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  • ExodusC - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    I noticed you mentioned the HP Envy line on the last page. At $1099, the Envy 14 is looking like a fairly good deal for a premium notebook, considering the specs it offers.

    That being said, is AnandTech planning to review the Envy 14? I'm dying to know. I emailed Anand, but he's a busy man and I'm sure he didn't have time to respond. :) It's hard to find out how to contact the AnandTech writers/editors, honestly.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    Most of us are [name] at AnandTech.com... I'm jarred.walton; others are dustin, vivek, anand, brian, rajinder.gill, ryan.smith, and johan. The email stuff should start showing up again in the not too distant future.

    As for the Envy, I've asked multiple times to get one of the Envy laptops, and so far no luck. We've recently had HP ship us a couple business laptops, but they haven't sent out consumer stuff for review in quite a while for some reason. So unless that changes, it's unlikely we'll get an Envy review. :-(
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    It's my understanding this isn't at all unusual. I started doing reviews at NotebookReview.com (and still write there regularly), and I've also written for Tech Report. HP tends to be extremely cagey with review hardware of any kind (Sony's even worse that way). Personally I don't think that does them any favors at all; Dell and Acer for example are both extremely forthcoming and proactive about getting review kit in the hands of reviewers. Reply
  • rwei - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    Want to borrow mine? ;) I've been enjoying my Envy 17 for a week or so now but I'm incredibly curious to see what you guys think. I might even be half serious about the borrowing.

    As someone who's been using (and still uses, to some extent) an A8Jm from 4 years ago, the change was very interesting.

    Sure, the 17 is way bigger, but the build quality is immeasurably better, and the high quality (for my purposes, anyways) screen/keyboard make for a completely different experience. Of course, I may just be biased because both hinges on my A8Jm are half to fully broken off, and the 7600 Go can't accelerate video. I suspect that Asus' current mid-range 14" line will have similar build issues - gotta make room for those components somwhere in the price.

    I did realize after reading your article I realized that I gave up my Firewire port =(. The thought didn't even occur to me when I ordered. Looks like my 2nd gen 10GB iPod will finally need to be retired...a moment of silence, please.
    Reply
  • Milleman - Monday, July 05, 2010 - link

    I just hate notebooks with 16:9 screens. Can't do anything productive through that letterbox peep hole, except watching movies or maybe play games. Bot for netsurfing, wordprocessing and other applications, it is just a pain. I want the 4:3 format back on laptops! Reply
  • Akv - Monday, July 05, 2010 - link

    Agreed. 16:9 is an intrusion in the computer productivity world.

    Not everybody watches movies. Some people still write.
    Reply
  • anactoraaron - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    What happened to that last giveaway? Up until that mousepad there was an update posted the next day and nothing now for a few days...

    I still think all of the giveaways Anandtech does is awesome, don't get me wrong...
    Reply
  • therealnickdanger - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    The iPhone 4 and Laptop articles ARE the giveaways - and we all won! :) Reply
  • timpagden - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    Interesting snapshot of the marketplace. I am somewhat bemused by the lack of high resolution in notebooks today, a few years (3?) ago, you couldn't move for 1920x1200's in 17" AND with AMD processors! This lack of resolution has pretty much removed me and my family from the notebook marketplace, we now opt for 'transportable' PCs with 1920x1200 LCDs. For on-the-go computing & connectivity, a smartphone (854x480) with a VPN into the at-home servers is looking like the way forward - are we seeing the death knell of the notebook PC? Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    It's actually the reason I opted to replace my current notebook with a Dell Studio 17 (en route) and a netbook. At this point 17"ers are the only place you're going to get a screen with a halfway decent vertical resolution for doing any kind of media work, and actually the 17" lineup is the only place where the move to 16:9 widescreen has actually been beneficial overall. Before, 17"ers were 1440x900 standard, now they're 1600x900. It's true you lose resolution buying top end where you used to be able to snag 1920x1200, but that's not as nasty a hit as the mainstream jump from 1280x800 to 1366x768. It's amazing just how brutal losing even 32 pixels of vertical real estate winds up being for media work. Reply
  • MedX91 - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    Fortunately AT does focus on other rigs than mainstream ones. Just got totally frustrated with a 1400$-Machine from Dell (Latitude 6410) which is poorly assembled, with grabs on the display and other lapsi as well. Never ever again. Reply
  • mele - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    While I realize that things like design and looks are very subjective. I can't help but find almost all of the mentioned laptops downright ugly. Some are not that bad, but if Im spending a 1000 or more dollar on a piece of machinery I want it to look and feel good too.

