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  • chicagotechjunkie - Friday, April 02, 2010 - link a proud new owner of a HP Envy 15 I've really gotta speak up here in terms of what you can get for just a shade more cash.

    Right now you can get a i5-430 15.6" 1920x1080 (!) 4GB RAM 320GB 7200RPM HDD w/ ATI 5830 for 949.99. (coupon code NBMY33241knocks $450 off the list price)

    We're talking full HD resolution, faster HDD and one of the best mobile graphics chips for under a grand. Not to mention the 1" thin body that makes it oh so sexy ;)

    Alternately you could swap out the HD screen for the faster i5-520 or 540 and keep it in the same ballpark price.

    I've been very happy with how well the 5830 overclocks as well. From a base 500/800 to 550/1100 totally stable and cool with no voltage bump of any kind. Managed just shy of 10k in 3dmark06 with the overclocked settings.

    I know it's the next step up in price, and admittedly it was more than I was initially going to spend on a new laptop, but now that I have it, I'm so SO glad I did.
  • mfenn - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Yuck, who wants 1920x1080 on a 15" screen? That resolution is barely tolerable at 17"! IM(NS)HO, the perfect resolution for 15" is 1440x900. Reply
  • austonia - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    you know Windows can scale the dpi right? probably want to set at 125-150% in this case, then you get the same look as a 720p screen with extra sharpness. the full 1080p resolution is useful in apps that have a lot of controls and need a lot of space to display those controls. video editors come to mind. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, April 05, 2010 - link

    As someone that uses a 30" LCD with a 120dpi setting, I can attest to the fact that using anything other than the default 96dpi has some oddities with some applications, and you'd be better off not having to change it. Most of the time, it works well enough that I can live with it, but sometimes I'll have programs where the text scales to a larger font with 120dpi and it wraps to the next line... except it's not visible because the rest of the application didn't scale at all. Anyway, for 15.6" I'd certainly say 1600x900 is very usable, and even 1080p is fine though a bit small at times. It is unfortunate that so many laptops use 1366x768 panels, whether they're 11.6", 13.3", 14.0", 15.6", or 16.0" LCDs. Reply
  • chicagotechjunkie - Monday, April 05, 2010 - link

    Well, I did mention you could swap out the HD screen for a better component, if that wasn't your cup of tea.

    I personally enjoy the higher resolution, and yes the text is smaller, but as was pointed out, dpi settings can help with a lot of it if it bothers you, and honestly I use the default settings, and don't experience any eye strain after extended use.

    The whole point was that you could get a much better gaming machine than the one reviewed for not all that much more cash. That was the point I was trying to make.
  • ap90033 - Friday, April 02, 2010 - link

    Does this guy game at all? 19FPS? Seriously? If this thing cant average 50 or so its not worth trying. (keep in mind that averaging 50fps means under some heavy areas in game it will drop to 30 or so)
    For people looking for a REAL GAMER LAPTOP for a DECENT Price look at the ASUS G60 or G72 at best buy for $999 they play Dirt 2 at around 50FPS most settings maxed...
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Just because it runs at sub-30 FPS with maxed out settings hardly makes it unfit for gaming. It's ludicrous to suggest that all games need to be run at even high quality. Having played plenty of games on the 5740G before sending it on to Dustin, I fully agree that it can play games better than the vast majority of laptops, and certainly better than any other $750 laptop. Can you find faster laptops for gaming? Of course you can, but they cost quite a bit more. Barring crazy sales (i.e. the Envy 15 for under $1000), this is a laptop that competes against laptops that typically cost $250 more.

    Case in point, the G72 at Best Buy costs $1000, has half the battery life, and weighs almost 3 pounds more. Yes, the GTX 260M is about 40% faster on average, but then with a 1600x900 LCD (37% more pixels) you're going to need the extra performance, and you still won't max out everything. I wouldn't say either laptop is clearly superior, but the 5740G at 1366x768 is going to offer similar performance to the GTX 260M at 1600x900.
  • tuskers - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    The Envy isn't so much a "crazy sale" as much as what that machine typically costs these days. HP regularly offers coupons on their machines that discount the Envy into the ~$1000 price range. If you didn't know that, you don't know the market. Reply
  • ap90033 - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    Bull, I bought the 16 inch Asus from Best Buy. Has the GTX260 which is 40%+ faster (That is a huge diff....) Plays Dirt 2 maxed and looks awesome, Plays COD6 maxed (I did turn down AA a notch) looks awesome etc etc. Paid $250 more for TONS more performance. They sold out of this but now have which looks pretty decent. 16 inch Geforce GTS 360 1 gig and Core i5 for $999. Of course if you are like me and wait a bit, there will be a better one to come out and the prices will drop. My laptop dropped to $799 which was an AMAZING PRICE for a 40% faster gaming laptop (by the way it has built in overclocking that works great!) Plus I got a free game with my Reward Points :)
    Asus makes a very nice laptop to boot...
  • synaesthetic - Monday, April 19, 2010 - link

