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Laptop recommendations?


So I’m going to be buying a new laptop soon (like, sometime in January most likely). My current machine is well over a decade old and is on its last legs. Having not shopped for a laptop in so long, I’m at a loss as to what I should get, or how I should even shop for one (it seems shopping in person at a brick and mortar store severely limits your choices…).

I thought I’d list some of the tasks I want to use the machine for and some features I’ve seen that peak my interest and maybe those more knowledgeable here could steer me in the right direction.

Anyway, I’d like to use the machine to keep up with the various restoration and preservation efforts here and other related sites. I’m particularly interested in film sourced projects and 4K projects. In addition to acquiring and viewing them myself, I’d like to be able to participate more in the beta testing, spot checking crowdsourced type of help they sometimes enlist to complete the projects.

I’d also like to be able to burn data and video blu-ray discs (I know I’ll have to buy an external drive)

I’d like to use it for managing our digital (I.e. smartphone) photo and video library. We’ve got little kids and take a million photos and videos.

I’m interested in possibly using it for gaming. I’m not a serious gamer but I do still play my PS4 and I absolutely LOVE flight sims. In fact, combat flight sims would be my top priority for gaming if I were to play games on it.

I’d like to finally figure out how to do the whole Usenet newsgroup thing (specifically the Star Wars one).

Oh, I also want to stream video, watch blu rays and my digital film library.

So that’s what I want to use the machine for. As for features, I’m interested in the following:

-Minimum 1080p display, though I’m interested possibly in 4K.
-I like the laptops that have a touchscreen and can fold over to be used like a tablet,but it’s not absolutely required. Just a nice feature.
-plenty of storage space. Combo of Solid state and traditional HDD would be ideal)
-Windows, most current version (sorry mac users)
-15.6 inch screen. I travel a LOT and I find this to be the ideal compromise between portability and screen size. I might consider going a little bigger, but definitely not smaller.
-price… I’m not entirely decided on this but I’m thinking I’d probably like to keep it at $1000 or less. Right now I’m more interested in figuring out what I should be looking for and then figuring out exactly wha5 price range I should move towards.

So, thanks to anyone who’s read all this and thanks for any recommendations you might send my way!


Seems like a gaming-spec type machine may be a decent fit for your needs mate.

I’m a Brit so don’t know what’s a bargain your side of the pond - though if you were over here I’d recommend trying something like the Dell Outlet store (and other outlet stores) - and look around for an Alienware laptop (they are usually heavily discounted as they are ‘returns’ or ‘scratch and dents’. There are a few (if you’re quick) going for just over half-price / a third off retail price.

Best thing is to likely phone them instead of ordering online - the sales girls and lads are quite friendly and knowledgeable (the UK ones are, anyway) and will usually throw in a laptop bag or other extra to seal the deal - and they’ll be able to describe in detail any scratch or dents - or maybe why it was returned (unwanted gifts are the main reason).

You should get a full 12 month guarantee (though again I’m only guessing you’d get that in the US as you would in the UK) - so best check beforehand.

Am sure there are better / cooler makes than Alienware out there - though I find them reliable, tough, well-built, likely to last a good few years, and are good value for money on the whole. Sort of safe bet for people who want/need a good spec machine - without having to be a laptop spec guru 😃

(an i5 or i7, with 16gb RAM, 256GB SSD & 1TB HD, with a GTX 1060 graphics card - or higher… should suffice for a few years)

Good luck with it - hope someone else can offer you more detailed / better info Stateside. Moderator

Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here?
And say something righteous and hopeful for a change?


Cool, thanks for the input. I wasn’t aware there even was a dell outlet, so that’s a great source! And your recommended specs align exactly with what I was thinking I should look for based on my own research which definitely makes me more confident that I’ve done a decent job educating myself on the current state of laptop evolution and capabilities. Thanks!


Alright, I’ve narrowed my search down to 3 models and plan on buying one soon (hopefully within a week or so). I’ve read and watched all the reviews I can find on each. They have near identical performance so it’s really down to overall design and features.

  1. Razer Blade 15

My gut tells me I like this one best. It’s such a sleek and appealing design. It’s also apparently the sturdiest and most well-built, which is important because I travel a LOT and it will go wherever I go. It has a great mousepad and a highly ranked keyboard quality. It has the most storage by a large margin and I WILL use it with all the film restoration projects I plan on finally catching up on (yay!). The screen is high quality but some people have reported some light leak issues. However it does not have a number pad on the keyboard (not sure if that’s a feature I care about or not, honestly), some people complain it gets too hot, and it has the fewest ports with no SD card reader. It’s also the most expensive.

  1. Msi GS63 Stealth

This one has a full keypad with number pad. It is consistently highly reviewed and a bit more reasonably priced. It also has the most ports including a full SD card reader. The screen apparently has no light leak issues. The build quality seems rather cheap in some ways and it is quite flexy and thin which concerns me a bit. It also has a consistently poorly reviewed mouse pad. Ultimately this one is more “bang for the buck” with the most features, but it possibly comes at the expense of durability.

  1. ASUS - ROG GU501GM

This one has been the hardest to find information about. Apparently it is exclusive to Best Buy. The handful of videos I found indicate it has a pretty solid build quality. It has a full keypad with number pad. It also (to the best of my research b/c it’s not specified on the actual Best Buy page) has a 120hz screen as opposed to the 60hz screens on the two laptops above. It is the least expensive but also has the least internal storage capacity. It has one more USB port than the Razer but no SD card reader. Excluding the storage, it seems like it might be a solid balance of the pros of the two above laptops but ultimately it’s just been hard to find much info about this one.

Sooo… which one should I get? Anything but the Razer will certainly result in me carrying around a portable external drive to augment storage space. Not sure if I actually need an SD card reader or a number pad. Slightly concerned about the light leak possibility as I’m a bit obsessive about image quality.[/quote]