    Below are just a few things I'd like manufacturers to pay more attention to:
    - Plastic usually feels cheap.
    - A form factor that does justice to the term portable (and yes, even a 15 or 17 inch laptop, doesn't have to feel chunky)
    - Already mentioned above - Screen quality does matter!
    - Battery life - while I personally don't need 10 or even 14 hours, it's ridiculous that many average performing laptops still can't top 2,5-3 hours while in use.
    - You shouldn't have to struggle to work with a trackpad.
    - Hinges shouldn't break or crack while they do the thing there are made for...
    - Be conservative when putting in (blinking) lights. They should never be a distraction.
    - in case of doubt: simplicity usually gets the job done!

    I have high hopes for the new Envy 14, as it might be one of the first laptops that combine Macbook good looks with powerful components for an attractive price. I just wish more manufactures would care about their design. The outside of the laptop should be more than just the box you put stuff in.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    I don't totally disagree and it seems like a lot of changes in the industry have almost nothing to do with customer feedback (16:9 aspect displays, I'm looking at you).

    I do take issue with expecting amazing battery life out of an 8 pound land monster, though. About the only really powerful machine I know of that gets good battery life is the Dell Studio 17; with the 9-cell battery it pushes more than four hours. This is the exception, not the rule.

    And frankly, if you're going to be spending up on a performance laptop, you need to weigh costs of components, etc. The notebook market is nicely cutthroat; many manufacturers hit their low prices by using cheaper shells and they do have to cut some corners. If you want great battery life, great portability, and great looks, expect to pay for it with a business-class notebook. Prices generally really are where they ought to be for what you get.
    Reply
  • mele - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    I think that perhaps I wasn't clear enough. Please allow me to clarify.
    I have no trouble with high performance, or otherwise beast-like machines having a battery life of 30 minutes or on the other side of the spectrum, machines with 10+ hours of battery life that perform like a high-end smartphone. However I do feel that the balance between battery life and performance is off. It feels like the middle segment performance wise is nowhere near the middle in battery life. All I'm saying is that between 3.5 and 5 hours of battery life (which is not like, outrageous imo) on a middle off the road laptop should be much more common than it is now.

    As for the other part. Of course I realize that great battery life, great portability and great looks are gonna cost more. Combine it with good performance and you're going to have to fork over a boatload of money. That's the fine. However, I do feel, as with performance vs. battery life, that the balance between specifications and other important qualities of a laptop (like design, chunky-ness, built quality etc..) is off.

    It is in my experience these qualities get more value to people over laptop purchases (time), since they just didn't realize the 'other stuff' is important too.
    Reply
  • GSJ - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    This notebook was mentioned in the U30jc article. Google search does confirm the existence of such a notebook. Some Asus articles from Taiwan mentions it's spec.

    It is basically same as K42J mentioned in this article but with USB 3.0 and non-glossy finish.

    Any info on when this notebook will be launched in US.
    Reply
  • Axbattler - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    It would have been useful to include the weight of the various laptop mentioned. Granted that at 14, and especially 15" and beyond, weight might be secondary to some. However, the lighter 14" can also be not too far from the heavier 13", which I consider quite ideal for frequent travels, while more likely to have better GFX cards.

    Another thing that would be nice to mention is connectivity. ExpressCard and FireWire aside, the presence of eSATA is handy, especially if it is going to act as desktop replacement. While they are getting more common, they still can't be taken for granted.
    Reply
  • fabarati - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    My mother was in the market for a new laptop, 15"-ish, with HDMI. Basic performance, etc. After much looking, I settled for the then brand new, not reviewed yet Dell Vostro 3500. I went for what was the cheapest one, with a core i3-330m and igp. Only extra was changing the colour to red. It turned out to be a really good laptop. And cheap too! Reply
  • teohhanhui - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    I ordered the Dell Vostro 3400 (red as well). Can't wait for it to arrive. Reply
  • jgrunhut - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    I'm on my second Vostro 3400. Absolutely love it, except for an irritating fan noise issue (still waiting to be fixed via a simple BIOS update).

