recent games and save yourself some money.

*I wouldn't even think about getting a Mac, personally, though.

#15 Edited by Zidd (1836 posts) -

@sgtbaker said:

I had a feeling I would've gotten macs as an answer. *Sighh, that's the only laptop I didn't want to get as an alternative. I cannot agree more, its a very decent laptop with decent specs. But I don't know, I just don't really want to get a mac, I'm not that type of person. I know you can boot camp it but well...

Is there no decent multimedia laptops that you guys know of? Ones that can also decently play games like the ones specified?

Well, appreciate the suggestions anyway...

Getting a mac is not a lifestyle choice its a notebook. The problem is that most "Gaming" notebooks are meant as a desktop replacement and not for portability. I'd argue that the only two designed that way are the alienware m11x thats still about as big as a phone book and the razer blade.

@JoeyRavn: the $1700 macbook pro does NOT come with the retina display. nevermind you were talking about the new 13"

#16 Posted by Kidavenger (3486 posts) -
#17 Edited by sgtbaker (15 posts) -

, that particular laptop is quite an attracting choice, I'll add it to my list...thanks :) I'm also looking at ASUS N-Series right now.

, I was particularly thinking about HP Envy series as well. HP was actually the first laptops I checked out. I'll keep in mind about those 2. However, the new XPS 15 has Intel integrated graphics >_>

, that's not really what I'm saying. I'm just saying that the laptop displayed is capable of that. What I am trying to forward is that I want a multimedia laptop which is also capable of playing the type of games mentioned (not all multimedia games are good for occasional gaming) at a decent framerate and with decent quality, so around the medium quality mark. Nevertheless, I appreciate the suggestion, and I'm quite sure I won't fall on a mac anytime soon.

, I understand that, but I've used the mac before....it's great and everything but I don't really like the feel of it if you understand what I mean. I.e the keyboard, the trackpad. I also prefer a laptop with a more sleek and industrial design. I checked the alienware before, not really of my liking and I read reviews about the Razer Blade... it being Razer's 1st laptop might be a small drawback itself but well. (They did tweak it a little though) Oh right, it also costs $2,500 xP

, someone suggested that to me before but I've never heard of it...do you have it?

And does anyone know if I should even consider msi laptops as an option? Or should I stay away from it? Because their laptops' GPU seem quite attractive.

#18 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4328 posts) -

I used to have an XPS 17 with an i5 and Nvidia 435m that I sold when I got a proper desktop and it was a great computer. It's not the best looker in terms of aesthetics but it was still a great "heavy duty" laptop. I would suggest the Alienware laptops that are in the same price range. Also if you really wanted a light computer that can do what you're asking for you're out of luck. You gotta choose between portability or gaming practicality (even though a desktop should be where you should be going if you really want to play games).

#19 Posted by sgtbaker (15 posts) -

@Colourful_Hippie: I checked out the XPS series...and I already said before, I'm not a hardcore gamer so for no reason would I buy Alienware, obviously those type of laptops don't only offer top-notch gaming but I don't want a 'gaming' laptop. Just a laptop which is 'capable' of playing games decently...

#20 Posted by JoeyRavn (4946 posts) -

@sgtbaker said:

@Colourful_Hippie: I checked out the XPS series...and I already said before, I'm not a hardcore gamer so for no reason would I buy Alienware, obviously those type of laptops don't only offer top-notch gaming but I don't want a 'gaming' laptop. Just a laptop which is 'capable' of playing games decently...

The problem here is that laptops don't usually have the gradation in terms of gaming performance that you can find in desktop computers. Most low- to mid-range laptops can barely play modern games on tolerable settings, because manufacturers don't usually include a decent gaming GPU in them. If you want to play games well enough, you'll have to step up to the so-called "gaming" laptops. That's why most of us recommend getting a mid-range laptop for work and entertainment and a high-end desktop for gaming. Having both roles in the same laptop means you'll have to pay a shitload of money, and you'll probably have to sacrifice portability and battery life in the process.

#21 Posted by K9 (621 posts) -

@sgtbaker said:

And does anyone know if I should even consider msi laptops as an option? Or should I stay away from it? Because their laptops' GPU seem quite attractive.

MSI laptops are legit. They are new to the laptop space but have a solid build quality and are competitively priced. Definitely worth a look.

As for your laptop requirements; since you want one that is capable of running latest games at respectable settings you will only see laptops that that have small battery life and are relatively heavy. To run modern games you need a powerful GPU that will eat up battery and that GPU will generate a lot of heat so the laptop will need to have a decent cooling system; thus a bulky chassis. The battery life issue has improved over the recent years as performance laptops these days have GPU switching tech where Graphics GPU gets switched off and the system runs on integrated GPU depending on what application is running; but you still won't see battery life of longer than 5 hours on these machines.