    I'm a gamer and I flat refuse buy any of the Asus gaming laptops. They're just too ugly, too gaudy and they absolutely do not look professional. I can't afford to own one computer for gaming and one for work, so I have to consider these things. The blinking lights and glowing ROG logo isn't exactly professional, you know.

    I'll settle for weaker GPU performance in the Gateway NV5925u (identical to this Acer, only prettier and not blue) for something I can use in class or at work without people looking at me like I'm crazy.

    ... why can't someone put gaming guts in a Thinkpad chassis? =(
  • Fastidious - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    You'd think they'd put a bigger battery in it at least. I never understand laptops that have shitty battery life since the whole point of them is to be mobile. Two hours is terrible for a new laptop. Reply
  • Alurian - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Agreed. What point is there in having a lighter laptop to carry around if it doesn't have the battery life for you to actually use it? Reply
  • Miggleness - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    That's where customers needs to balance things out. There's not gaming laptop under a grand that has decent battery life. Being mobile can mean you can easily lug the laptop anywhere, just be sure to plug it in. Can be a convenience to quite a number of people I know who game. Reply
  • vol7ron - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Mobile devices don't always mean being able to use it at the beach, or use it on a train, w/o needing to plug it in. Instead, what's it's come to mean is that you have the luxury of TAKING IT PLACES with the opportunity of plugging it in; whereas lugging a desktop (and monitor) around with you is more of an inconvenience.

    I do agree that battery life should be better, since it seems like it takes 2 hours to wade through spam and check mail, but that is why they make multiple batteries of various capacities. There are also different uses for laptops; gaming is one of the most power hungry things you can do on a laptop, if you're using a kickass video card with a decent performing screen and expect high quality response, then you're going to need more juice. Such a laptop would be expected to be plugged in. Having such a system in a laptop case enables you to play at school, or on vacation, as well as at home.
  • Hrel - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Seriously, I WANT to give them more money for a 1600x900 screen. And preferably a 7200rpm hard drive and a higher capacity battery wouldn't hurt but it's not really necessary. Reply
  • chrnochime - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Well Considering that envy 15 is known to be hot as heck and with equally low battery life(the former being much more unavoidable), I think users would prefer either going with optimus or cooler (pun intended) designs. Reply
  • chicagotechjunkie - Monday, April 05, 2010 - link

    The gen 1 envy had some heat issues, but the newest generation doesn't get very hot at all. after a full suite of benchmarks, the GPU never broke 72C (that's with an overclock). The palm rest and underside got a little warm, but nothing that was abnormal imo. Reply
  • blackshard - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Why there are no AMD laptops in comparison? I mean, the only one is the gateway NV-52 with the old Athlon QL-64 and integrated graphics. Why there are no Turion II, for example? It would be nice to know the difference with higher priced notebooks. Reply
  • jasperjones - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Anandtech delivers the best laptop reviews imo.

    However, I am getting more and more disappointed that virtually every laptop reviewed here features dedicated graphics. Why limit yourself to serving laptop gamers and people needing mobile business graphics cards? I can't be the only reader that prefers integrated graphics on a laptop (I assume there might be fewer readers that prefer integrated graphics on a desktop).
  • mtoma - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    There is something that really bothers me about Anandtech (otherwise my favorite tech site): why on Earth the laptop reviews ignore the long term reliability of the products? I am the co-owner of a computer repair-shop in Romania (in Europe, if you don't know where that country is).
    And I can tell you first hand that 95% from all the laptops we repair are ACER!!!!! The motherboard often fails, there are serious flaws in the assembly quality, and in the medium and long run, these laptops suck!!!
    When asked, the customers say that these laptops are cheap (they are the cheapest on the market, really) and they are confident on the reliability of a new product (which is, of course, a bad assumption). Here in Romania we have only one year warranty on the ACER machines, and of course, this tells us a lot about the quality of ACER laptops.
    I believe, and I strongly suggest, that this respected site (and others who sell/buy those products) should care more about the medium and long term reliability of any tech product, because, often, the cheapest product is usually the worst buy decision. And, the cheapest laptop with a particular technical specification, has really NOT the best bang for the buck!
    Suggestion: this site is very carreful about the realiability of the SSD drives, and in this regard his laptop reviews must be more aware.
  • Lunyone - Saturday, April 03, 2010 - link