    One of the cheapest thinnish (<1.2 in) laptops I have seen to date (only paid $619 CDN for i3 350, 3 GB RAM, 320 GB HD, intel Core graphics).

    It would be great if Anandtech could review one of the new Vostro 3000 series laptops... especially if you could use your muscle to get Dell to hurry up and fix this fan issue ;)
    Reply
  • fokka - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    so was my mother in law, ordered her the cheapest vostro 3300 with 3 years warranty. great little sucker. Reply
  • ericgl21 - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    Eventhough those Precision models are on the expensive side, they are considered well-built and powerful machines.

    I wonder why Anand "forgot" about those...
    Reply
  • Silma - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    Recommending untested products is unprofessional and a joke. Reply
  • sheltem - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    Phenomenal laptop but a little pricey, but I was able to swing one for $1861 after discounts. Not a single bit of gloss anywhere, even on the screen. Also has firewire and a expresscard 54 slot that the reviewer was jonesing for :) If you opt for the FirePro 7820, which is the professional version of the Mobility 5870, you can drive up to 4 displays, including the laptop! Tomshardware has a picture here:
    http://media.bestofmicro.com/,J-Q-243062-3.jpg

    They have a premium panel option called Dream Color 2. It's a 10-bit IPS panel. I opted for the standard 1920x1200 panel which is a 8-bit TN panel.
    Reply
  • Drag0nFire - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    Surprised Lenovo wasn't given any consideration, particularly for the "portability" category. This seems like an oversight. It may not be your personal favorite (and what they did to the screens is a pity), but many people stand by the build quality and overall ThinkPad design. I've never yet met someone who's unhappy about a ThinkPad... and I can say all my friends were jealous of mine in college. Reply
  • racerx_is_alive - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    Copied and pasted a few of the winners and suggestions into google, but there were a few that didn't turn up any reasonable responses. Searched amazon and newegg as well, hoping that perhaps some of the recommendations were product families and they'd give me related results. Perhaps the reviewer could include some links to where these laptops can be purchased? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    All of these should be readily available... we've reviewed many of them. Which ones are you unable to find? I may go back through and try to dig up links, though.... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    Or not... it seems Acer has quietly discontinued the 5740G-6979 and replaced it with a much slower HD 5470 model. The 7740G with HD 5650 is still readily available, but it's 17.3" instead of 15.6".

    A few other options for moderate gaming:
    MSI GE600 (i5-430M + HD 5650) for $860:
    http://www.mwave.com/mwave/SKUSearch_v3.asp?px=FO&...

    Sony VAIO VPCEB1PFX/B (i3-330M + HD 5650) for $920:
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtool...

    Toshiba A665D-S6059 (Phenom II P920 + HD4250/5650) for $860 (review is coming next week):
    http://www.antonline.com/p_PSAX3U-002004-GP_822084...

    ASUS G51JX-X1/X3 (i5-430M/i7-720QM + GTS 360M) for ~$1100:
    http://www.amazon.com/Republic-Gamers-G51JX-X3-15-...

    I'm putting in links for the remaining laptops, though.
    Reply
  • racerx_is_alive - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    Thanks for putting in those links- The two that I had problems searching for were the Acer one you mentioned, and the ASUS at the beginning. I had searched for the text straight from the heading "ASUS K42J" (without quotes) and it didn't give me anything promising on the first page, mostly a bunch of forums. The link is great though.

    Thanks
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    The K42J is on NewEgg's site:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    It looks like it has a low rating, but one of the users is mostly just griping about functionality that the majority of modern notebooks don't have (he's upset the graphics aren't switchable in the BIOS, which is absurd).
    Reply
  • bji - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    As time goes on I realize that my dream of ever finding a laptop to better my Panasonic Y2 from 2005 are never going to come to fruition. Because in order to beat the Y2, someone is going to have to offer a laptop that:

    - Has a 14 inch or larger display with a resolution *at least* 1400x1050
    - Weighs no more than 3.5 lbs
    - Is fanless

    I think that with today's tech this is certainly possible; ultra low power Core 2 processors match the power consumption of the Pentium M in the Y2 and should be able to go fanless. Displays are better now than back in 2005 so there's no reason that a 1400x1050 14 inch display is not possible (of course these days it would probably have to be widescreen, but there is no reason that it has to have fewer pixels! 1366x768? That's just pathetic!). And Panasonic already proved that you can build such a machine at 3 lbs 4 oz five years ago. That's 3 lbs 4 ounces including a built-in DVD player/CD-RW drive and a battery big enough for 5+ hours battery life.

