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Author Topic: New Laptop  (Read 525 times)
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Hrothgar
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« on: April 06, 2011, 10:34:10 PM »

Our old laptop is nearing its end of life.  I'd like to get a new one in place before it dies.  Ideally, I'd like something between a desktop replacement and a netbook.  This might be overkill, but it was the first that caught my eye:

Sager 15.6 Laptop

I do like the 15.6 in size for a laptop, but I'm open to suggestions.  I do some work and some gaming on my laptop, but it's not primary for either.

Any advice/recommendations would be appreciated.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 03:26:04 AM by Hrothgar » Logged

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Hrothgar
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Hrothgar
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2011, 04:58:41 PM »

No one has any laptop recommendations?

Anyway, a related question, how do laptops with a/b/g/n wireless cards deal with multiple connections?  My new wireless N router separates the 5GHz and 2.4GHz into separate networks with different SSID's.  Assuming I set the laptop (presumably windows 7) to recognize both, does it automatically connect to both?  Do I set a priority?
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Hrothgar
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"No, not alone."  -- War, Darksiders
Turtle
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2011, 02:05:45 PM »

It should usually try to connect with the highest one.

I have the previous model of the laptop you're looking at, a Sager 8690, almost the same specs except yours has a few newer components, same video card though. It's a very good solid laptop, and it is right between desktop replacement and portable laptop (don't kid yourself about netbook style portability).

The system runs very well, I initially had problems with the video card, but it turns out it was just NVidia being stupid with their mobile drivers, a recent driver update fixed those issues.

The system gets only about 45 minutes of power on average, although usually going as low as only 30 minutes if you're doing stuff like browsing heavily and watching web videos. You can maybe stretch it to 1 hour by turning all the options down, but even that's pushing it and you're not going to enjoy that experience. This is definitely a system that you want to have plugged in, nor is it really mobile. Its weight means you want to carry it in a backback, and when handling use both hands. By backpack, I really mean a backpack, not a single strap laptop tote or similar. It's lighter than those monstrous desktop replacement 17"+ laptops, but you'll still feel it.

This may have changed with the latest version, but the fans will be louder than you're used to at the start, but not overly loud. It will ramp up rapidly if you're playing anything that will use full CPU and GPU.

15.6" screen is good as well, however you'll have to get used to a full 1920x1080 (basically 1080p) being displayed at that 15.6" size. Text will be smaller, so make sure your eyes can handle it. But otherwise the screen is beautiful.

The Sagers also have ports a plenty, and it looks like that model actually has a few more too.

As for how it runs games, it runs them great. Pretty much ties even, often better than my desktop.

Now for a major downside: the touchpad. The 8690 has a sentilec (or similarly named) touchpad which close to being worthless for anything but the most basic moving the cursor around. Synaptics currently holds a lot of patents on the best touchpad features, so this pad doesn't even have the feature where you can scroll pages using the right edge of the pad. It's sensitivity is finicky, often registering taps when you aren't trying to, and often not registering taps when you do. Any special features like multi-touch is there as more of a bullet point afterthought rather than being fleshed out, at best they don't work, and when they do you can't configure them to be how you want. Not to mention driver support is abysmal for this touchpad.

So get a mouse, I recommend this again even though as I gamer I know you already planned to get one, but I really am not kidding about how bad I think this touchpad is.

The Asus gaming laptops are also good, but the problem I have with those is that they're huge. Their 15.6" laptop is pretty much on par with an 17" laptop in size. Although I do like how they look.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2011, 02:08:55 PM by Turtle » Logged
Krillin
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2011, 02:30:32 PM »

If you don't have any particular hatred for Dell, be sure to check their outlet site.  I managed to find the spec I wanted and save a few $, but it was a refurb.

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Hrothgar
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2011, 03:23:34 AM »

Wow.  45 minutes battery life?  Maybe I need a little less power.  I will expand my scope. 
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Hrothgar
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I'm updating my website again.

"No, not alone."  -- War, Darksiders
Turtle
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2011, 10:34:36 AM »

Heh, yeah. It's pretty low. However, I notice its been upgraded to 2-3 hours battery life on the website. Most likely this is due to the sandy bridge chipset actually having Optimus, which is a technology that switches between an on board low power video chip on the motherboard, and dedicated graphics cards. This, along with including an SSD on your laptop instead of a normal drive means you're likely to get those 3 hours of battery life.

The only reason I sprang for this kind of laptop was I needed something that handled 3D well. I travel between work sites doing 3D modeling, or digital painting, and wanted something that could handle that smoothly. I rarely go anywhere without a plug. I could also use it for gaming when over at friends' houses.

I also planned to get some kind of tablet or smart phone to be what I used for basic level browsing and communication, with this laptop staying in my car for the most part.
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