By the way, also take a look at Toshiba lineup. Their Qosmio laptops are fairly portable compared to other performance laptops and feature excellent speakers for a laptop.

#22 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

Does anyone have experience with the new MacBook Pro retina? Wanna know how well it can handle stuff like guild wars 2.

#23 Posted by sgtbaker (15 posts) -

@JoeyRavn: Gee, thanks....I understand, and it would seem like the best thing to do but I don't like desktops in general. Once I get settled somewhere, yes, of course I'll get one. But for now, I'm always on the move, I travel a lot. And most probably, will continue to do so in future. Hence why I really want the ideal laptop. Hopefully in the future, companies will produce ultrabook gaming laptops - that would be hardcore. Anyways, I won't give up my search and I'm not going to buy a mac.

I'm particularly looking at ASUS N-Series and msi laptops. Are the N-series the best out of them? And also, should I stay away from msi or?

#24 Posted by sgtbaker (15 posts) -

@K9: True that, makes sense. I suppose 5 hours is quite respectable. But in some rare cases, I found the compromise of both. Check this out (Hp below) and tell me what you think...please :)

And I shall check out Toshiba, however I never really liked their laptops, they never a good design (rarely)

And for the laptop below, do you mind giving it a gaming score out of 10? Just a general score. Would be much appreciated :P

http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-ENVY/C2H77UA?HP-ENVY-dv7-7212nr-Notebook-PC

Cheers

#25 Posted by K9 (621 posts) -

The specs look ok. Just check around to make sure that overheating is not an issue. If you want scores then check out laptop review sites like notebookcheck.net. I would say this laptop is 6.9/10 but I am giving this score based on a single glance at the specs. The GPU can be better at this price range. Lenovo Y580 is around 1100 bucks, features backlit keyboard (I think), and has 660M, though it is a 15.6 screen size laptop and this is 17.3. Again, check out notebookcheck.net for thorough reviews.

If I were in your position I would be giving MSI GX60 a serious consideration. Same price range as your HP and it features AMD CPU (downgrade compared to Intel i5/i7) and 7970M GPU (a huge GPU upgrade). 7970M can run BF3 on ultra no problem. GX60 is a great bargain at your price point if you plan on playing latest games on your laptop.

#26 Posted by sgtbaker (15 posts) -

@K9: appreciate the response, that website is quite helpful. However, I couldn't find the specific model. Honestly speaking, I can't find any reviews etc... on the specific model I mentioned except from HP's official website. Even when I search "HP Envy DV7" nothing really helpful comes up. There's a review on the website you gave me but its not the same model.

Oh and tell me what you think about the ASUS N56VZ. Sorry, to keep bothering you :P

#27 Posted by K9 (621 posts) -

The HP review probably isn't available because a. Its a new configuration and b. people have already reviewed other similar configurations of the DV7 72XX series. So for example, this review for a different DV7 config is a good indicator of how your particular configured model will score. For laptops above thousand bucks you will rarely find any model that goes below 80% score. They are all well made laptops but some are better or worse depending on your specific needs. And I imagine the special need here is being able to play modern PC games.

As for ASUS N56, as nice as it looks I cannot recommend buying it. Look at how thin the chassis is. The N series will overheat with extended gaming sessions. Back in 2010 I made the mistake of buying ASUS N61 based on how sleek it looked and two years later, its dead. It had overheating problems 3 months into its purchase and the more games I played the worse it got. Honestly, both HP DV7 (from the looks of it) and ASUS N series model are primarily multimedia laptops whose chassis are not designed to deal with lots of heat. From ASUS what you should be looking at are G series models and HP doesn't offer laptops specifically designed to deal with heat issues.

If its the case that you mainly want a multimedia laptop that will also allow you to occasionally play games, I think DV7 model you are looking at is a good fit for you. There are plenty of good multimedia laptops: Lenovo, Toshiba, Dell, HP, and ASUS (except the N series, its garbage) all have good offerings on this front. But if you know that when you play games the sessions will be long then you want a laptop by MSI, ASUS G series, Dell's Alienware, or Clevo/Sager. Since I know that I play games every weekend at your price range I would undoubtedly buy MSI GX60. The GPU performance bump offered by 7970Mis astonishing and is the sole reason for GX60 outclassing every other laptop on the graphics front at your particular price point.