    Yes, Panasonic did all that (and more!) in 2005, and I have yet to see any laptop in the last 5 years that even comes close. Things seem to just be getting worse with ever new laptop seemingly heavier than the last, with more cheap plastic than ever, lower resolutions, and OH LOOK SHINY displays.

    I would gladly plunk down another $2,500 for a laptop that was a reasonable update to the Y2. I use my laptops for 5 years at least (still use the Y2 daily) so I don't think that cost is unjustified for a quality product. Unfortunately, in these days when nobody wants to pay more than $1,000 for a laptop, I suspect I may be the last person on earth in this market and no company is ever going to offer any laptop that is actually better than the Y2. So sad.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    If you're willing to spend up that much, Sony's 13.1" Z series can be upgraded to a 1080p screen. :) Reply
  • bji - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link

    Thank you for that information. I was unaware of that model and it looks very interesting. The only drawbacks are the glossy screen and the non-fanless CPU. But it's definitely got the weight and the pixel count going for it. I wish it were 14 inches ... Reply
  • hko45 - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    The Dell Studio 17 might be okay, but for a DTR graphics WS, I'd take the Precision M6500 any day. Besides having the i7-920XM, up to 16 GB of RAM, USB-3, Nvidia Quadro FX 3800M card, and WUXGA RGBLED, you can also use the available E-Port Plus docking station when you're at home base with its 2 DVI and 2 DP ports for multiple displays. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    The Precision M6500 is a huge step up in price, mostly because you have to go with higher end options. I would agree build quality is better, but for many multimedia people the Quadro cards aren't necessary. You can get the RGB LED 1080p on the Studio 17 with 720QM for ~$1300 with a 3-year warranty. The cheapest quad-core M6500 is going to run upwards of $2500. Worth it for some? Definitely. But you want to make sure you really need those upgraded components. Reply
  • hko45 - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    The real selling point for me is the availability of the E-Port Plus docking station for the Precision lineup. While I may be willing to make-do while on the road, coming home to two calibrated monitors to do my main PhotoShop post processing is the deal maker. I do my "dream" shopping on the main Dell site to see what configuration options are available, and then I keep checking on the Outlet page until something acceptable comes up.

    Incidentally, another reason to go with the Precision (or Vostro or Latitude) is ProSupport, which I don't think you can get on Dell's consumer side. Give me real English-speaking NA support any day.
    Reply
  • hko45 - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    Jared,

    I forgot to comment on your Quadro remark. Ever since CS4 (CS5 now), PhotoShop takes full advantage of the (Nvidia) GPU. Apparently Adobe worked quite closely with Nvidia so any on my WS configs will only use Quadro boards.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    True... CS5 is CUDA accelerated while CS4 was OpenGL. I haven't done testing enough to say how much difference a fast GPU makes in Photoshop, likely because I just don't do enough complex editing. I also don't know if Quadro makes a difference relative to regular GeForce. Anyway, the M6500 is a good workstation with an awesome RGB LED display, but it's expensive. If you want the extras, though, I have no complaints with it. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    It honestly doesn't, really, at least in my experience. It's also my understanding Photoshop CS5 is still just OpenGL accelerated (a run through the settings didn't have anything CUDA on it, just OpenGL which is improved further still here); Premiere and After Effects have some CUDA acceleration, but those two are my babies, and the CUDA-accelerated processes are fairly specialized. I use a Radeon HD 5870 in my main workstation, and not having CUDA functionality isn't keeping me up at night.

    The primary use for workstation-class graphics is still going to be Maya and similar software.
    Reply
  • hko45 - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link

    I turned off the use-GPU setting in PhotoShop just to see whether I'd notice the difference. Big difference. It also doesn't hurt that it's able to take advantage of all the RAM you can throw at--the case for 64-bit OS (and the M6500 can give you 16 GBs). Don't you get tired of water twirly things marking the passage of time?

    Again, I especially like the Precision Mobile WS because it can use the E-Port Plus which has the two DVI and two DP ports for my dual monitors. Admittedly, biggest bang for the GPU capability comes with the Mercury engine in video processing (and who's to say that I won't get more serious with video). However, I've seen enough of what Adobe has done with PhotoShop's ability to use the GPU to bet on the direction its going in its close relationship with Nvidia.

