The Lincolncast Episode 27: Rockin'

#1 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2570 posts) -

The Lincolncast Episode 27: Rockin'

Hey guys! For those who don't know, this is the Giant Bomb community's Guild Wars 2 podcast (made by our guild, Lincoln Force).

An interesting episode this week as Shinboy regales us with tales of Hurricane Sandy, almost everyone else weighs in on Dishonoured and Assassins Creed and at some point we talk about Guild Wars 2. Specifically, news revolves around Arenanet's response to the disaster, the new content patch coming out soon and speculation as to how that will continue forward.

Also, subscribe to the show!

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Streaming Embed (audio only):

Show Notes

Music: "Rock You Like A Hurricane" by The Scorpions & "The Pentagon" by The Hamster Alliance

Featured Members: , , , , &

Run time: 2:49:45

Topics for the week:

  • Looks like we're forming a pattern. The first half or so (1:15) is non-Guild Wars 2 related. Deal with it.
  • Arenanet does something nice-ish for those effected by Hurricane Sandy.
  • Beached Whales are apparently signs of something good to come.
  • What would we like to see going forward?

Plugs!

Enjoy! Also, feel free to leave some criticism or feedback - TheLincolncast@gmail.com or @TheLincolncast on Twitter.

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#2 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2570 posts) -

So a listener contacted us asking about the laptop I was recommending on the show, this is a copy of our convo;

----

Hey, I was wondering what type of laptop you found selfconfessedcynic? Its tough trying to find a good laptop in Australia so I am interested in seeing what you found.

Yo!

So the laptops I was choosing between were the Lenovo E330 and the Asus K55A. Both are really great buys (though my price limit was to be $700, so obviously there is better if you can afford more - but there aren't any better for less from my weeks of searching, unless you go used).

The lenovo is fantastic because you can customise the shit out of it, their customer service is fantastic and the base model goes on sale every other weekend so you'd end up with something like this;

Lenovo E330: Base is $540, $570 when not on sale, free shipping - $678 after after-market mods.

  • 13" screen (1366x768)
    Matt display (which is preferable)
  • Either Windows 7 or 8
    Same price, so it's up to you
  • Intel Core i5-3210M Processor
    So full voltage, hence much more powerful than those you find in ultrabooks.
  • 2gb of RAM
    (see below)
  • 320 GB HDD
    (see below)
  • 6 cell battery
    About 6-7 hours battery life in real world tests apparently (ie, pretty much everyone you hear from gets these numbers)
  • Integrated Graphics (Intel HD 4000)
    Which you can see videos on Youtube of these processors being able to play a lot of games out there (GW2 at about 30fps if you turn the settings down, for example) - though I'd have been using it mainly for old emulated games.

So, the base model I quoted there is what I'd have customised on Lenovo's website before modding it. So with my limit of $700, I'd have $160 to spare - with that I would be buying a Samsung 830 120GB SSD and 8gigs of 1600 DD3 RAM - all up, that'd be $138 or so.

Note that I wouldn't recommend customising these parts into the laptop via Lenovo as their warranty supports you changing out RAM/HDD and they charge an arm and a leg for the same stuff. The modding process is actually hella easy (3 screws followed by 2 more then click clack, screw back in and you're done).

This would be the laptop of the two that I recommend to Uni students, as the size is great (1.8kg and 13 inches) and the specs post mods are fantastic. However, it turns out that 80% of my usage for the laptop I bought would be around my house, and I wanted a bigger screen. So, I ended up going for something with a bit less portability and lower battery life (though still not terrible).

Also, very important to note is that the screen on this laptop isn't fantastic out of doors, so taking notes and working in the library is fine but sitting at the local Cafe isn't (unless they have umbrellas).

Oh, and as a note, DO NOT BUY the Lenovo E430 or E530 laptops as there are some weird fan issues with them that really ruin their usage experience. If you can afford it, go for the L430/530 instead (you'd be looking at about $850 if you do so). The main reason to do this would be the heightened build quality and 1600x900 res screen option, though aside from the latter, I'd still go for the Asus (below) instead.

Asus K55A: Base $679, $599 on sale - $697 post mods

  • 15" Screen (1366x768 - sadly)
  • Windows 7
  • i5 3210M
  • 4GB of 1600 RAM
    I haven't changed this out yet and it seems to be fine.
  • 750GB HDD
    (see below)
  • 6 cell battery
    About 3-5 hours of battery life depending on usage.
  • Integrated Graphics
    (see below)

So you can't buy these straight from Asus, but the australia-wide store MSY has a great relationship with them and hence sells these for crazy cheap. I got the base model with itegrated graphics for $599 then got the previously mentioned SSD to hit just below my limit at $697. Fantastic laptop - much better trackpad than the Lenovos, though a worse keyboard (obviously). The screen isn't great, though is good for the price. The build quality is fantastic.

You can also pick up a version with an Nvidea Optimus enabled graphics card (eg. a 610M) which can run everything today at medium settings or thereabouts (including GW2) if you want something with more grunt. This will set you up to about $729 base ($699 at MSY). These are reclassified as the Asus K55VD, and you can actually try them out at JB-HiFi (they have them on display in their larger stores, though they charge $1200 for it).

Anyway, that's a general synopsis of what I'd get - hope it was helpful. There aren't many reviews out there for either of these laptops, so you'd obviously have to take what I say with a grain of salt, but if you check out the Whirlpool forums (one of the techy-est forums based in AUS), you can see the general satisfaction out there towards both.

- Cynic

Oh, and if you want the best non-apple laptop available, price be damned it'd be this one;

Asus UX31A $1350-$1400 (and you don't really need to mod it).

Best non-apple trackpad (slightly better by some accounts than that of the K55A), amazing display (1920x1080 on a 13.3" screen - that website is wrong - and with really good backlighting so it can be used in direct sunlight), and Asus build quality.

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