    Do you have a suggestion for a similar laptop (similar specs) at the $750 price point? I have an ACER laptop that my wife uses religiously everyday for the last 18 months or so and it hasn't had any issues. I know ACER probably sells a lot of laptops, especially since a lot of them are cheaply priced. I'm not saying that they have the best build quality, but the experience with them at this point has been a plensant one (from my personal experience).

    I'm right in this price category (~$750) and would be buying a laptop with a good/decent dedicated GPU. The laptops that are in this price range usually only have the integrated GPU and suck when it comes to playing some decent games. I see ACER hitting the right price and performance here. If Asus/Dell/HP/Gateway had similar specs and performance than I'd consider those, but from what I've seen so far, they don't have a similar product. I currently have a Dell e1505 w/ATI x1400 GPU w/2 gb's of RAM on Windows XP. This system still plays games well (not with all of the eye candy), but is in dire need of replacement. I bought this laptop for ~$900 4 years ago and have loved it's performance and durability. I've only had to replace the battery (about 6 months ago).

    Anyone have any suggestions for a $750 laptop with decent dedicated GPU's?? I would like to have better resolution than 1366 x 768, but that seems to standard on a 15.6" LCD these days.
  • NYHoustonman - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link


    Looks like it'll be similar when it becomes available.

    I stopped by my local OfficeMax today to check out the build quality/keyboard on the Acer 5740 series (different model), and it actually wasn't that bad. Granted my current laptop is 12 years old... But I couldn't see calling it horrendous or anything. I had been planning on ordering one of these, but they're out of stock everywhere but Newegg (sales tax kills anything big that I buy there...). I'd go with the Envy 15 deal, but again, the sales tax - brings it just past what I want to spend. Although, if it had an internal optical drive, I'd probably be more willing to take the jump.

    Has anyone found these in stock anywhere? Google searches aren't showing much of anything.
  • mtoma - Tuesday, April 06, 2010 - link

    I have a suggestion: look at the laptop offerings of Toshiba and Asus, they are a little more expensive, but they have what I call a Really Bang for the Buck. With those laptop brands, I had no problem (not that these are perfect, but...). A more safe bet would be on the Dell and Lenovo laptops, but I cannot comment the price on those).
    My suggestion (to the customer) is to be more cunning and to look beyond the paper specifications of a particular laptop; the customer should find out wich is more reliabile. Here, some respected IT sites could help, taking in consideration some national/regional statistics regarding the return rate of the products. And I mean the return rate to the manufacturer (HP, Lenovo, Asus, etc.).
    My reasoning is that the customer does not buy just a paper, he buys a product, so are really not that important those specifications and the price.
    I also heard some people saying that they are very happy their Acer laptops, but I believe that the are the lucky ones, they do not represent the majority of the owners. Just because you see a laptop with a good keyboard, doesn't mean that he is well built. Like I said before, the motherboard fails on the Acer machines, and sometimes the touchpad (not some peripherical device).
    If Anandtech could take with a grain of salt that magical price/performance index, and add some reliability statistics (from a Federal Agency of some kind), I think it would be a premiere on the IT journalism. I am perfectly aware that no IT site could do some reliability statistics of their own, but, I think it could use some market research, some national (at least north-american) statistic.
    Don't you think you should not buy just a invoice, just of a nice paper with some pretty figures?
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, April 08, 2010 - link