    I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to buy a mobile WS that won't get too outdated within three years.
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link

    Yeah, but remember, in Photoshop it's just OpenGL and largely dependent on available video memory. No Nvidia secret sauce there.

    We have a GTX 480M notebook getting reviewed right now, I'll check to see just how big of a difference the Mercury Playback Engine might have (if it can be enabled on the 480M at all), but I can tell you I don't feel like I'm missing anything using Premiere on my Radeon, and Premiere IS my bread and butter.
    Reply
  • hko45 - Friday, July 02, 2010 - link

    So this has boiled down to Nvidia vs ATI.

    My decision tree: Need multiple monitors at home site coming off of identical ports. As far as I could tell, Dell's E-Port Plus is the only reasonably priced docking station that does this. This leaves me with Latitude or Precision laptops. Having had PhotoShop complain about insufficient RAM when I tried to stitch together five large NEF images (and knowing that PP will use all the RAM you will give it), the M6500 seemed to be the best choice. While its not clear that PP takes full advantage of multiple cores (now) like Premiere does, a future-proofed i7 quad processor fits in quite nicely. So my choice is the M6500, and it only offers FX Quadro cards. As for PP only using OpenGL, I'm willing to bet that Premiere's use of CUDA will trickle down to other members of the Creative Suite--certainly within the three year time frame I'm using to drive my purchase decisions, if not by CS6.
    Reply
  • aylafan - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    You forgot to mention that the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG 14" laptop is available in the US right now. It's one of the most anticipated laptops besides the Envy 14. A great mix between performance and battery life.

    The one out right now has a Core i3 350M, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650, 4GB DDR3, 320GB harddrive, optical drive, etc.

    Black brushed aluminium lid, 6-8 hours of battery life, less than 1" thin, weighs 4.65 pounds & it has switchable graphics (HD 5650 + Intel GMA).

    All this for just the price of $799.
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results....
    Reply
  • geek4life!! - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    I went to my local Best Buy today to look at the 13.3 inch screen sizes as I was thinking about the Asus U30Jc but that screen is too small for me. I found the 14 inch to be a great balance between size and portability. With that said I look forward to more reviews and hopefully that refresh will arrive for the back to school season. Reply
  • aylafan - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    You should look at the Asus UL80JC at Best Buy. It's a 14" laptop and it costs only $699. Core i3 & switchable graphics. Reply
  • aylafan - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - link

    I meant UL80J. I was confusing the name with the U30JC Reply
  • geek4life!! - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link

    Thanks I will definitely check it out!!!!!!!!!!!! Reply
  • numberoneoppa - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link

    Can somebody please tell me why 14" thinkpads were not included in this article? They are by far the most iconic 14" laptop. Reply
  • dumpsterj - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link

    I actually placed an order for an alienware m11x just a couple days ago (interest free for a year) . My asus F3SV has been a great companion for almost 3 or 4 years now but its 8600gs is having a hard time with bad company 2. I decided to replace both my netbook and laptop with one and the m11x seems to fit the bill. Cant wait to get it (07/15) Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link

    Can you guys do some testing of notebook IGP performance with single and dual channel memory configurations? Also, could you shed some light on these 3GB AMD configurations. (Do they run in dual channel mode?) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link

    The last AMD laptop we looked at with 3GB (Acer Ferrari One) did not run in dual-channel, but that was a Congo platform. Unfortunately (or fortunately I suppose) I don't have any 1GB SO-DIMMs around anymore, and all the laptops pretty much come with 4GB now. It would be interesting to see if the new Danube/Nile platforms with DDR3 are able to do dual-channel even with uneven memory sizes, though. Intel can do that but AMD hasn't allowed it for whatever reason. I don't think the difference will be more than 5~10% but without testing, who knows for sure? Reply
  • jazzisjazz - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link

