What Laptop Should I Get?
It’s that time of life again when hardware starts to die, make strange noises and overheats enough to fry the treasured contents of the lap on which it sits atop. Yep, my notebook is on it’s last legs and it’s about time I got a new one, a matter that I need a bit of help and advice with.
The thing with laptops is that there’s just so darn many to choose from. I’ll immediately narrow the selection down by saying that I need a PC, not a Mac. Not that I have anything against Macs (or the drooling, cardigan wearing yuppies that constantly proclaim their awesome to the masses) but I want a device that I can play some games on. Nothing too fancy but I’d love to be able to run MMOs like WoW, EVE and LotRO and single player games like Starcraft 2 and Civ 5 (and yes, I’m aware of the irony in that most of those games are available for the Mac but acknowledging that would ruin my attempts at bigotry). So unless anyone can put together a truly compelling case for why I should join the Brotherhood of the Mac, I’ll be sticking with PCs for the time being.
Spec wise I’m looking for laptop sized between 13” – 15”, has a decent processor (Intel i5?) and RAM (4GB?), reasonable hard disk space (250GB) and, probably most importantly of all, a good mobile graphics card. The GPU in laptops tends to be overlooked and personally has always been the thing that lets me down for playing games (for instance, I’ve got a great little netbook that can’t even run Doom due to it’s god awful GPU). Unfortunately though I know nothing about what constitutes a good mobile graphics card. As my wife will be using the machine the most, I also need an installation of Windows 7 Ultimate in order to get the Japanese language pack (I’m assuming Win7 is like Vista and you don’t get additional language packs on the Home version). Finally price wise, I’d like to get all of this for under £1,000/$1,500/€1,200.
My current laptop is an old Sony VIAO S-series and it’s been pretty great for the past 4 years. I trust the brand but unfortunately it’s the most expensive, meaning I don’t think I’m going to get the specs I want for the price I want. I’ve been looking around a bit and quite like the look of the Samsung R590 but I have no idea if it’s a good brand or not. I’ve also heard good things about HP and Dell but again, don’t have any personal experience with their laptops.
Of course then there’s all of the upcoming PC slates, Windows equivalent of the iPad, coming out at the end of the year and makes me wonder if I should hang on and wait for one of them. Not sure I could play a MMO on one of them though even though it would be nice to try.
So, any ideas?