    See, I personally wouldn't recommend Toshiba systems, as every one I have had personal experience with has run hot ( a friend's even burned his desk). But everyone has different experiences. The problem with testing reliability is that by the time a reviewer has used a system long enough to have a guess at the reliability it is old news and might not be available anymore. So the only way to try and guess is through anecdotal evidence about the company like what you said. Incidentally, my sister had a Acer laptop with mostly similar components to what I have in my Thinkpad that cost less than half the money, and it was falling apart within 18 months while my Thinkpad is still going. Then again I know my sister is extremely hard on electronics, so I have no idea what that laptop went through. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    The problem is that it's nearly impossible to review reliability. These are more or less cutting edge systems, there's just no way to tell if they're going to last. Assumptions can be made if they run hot, but otherwise...assuming a lack of failure, this laptop is a stellar deal for gamers on a budget and in my experience it didn't run terribly toasty. Reply
  • DILLIGAFF - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    awesome review and i agree this is awesome value for the budget gamer

    what i don;t understand is why wasn't switchable graphics included? that would have shot the laptop up the battery tests rankings and acer would have a champ on their hands. Do they at least offer a Bios software switch to alternate between the graphics? kind of crazy if you ask me.

    Can you comment on this please for this laptop specifically and something more general about ati 5 series please? Is the lack of switchable graphics a limitation of the hardware implementation in this specific model, or do you think this maybe made available at a later point with a bios/driver/hax update ?

    reason i ask is 3820/4820 timelinex are on the horizon with same graphics and cpu, in a thinner.smaller package but claim 8 hours battery life . I was gona get one, expecting non-reboot, manual switchable graphics, but you got me all worried :)
  • Neosamurai - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    The above article focuses on the 6979 version of the laptop I just purchased

    I think I got a better deal, considering that I paid $799 from and got the i5-520M it looks like they are all sold out now though, so if you missed this sale, than you missed out big haha.

    The difference between the 6395 and the 6979, are thus: The 6979 has 180GB more hdd space (still on a slow but energy efficient 5400rpm drive) and it uses the i5-430M instead of the i5-520M found on the 6395. As a person intending to do some fun gaming on this laptop. I immediately purchased a kingston 128GB SSD ($249 Newegg) to slap in, in place of the 320GB hdd. The kingston bundle comes with an external usb powered case to put your old hdd in by the way, and includes software to clone your old hdd onto your external. My other purchase I have been pondering is to switch the memory from DDR3-1066 to DDR3-1333 which the mother board will support. However, I decided I will wait for the price point to drop on 2x 4GB sticks. As $400 is still outrageous in my opinnion for 8GB of ram that is non ecc and not intended for a server.

    I like this laptop alot mainly for the fact that its NOT CLUTTERED! The layout is aesthetically pleasing. I dont know about you, but Im tired of having 8zillion hot keys that I never touch on my laptop, and a million glowing lights that wont turn off when Im trying to sleep in a dark room.

    Just my opinnion though. Looks like you can't find either of these bad boys anymore. Such a great price point too.
  • notposting - Sunday, April 04, 2010 - link

    This is one of their bread and butter chassis, I'm typing on one right now. The keyboard does get better but it certainly takes awhile to get used to. The power/standby and ac lights in the front are nice as you can see them when the case is closed. VGA and HDMI output is very nice and somewhat makes up for the Expresscard omission (and I have yet to ever use firewire personally). The screen isn't great, but it works well enough, nice enough colors.

    Of course mine is just a AMD QL-64 with HD3200 graphics, though considering what I got with it (3GB DDR2, 320GB HD, HDMI, VGA, Gb LAN, modem, b/g/n wifi, full keyboard with numeric keypad) and I only paid $388 shipped from Newegg it's a great deal.

    Though with the still questionable Acer quality I bought a $50 3yr extended warranty.
  • jabber - Monday, April 05, 2010 - link

    Seems so many came late to gaming due to age or just plain forgot the great days when technology reached a landmark and allowed us to go from an average 20fps in Quake to 25fps.

    A lot of us had a great time playing well under 30fps many years ago.

    Kids today...spoilt rotten with technology.
  • pjladyfox - Monday, April 05, 2010 - link

    Dell/Alienware need to quickly get up off of their butts and put out more CPU upgrade options for the M11x. If they could do this to further capitalize on the G335's power it would make it a highly competitive notebook especially if they could still keep it within the same $800 price range.

    Notebook vendors really need to focus more on the CPU/GPU to LCD resolution than they do currently. I mean, of course people are going to gripe when they can't run games at the native resolution and they have for quite some time. So why do they keep pairing up a wimpy GPU to a LCD that has a resolution higher than it can support?

    It really can't be THAT hard to do can it?

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