    Just a day or two ago I was asked for a recommendation for a truly budget notebook <5-600 out the door.
    I saw the title of the article and thought I had hit the jackpot. Nope. Where can I truly find information that doesn't cater to the larger pocketbook but spies out the manufacturer(s) and model(s) that are offering just that little bit more in quality, performance, reliability, and maybe even design so that I know I have done the best by my hard earned dollars, few though they may be. I went to the guide section and checked out the December article and there was a little more information there including a cautionary reference to buying used. I think it says something about the quality of the review that a portion of the folks who could really use an article that considers the full range of budgets will find better information in a hot deals buyer's thread than at the premiere online pc/tech site. I'm just sayin.........
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, July 02, 2010 - link

    The problem is that spending between 5-600, you just aren't gonna get much notebook. Just about everything there is gonna be running off of integrated graphics (the cheapest machine I found on NewEgg that had dedicated hardware was a Toshiba with a Mobility Radeon HD 5145, basically a Mobility Radeon HD 4530, at about $660.)

    I'd say in that market it's really going to be a crapshoot in terms of reliability, and the picks in our guide often push the budget as low as it will go while still offering decent performance. Go cheap and you'll often get what you pay for, and you may wind up having to get another machine a lot sooner than you would have if you'd spent up a bit for something decent; even if it doesn't break down, the performance is going to be pretty anemic.

    Now, ALL THAT SAID, I do like Toshiba and HP if you're working a very low budget, and in those circumstances I am 100% an AMD man. You're not going to get good battery life, but AMD offers great performance on the cheap and the best integrated graphics in the business (outside of the more expensive IGPs Nvidia sells in isolated cases). An Athlon II or Turion II is bound to serve you pretty well. I'd personally avoid Intel chips in this bracket; they're all going to be running Intel's last generation technology, and AMD hardware will likely be much more competitive clock-for-clock against the cut-down Intel hardware you're apt to find.
    Reply
  • jazzisjazz - Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - link

    What you regard as a problem I see as a self set reasonable limit.

    I'm not asking you to somehow magically make something available at my price point but rather to thoughtfully evaluate whatever is available.

    I don't buy your argument about a crap shoot in quality because I do believe that you could provide useful information about reliability.

    I say that because my neice was unfortunate enough to buy one of the hp laptops with the nvidia chipset/graphics problems of a few years ago which turned out to be @$750 wasted on a company that despite it's great history has declined to the point that it wouldn't do right by its customers.

    While I keep a HP deskjet 722c printer in operation for when my and everyone elses "new" printer goes on the blink, I can not see ever buying an HP PC ever again, under any circumstance.

    Perhaps the article was a missed opportunity to suggest that manufacturer's put out something with an unimportant feature or two less, a total lack of flash but a solid build and clean look, that just plain works well and reliably. Novel idea Huh?

    As long as it runs the software I need in a manner that is acceptable to me,
    the best for what I have decided to pay, your calling it anemic won't bother me at all. I'd still like for you to provide the information. That's why I come to this site.

    At least your response has provided information sorely missing from the original article. Thanks for responding to my post.
    Reply
  • EddieBoy - Saturday, July 03, 2010 - link

    HEY! I am typing this on a Dell E1505. It may be an "eyesore" (I'll admit that) but it has been a workhorse for me for several years. And it runs Windows 7 just fine. Reply
  • Bron5 - Sunday, July 04, 2010 - link

    I highly recommend the MSI GE600 in the budget gamer category - would love to see your impressions of it. Switchable graphics works flawlessly and it has the nicely matched ATI 5730 card (perfect for the 1366x768 rez). Runs very quietly in normal use, slight whoosh when gaming, but much quieter than most. Very compact for a 16" unit. Runs cool and is a nice looking rig. Typical screen is nothing to write home about, but adequate. i5-430m processor is fine for gaming and the laptop has better than average sound as well. Games sound great when you activate the built in woofer (using the CinemaPro switch). Great presence and soundstage. Currently selling for $899, it plays all current games well on medium or high settings (most on high), the 5730 supports DX-11, the ports are nicely located and overall design is good.

    I was considering the GX640, but went with the GE600 for the switchable gfx and cooler, quieter operation. Had mine about 3 weeks and very happy with it.
    Reply
  • Akv - Monday, July 05, 2010 - link

    Maybe I have not read everything correctly, but I would have preferred more insistence on heat and noise production.

    For my use (of a laptop) those presented here all reach a sufficient level of performance and equipment. For gaming and video editing and such I have a large tower with a large screen, and it wouldn't occur to me to do heavy work on a laptop.

