I recently embarked on a quest to lighten my already Helium filled wallet, my goal was to find a gaming laptop that would not let me down and would give me a respectable frame rate on whatever game I threw at it. I had a couple of requirements:
- Keep the price under $2000 after tax preferably
- Quad Core Processor didn’t really care which just Quad
- Minimum 8 GB RAM
- Minimum 1GB Video Memory
- Minimum 250GB Hard Drive
- 1080p Screen
From here I started with the most obvious brand for high end gaming rigs: Alienware.
Now about Alienware: The company was bought out by Dell a ways back and since then their build quality seems to have gone down with no decrease in price. Still they are the most powerful gaming laptops out there and therefore a good place to start.
First I looked at the Alienware M11x basically a small 11 inch gaming notebook the starting price is $949 with the quad core i7 installed which makes it my cheapest option. I liked the design as with all Alienware PC’s it makes you drool.
I began configuring the specs to my requirements and got to about $1700 with the minimum requirements +8gb RAM. Except the screen which was 720p. I decided against it in the end because the screen size at 11 inches is just too small for a gaming rig and I wanted 1080p at least, the real deal breaker was the lack of built in optical drive on a gaming/media PC. If you ever want a super portable gaming rig I really do recommend this one, it has phenomenal battery life and a lot of power in a small package.
Next up I checked out the Alienware M15x. Once again very nice looking machine nice 15 inch screen but after configuring it to the specs I wanted it cost about 2400$ before tax way over budget. Also there seem to have been quite a few reports of Alienware PC’s having poor quality track pads, if your always using an external mouse that might be ok but I like being mobile and that means carrying around nothing except maybe the power supply cable not a mouse, as a result I do the majority of my gaming with a trackpad.
Next I checked the Sager PC’s these are custom built computers that lack the snazzy look of an Alienware but still crank out the power. The model I looked at was the NP8760 which starts at about 1500$. It seemed like a decent PC but the cost quickly ran up over budget the same way the Alienware did but without the looks which I must confess did play a part.
I read up about the Clevo series laptops but didn’t really consider them so I haven’t much to say about them other than they are a gaming line that has been recommended several times.
Finally I spotted the Asus G73JH-X3 a rather large intimidating looking piece of hardware sporting a 1080p screen and backlit keyboard with stylish design near that of the Alienware. I don’t believe its customizable like the Alienware or Sager but it came with these specs:
Also a hardware button for enabling overclocking? sweet. Dual air exhausts out the back? Oh yeah. The design means that I won’t have to worry about overheating if I block the bottom, say when it’s on my lap.
I really did want an Alienware but since I’m not stupidly rich I toned down and hopefully get the best bang for my buck. and after the 200$ dollars tax it came to about 1850$ so perfect.