View Full Version : recommend a decent mid size laptop for gaming on the train?

President Weasel
09-09-2011, 01:04 PM
Don't want to go totally overboard or get something to replace my desktop - I want something that will let me play games like Star Ruler or Dwarf Fortress or maybe a Total War type game on the train.
So I am not looking for a 9lb monster with a 15" screen, and I don't want to spend upwards of 600.
I'm almost tempted by that ASUS lamborghini (which switches between onboard graphics and mobile graphics card depending on the need) but reviews tend to say "you can get a laptop that's twice as good for only a little more money". So - where's that laptop?

Suggestions welcome.

09-09-2011, 02:18 PM
That Asus is really not going to give you good performance for the price. The graphics card could handle some low-end 3D gaming but would likely struggle with any Total War newer than Rome. The processor will be a bigger problem, as the Atom processors are really not designed for gaming and aren't very fast even compared to what you'll find in a cheaper 15" laptop.

How important are the size and battery life to you? I have a 15" with a 2-3 hour battery life that I find adequate for train journeys, although it's not very comfortable to walk with it on my shoulder for any length of time.

This site (http://www.notebookcheck.net/FAQ-Tips-Technics.123.0.html) is very handy for comparing laptop performance. See the benchmark lists for processors and GPUs, and the list of gaming performance for GPUs.

09-09-2011, 02:28 PM
I had the Asus U35JC (it was stolen) and thought it a very good machine. It is an ultraportable, so sacrifices were being deliberately made there - I wanted something really light and thin. Battery life was excellent, although gaming obviously hurt it. As for what games:
Anything Source engine at native resolution, maxed out settings. Company of Heroes native res, low details. Borderlands had to be knocked down to lower resolutions. The U36JC is a little more expensive, but also a little better specced and notably thinner.

Notebook check (http://www.notebookcheck.net/) benchmark almost every laptop graphics adapter and CPU, so you can get a good feel for what you are getting. The wonderful world of Sandy Bridge also means that now laptops without dedicated graphics cards can be capable, if not amazing at games.

09-09-2011, 02:40 PM
bought my wife an acer (ATI 3450HD gfx or something) for ~300 a few xmases ago - it does well, plays WoW with reasonable prettiness, can cope with World of Tanks (mostly), plays BB a treat ;)

let me know if you want more info

09-09-2011, 02:49 PM
How about this one? LINK (http://www.studenttechguide.com/2011/09/lenovo-ideapad-y470-review/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lenovo-ideapad-y470-review)
I haven't played with it but it seems to share the design ideology with Asus(n81vp) that I've been using for the last few years.
It's availabe in a few versions ranging from $650 to $750 on the Lenovo website.

President Weasel
09-09-2011, 05:23 PM
Size isn't massively important. Weight is more of a consideration: I want something that qualifies as portable, not a "desktop replacement". Battery life isn't a major consideration - I'm wanting it for longer train journeys, where I'll have access to a power socket.
Ntw, I would be interested in more info on the one you describe (or its nowadaysier version). I'm hoping for recommendations from people with direct experience, rather than just taking a flyer on something off the internet.

cheers all.

09-09-2011, 06:17 PM
My Asus is a 14'' with a pretty decent CPU(Core2Duo T9550), 4GB of RAM and a Radeon 4650(later switched to xx70 for free, yay!), it weights 2,5kg with the battery I can use it for about 2 hours with the WIFI on. It's able to play anything, the only game that was uncomfortably laggy was Metro 2033.
It's small and light enough not to be a bother to carry around and allows me to play anything I want, I rarely find myself away from a power supply long enough to notice the short battery life anyway.

I haven't tried that Lenovo but it seems to be a very similar to my lappy, only updated a lot. Something worth checking out if you can find one to try or get some opinions about it. I haven't been looking for laptops lately so I don't really know any other new laptops like this, I only know about this one because a friend showed it to me.

09-09-2011, 07:37 PM
Acer Aspire 5920G, we've been very happy with it (except for the fact it came with vista)