    Maybe some article on 15" and 15" laptops with i3 and Intel graphics, or other ULV solutions, would be useful. Kind of for those who want ultra low noise and ultra low heat like in a netbook, but still with a decent screen to do office work and watch a few movies when traveling.
    Reply
  • 5150Joker - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    Asus G73 has:

    1. GSOD issues
    2. Failing 5870s
    3. Proprietary MXM slot and card (probably why it fails so much)
    4. Cheap build quality
    5. Terrible mail in service warranty
    6. Missing keystroke issue (must disable the touchpad in the bios to fix it)
    7. no eSata and other ports

    Yeah you get a lot for the money but at the cost of quality in a big way. You get what you pay for with DTRs.

    Now with an M17x-R2, especially if you look for EPP discounts, coupon codes or use the Dell Outlet you can get a slightly more expensive M17x-R2 with the following:

    1. Aluminum chasis/lid, best build quality of any DTR.
    2. Triple fan/heatsink cooling
    3. RGB LED Display with >100% color gamut
    4. Option of dual ATi 5870s in Crossfire
    5. Alien FX lighting
    6. Dell next business day home service
    7. True full sized keyboard
    8. More ports/eSata etc
    9. Standard MXM 3.0b support (no proprietary garbage)

    Anandtech of course leaves all those little bits out and pimps such a fail laptop from Asus.
    Reply
  • Yasha613 - Monday, July 12, 2010 - link

    Can someone explain to me why x1080 or x900 is a SELLING point for a DTR? It's difficult to even find a decent one at 17, and I don't see any that new ones that hit 1920x1200 anymore.

    I've had my Dell XPS 1710 since inception. I had thought by the time I'd really be thinking about upgrading or worrying about it dieing all together from 24x7 on use that I could get a 19'+ DTR that would kick it's arse, be half the weight, and be at x1600. W....T.....F?

    Am I alone in my disappointment? I'd actually like to upgrade so I can play some modern games at a decent frame-rate, get a chipset that is 64bit of course, and reap the other benefits of an overall modern laptop rig, but it seems the main interface is going backwards..
    Reply
  • Ryes - Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - link

    How long does the k42jv battery last for?

    Also I do see that Optimus might be available http://www.thinkdigit.com/FCKeditor/uploads/19-2.j...
    Reply
  • Alexo - Thursday, July 15, 2010 - link

    "Vivek will have a separate ultraportable guide up next week, with a focus on smaller sized laptops with better battery life."

    A week has passed. And another one...
    Is there an ETA on the ultraportable guide?

    I'm looking to get a 13" with decent performance and good battery life and I'd love to see comaprative reviews of new models, such as the Asus UL30JT (or better, PL30JT with a matte screen) or the Acer TimelineX 3820tg

    Thanks,
    Alex.
    Reply
  • mnmr - Saturday, July 17, 2010 - link

    FTA: "The 5850 is easily one of the fastest mobile GPUs available, and MSI makes great use of it with a high-resolution 1680x1050 screen.".

    Stop eating the manufacturers BS - that is not a high resolution display. FullHD (1920x1080) seems to be the "standard resolution" for 17" laptops, so anything less should be axed as "poor" rather than applauded.

    Even FullHD is not high-resolution in my book, as 1920x1200 displays were the standard for high-end notebooks as much as 5 years ago.

    Where's the laptop that has a true high-resolution display, like 2560x1600, or at least something beyond 1920x1200? Even the 18"+ laptops only have FullHD diplays. Truly sad that nobody pays attention to resolutions anymore :-(
    Reply
  • Mezmorki - Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - link

    Sure, 1680x1050 isn't "high" resolution compared to the 1920x1200 of years gone by, but it's better than a lot of offerings today. I recently ordered a GX640, and one of the MAIN reasons why MSI was in the running is because they still offer 16:10 aspect ratio screens, although their next gen lappy's have switched to to 16:9 like everyone else. Reply
  • Yasha613 - Thursday, July 22, 2010 - link

    That's the problem, it's like getting scraps and being told we should be thankful for the offering.

    Things have actually gotten worse than stagnation, it's gone backwards to promote a television standard that should be like that of buying a digital camera anymore. Does anyone purchase a digital camera that totes the wonders of being able to take photos at a max resolution of an TV or HDTV standard? No, of course not, in fact anything that can't do near twice that is scoffed at.

    Why and how did high-end laptops become the exception?
    Reply

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