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$1,000 budget (roughly), buying new laptop

by peter-03 / March 31, 2013 1:23 PM PDT

I'm looking to buy a new laptop, to replace my ageing PC. I have $1,000 to work with, though I imagine that I could shift it a couple hundred either way, if I saw a reason.
I plan on having it run 64-bit Windows 7, as I'd rather not have to adapt to 8 just yet. I'm looking for a 16-inch screen, an 8-hour or more battery life, 4-to-6GBs of RAM, a 1-TB hard drive, as well as a processor and graphics card beefy enough to handle Skyrim on its highest settings.
My research has led me to believe that most of those requirements can be met for around $800, though I'm unsure about the graphics card. In terms of form factor, I'm looking for something that's portable, but not under-powered.
My main point of confusion is A.) finding a laptop sporting the processor/card combo I need, and B.) deciding between the numerous laptop manufacturers. Aside from a near-universal dislike of Dell, each company seems to have an equal share of fans and haters.
Lastly, I'd like to thank you ahead of time for taking the time to respond to this query. I suspect that my question is neither original nor challenging.

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All Answers

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Well, this is a tad disappointing...
by peter-03 / April 7, 2013 7:40 AM PDT

Gotta say, I'm a little disappointed by the turnout, but whatever. If anyone stumbles onto this thread with similar questions to my own, I've currently decided to go with the ASUS N56VJ-DH71 15.6-Inch laptop. It's graphics card and processor are both reasonably capable, and should be able to match or exceed my needs.

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Well it won't meet you battery life expectations.
by orlbuckeye / April 7, 2013 10:50 PM PDT

Anytime you get a 1080p with discrete graphics you are going to have less battery life. You will most likely be able to watch 1 movie without recharging. You will probably see better performance out of 8 GB of ram then the i7 processor unless your doing alot of number crunching.

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Close but better off looking at...
by MattG75 / April 12, 2013 2:18 PM PDT

Asus n56vz-RH71.
Similar to the one you're looking at, but you get a bluray drive instead and a better graphics card.
I spent 950 at Micro Center, and for an extra $200 got 16GB of RAM and a 250 GB SSD (threw the 750GB drive that came with it into an external case.)
As for the fact it comes with Windows 8 instead, I threw Start8 and MetroMix from Stardock on there. Now I have the Win7 desktop and the upgraded underpinings of Win8.

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Feeling A Little Silly For Forgetting About This Query
by peter-03 / April 29, 2013 2:21 AM PDT

Thank you both for replying.
@orlbuckeye - Realistically, I know that I'm not going to get 8 hours out of any vaguely portable battery for what I want to do with the system. I just figured that if I spent the money on a good battery it would serve me well. I do't think I'll be too far from an outlet for the most part anyways, and I believe I can purchase equipment that will make keeping it charged a little easier.
@MattG75 - I'm unfamiliar with Micro Center, as I don't think they have a building where I live. Are they any better than, say, ordering from Amazon? Come to think of it, how often do you use the last 10GB of the RAM that you installed? I was under the impression 8GB would be more than sufficient, as long as I stayed away from the processor-intensive tasks. I'm contemplating just adapting to Windows 8, but your comments about Start8 and MetroMix intrigue me. Where can I find additional information?

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Why not the usual 15.4 inch screen?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 29, 2013 2:38 AM PDT

As to Start 8, google CLASSIC START as it's free and I'm using it right now on a simple 380 buck Asus K55N but yes, the office changed it to 16GB RAM (110 bucks?) and a nice 1TB HYBRID drive (99 bucks) so for cheap I'm pretty impressed.

As to battery times, I defer to review sites. I don't need more than a hour it seems over the past few years of computer laptop use. That is, if I need hours I think I'd rather not pay the price for that or carry that much weight.

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